2002 Montréal

Sounds of the City

May 10 – 12, 2002
McGill University, Montr
éal, Québec

Click on a paper title to see the abstract.


FRIDAY MAY 10

8:45-9:30 Registration

9:30-11:00 Meeting Places
Moderator: Brígido Galván

Down home Comes Uptown: The Ranchman’s Nightclub in Calgary, Alberta
Gord Ross (York University)

Market Music: The Sounds of Maxwell Street Market and Chicago’s Working Poor, 1912-1968
Steve Burnett (Carnegie Mellon University)

The El Mocambo Club and the Toronto Music Scene.
Andrew Scott (York University)

11:15-12:45 Electric Avenue
Moderator: Paul Théberge

Sound Recording and Aura: Mechanical Reproduction in the Work of Art of the Age
Owen Chapman (Concordia)

Turntables, Warehouses, Techno and Revolution: The Sounds of the Temporary Autonomous Zone
Tobias c. van Veen (University of British Columbia)

Beyond the Visceral via the Raving Cyborg: Locating Dance Spaces between the Semiotic and the Symbolic
Charity Marsh (York University)

12:45-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 Urban Identities
Moderator: Lilian Radovac

The Unexpected Force of Belgrade Music
Milan Todorovic (Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College)

The Work of Art in the Age of National Reconstruction: Argentina’s Rock Nacional
Cecily Marcus (University of Minnesota)

New Orleans in Montréal: Cultural Ties Celebrated or Reinvented?
Michael Darroch (McGill University)

3:45-5:15 Urbanity
Moderator: Geoff Stahl

Where All the Lights Are Bright?: Musical Representations of City Life
Alan Stanbridge (University of Toronto)

Satanic Pacts and Musical Prowess: “Urbane” and “Urban” Legends of Niccolo Paganini and Robert Johnson.
Holly Everett and Peter Narváez (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Country Home, Let’s Go Downtown: Neil Young, Urbanity, and the Poetics of Musical Space
William Echard (Carleton University)

6:30 Keynote Address: Greil Marcus

“The Sound of One City: In Los Angeles, Early 50s, Easy Rawlins Meets the Medallions, Agrees to Disagree”

SATURDAY, MAY 11

9:00 – 10:00 Sounding Out the Text
Moderator: Serge Lacasse

Inventio, Dispositio, and the Creative Process in the Guess Who’s Laughing
Robert Toft (University of Western Ontario)

Hypertextuality and Eric Clapton: A Hypertextual Analysis of “I Shot the Sheriff”
Paul Sanden (University of Western Ontario)

10:15-12:15

(A) Re/Constructing Urban Soundscapes
Moderator: Anthony Kinik

Acoustic Contamination and its Impact on Quality of Life in Chilean Cities
Paola Jirón (Universidad de Chile) and Giulietta Fadda (Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile)

From Monophony to Polyphony: Constructions of Spaces of Music in Istanbul
Volkan Aytar and Azer Keskin (SUNY Binghamton)

Blown Soundscapes, New City Rhymes
Gregory J. Seigworth (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)

Chases Through Non-place
Toby Hayes

(B) Urban Personae
Moderator: Holly Everett

The Irish in America?: Nationalism and the City in U2′s Elevation Tour – Live in Boston
Nicholas Greco (McGill University)

Shock en Images : Les enjeux de la déréalisation
Patrick Roy (Université Laval)

“Do you still love me like you used too?”: Re-appropriating Morrissey
Colin Snowsell (University of Calgary)

Du Lac (St-Jean) à Montréal : « Dédé » Fortin et l’identitaire québécois
Patricia Clermont (Université de Montréal)

12:15-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:30

(A) Cinematic Sounds
Moderator: Will Straw

On & Off the Street: Cinematic Dialectics in Sound and Narration
Paul Théberge (Carleton)

Catching The One After 909
Michael Jarrett (Penn State University)

That’s Not What I Heard: Synchronized Sound Cinema in Montreal 1926-1931
JoAnne Stober (Concordia University)

A Tale of Two Cities: Sonic Properties of the Future City in Utopia and Dystopia
Karen Collins (University of Liverpool)

(B) Sonic Difference
Moderator: Murray Forman

“The mind, so fragile”: Cities and Citizenship in HipHop
Cynthia Fuchs (George Mason University)

From the Slums of Shaolin: Representation of Urban Landscapes in the Music of the Wu-Tang Clan
Gavin Kistner (University of Western Ontario)

Le rap et les tribus urbaines
Roger Chamberland (Université Laval)

Faraway, So Close: Amos Does Eminem
Tara Mimnagh (University of Western Ontario)

3:45-5:15

(A) Stay on the Scene
Moderator: Bernie Gendron

The Sound of Independence in Isolation: The Case of St. John’s
Stephen Guy (McGill University)

To Hell with Heteronomy: Performance of Self and Creation of Value in an Eddy of the Mainstream
Matthew Wheelock Stahl (University of California)

Popular Music, Collective Identity and Urban Space: The Value of the “Scenes Perspective”
Andy Bennett (University of Surrey) Richard A. Peterson (Vanderbilt University)

(B) Musical Mediations
Moderator: Ira Wagman

I Want To Know What Love Is: Music, Cultural Agency and the Sweet Smell of Robyn
Scott Henderson (Brock University)

Youth music radio in the UK: constructing the audience
Mark Percival (University of Sterling)

Never Mind the Authentic: You Wanted the Spectacle/You’ve Got the Spectacle (And Nothing Else Matters?)
Wade Nelson (McGill University)

7:00 Reception/Book Launch
Murray Forman’s The ‘Hood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip-Hop (Wesleyan University Press)

SUNDAY MAY 12

10:30-12:00 Performance Sites
Moderator: Peter Narváez

Nostalgic Rock Festivals: Performing Rockabilly, Garage, and Psychedelia in the 21st Century
Craig Morrison (McGill University)

Globalizing the Local: Public Concerts and the Emergence of a Transnational Urban Space
Marina Peterson (University of Chicago)

Live Popular Music Venues: Sites of Cultural Mediation
Rajko Mursic (University of Ljubljana)

12:15-1:15 Multimedia Sonic City
Moderator: Keir Keightley

Charting the Stars of the Urban Firmament in Ken Russell’s Lisztomania
Roni Shapira (University of Minnesota)

From Club Popsicle to the Tropicana: Nightclubs, Music, and the Image of Urban Leisure on Early Television, 1948-1955
Murray Forman (Northeastern University)

Le rock cosmique berlinois
Christophe Pirenne (Fosrchungscentrum Populäre Musik)

2:00 Annual General Meeting

Abstracts

Owen Chapman (Concordia University)
Sound Recording and Aura: Mechanical Reproduction in the Work of Art of the Age.

