Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "new wave"
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...
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...
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...
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’...
Martha and the Muffins: a book project in musical urbanism

Martha and the Muffins: a book project in musical urbanism

This summer I begin in earnest a new research project on the Canadian new wave group Martha and the Muffins.  I’ve blogged about them extensively already, focusing on the mixed-gender approach and geographical sensibilities that inform their work.  The book I intend to write will incorporate these into a new focus: the career of a...
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...
cherchez la femme: Tommy Mottola and Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band

cherchez la femme: Tommy Mottola and Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band

I’m fairly immune to the musical charms of the many recording artists whose careers were launched into stratosphere by Tommy Mottola, “one of the most powerful, visionary, and successful executives in the history of the music industry.”  Mariah Carey, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, New Kids on the Block, Shakira, Jennifer...
a place that is lost: the geographical visions of Martha and the Muffins

a place that is lost: the geographical visions of Martha and the Muffins

  I’ve been drawn instinctively toward the music, aesthetics and story of Martha and the Muffins since I heard their debut album some 30 years ago. In my teenage years I would have ranked their 1983 album Danseparc one of my desert island discs (I still might, come to think of it). My tastes evolved toward the...
whey we don't hear the city in Siouxsie and the Banshees

whey we don’t hear the city in Siouxsie and the Banshees

  Currently I’m revising and expanding an essay I posted here a year ago, about how Joy Division came to sound like Manchester, to present at the 2012 EMP Pop Conference next month. The artistic connection between Joy Division and their city of origin is clear and powerful for many listeners, but my argument is that the connection isn’t...
Poughkeepsie and America's musical hinterlands as seen from British eyes

Poughkeepsie and America’s musical hinterlands as seen from British eyes

Thanks to the Slicing Up Eyeballs blog, I’ve discovered a new BBC Four music documentary, “How the Brits Rocked America: Go West,” about the three generations of British musicians, from the Beatles to Duran Duran, who scaled the walls of American pop culture. Some of them made their fortunes, many more failed, and a few just wanted...
Tito Larriva: the hombre secreto of L.A.'s culture industry

Tito Larriva: the hombre secreto of L.A.’s culture industry

As a central destination for musicians, actors, filmmakers and artists, Los Angeles has more than its share of unsung, forgotten or behind-the-scenes figures who have made a significant mark on the city in the course of their careers. In this category, one of my favorites is Tito Larriva, who readers might recognize if they review...

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