Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "public space"
some thoughts on the decline of urban music retail

some thoughts on the decline of urban music retail

I had a brief but interesting Twitter conversation yesterday triggered by Maura Johnston’s link to a New York Times article about how J&R Music World, a venerable downtown NYC retailer of music, hardware and technology, is abandoning its CD sales. already happened to fans of all music across US… MT @nytimes NY classical fans running...
the day before the Brooklynites come: Basilica Music Festival in Hudson, NY

the day before the Brooklynites come: Basilica Music Festival in Hudson, NY

Hudson NY: the day before Basilica Music Festival, a set on Flickr.  For best results, view this set as a slideshow with captions on (click “Show Info”). One of the more interesting new festivals to launch this year is the Basilica Music Festival. Running three days starting tomorrow in the Hudson Valley city of Hudson, in...
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...
the hipsterization of global protest reporting

the hipsterization of global protest reporting

Maria came to the Kremlin demonstration wearing her designer eyeglasses. Does that explain why she protests? Many commentators have pointed out how after big American news media (many of them regularly accused of liberal bias) refused to report on Occupy Wall Street for several weeks, they then often sought to explain the movement by characterizing...
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...
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...
singing in Tahrir Square

singing in Tahrir Square

Words can hardly convey the magnitude of this historic moment in Egypt, or of my awe and admiration at the people’s achievement in forcing the dictator out nonviolently. So no essay today. Instead, the sights and songs of the joyful crowds in Egypt’s streets. To get a feel for what it might sound like in...
the urban ethos on a Saturday night

the urban ethos on a Saturday night

My considerations of musical urbanism owe a good deal to the work of Adam Krims, particularly his book Music and Urban Geography. Like much scholarly work on popular music, at times it’s a little weird to read his highly academic language (I had to look up one of his favorite terms, “cathexis”) applied to the Wu-Tang...
haunting the urban: dubstep

haunting the urban: dubstep

First post draws on Bassweight, a new documentary about the dubstep scene coming out of South London. The film begins with a DJ leading the camera on a daytime tour of Croydon’s sidewalks, pointing out a nightclub here or there atop anonymous commercial buildings before ending up at (what else?) a record store. At some point...