Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "subculture"
David Mancuso at Dub Spot Records

David Mancuso at Dub Spot Records

In this year of awful news, I wonder if we’re currently experiencing what evangelical Christians call the rapture. Only now the evangelicals remain on earth, while great people whose contributions made the world a better place are passing away almost daily. Just reviewing the music world memoriam since January: David Bowie, Lemmy, Glenn Frey, Blowfly...
nu-metal, affective masculinities and suburban identities: guest blog by Niccolo Dante Porcello

nu-metal, affective masculinities and suburban identities: guest blog by Niccolo Dante Porcello

[Here’s the second 2016 senior thesis in musical urbanism I’m pleased to share on this blog. Too young to experience nu-metal when it first came out, Niccolo Porcello produced this provocative hot-take on the 1990s subgenre and its roots in heavy metal and hip hop subculture. His other senior thesis adviser and I gave this...
the commodification of Appalachian music: guest blog by Julia Simcoe

the commodification of Appalachian music: guest blog by Julia Simcoe

[This past year, I had the delight to supervise two Vassar College senior theses that, through no effort of mine, were inspiring and insightful examples of research in musical urbanism. With these students’ permission, I’m going to share their theses on this blog. The first comes from Sociology major Julia Simcoe (‘16), whose work reflects...
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...
EDM as tourism: the rebranding of UK rave

EDM as tourism: the rebranding of UK rave

Last month, I answered some questions for a UK media/marketing firm researching how UK rave circa 1989 evolved into the US youth phenomenon of electronic dance music (EDM) — a question I’ve asked before on this blog.  The piece is lengthy and lies behind a paywall, but author Emmajo Read did a great job. By...
a history of rave: from the UK to Ultra Miami

a history of rave: from the UK to Ultra Miami

Almost six months since the Ultra Music Festival held its ninth annual event in Miami, an official “aftermovie” was just released two days ago.  It’s so bonkers and over the top in how it depicts the state of the art in rave culture, it calls for a juxtaposition with an earlier moment in rave culture,...
the misanthropy of solo metal

the misanthropy of solo metal

In some regards, the development of heavy metal over the last 40 years can be understood to chart key phases in pop-music consumption under late capitalism: from mass culture to subculture to individualized culture.  This arc can be seen, first and most obviously, from the vantage point of heavy metal fandom. As Will Straw has...
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...
musical urbanism: statement of a scholarly project

musical urbanism: statement of a scholarly project

It’s promotion review time for me, and in writing a research statement for the three anonymous sociologists evaluating my work, I’ve had the occasion to compile and synthesize my thinking on musical urbanism into a single essay.  Think of this post as a users manual for understanding what I’ve been up to academically with this...
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...
Maryland Deathfest 2011: my photos and a first take

Maryland Deathfest 2011: my photos and a first take

Maryland Deathfest 2011, a set on Flickr. So much to chew on from my weekend in Baltimore. Talked to a lot of folks, got a decent look at a few local areas, did some record shopping, and became acquainted with National Bohemian beer, a.k.a. Natty Bo, the cheap beer of choice in Baltimore. Plus, I...
heavy metal before subculture

heavy metal before subculture

Anyone who went to an American high school in the 1980s or later, when black t-shirts displaying stylized band logos were a common sight, is likely to be confused by what “heavy metal” meant in the prior decade. I’m still unsure, frankly. Today, the consensus is that in the 1970s, heavy metal was whatever Black...

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