Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "hipster studies"
how the Queen Street West scene began, pt. 2: OCA bands

how the Queen Street West scene began, pt. 2: OCA bands

How did a bunch of kids in suburban Thornhill ignite a Toronto music scene and bring new energy to Queen Street West, now a hip urban neighborhood? My last post introduced the key players and forgotten bands in the so-called Thornhill sound, but their network, activities, and energies would need to relocate and expand in...
how the Queen Street West scene began, pt. 1: the Thornhill sound

how the Queen Street West scene began, pt. 1: the Thornhill sound

THE EVERGLADES are ambassadors of the Thornhill Sound, a sound long fermenting in the rec rooms and condo apartments just north of STEELES AVE. Among its proponents include: Martha and the Muffins, Johnny and the G-Rays, the B-Girls, and the now defunct Dishes, Cads, E-Static and the legendary Oh Those Pants! Even Canada’s songbird Anne...
looking for the new Brooklyn: creative migrations & musical landscapes in upstate New York

looking for the new Brooklyn: creative migrations & musical landscapes in upstate New York

For the Musical Urbanism seminar, Hua Hsu and I were pleased to invite Piotr Orlov to speak about his research on musical legacies and migrations in upstate New York. Here’s the video of our conversation (apologies for the way his mic drops in and out between 7:30-27:00). “Leonard Nevarez and Hua Hsu of Vassar College’s...
has the Hudson Valley become the "new Brooklyn" yet?

has the Hudson Valley become the “new Brooklyn” yet?

In the endlessly diverting media game of finding the next Brooklyn, the Hudson River Valley gets referenced a lot. I suppose there’s good reason, since it’s not so much that this region rivals the urban upgrading and cultural attention associated with the New York City borough some 100 miles to the south, but that the...
what could be cooler than Brooklyn? latest findings from Census data

what could be cooler than Brooklyn? latest findings from Census data

[Update 12 hours after originally publishing this essay: Well, this is interesting… and a little bit embarrassing: I seem to have misread the Census Flows Mapper data entirely incorrectly.  So much for the “test drive”; it’s like I pulled out of the car lot and onto the highway with the emergency brake on the whole...
studying the college music scene and beyond

studying the college music scene and beyond

Remember the bands that formed in college?  You heard them at dorm parties, frat parties, apartment parties, the campus bar, battle-of-the-bands competitions, and impromptu outdoor settings.  They practiced in dorm rooms, dorm basements, conservatory and theater rooms, backyard sheds, and laundry rooms, amusing/irritating neighbors and passers-by.  Many college rockers and rappers dreamed of making it...
the dull ubiquity of placeless music festivals

the dull ubiquity of placeless music festivals

Some questions for investigations here, presented in the form of a rant. As part of my research in musical urbanism, I consume a fair amount of music coverage in print and online. Jesus Christ, all I seem to find these days is “writing” about generic touring festivals headlined by Coldplay/Metallica/Fiona Apple/Beach House/you name it. News about new music...
the hipsterization of global protest reporting

the hipsterization of global protest reporting

Maria came to the Kremlin demonstration wearing her designer eyeglasses. Does that explain why she protests? Many commentators have pointed out how after big American news media (many of them regularly accused of liberal bias) refused to report on Occupy Wall Street for several weeks, they then often sought to explain the movement by characterizing...
living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

I recently downloaded the reissued Human Switchboard album, Who’s Landing in my Hangar? Anthology 1977-1984, which set me off again obsessing about a subgenre of new wave that I’ve never really seen recognized.  I don’t even know how best to name this subgenre, although I’m convinced it has a musical coherence.  I’ll call it new wave rent...
Pitchfork urbanism

Pitchfork urbanism

The award for Fun Read of the Week goes to “On Pitchfork,” Richard Beck’s smart, caustic review of indie rock’s überblog Pitchfork.  You can’t find this lengthy essay anywhere but the latest issue of n+1, an NYC-based journal of politics, literature and culture, and yeah it’s worth the $10 PDF download.  (The issue also features a...
under the shadow of Woodstock: listening to the Hudson Valley

under the shadow of Woodstock: listening to the Hudson Valley

Another problem with the “Brooklynization of Hudson River Valley” thesis that I discussed in my last post is that the music in these parts isn’t very hip.  That’s not a judgment, just a statement of fact if by “hip” we mean the product or embrace of 20-something hipsters who disproportionately reside in Brooklyn. However, the Hudson Valley...
looking for the Hudson Valley hipster

looking for the Hudson Valley hipster

In the town where I live, there’s been a lot of chatter over a recent NY Times article which reports how Brooklynites (an apparent synonym for NYC’s mobile, creative types) are descending upon the Hudson Valley area some 75 miles north of the city to live, visit, consume, and generally do their Brooklyn thing.  Local businesses,...

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