Understood in relation to ideas of uniqueness and authenticity, Walter Benjamin’s concept “aura” is a priori conceived as standing outside the realm of that which is technically reproducible. This is problematic, especially in the case of music. For concepts of uniqueness and authenticity are readily applicable to the use of recordings in the construction of new bricolaged objets d’art, and yet this type of production incorporates technical reproducibility at its heart. In responding to Benjamin’s assertions, my paper first outlines a concern of T.W. Adorno’s expressed in a personal letter to Benjamin regarding “The Work of Art”. Adorno’s critique, I argue, exemplifies important ways in which attention to the medium of sound can keep one from making unfortunate assumptions concerning technology’s inability to participate in the creation of “art for art’s sake.” However, Adorno’s commitment to “serious” music as a dialectical encounter between the free-will of the composer and the technical demands of an era emphasizes the perfect copy as the ultimate end of musical reproduction. The possibility of obtaining a new compositional engagement with sounds through recording is unavailable if one accepts Adorno’s analysis.

In opposition to this second position, my paper concludes by offering up the experience of sample-based music production as exemplifying a relationship to reproduction which understands it as a potentially creative act. Works by DJ Spooky and Kodwo Eshun are discussed, as “aura” is versioned and transformed into “soul”–a necessary move since Benjamin’s concept never really worked for music anyway, as the medium eschews lasting, geographically-specific presence in favour of the fragmented landscapes of memory and body rock.

Scott Henderson (Brock University)
I Want To Know What Love Is: Music, Cultural Agency and the Sweet Smell of Robyn

This paper aims to examine how youth identity, particularly in terms of gender, is constructed through popular culture, and particularly popular music culture. The focus is on Lukas Moodyson’s 1998 film, Show Me Love which is set in the remote Swedish town of Amal (the film’s initial title was Fucking Amal). Despite the fact that critical attention given to the film tended to focus on the developing lesbian relationship between two high school girls, Elin and Agnes, the film’s wider critique would seem to be of the way in which youth, particularly those living in more isolated regions, are at the whims of consumer culture in terms of constructing their identities. For the teens of Amal, staples of youth culture such as raves and the Spice Girls are ‘out’ before they have ever arrived. Such remote locales are cities which are heavily reliant on commercial culture, and it is this culture which works to construct youth identity and gender roles in ways which suit mainstream expectations but which provide little agency for youth themselves.The relationship between Elin and Agnes functions as a marker of their unwillingness to accept the roles that society constructs for them. Music plays a large role in the film; the walls of these teens are filled with images of pop music stars and while never directly commented upon in the film, it is clear that the youth of Amal rely on pop culture and pop music images as a crucial part of their ongoing identity formation The ultimate comment the film makes centres on Robyn, the Swedish pop star whose hit provides the film’s title track. References to Robyn, via a perfume named after her and via her music, function as part of the film’s undercurrent, where the critique is how these individual and isolated youth are nothing but fodder for commercial interests. Robyn may be Swedish, but her songs are in English and her style is a generic brand of pop which has nothing to say to the youth of Amal. Moodyson’s film becomes a clever reminder of the problems inherent in the reach of mass, global cultural products in terms of erasing local and personal identities. Moodyson’s Amal becomes the modern day, commercial equivalent of Ingmar Bergman’s remote Swedish settings, and the pressures of cultural conformity on contemporary youth become abundantly clear.

Mark Percival (Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh)
Youth Music Radio in the UK: Constructing the Audience

Williams (2001) suggests that young people may not have the same passionate approach to popular music consumption that characterised their parents’ generation. If popular music has become more integrated into popular culture as a whole (and thus has become less distinct), how do music radio stations targeting the 15-24 demographic make programming and branding decisions to identify that audience? This paper draws on interviews with senior management personnel at BBC Radio 1 (the BBC’s nation youth music network) and Beat 106 (a two year old Scottish central belt youth music station) which both challenge and support Williams. Both stations target the same 15-24 demographic and both stations claim to have achieved success in terms of raw ratings and in hitting their target audiences. More interestingly, both stations also claim that young people are passionate and discriminating in their consumption of popular music. This paper contrasts the organisational objectives and ideologies which inform decision making in public service and commercial youth music radio in the UK and, perhaps more importantly, considers the broader cultural impact of those objectives and decisions.

SOURCES:
Williams, C (2001) “Does it really matter? Young people and popular music.” Popular Music 20 (2)

Milan Todorovic (Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College)
The Unexpected Force of Belgrade Music

This text is about Belgrade’s contemporary underground music and clubbing. In the Eighties’ Belgrade was home to many innovative music projects, forming a distinct and recognisable style.

By 1990 Belgraders had developed a mix of optimism and anxiety about the future of their city, country and society. Within the next two years Serbia had plunged into deep crisis and total international isolation. In spite of this, music projects and low-budget cinema were promoted in clubs, venues, and through scarce independent media. From early to mid-90s, DJ alliances were formed, raves were held in most unusual places; a new generation of rock bands emerged in the midst of hyperinflation.

Obstacles were numerous, from economic ones to the ones imposed by the regime. The latter, in some cases, prompted creative outcomes. The song Buka u modi (‘Noise in Fashion’), published in 1991, was to become an anthem of the 1996-97 political protests in Serbian cities. Moreover, it had provided a credo for the carnival-like demonstrations.

Belgrade experienced enormous change in the Nineties: even ‘street noise’ acquired a new meaning. ‘Hand-made techno’ was a catchphrase articulated in the street protests, only to develop as a style by one of the emerging Belgrade bands, The Unexpected Force.

Alan Stanbridge (University of Toronto)
Where All the Lights Are Bright?: Musical Representations of City Life

Petula Clark’s transatlantic hit Downtown (1964) offered an archetypal mid-1960s celebration of the joys of the city, as a place where the lonely individual could find solace, fun, and companionship: a place where “all the lights are bright”; where you could “listen to the music of the traffic in the city”; where you could “forget all your troubles, forget all your cares”. There was “no finer place, for sure”.

But this happy ’60s vision of swinging London represented only the latest entry in a long list of musical testimonials to the contemporary city, with a voluminous catalogue of music and song extolling the virtues of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Paris. Indeed, in Gershwin’s An American in Paris (1928), the ‘music of the traffic in the city’ is incorporated into the very orchestral fabric of the piece, the taxi horns signifying all the life and vitality of ‘Gay Paree’. And in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland, the sunny sociability of ‘The Trolley Song’ suggests a time when public transport in major cities wasn’t only safe: gosh, gee willikers, it was fun too. But the wide-eyed cowboy in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma (1943), just back from his field trip to a shockingly up-to-date Kansas City–a place where, the song tells us, they’d “gone about as far as they could go”–hadn’t seen anything yet.

