Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "mobility"
new publications

new publications

I’ve had a couple of articles published in the past month. First, and most relevant to my musical urbanism project, an article about the proto-EU visions traced in the career of Simple Minds, “Sound in 70 Cities: The European Urbanism of Simple Minds,” has been published in a new edited volume: Unsichtbare Landschaften/Invisible Landscapes: Popular...
in exile: the rootless cosmopolitanism of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club

in exile: the rootless cosmopolitanism of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club

I’ve never quite understood why the Gun Club, one of the all-time great Los Angeles bands, had an estranged relationship with their city of origin. It seems to me no local critic or serious music fan can deny their impact on L.A.’s music legacy. One of the great cult bands of rock music, the Gun...
how I discovered Martha and the Muffins' "Metro Music"

how I discovered Martha and the Muffins’ “Metro Music”

In ninth grade, my musical interests shifted from hard rock heard on the radio to the new wave and punk I discovered from tape mixes and recommendations passed on by the new kids I was hanging with. I chalk this shift in listening habits up in some part to the attraction that the city held...
sound in 70 cities: the European urbanism of Simple Minds

sound in 70 cities: the European urbanism of Simple Minds

Dream, dream, dream It’s the eighties’ youthful theme Loving the city A theme for great cities And loved ones And love – “Wonderful In Young Life” (1981)   Americans know them mostly as “that Breakfast Club band” from the 80s, but Scotland’s Simple Minds have carried on in one form or another long enough to...
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...
creative contradictions and tango tourism: a review of "Culture Works" by Arlene Dávila

creative contradictions and tango tourism: a review of “Culture Works” by Arlene Dávila

Ten years ago Richard Florida, a regional planning professor then known mostly for comparative studies of industrial management, published The Rise of the Creative Class. His dual thesis — that “creative” sectors were at the forefront of developed-world economies, and that their cauldrons of innovation, economic relations, and human labor were organized by urban form —...
swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

Scott Reitherman is the singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and main guy behind Throw Me The Statue, an indie-pop band based in Seattle. They have two albums out on Secretly Canadian, an independent label based out of Bloomington, Indiana, and are currently in the studio recording a third one. Their 2007 debut Moonbeams got a warm reception...
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,...
listening alone, together: a review of "Pop Music, Pop Culture" by Chris Rojek

listening alone, together: a review of “Pop Music, Pop Culture” by Chris Rojek

British sociologist Chris Rojek has just published a major work in the social analysis of pop music.  To say its argument isn’t completely satisfying doesn’t belittle the remarkable accomplishment of Pop Music, Pop Culture (Polity, 2011), which covers the gamut of musical production, content, and reception from the pre-historic oral tradition to today’s P2P networks.  Most distinctively, Pop...
shameless self-promotion: "Pursing Quality of Life"

shameless self-promotion: “Pursing Quality of Life”

I’m pleased to announce that my new book has finally been published: Pursuing Quality of Life: From the Affluent Society to the Consumer Society.  Here’s the official blurb. From anxieties over work-life balance and entangling technologies, to celebrations of cool jobs and great places to live, quality of life  frames the ways we enhance our lives...
branding alienation with Tony Wilson

branding alienation with Tony Wilson

I recently watched Joy Division (2007, dir. Grant Gee), an exciting documentary that carries more intellectual heft than maybe any other film about a rock group.  Great interviews not just with the surviving band members and others who knew them, but also early followers who were deeply affected by the band’s records and performance.  I’m struck, for...

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