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.
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.