By the late-1960s, the only lights burning bright in some American cities were the fires of urban riots, and Detroit and Watts came to symbolize a new antagonistic attitude towards the inner city – an attitude which the ongoing process of post-war suburbanization and ‘white flight’ from urban centres only compounded further. By the late-1970s, Petula’s cheerful celebration of London life had been displaced by Joe Strummer singing of Notting Hill riots and “the ring of that truncheon thing”. And, in the 1980s and 1990s, it was the aggressive sound of rap and hip-hop that became firmly established as the quintessential sound of the inner city: by this time, the city was no longer a magical place to be celebrated for its vibrancy, but a decaying wasteland to be feared for its violence.

This paper traces the history of musical representations of the city, asking whether it is the ambitious urban regeneration and revitalization projects of the last two decades or the dystopian urban futures of contemporary science fiction which are likely to influence future musical visions of city life.

Patrick Roy (Université Laval)
Shock en images: Les enjeux de la derealisation

L’auteur-compositeur-interprète Stefie Shock, un Québécois dont l’attitude et la voix rappellent à bien des égards Serge Gainsbourg, lançait en 2000 un premier album, Presque rien. De ce coup d’envoi ont jusqu’à maintenant été tirés quatre vidéo-clips, soit ” Je combats le spleen “, ” Rébarbatives “, ” All zippers down ” et ” Presque rien “. Chacun de ces clips a pour figure centrale un personnage plutôt désinvolte, campé par l’artiste, qui évolue dans des lieux très urbains ou à tout le moins très actuels. Or, qu’il s’agisse d’un centre-ville achalandé, d’un décor technologique bigarré, d’une boîte de nuit ou d’une buanderie, tout se passe comme si l’univers shockien était marqué par la déréalisation. En effet, l’action, l’espace et le traitement des référents, soutenus par des textes qui capitalisent sur le jeu des sonorités et par des musiques syncopées, nous renvoient un sentiment d’étrangeté qui mérite attention. Pulsations qui fragmentent la représentation et exacerbent les sens, perceptions distordues qui interrogent la banalité du quotidien, personnages décalés présentés comme des allant de soi, choc des cultures : c’est bien notre rapport au réel que les images questionnent. Au-delà d’une signature esthétique singulière, nous aimerions mesurer les enjeux de cette déréalisation au plan idéologique.

Paul Theberge (Carleton University)
On & Off the Street: Cinematic Dialectics in Sound and Narration

In cinema, the city is a study in contrasts: its streets are places of display and encounter but also confrontation; the dazzling, chaotic lights of its avenues and boulevards exist side by side with the darkness of back streets and alleyways (where danger always lurks); and while movement appears to be free and uninhibited, it is nevertheless structured in a grid-like fashion and marked by a necessary territoriality–boundaries and borders are everywhere present yet invisible. One of the key contrasts available to the filmmaker exists between exterior and interior between the street itself and the buildings that line it. Here a second set of contrasts is available for exploitation: interior spaces may be claustrophobic in character or places of sanctuary and they almost always underline social and class divisions (for every glittering department store there is a grimy pawn shop, for every luxury apartment building, a dingy tenement house). And while these contrasts appear natural, they are essentially the mise en scene of the primary narration, the building blocks of story and characterization.

Sound (including its projection and localization) plays a critical role in defining these narrative juxtapositions: the noise of the street is often contrasted by the relative silence of various interior spaces but is nevertheless always ready to intrude at key dramatic moments, often underscoring another form of interiorˆthe psychological state of the characters. Music too, especially popular music, is always present: it is part of the environment, its existence given a diegetic alibi (radios are everywhere), thus disguising its effects and its narrative intent; it can be used for the purposes of characterization (e.g., in defining social and ethnic groups) or, more subtly, as a signalling or transitional device, luring characters to, or from the street.

This paper will explore the ways in which sound and music are used to create these cinematic contrasts, especially the dialectic that exists between interior and exterior spaces in the city. Examples will be drawn from a number of film texts, such as: Welles’ Touch of Evil, Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Mean Streets, Coppola’s The Godfather, Hopper’s Colors, or Lee’s Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing, as well as television programs such as Law & Order and NYPD Blue.

Roger Chamberland (Université Laval)
Le rap et les tribus urbaines

Le Rap est le genre musical le plus populaire, en terme de vente, présentement aux États-Unis. Cette musique des quartiers noirs de New York a rapidement été pris en charge par des groupes ethniques ou périphériques des banlieues et des centre-ville. Chacun de ces groupes s’est approprié l’esthétique musicale qui sous-tend le rap, tout en définissant le lieu même de leur appartenance au groupe, mais aussi à l’espace urbain ou péri-urbain qui les constitue comme tribu (selon l’appellation de Michel Maffesolli).

L’essor de la musique rap est redevable surtout à sa diffusion par le vidéoclip puisque les principales chaînes lui consacrent une ou plusieurs émissions par semaine, sans parler des chaînes spécialisées qui présentent presque exclusivement de la musique rap : ” VIBE Network “, une chaîne affiliée à Much Music de Toronto, est dédiée au rap, reggae et R&B, tandis que Much Music présente ” Rap City ” et Musique Plus ” Hip hop “.

Dans le cadre de cette communication, nous nous proposons d’analyser l’articulation de l’appartenance urbaine dans l’esthétique d’un certain nombre de vidéoclips anglophones et francophones afin de mettre en valeur la manière dont les principaux actants revendiquent leur identité locale à partir de leur quartier, leur numéro de téléphone, ou tout autre critère de distinction.

JoAnne Stober (Concordia University)
That’s Not What I Heard: Synchronized Sound Cinema in Montreal 1926-1931

This work recognizes the introduction of synchronized sound cinema as a point of departure into a study of the cultural and social dimensions of moviegoing. This research focuses on Montreal between 1926 and 1931 where the first Canadian demonstrations and exhibitions of synchronized sound cinema took place. Using film critiques, advertisements for theatres, letters to the editor and editorials in the Montreal popular press to examine appeals made to audiences, I locate patterns and relationships of moviegoing. This study makes clearer the development of a process through which social and cultural experience is articulated, interpreted and contested all of which point to a need to revisit Canadian film history and audiences.

The role of the city in cinema-going is integral and particularily during the period when sync-sound cinema was introduced to Montrealers. By situating early cinema and early audiences within a complex cultural space of performance, diversity of entertainment, theatre architecture, interior design and complex city spaces, it is clear that more than technology is implicated in shaping cinematic spectatorship and the conception of historical audiences. The relationship between technology and culture is examined in a synchronic manner to avoid missing the crucial dimensions of moviegoing as it pertains to Montreal.

