Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Posts tagged "music scene"
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’...
the greatest reinventions in pop-music careers, #50-41

the greatest reinventions in pop-music careers, #50-41

Today I take up a question of pop-culture history: which performers made the most unexpected left turns with their careers?  I farmed this question out awhile back to readers of this blog, and today I start filing the results based on my own subjective assessment.  Debate and criticisms are welcome in the comment section (or,...
music for being: notes from an adult rock band party

music for being: notes from an adult rock band party

In urbanists’ excitement over music scenes and the desirability of “social and interactive street-level culture” (to invoke Richard Florida), it’s easy to lose sight of whether there’s any value to all of this besides promoting careers and urban economies.  Does “enriching creative communities” actually involve extending the practice of creativity into people’s everyday lives?  Or...
the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

the view from suburbia: Dead Kennedys, Washington DC, 6-5-83

It’s been said 14 is the influential age in the development of our musical tastes.  That was the case for me: I find I regularly return to the music that I explored and embraced as my own back around 1983.  It wasn’t just what I heard that has shaped my ideas about ‘good’ music, though,...
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...
listening to home, encountering the other: book review of "Migrating Music"

listening to home, encountering the other: book review of “Migrating Music”

The settlement of foreign-born ethnic migrants has to be the oldest source of urban vitality. It’s also a wellspring of musical innovation. Might the latter connection offer insights into the modern city? That’s always my hope when I read books like Migrating Music (Routledge, 2012). Edited by Jayson Toynbee and Byron Dueck, this volume addresses the cultural...
weird scenes from the 5 and the TCH: metropolitan structure and rock in Canada

weird scenes from the 5 and the TCH: metropolitan structure and rock in Canada

It was November 1977, and it was the first time any of us had traversed our home and native land. We soon found out what a big-ass country Canada is. The ground in Saskatchewan was covered with snow, and it was so fucking flat that you could see a grain elevator miles away. It looked...
a place that is lost: the geographical visions of Martha and the Muffins

a place that is lost: the geographical visions of Martha and the Muffins

  I’ve been drawn instinctively toward the music, aesthetics and story of Martha and the Muffins since I heard their debut album some 30 years ago. In my teenage years I would have ranked their 1983 album Danseparc one of my desert island discs (I still might, come to think of it). My tastes evolved toward the...
positively Mt. Auburn Street: Joan Baez and the Cambridge Folk Scene, 1958-60

positively Mt. Auburn Street: Joan Baez and the Cambridge Folk Scene, 1958-60

The role of folk music in America’s postwar cultural and social history doesn’t lack for testimonies. Being the privileged soundtrack to the middle-class generation born during or just after the war, the story of how this music ‘changed the world’ won’t go unrecorded thanks to Baby Boomers’ economic and political hegemony. And yet the peculiar registers...
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...
network southeast not SXSW: guest blog by Andrew Stevens

network southeast not SXSW: guest blog by Andrew Stevens

[Very pleased to feature Musical Urbanism’s first guest blogger, Andrew Stevens, a writer and researcher living in London. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Stevens is a Member of the Regional Studies Association and Urban Economics Association. -LN] I read about a band in South East 23, I thought it was me, I...