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.
Our latest guest post features Dr. Mark Doffman, from the University of Oxford, introducing his research on improvised jazz performances – digging beneath the apparent mystery of spontaneous musical group creativity to examine the interactions and gestures that lie beneath and the context in which they operate.
This guest post looks at the ways in which wristbands are put to use beyond simply serving as a token of entry to a concert. The focus of nostalgia, and collectors items in a burgeoning marketplace, their applications outlast the event itself and he gives some insights into the resale market as well as looking to the future and the growing use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tagged bands.
In an introduction to new joint research taking place at the Universities of Brighton and Stockholm, Karolina Doughty looks beneath the surface of busking and street music to provide an account of the different cultural and policy debates surround the practice and how they fit into the ‘affective management’ of modern cities.
This is a video from the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event. It features Dr. Paul Carr, Head of the Music Academy at the University of Glamorgan, discussing the research that led to his recently published report ‘Playing Wales: the relationship between higher education and the live music industry in Wales.’ The paper covers the methodology of the research, including an online questionnaire, and looks at some of the specific features of the Welsh live music landscape. It also examines ways in which Higher Education institutions can build a more mutually productive relationship with the live music sector, including techniques such as giving credits for industrial experience, helping musicians to apply for grants and engaging in knowledge transfer partnerships.
In the second of the ‘Live Music 101’ series of blog posts detailing the themes and ideas that developed over the course of the initial live music project, Simon Frith examines the political economy of live music, and defines two basic models of performance as a starting point with which to examine the economic transactions between artist, venue, audience, and promoter.