Stephen Guy (McGill University)
The Sound of Independence in Isolation: The Case of St. John’s

What does it mean to make independent, punk rock-influenced music in a small, isolated city? The exact relationship between geographic community and sound is unclear, but the history of the rock city-scene tells us that the interaction between place and aesthetic is very real. This paper will examine the development of the independent music scene of St. John’s, Newfoundland, over the last three decades, and ask how the specific conditions of region effect artistic practice. The St. John’s scene is largely a product of its own isolation: the prohibitive expense of touring to and from the city lends a insularity absent from similarly sized Maritime towns like Sydney, Nova Scotia or Moncton, New Brunswick, and the discourse surrounding this insularity has been contentious, especially when it has come from independent rock musicians from rural areas of Newfoundland. Since bands on tour rarely visit the city, the direct influence of the live show of other, more established “come from away” acts is absent; similarly, since bands from the city rarely tour, the experience of playing for unfamiliar audiences is often missing. The result is a small collection of acts who, especially in the mid-to-early 1990s, retain a very specific St. John’s ‘sound.’ By analysing recordings, live performances, media coverage, and the history of venue establishment, in the context of place, I will argue that it is the peculiar circumstance of isolation and tradition that has defined the independent rock music of St. John’s.

Karen Collins (University of Liverpool)
A Tale of Two Cities: Sonic Properties of the Future City in Utopia and Dystopia

The paper will examine the differences in the sonic representation of the future in dystopian and utopian films. Focussing on examples from films such as the Matrix, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner and Johnny Mnemonic, the paper will also draw on literary descriptions by the likes of Wells (The Time Machine) to show a definite trend in the sonic properties of the two visions of the future, and trace these sonic properties back to the earliest descriptions of Heaven and Hell.

The paper will show that, not only are there differences between the musical styles used to represent the two, but there are significant contrasts between the sound effects themselves.

Gavin Kistner (University of Western Ontario)
From the Slums of Shaolin: Representation of Urban Landscapes in the Music of the Wu-tang Clan.

The city has been a ubiquitous theme for hip-hop music almost since its inception. A rapper’s place of birth or where they grew up almost always figures prominently into the rhymes they write, and in many cases will influence their style. Rappers such as Jay Z or Notorious B.I.G make numerous references to Brooklyn (birthplace of both rappers), just as “West Coast” rappers such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Ice-T represent south-central Los Angeles in their music. The Wu-Tang Clan, hailing from the borough of Staten Island represents New York City in their lyrics just as their contemporaries and predecessors. What is different about the Clan is that they expound on this practice by representing the city musically.

My paper will examine the ways in which the Wu-Tang Clan represents New York City lyrically and musically. I will be analyzing songs and “interludes” from their three studio albums, and the impact that the music has on the listener.

Paola Jirón (Universidad de Chile) and Giulietta Fadda (Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile)
Acoustic contamination and its impact on quality of life in Chilean cities

One of the causes of deterioration of quality of life in urban areas can be considered to be acoustic contamination. This noise pollution can be generated by sources external to the housing unit such as transportation, public works interventions or overall urban life. Disturbing noises can also be generated indoors by elevators, use of sanitary installations or general habitation, for instance. Though the level of inconvenience can be perceived differently by different human beings, there are objective factors that make living in certain areas of the city or in particular types of housing such nuisances better or worse.

This means that the ways of mitigating the acoustic contamination can range from approaching the source of the noise or protecting against it, or both. In Chile, acoustic contamination is not yet considered a vital factor impacting quality of life. However, current studies shows how city dwellers consider internal and external noise generation one of the major cause of deterioration their quality of life, in downtown areas as well as in the periphery of the city. Though the complaints in terms of acoustic generation are similar, the type of housing, location, socio-economic level, amongst others, affects the type solution these problems can be have.

This paper intends to explain how the Chilean housing process is now at a stage to consider acoustic contamination as one of the major aspect to consider in the housing design and management and in the urban planning of the city. It will first describe the relation between quality of life and the sounds of the city. Secondly, it will analyse the current regulation to consider this. It will then explain the results of a study in which the level of perception of quality of life including noise pollution is being analysed. Finally, in will suggest ways in which the low-income housing process can improve the noise reduction at a project, programme and policy level.

Cynthia Fuchs (George Mason University)
“The mind, so fragile”: Cities and Citizenship in Hiphop

The silence, the dark, the mind, so fragile (aight!)
The wish, that the streets, would have took you, when they had you.
(Damn.) The days, the months, the years, despair.
One night on my knees, here it comes, the prayer.
–DMX, “Who We Be”

We gon hold it down for illdelph for life.
Came through, made a name, nigga nailed it tight.
And now we shine, been new; shit, it was about time.
–Eve, “Philly, Philly”

Change yo’ way of thinking and keep on living.
Done started some trouble and you ain’t been out since.
Cause you stuck inside scared, watching CNN.
–Mystikal, “Bouncin’ Back (Bumping Me Against The Wall)”

It’s a truism that hiphop represents, performs, and reveals urban experience. But while the standard history of the genre focuses on U.S. East and West coasts, and more particularly, on New York City and Los Angeles, as sites of creativity and activism, revisionist approaches and new performers have raised questions concerning this common, reductive sense of geography. This paper considers some of these complications, in the insistent strategies of emplacement and identification in four popular acts: Nelly (from St. Louis), DMX (New York), Eve (Philadelphia), and Mystikal (New Orleans). Examining lyrics, sounds, beats, and video/performance images, the paper explores the ways that these artists represent, interrogate, and reimagine what it means to be a citizen, to be from specific cities, endure specific hardships, and roll with specific crews, even as hiphop appears to translate urban experience for global consumption, such that every city represents the “ghetto” and “black music” or hiphop represents the “ghetto” experience, no matter actual subject matter or stylistic specifics (i.e., ‘NSync is grateful for their “ghetto pass” when they’re played on black radio and tv stations, etc.).

My focus on hiphop’s cities and their representatives takes on another resonance since 11 September, as urban experience has been transformed in hiphop as art, business, and concept. Each of these artists has specifically addressed the perennial problems of citizenship and urban existence in recent performances and interviews, challenging mainstream U.S. flag-waving and willful ignorance. These challenges comprehend and contextualize the risks, rewards, and raced realities of city living and citizenship.

Volkan Aytar and Azer Keskin (SUNY Binghamton)
From Monophony to Polyphony: Constructions of Spaces of Music in Istanbul

Superimposed on a highly heterogeneous social texture shaped by successive waves of in-migration, Istanbul’s urban policy shifted from a state-centered to a more entrepreneurial approach since the mid-1980s. Concurrently, as the contestation of the urban space became more strident, the interplay of the facets of political, economic and cultural/symbolic change created interesting configurations and constellations. In a parallel development, since the urban identities in Istanbul turned more fragmented and hybrid from the mid-1980s, the cultural/symbolic struggle to define the urban space also translated into myriad particular ways in which the urban musical places are thought of, imagined, and experienced. Various musical styles stemming from (and frequently combining elements of both) rural and urban backdrops (such as Arabesk, Taverna, Fantezi, and Turkish pop), as well as numerous ‘engaged’ forms of popular music (left-wing, far-nationalist, and Islamist variants of ‘Ozgun Muzik’ blossomed, creating locations and establishments where these kinds of music could be heard, and turned Istanbul’s streets into a symbolic battleground. This paper attempts to comprehend the parameters of this cultural-symbolic contestation, and connect those to a more general discussion on the links between sounds, social construction of space and the city identities.

