Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "urban policy"
sustainability and quality of life in the Hudson Valley

sustainability and quality of life in the Hudson Valley

[I was asked to give a ten-minute “mini-keynote” talk to a meeting of academics, nonprofit and public agency execs, and civically minded business leaders at Marist College for its 2015 Sustainability Day event, at the invitation of Peter Bienstock (Hudson River Valley Institute) and Ann Davis (Economics). My subject: the Hudson Valley’s quality of life, its...
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...
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’...
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 —...
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...
a Poughkeepsie school of urban studies

a Poughkeepsie school of urban studies

[This is the extended version of an essay that will be drastically reduced (1500 words?!?!) before it’s published in a new Vassar College faculty journal.  For a change there’s no mention of music, although readers might notice how this discussion adds context to my other posts on music and the Hudson Valley.] In Urban Studies courses...
creatively exploiting the Austin scene: a review of "Echotone" (pt. 2)

creatively exploiting the Austin scene: a review of “Echotone” (pt. 2)

[This is the second part of my review of the documentary “Echotone” (2010, dir. Nathan Christ).  For the first part, go here.] Technically, no one in Echotone ever says the phrase “creative class.”  However, the filmmaker’s marketing materials invoke it regularly, starting with the DVD’s back-cover description: “Echotone is a cultural portrait of the modern American city examined through...
just stay put: an alternative vision for arts-based urban revitalization

just stay put: an alternative vision for arts-based urban revitalization

Here are some thoughts about a different way to think about arts-based urban revitalization, written in the form of a suspiciously confident manifesto.  These ideas are completely pie-in-the-sky and fly in the face of the prevailing wisdom in this field, but I’m fine with that if it reveals some fallacies and unspoken assumptions of most...
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...
are you really going to listen to their new album?

are you really going to listen to their new album?

I’ll admit, I got excited after seeing the announcement that Echo & the Bunnymen are performing their first two albums, Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here, in their entirety on an upcoming North American tour.  Ocean Rain is fine; they played that whole album on tour awhile ago anyway.  For my money, though, the gloomy garage rock—“Going Up,” “Over The...

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