Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "Austin"
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...
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...
between champagne and eviction: more new wave rent party

between champagne and eviction: more new wave rent party

My last post introduced an imaginary sub-genre that I call new wave rent party and covered the basics of its aesthetic principles and historic urban context. Here, I continue that discussion with some more material from 1977-81 era. Well, maybe a couple of years further on as well—the sub-genre went on a few more years past its historic sell-by...
remembering the serious triviality of pop music

remembering the serious triviality of pop music

Something left unelaborated in my review of Echotone (from the last two posts: here and here) is a larger uneasiness with the instrumentalization of independent or underground music — the reduction of pop music culture from an end in itself to a means for other ends.  Although this isn’t a new critique of post-punk music (i.e., music groups inspired...
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...
losing Austin's weirdness: a review of "Echotone" (pt.1)

losing Austin’s weirdness: a review of “Echotone” (pt.1)

A 2010 documentary that just graduated from the film festival circuit to DVD,Echotone captures the Austin music scene at a moment of transition.  The film is a pleasure to watch and listen to, with great photography, fantastic sound (plus great sound editing, not something I usually notice), and an effective yet easy-going narrative style mercifully free...