Live music clubs in New York: An explorative study of cultural & organisational change – Fabian Holt

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.  

San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium: From ‘Dance-concerts’ to ‘Concerts’ – Steve Waksman

This week’s guest post is by Steve Waksman, Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College and author of ‘Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience’ and ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk’.

He is currently researching the history of live music in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present and looks here at how archival material about Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore illustrates changes and tensions in audience behaviour at rock concerts in the 1960s.  

Ten Things Learned from the Live UK Summit 2012

The UK live music industry conference – Live UK Summit 2012 – was held at the Radisson Blu Portman Square in London last week. Three representatives from Live Music Exchange – Adam Behr, Matt Brennan, and Emma Webster – attended the event. This post contains a summary of the key things they learned there.  

Live Music 101 #3 – Why Concert Promoters Matter – Matt Brennan and Emma Webster

In the third of our series on the theories that underpin our research into live music, Matt Brennan and Emma Webster attempt to define the promoter and how they operate, in an extract from ‘Why Concert Promoters Matter’, originally published in Scottish Music Review in 2011. The authors analyse existing accounts of live music promoters and offer their own analysis of what a promoter is and does, concluding that promoters may use one or more of three basic models of promotion within rock and pop: ‘independent’, ‘artist-affiliated’, and ‘venue’.  

Screen Tests: A historical snapshot of the Musicians’ Union and technological change – John Izod

Today’s post by Professor John Izod, of the University of Stirling, has a historical bent and concerns the fate of musicians employed by cinemas in the 1920s. In many ways the issues facing musicians then were a world apart from those of today although one of the advantages of historical research is that it allows us to take a step back and adopt a broader view, which can reveal patterns that pertain over the longer term – to look back at the resonances between the disruptions to our current status quo and those that it brought about in the past.  

‘There’s a riot going on’: Notes on Pussy Riot, music and politics – Adam Behr

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.  

Staying behind after the show… – John Sloboda

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.  

Jammin’, improvisin’, groovin’… – Mark Doffman

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.