Paul Sanden (University of Western Ontario)
Hypertextuality and Eric Clapton: A Hypertextual Analysis of I Shot the Sheriff

In 1974, on his album 461 Ocean Boulevard, Eric Clapton recorded a version of Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff, which had been recorded by the Wailers on their 1973 album Burnin’. Using Gérard Genette’s theories of hypertextuality as a model, this paper will discuss aspects of hypertextuality at work within Clapton’s recording.

In his book, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree, Genette discusses and defines hypertextual practices in literature. Hypertextuality is not confined to literature, however, as Genette himself observes many parallel practices in music and the visual arts. When discussing hypertextuality in music, one must take into account the increased dimensions for artistic expression: while in literature one can only work with words on a page, in music there are more factors to consider, such as performing forces, texture, rhythm, etc.

In comparing Eric Clapton’s and the Wailers’ versions of I Shot the Sheriff, we can observe hypertextuality at work in these different dimensions of musical discourse, and therefore find ways of adapting Genette’s theories to music. By using hypertextual analysis as a tool, one can also discuss questions of a more ideological nature. What are the political implications of a British rock star singing a Jamaican song about revolting against authority? Has the music been changed to reflect these issues? I intend to explore these possibilities in my paper, and to demonstrate how hypertextual analysis can serve to facilitate in sociological studies as well as musicological studies.

Keri Whaitiri (University of Auckland)
Wish you were here…K xx: Aural Postcards from New York

New York 2001 (June-November) was the Summer of Sound. Armed with a digital microphone and a recordable minidisk walkman, I could be found wandering the streets of New York capturing ambient sounds of the place and people passing by.

Originating from a fascination with the vibrancy and cultural diversity of New York, these initial recordings became the basis of an exhibition located in Wellington, New Zealand (Techno Maori, City Gallery, Wellington; Pataka Museum, Porirua, 29 Sep-02 Dec 2001). Small (one minute or less) selected sound bytes were emailed intermittently back to the galleries in New Zealand, and other interested individuals globally for the duration of the exhibition, forming a constantly accumulating set of “aural postcards” from the streets of New York.

The aural postcards range from the carnivalesque to the catastrophic to the banal. These aural postcards primarily offered a taste of the city to those geographically dislocated from New York, as filtered by the ear of the artist.

In this paper, I intend to elaborate on the importance of the postcard as a form of communication, and more specifically the notion of the aural postcard as electronic communication. By referring to specific sound clips from the exhibition I will analyse the transformations occurring between the original sound event, the sound recording (copy) and the digitally mediated playback (simulation), the purpose being to investigate the veracity of sound in these different states and locations.

Our cognitive apparatus now treats the real as though it consisted of those properties exhibited by simulacra. The real becomes simulation. Simulacra, in turn, serve as the mythopoeic impetus for that sense of the real we posit beyond the simulation. (Nichols, B. p.103)

SOURCES
Caldwell, J.T., Electronic Media and Technoculture, Rutgers University Press, 2000.
Nichols, B. The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems, pp.90-114
Derrida, J., The Postcard, University of Chicago Press, Chicago,1987.

Andrew Scott (York University)
The El Mocambo Club and the Toronto Music Scene.

On November 4, 2001, Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern closed its doors on nearly a half century of music history. While much has been written about the nightclub’s financial hardships and ultimate demise, few scholars have discussed the Spadina nightclub’s role in helping shape the Toronto music scene. I argue that the El Mocambo’s twofold role as host to such now established artists as Elvis Costello, The Police, U2, Grover Washington Jr., and most famously The Rolling Stones in 1977, and as early performance venue for emerging local rock groups, helped constitute and reinforce such a scene in Toronto for nearly three decades.

In this paper, I offer a historical exegesis of the El Mocambo nightclub. My conclusions are culled from extensive secondary source research and interview. Ethnography with key members of the Toronto rock music community follows. My ethnography centres in on rock and roll as cultural practice, highlighting various ways that the El Mocambo helped nuance, articulate, and give space to, a myriad of social forces and performance practices within the Toronto rock music community. Informed by Simon Frith’s argument that shared musical knowledge and experience (in this case “rock and roll” experience) helps form an “implied community,” I examine the El Mocambo’s contribution to both the Toronto rock musician and fan.

SOURCES:
Frith, Simon (1996). Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

Patricia Clermont (Université de Montréal)
Du Lac (St-Jean) à Montréal : ” Dédé ” Fortin et l’identitaire québécois

L’analyse que je propose porte sur les manières par lesquelles certaines articulations de la mémoire collective et de l’identitaire québécois sont produites par le biais de produits médiatiques. Plus spécifiquement, il s’agit pour moi d’examiner comment les récits de l’histoire de certaines personnalités sont instaurés en tant que rituals de mémorialisation (Grenier, 1997; Frow, 1995) – rituals qui participent à l’affirmation mais aussi au façonnement des identités individuelles, et collectives, à une époque où semble prévaloir un devoir de mémoire particulièrement prégnant (Nora, 1984). Au travers de celui-ci, fortement promu par la sphère médiatique, les individus sont constamment invités à un certain souvenir collectif qui est le lieu de la réaffirmation d’un passé, d’un repositionnement actuel et d’une projection dans l’avenir. C’est le bouillonnement médiatique entourant la mort de “Dédé ” Fortin, leader des Colocs (un groupe musical des plus associés à l’esprit urbain montréalais de plusieurs façons), qui sera l’objet de cette communication; cela me semble être un moment qui présente de nombreux éléments de réarticulation de l’identitaire collectif québécois. En effet, au-delà de la sphère musicale, l’histoire de ce chanteur paraît mobiliser des éléments politiques et identitaires qui dépassent un certain cadre politique et qui fait montre d’un souci de métissage et d’hybridation musical et social. À ce titre, Montréal me semble non seulement être associée à l’histoire de ” Dédé ” Fortin mais aussi constituer une sorte de pivot de ce métissage, plus largement, de la société québécoise.

