Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "Los Angeles"
a few words about Glenn Frey

a few words about Glenn Frey

They say the deaths of significant cultural figures come in threes. It seems you don’t get to choose those three, because here we are: Lemmy Kilmeister. David Bowie. And now, Glenn Frey. Growing up a music snob, certain groups you naturally come to disdain and mock. The Eagles and Glenn Frey in particular filled that...
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...
I survived the grunge era: introduction to a screening of "Hype!"

I survived the grunge era: introduction to a screening of “Hype!”

Welcome to the first of a series of “lab sessions” this semester in conjunction with the Musical Urbanism seminar. Tonight we’re screening Hype!, a 1996 documentary that’s currently out of print. This means the version you’re watching was torrented by your professors. Although as we heard it’s also available on YouTube, I promised our students...
Restless Records, 1989: from an independent label intern's view

Restless Records, 1989: from an independent label intern’s view

The inspiration for my latest post: a request. How cool to find out @enigmarecords, where I did my first internship, is on @twitter. Tweet more, Enigma! What are the Effigies up to? — Mara Schwartz (@mara_schwartz) December 8, 2013 @MusicalUrbanism @EnigmaRecords I would like to read this. — Mara Schwartz (@mara_schwartz) December 9, 2013 In...
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...
studying the college music scene and beyond

studying the college music scene and beyond

Remember the bands that formed in college?  You heard them at dorm parties, frat parties, apartment parties, the campus bar, battle-of-the-bands competitions, and impromptu outdoor settings.  They practiced in dorm rooms, dorm basements, conservatory and theater rooms, backyard sheds, and laundry rooms, amusing/irritating neighbors and passers-by.  Many college rockers and rappers dreamed of making it...
swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

swimming in the music ecosystem: an interview with Scott Reitherman of Throw Me The Statue

Scott Reitherman is the singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and main guy behind Throw Me The Statue, an indie-pop band based in Seattle. They have two albums out on Secretly Canadian, an independent label based out of Bloomington, Indiana, and are currently in the studio recording a third one. Their 2007 debut Moonbeams got a warm reception...
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...
living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

living the urban crisis at the new wave rent party

I recently downloaded the reissued Human Switchboard album, Who’s Landing in my Hangar? Anthology 1977-1984, which set me off again obsessing about a subgenre of new wave that I’ve never really seen recognized.  I don’t even know how best to name this subgenre, although I’m convinced it has a musical coherence.  I’ll call it new wave rent...
punk-rock dads in suburbia: reflections on "The Other F Word"

punk-rock dads in suburbia: reflections on “The Other F Word”

I’m still thinking about “The Other F Word,” Andrea Nevins’ new documentary about punk rock musicians who became fathers, since I saw it a week and a half ago at the Woodstock Film Festival.  Featuring the dads who play in Pennywise, NOFX, Blink 182, Rancid, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Rise Against, U.S. Bombs, and Fear (represented by...
totally PV, "Totally Go-Go's": the ambitions of Los Angeles new wave

totally PV, “Totally Go-Go’s”: the ambitions of Los Angeles new wave

It’s Friday night, December 4, 1981, in Palos Verdes Estates, California, and tonight the Go-Go’s — the Los Angeles band of the moment — are playing your high school. OMIGAWD! Palos Verdes Estates was probably not a big stomping grounds for the Go-Go’s. A tiny, coastal municipality sheltered from the rest of Los Angeles County...