Local, Translocal, and Virtual
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
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The initial idea for this book came from a conversation between the editors following the IASPM U.K. and Ireland conference at the University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., in July 2000. We are grateful to all who attended this conference and, in particular, to those who subsequently submitted papers for our consideration as chapters in this book. We would also like...
Notes on Contributors
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Introducing Music Scenes
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It is widely said that something over 80 percent of all the commercial music of the world is controlled by ﬁve multinational ﬁrms. It is good that this is not the whole story, because then music would deserve no more attention than do men’s shoes or shower ﬁxtures. Instead, music is an important way that millions of people ﬁnd enjoyment, deﬁne who they are, and...
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Every artwork has to be someplace. Physical works, like paintings and sculptures, have to be housed someplace: a museum, a gallery, a home, a public square. Music and dance and theater have to be performed someplace: a court, a theater or concert hall, a private home, a public square or street. Books and similar materials take up space too—in bookstores and...
Part I: Local Scenes
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1. The Symbolic Economy of Authenticity in the Chicago Blues Scene
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During the first half of the twentieth century, Chicago blues music helped to define a certain kind of urban life for local blacks seeking refuge and entertainment in the South Side and West Side neighborhoods where they worked and resided. But during the 1960s, blues music would develop as a viable moneymaker in a handful of the city’s white neighborhoods as...
2. Behind the Rave: Structure and Agency in a Rave Scene
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To the casual observer, music scenes probably seem to emerge more or less spontaneously: jazz in New Orleans, 1914; be-bop jazz in New York, 1943; rock in Liverpool, 1963; psychedelic rock in San Francisco, 1967; grunge in Seattle, 1991. This view may be sufficient for discussing the experience of a scene, but it is a bit like describing a movie as the interaction among a group...
3. “Scenes” Dimensions of Karaoke in the United States
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In 1995, Lenny Stoute reported in the Toronto Star that Clinton’s, the venerable Toronto rock club that hatched the careers of acts like the Cowboy Junkies and Jeff Healy, was “succumbing to what many say is a fate worse than disco, . . . the final frontier of live musical insult”—it was becoming a karaoke bar. Asked about the changeover, the club’s talent booker and...
4. “Tween” Scene: Resistance within the Mainstream
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The cover of the 14 February 2000 People reads: “Pop princess Britney Spears: Too sexy too soon? Little girls love her, but her image makes some moms nervous.” The message is loud and clear: Mom, be nervous; be very, very nervous. And yet, as we shall discover in this ethnography of the “tween” scene, perhaps Mom doesn’t need to be quite so apprehensive about ...
5. “Doin’ It Right”: Contested Authenticity in London’s Salsa Scene
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The past ten years have seen the emergence in London of nightclubs dedicated to set dances that can often be learnt in dance classes. These include jive, “le roc,” line dancing, tango, and salsa. In the network of salsa clubs that makes up the scene examined here, the dance has become a vehicle for struggles over symbolic resources such as the authenticity and ownership ...
Part II: Translocal Scenes
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6. “Riot Grrrl Is . . .”: Contestation over Meaning in a Music Scene
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In 1992, Kill Rock Stars released a self-titled album by a new band called Bikini Kill, a feminist punk quartet from Olympia, Washington. Opening with the line quoted in the chapter epigraph, the album sounded a battle cry for girls across the country to move outside the “bedroom culture” (Frith 1983) of female fandom and into the realm of subcultural producer. The...
7. Translocal Connections in the Goth Scene
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“Gothic” is a term currently used to describe a considerable variety of high-and popular-cultural phenomena, from ancient architecture to classic and recent novels to hit U.S. science-fiction television series. In referring to “the goth scene,” however, I mean a more small-scale and particular music and fashion grouping, on which I recently conducted extensive ethnographic...
8. Music Festivals as Scenes: Examples from Serious Music, Womyn’s Music, and SkatePunk
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Music festivals exist for numerous and diverse music genres. Festivals resemble local scenes, as they occur in a delimited space, offering a collective opportunity for performers and fans to experience music and other lifestyle elements. However, festivals are also components of broader music scenes that simultaneously exist on local, translocal, and virtual levels. This...
9. “Not for Sale”: The Underground Network of Anarcho-Punk
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From the Sex Pistols to pictures of punks on postcards, many commentators see punk as a phase of music and fashion that burst onto the scene in the late 1970s, only to burn itself out in a festival of spit and safety pins. This of course is the reﬂection of how it was viewed in the popular media at the time. In actual fact, behind the media glitz, “punk” saw itself as having ...
Part III: Virtual Scenes
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10. Internet-based Virtual Music Scenes: The Case of P2 in Alt.Country Music
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The commonly held understanding is that a music scene involves intense face-to-face interaction among music makers and fans with a shared enthusiasm for a particular music and its associated lifestyle (see Peterson and Bennett in this volume). If this is true, how can there be a scene that is formed and thrives on the Internet? To begin to answer this question, we ...
11. New Tales from Canterbury: The Making of a Virtual Scene
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The city of Canterbury is located in the heart of the county of Kent in the south-east corner of England. One of England’s most well known and frequently visited “cathedral cities,” Canterbury is steeped in historical references, a fact capitalized upon by the local tourist industry. Throughout the year a steady stream of visitors to the city enjoys a range of themed...
12. The Fanzine Discourse over Post-rock
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This chapter will show how the virtual scene of post-rock is discursively created in music fanzines. The term “post-rock” was coined as a catch-all for exploratory music said to be going “beyond rock” in the mid-1990s and is perhaps particularly interesting for an anthology of scene-based work, as it was said to involve a rejection of community or scene when in fact...
13. Kate Bush: Teen Pop and Older Female Fans
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This chapter offers a case study of the fan practices of a group of mature, largely middle class and female Kate Bush fans.� It is part of a larger study that aims to challenge essentialist understandings of popular-music fandom and scenes through a consideration of a group of fans who, mainly because of their gender, age, and class position, are seldom considered legitimate...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2004