Roni Shapira (University of Minnesota)
Charting the Stars of the Urban Firmament in Ken Russell’s Lisztomania

The sometimes crass, always bombastic imagining of prototypical pop star Franz Liszt in Ken Russell’s 1975 film Lisztomania seems to resist critical intervention. The hyperbolic rewrite of history features Roger Daltrey (The Who) as the Hungarian piano virtuoso whose performance style and relentless touring schedule transformed audience interaction and engagement. If one can navigate the apparent structural resistance to critique, there is a singular insight transmitted in Lisztomania; in fits and starts, the film draws together the narratives of Liszt, Wagner, Dracula and Hitler, making the compelling case that city life in Modernity is increasingly structured around charismatic male figures. Groupies emerge as a feminine horde, converging on concert halls, new hubs of activity. Consequently, urban spaces bear a heightened libidinal charge, becoming the site of devotion and violence.

This paper engages psychoanalysis as a mode for understanding the constellation of superstars mapped in Lisztomania which insinuates historical contingencies between Romanticism, fascism, rock music and the birth of celebrity. Replete with demonic possession, voodoo dolls and spaceships, the film is shot through with paranoid structures. By bringing together questions of virtuosity, eroticism, psychosis and urban life, Lisztomania is a case study for the submission to unbridled strength of absolute power, from the piano genius to the Fuhrer to the rock star. In short, the charismatic male figures whose histories are reconceived in Russell’s film will be understood as the forerunners of a profound shift in European urban culture and institutions.

Steve Burnett (Carnegie Mellon University)
Market Music: The Sound of Maxwell Street Market and Chicago’s Working Poor, 1912-1968

For most of the twentieth century, Chicago’s famed Maxwell Street Market constituted a self-sustaining, largely self-regulating marketplace free from corporate influence and control. Buyers and sellers lived in the same communities, and both were sellers in the city’s labor market. Maxwell Street was Labor’s Market. Tens of thousands crammed its cluttered streets on the busiest market days strolling amid pushcarts, makeshift stages, and market stalls piled high with life’s necessities. Prices were negotiable and atmosphere dear. Pioneering Chicago sociologist Louis Wirth, who introduced the term “ghetto” into American scholarship to describe Maxwell Street, documented “the noises of crowing roosters and geese, the cooing of pigeons, the barking of dogs . . . the shouts and curses of sellers and buyers.” Founded by Jewish immigrants and meeting place for the city’s diverse immigrant and migrant communities, the Market offered a symphony of bargaining, swearing, hawking, klezmer music, and religious quotation. “I know a Jew fish crier down on Maxwell Street with a voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble in January,” Carl Sandburg wrote. By mid century, Robert Nighthawk, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and Muddy Waters amplified their blues guitars to rise above the cacophony.

Maxwell Street was a unique cultural institution. Founded by Jewish immigrants and re-made at mid-century by African American migrants, the Market acted as Chicago’s Ellis Island – a place where the city’s diverse cultural traditions met, mingled, and informed one another over time. Maxwell Street can also be credited with helping to give birth to electrified, urban, “Chicago-style” blues, a sound that exerted a profound influence on post-war American popular culture. The Market itself has been celebrated in numerous songs from Papa Charlie Jackson’s “Maxwell Street Blues” in 1924 to Jimmie Lee Robinson’s “Maxwell Street Teardown Blues” in 1998. This presentation will explore the Market’s rich aural history, placing blues, along with Maxwell Street’s many other sounds, within a specific historical context. I will rely upon many hours of interviews I have conducted with market regulars and musicians, most notably the legendary blues guitarist Jimmie Lee Robinson, a friend and colleague of greats like Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf. I will play music as well as archival video footage in an investigation of the relationship between sound and place, and the way that both combine to influence memory.

Michael Darroch (McGill University, Montreal)
New Orleans in Montreal: Cultural Ties Celebrated or Reinvented?

In recent years, New Orleans and Louisiana music has been particularly celebrated at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The emergence of the “Gumbo Louisiane” stage is by no means a one-directional interest in featuring music from the Crescent City. In 1999, the Louisiana Office of Tourism invested $250 000 in a promotional partnership with the festival, the first such agreement with an American state, establishing Louisiana as the theme of the festival’s 20th anniversary. Nine Louisiana groups were showcased at indoor and free outdoor venues–20% of all performances. Festival-goers could sample Louisiana food sold at kiosks, enjoy a riverboat ride with the Newbirth Brass Band, consult a Louisiana tourist information booth, and partake in a daily Mardi Gras “second-line” parade. In 2000, Louisiana reported a 300% increase in travellers from Quebec and over $5 million garnered by media coverage of Louisiana’s participation. The partnership continued in 2001 by moving the Louisiana stage to a more prominent location on St. Catherine Street, where it attracted even larger crowds than in previous years.

The success of New Orleans and Louisiana music in Montreal represents more than strategic tourist marketing, but speaks as well to cultural relationships between these regions and images of both cities’ characters. How is Montreal seen as a site that truthfully celebrates music from the “cradle of jazz”? In what ways does Louisiana music performed in Montreal reinvent cultural ties with francophone areas of Canada? This paper will address these questions through an analysis of promotional documentation and reports, reviews and media coverage.

Tara Mimnagh (University of Western Ontario)
Faraway, So Close: Amos Does Eminem

In 1999 Eminem, whose lyrics are often charged with promoting drug use, misogyny, violence and homophobia, released The Slim Shady LP. The offence taken to his lyrics revived the debate of censorship and the influence of lyrics on young music fans. Despite, or possibly because of, these controversies, the album was widely successful. “97 Bonnie and Clyde” is one of the most controversial songs on the album. In the song, the narrator kills his wife and takes his daughter along with him to dump the body.

Tori Amos, who takes on subjects from a female and feminist perspective, has amassed a large cult following since her 1992 debut Little Earthquakes. A child prodigy on the piano, Amos emerged in the alternative music scene of the 1990′s. On her 2001 Strange Little Girls album Amos covers Eminem’s “97 Bonnie and Clyde.”

This paper draws on Gærard Genette’s Palimpsests (1997) to identify the various hypertextual practices Amos uses in her cover, e.g. transfocalization — she retells the narrative from the point of view of the victim of the crime. The paper goes on to analyze the particular character Amos takes on in delivering the song. Amos’s song is constructed in a way that compels the listener to look back and engage with the original version of the song with this character in mind. The cover goes beyond a simple retelling or recitation – it is an engagement with the discourse that surrounds Eminem’s song and violence against women in general.

Nicholas Greco (McGill University)
“The Irish in America”: Nationalism and the City in U2′s Elevation Tour – Live in Boston

The supergroup U2 has often presented itself as particularly Irish, mainly by the fact of its origins, but also by presenting Irish issues in its music. While doing so, the group has referenced non-Irish cities in its songs, such as London, Paris, Munich, Belfast, Berlin and New York.

