Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "music scene"
how to teach Musical Urbanism in three lectures

how to teach Musical Urbanism in three lectures

Thought I would share this for teachers and academics: a guest lecture section that I just gave in an undergraduate Introduction to Urban Studies course taught by Lisa Brawley at Vassar College. Readers are welcome to incorporate or adapt this material into their own teachings.   Day 1: Theorizing the post-industrial city Readings: Richard Lloyd...
metro music: creativity, place and alienation in the career of Martha & the Muffins

metro music: creativity, place and alienation in the career of Martha & the Muffins

[Presented at the University of Toronto Department of Sociology on May 1, 2015. Thanks to Judith Taylor and John Hannigan for this opportunity.] It’s a pleasure to speak today on a new research project I’m working on. In anticipation of this talk, I had a couple of other topics I could have lectured on with...
scenes in the 10.0 era: a conversation with Pitchfork editor Mark Richardson

scenes in the 10.0 era: a conversation with Pitchfork editor Mark Richardson

On April 15, the Musical Urbanism seminar brought Mark Richardson, editor-in-chief at Pitchfork, to Vassar College for an informal conversation about independent music, online journalism, and the relevance of places and scenes in an era of digital music. With hardly any effort made to publicize the event, the lecture hall was packed with Vassar students....
art worlds and music scenes

art worlds and music scenes

An interesting thing happens when you intersect two texts, Howard Becker’s essay on “Art Worlds and Collective Activity” (1982) and David Byrne’s essay on “How to Make a Scene” (2012), with each other. Somewhat anachronistically, the former enlists the latter into its thesis. To begin, Becker’s text is not especially directed toward the contemporary interest...
putting the Hudson Valley on the musical map: Basilica Soundscape and O+ Festival

putting the Hudson Valley on the musical map: Basilica Soundscape and O+ Festival

Over the last month I’ve been writing for Sound It Out, a new music blog that covers adventurous new music from a snark-free, consumer-friendly point of view. “The music may be evil, but we’ll try not to be” is the motto. Most of my writings there are basic reviews and previews, but I’ve also contributed...
a Toronto/Martha & the Muffins annotated bibliography

a Toronto/Martha & the Muffins annotated bibliography

For the Martha and the Muffins book project, the first task I’ve set for myself is to dive into the literature. Toronto is fairly terra incognito for me; to contextualize the geographic sensibilities embodied in the band’s music and career, an appreciation of its urban history and geography is in order. Also, Canadianness and ‘Canada’...
the greatest reinventions in pop-music careers, #50-41

the greatest reinventions in pop-music careers, #50-41

Today I take up a question of pop-culture history: which performers made the most unexpected left turns with their careers?  I farmed this question out awhile back to readers of this blog, and today I start filing the results based on my own subjective assessment.  Debate and criticisms are welcome in the comment section (or,...
music for being: notes from an adult rock band party

music for being: notes from an adult rock band party

In urbanists’ excitement over music scenes and the desirability of “social and interactive street-level culture” (to invoke Richard Florida), it’s easy to lose sight of whether there’s any value to all of this besides promoting careers and urban economies.  Does “enriching creative communities” actually involve extending the practice of creativity into people’s everyday lives?  Or...
the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

It’s been said 14 is the influential age in the development of our musical tastes.  That was the case for me: I find I regularly return to the music that I explored and embraced as my own back around 1983.  It wasn’t just what I heard that has shaped my ideas about ‘good’ music, though,...
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...
listening to home, encountering the other: book review of "Migrating Music"

listening to home, encountering the other: book review of “Migrating Music”

The settlement of foreign-born ethnic migrants has to be the oldest source of urban vitality. It’s also a wellspring of musical innovation. Might the latter connection offer insights into the modern city? That’s always my hope when I read books like Migrating Music (Routledge, 2012). Edited by Jayson Toynbee and Byron Dueck, this volume addresses the cultural...
weird scenes from the 5 and the TCH: metropolitan structure and rock in Canada

weird scenes from the 5 and the TCH: metropolitan structure and rock in Canada

It was November 1977, and it was the first time any of us had traversed our home and native land. We soon found out what a big-ass country Canada is. The ground in Saskatchewan was covered with snow, and it was so fucking flat that you could see a grain elevator miles away. It looked...

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