Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "Detroit"
metaphors of the urban-industrial backbeat

metaphors of the urban-industrial backbeat

In 1979, the late great music critic Ellen Willis gave a brief yet compelling explanation for how rock and roll sounds like the city, writing about “rock-and-roll’s oldest metaphor for modern city life—anarchic energy contained by a tight repetitive structure.” Her formulation has two components. First, rock and roll functions as metaphor, not the lyrical...
don't cross a Scottish new romantic

don’t cross a Scottish new romantic

I’ve always loved Ultravox since I first heard “Vienna” in the early 1980s. However, my musical education from the New Musical Express (which, as I mentioned before, kind of fucked me up) quickly impressed upon me that Ultravox were actually fey pompous bourgeois muso popstars. (Just earning three of those five modifiers would ensure a critical death...
adventures in arts-based urban revitalization: the RoboCop statue in Detroit

adventures in arts-based urban revitalization: the RoboCop statue in Detroit

On February 7th, someone tweeted the mayor of Detroit with a passing thought: “Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky’s butt. He’s a GREAT ambassador for Detroit.”  The city’s mayor (and former NBA all star) Dave Bing replied, “There are not any plans to erect a statue to Robocop. Thank you...