In the recent DVD release of their concert stop in Boston in May 2001, there are examples of nationalism evoked through national symbols, particularly in the form of flags. For instance, Bono wears an American flag stitched on the inside of his leather jacket, while the Irish flag is carried by fans of presumably Irish descent (and consequently often focussed upon by the cameras). Furthermore, there is a discourse which runs through the documentary portion of the video which suggests that U2 had won over America on this tour, but that although they had played Boston, New York where the Irish had been coming for years was coming up next on the tour. For U2, New York is a city worthy of its own song, a source of magic and inspiration, and a subject presented heavily during this tour.

This paper seeks to explore the relationships between U2 and the cities to which they point in their music, and in particular, how U2 approaches Boston and New York as sites of Irish Americanism. Such an exploration may shed some light on U2′s own expression of the city in general.

Cecily Marcus (University of Minnesota)
The Work of Art in the Age of National Reconstruction: Argentina’s Rock Nacional

“Vice and the breaking of established moral codes are celebrated as the glory or the stigma of the city. Public space loses its sacredness; everyone invades it, everyone considers the street as the common place, where offers are multiplied and at the same time differentiated, where wares are displayed, creating desires which no longer recognize the limitations imposed by hierarchy.”
– Beatriz Sarlo, Jorge Luis Borges: A Writer on the Edge

Let Argentine cultural critic Beatriz Sarlo’s above description of Buenos Aires serve as one possible theorization of the city in modernity. It is convincing, but more than that it is seductive. It matches other comtemporary theories of the city–a space of heterogeneous and competing impulses, desires, activities, and advances. The city becomes a heightened place in an economy of sex and the libido, of insinuation and covert, nighttime activity. But Sarlo’s images fail to describe the Buenos Aires that took cover during Argentina’s most recent military dictatorship (1976-1983). This is not the Buenos Aires of the Dirty War. Sarlo dramatizes a version of the city that the military junta was gunning to clean up, to order, and to mummify.

In the leftover corners of a city transformed by vicious repression, censorship, kidnapping, and rumors of torture and mass murder, rock music was staging a comeback into live culture. You couldn’t read about concerts in the newspaper, but every weekend out-of-the-way clubs were packed with fans. You never heard these songs on the radio, but somehow they were very quietly hummed on the subway. After years of repression even before the 1976 coup, musicians were practiced in the search for a language that would pass through the censors‚ restrictions and still be understood. Some even claim that rock and roll in Argentina was never better than when it was pushed to its creative limits by state terror. Whether or not this is true, rock music was able to capture a reality that was impossible to openly talk about during the early and most repressive years of the Dictatorship. In the last years of the Dictatorship–years that were looser, but still lethal–rock music was singular in its ability to reconnect a culturally isolated country with the rest of the world, and with its own present. This paper, “The Work of Art in the Age of National Reconstruction: Argentina’s Rock Nacional” explores this secret history.

Marina Peterson (University of Chicago)
Globalizing the Local: Public Concerts and the Emergence of a Transnational Urban Space

Public concerts help create global cities as they connect local urban public spaces with global circuits of people, ideas, music, and capital. While today’s public concerts continue the tradition of free concerts found in city parks and plazas around the world, their emphasis has shifted to a celebration of diversity. Cities have long been defined by their diversity; however the nature of this diversity and the role it plays has changed. Today’s global cities are emphasizing the multiculturalism of their residents, taken to represent the international nature of the city. Urban citizens are now recognized for their international identities, and ethnic neighborhoods are figured as sites which link the city to the world through the global networks of their residents. Public concerts are important arenas in which to observe the emergence of this new understanding of the city. Many public concerts are intended to increase cross-cultural awareness, understanding, and cooperation by bringing people of different backgrounds together to participate in a single musical event. This democratic ideal is understood to be achieved through observation of a different culture’s musical tradition as well as the simultaneous participation in the event of people with different backgrounds. Neighborhood series which focus on programming directed toward the demographics of the area help constitute discrete ethnic groups which are linked to geographic areas, necessary for the way in which a city’s diversity is understood. Drawing on cases from Chicago and Los Angeles, this paper examines how public concerts serve as sites that connect the local to the global actually and metaphorically, reflecting and helping to produce a new kind of urban formation.

Holly Everett and Peter Narvaez (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Satanic Pacts and Musical Prowess: “Urbane” and “Urban” Legends of Niccolo Paganini and Robert Johnson

While social structures of belief have been made evident in narrative cycles concerning intergroup social conflict, e.g. “The Goliath Effect” legends (see Fine 1985), conceptions of cultural hierarchy have sometimes obscured parallel intragroup social structures of belief. In the latter case, boundaries of culture and class can mask universal human behaviors. Thus a comparative analysis of “urbane” legends about classical violinist Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) with seemingly disparate “urban” legends (separated by time, space, and class) concerning working-class African-American blues musician, Robert Johnson (1911-1938), both of whom ostensibly made pacts with Satan in order to achieve superhuman musical prowess, reveals analogous audience beliefs, similar self-promotional uses of narrative, and the same social interest in extraordinary individuals who somehow circumvent a normative system of learning.

REFERENCE:
Fine, Gary Alan. 1985. The Goliath Effect: Corporate Size and Urban Legends. Journal of American Folklore 98: 63-84.

Rajko Mursic (University of Ljubljana)
Live Popular Music Venues: Sites of Cultural Mediation

Popular music is one of the most important transnational disjunctive current cultural flows. If we are trying to understand its development, we have to consider its production and use, its products and its experience. We can’t imagine popular music without experience of live music. The crucial sites of popular music experience are venues.

The places where we can experience popular music are not limited only to urban space. However, urban agglomerates produce distinctions in an unprecedented way. They are, so to say, generators of cultural schismogenesis. Bateson’s concept can help us to understand principles of seemingly infinite resources of cultural heterogenization in the urban space.

In the paper, I will present some examples of such cultural schismogenesis. I’ll start with an ethnography of a rural alternative rock venue and the urban scene that emerged around it. Then, I will shortly present fights for the venues in Ljubljana and Maribor (Slovenia) and emergence (and decline) of popular music scenes centered around these venues. Finally, I will compare Slovene situation with popular music venues in Kanazawa, Japan, and describe plans for multi-sited ethnography of live popular music in different towns of the world.

Popular music venues are not only social meeting points and places of music experience. They generate diverse symbolism. They mediate between the global flows and their local responses, between past and future, between parochialism and cosmopolitanism. They mark the boundaries of symbolic communities as well as mediate between them. And, many times, they are the sites of musical and social innovation.

Gord Ross (York University)
Down Home Comes Uptown: The Ranchman’s Nightclub in Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta has long been known for its cowboy culture, a heritage that stretches back to the beginning of the twentieth century with the advent of one of the largest and richest rodeos in Canada-the Calgary Stampede. Real cowboys live and work in and around Calgary and when cowboys want to be entertained, they invariably head for the nearest bar. One of the longest established and most authentic venues for cowboy entertainment in the city is the Ranchman’s.

