With stars like Rihanna and Justin Bieber back in the news recently for late appearances on stage, Adam Behr takes a look at stage times, backstage rituals and the common ground as well as the differences across the spectrum of musical activity in the ‘star system’.
Last Summer Howard Thorpe of ABLE2UK staged his first concert for disabled awareness. Based on the website, ABLE2UK, the night welcomed the likes of Steve Cradock, Miles Kane, Frank Turner, Billy Bragg, Mystery Jets, and Friendly Fires for a five-hour benefit concert at Camden’s Roundhouse to fund more disabled facilities at festivals throughout the UK. He talks here about five ways to improve such access.
As the Stones roll into town for their anniversary shindig, with accompanying media hullaballoo, it seems timely to take a look at their place in the modern music environment. Following Martin Cloonan’s autobiographical celebration of their history and its place in his own life, Adam Behr makes the case for their continuing relevance to developments in how popular music is consumed, examining their role as an emblem for rock music in the context of current discussions about ticket prices.
In today’s post Fabian Holt, of Roskilde University, uses the Live Music Exchange website to present a working paper on the evolution and organisational culture of mid-size venues in New York. Taking as his primary case study the Bowery Presents chain of venues he traces the gentrification process back to the Fillmore auditoriums, described last week by Steve Waksman. His analysis ties changes in venues audiences to narratives of ‘cool’ in modern business practice and consumer habits, along with their self-definition as distinctive and discerning.
Adam Behr looks at some of the coverage of the Pussy Riot trial in the wider context of the questions it raises about music, politics and censorship. What are the dividing lines between musical and political statements? As the dust refuses to settle on this case, we examine some of the problems of the relationship between music and politics, and the need to maintain vigilance in the face of repression.
Today’s guest contribution is by renowned scholar Professor John Sloboda, a leading writer on the psychology of music, Emeritus Professor at Keele University and Research Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Here he introduces research into Understanding Audiences and post concert events which allow creative musicians to elicit feedback from audience members in a constructive environment.