The Ranchman’s has retained its authenticity by connecting music and experience. The setting and genre are understood together and the club portrays binary opposites of city/rural, high class/working class, and work/play. Its authenticity is embodied in the décor, the music, and the clientele. It knowingly attributes itself to real experience: divorce, adultery, alcoholism, danger, and loneliness. It is a reflection of a rural, working class lifestyle, yet situated in an urban locale. The music provides authentication for the patrons, invoking and evoking real human emotion. Part of the Ranchman’s authenticity is its ability to offer both good times and corruption, and this is exemplified by the performers who present an aura of “real-life” in the music that they play. It is the only real Canadian honky-tonk and has become an iconic symbol of western lifestyle that works hand in hand with the greater symbolism of Calgary’s traditional heritage.

Robert Toft (University of Western Ontario)
Inventio, Dispositio, and the Creative Process in the Guess Who’s Laughing

The methods traditionally employed in constructing a compelling discourse are centuries old. Indeed, the art of rhetoric, as practised from ancient Greek and Roman times until at least the early 19th century, provides a useful framework for discussions of the creative process in popular music. The techniques of rhetorical construction centre on five areas: inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, and pronunciatio. Of these areas, inventio, discovering the subject matter of the discourse, and dispositio, ordering and arranging that subject matter, find parallels in the compositional methods of songwriters like Randy Bachman.

In his recent autobiography, co-written with John Einarson, Bachman speaks of his approach to song writing, an approach which in certain respects is identical to the art of rhetoric. Bachman regularly finds the basic subject matter for musical discourse in the works of others, as well as in his own imagination. For example, the Guess Who’s song “Laughing” derived some of its material from the Bee Gees’ “New York Mining Disaster,” Dave Clark Five’s “Because,” and the Platters’ “Twilight Time.” Bachman identified and extracted a salient musical feature from each of these three songs and adapted the borrowed material to create the opening, main chord progression, and one of the background vocals of Laughing. The remaining ‘subject matter’ of the song was the product of his, or the group’s, own imagination. Bachman’s technique of assembling a musical discourse clearly parallels the creative process in classical rhetoric, and this paper discusses two central elements of creativity that are common to both rhetoric and song writing.

Colin Snowsell (University of Calgary)
“Do you still love me like you used too?”: Re-appropriating Morrissey

The curious current situation of former Smiths front man Morrissey raises many interesting questions about the life cycle of popular music. After a promising start to his solo career following the 1987 break up of The Smiths, his career gradually floundered as the recording industry found more success with a series of carefully cultivated Britpop clones than it did with the increasingly recalcitrant original. Eventually forced by charges of racism from a hostile British press, and an indifferent public into seeking exile in Los Angeles, Morrissey seemed to have become the prototypical washed-up pop star in disgrace. However, as the epicentre of pop music forgot him, a new, and unexpected, audience discovered him–Latinos. Indeed, Morrissey’s popularity in Latin America and to Latino fans in southern California has increased rapidly and seemingly in direct proportion to the massive erosion of his original fan base in North America and Britain.

The goal of my research is to analyze Morrissey’s unexpected popularity among an audience that has traditionally been considered peripheral to popular culture. Even as the legacy of The Smiths in Britain and North America is increasingly commodified, and even as Morrissey has been without a record deal since 1997, Morrissey has been allowed to recreate himself artistically while preserving the initial utopian project of The Smiths. He has been allowed this extended and rejuvenated life by a marginalized audience, whose members seem to feel that this suddenly neglected pop star understands their predicament perfectly.

Charity Marsh (York University)
Beyond the Visceral via the Raving Cyborg: Locating Dance Spaces between the Semiotic and the Symbolic

Building on Donna Haraway’s cyborg theory, Jennifer González argues that “the cyborg body…is the site of possible being. In this sense it exists in excess of the real. But it is also embedded within the real…It contains on its surface and in its fundamental structure the multiple fears and desires of a culture caught in the process of transformation” (González in Kirkup et al 2000, p.58). Like the site of the cyborgian body, popular music and popular dance historically have also played significant roles in moments of social transformation, in particular within western youth culture(s). There are various musical subcultures that have utilized the dancing body as a means of social and political communication, including both communal and individualized representations. The dancing body is an integral part of rave culture, a musical subculture born in the early nineties predominantly promoting a philosophical mantra of peace, love, unity, and respect through electronica and a particular style of partying. Only recently considered a subculture, (Thornton, 1996; and Reynolds, 1998) rave–including music, dance, dress, drugs, all night parties, physical expression, DJ’s and party promoters–can now be classified as part of the mainstream culture. As with many other “youth” communities, the now high-profile activities of rave culture arouse concern among outsiders (predominantly social policy planners, parents and police) with regard to social ramifications. Although these concerns are valid, they are generally situated within a conservative, anti-”youth” framework. This conservatism in turn promotes widespread backlash and “youth” alienation.

The social and political functions of dance in rave culture are not unlike those in other musical subcultures except perhaps in the instance of “mind dancing”. Mind dancing is a term that I use to describe significant dancing moments of knowing and feeling as though the body is dancing when in “reality” the body itself is almost motionless. The experience of mind dancing often occurs during trance-like states that result from a combination of elements found within rave culture focused primarily on or around the music. In fact, I would argue that mind dancing has the potential to move beyond the purely escapist ideal, enabling an individual and/or collective transcendence of the socio-symbolic world.

Kristeva refers to this phenomenon as the semiotic breach of the symbolic. The dialectical interplay of the semiotic and symbolic, located at the site of the body, is also the site of meaning making; the semiotic is understood as representing the instinctual drives of the body and the symbolic is understood as the social space of language and discourse (Kristeva, 1984). Whether mind dancing is sensationally experienced as purely visceral (semiotic), purely intellectual (symbolic), a combination of the two, or something else entirely is what I propose to explore through an examination of the functions of dance within rave culture, in particular mind dancing. Drawing upon the raving cyborg body I will also offer an analysis of how individual and collective dance experience(s) in rave culture is negotiated in order to understand how and why dancing bodies and dancing minds (re)shape themselves according to changing sonorities, rhythms and beats.

Doug Ivison (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
The Failure of Silence: Music and the City in Russell Smith’s Noise

In Noise: The Political Economy of Music, Jacques Attali argues that “it is sounds and their arrangements that fashion societies” and that music is “a tool for the creation or consolidation of a community.” The city, then, must be shaped and constructed by noise in general, and music in particular. By one logic, if “Nature” is signified by the absence of music, then the city described by Burton Pike in The Image of the City in Modern Literature as “man’s single most impressive and visible achievement” is signified by its presence, in fact by the collision of many different musics. Music is central to the experience of living in a city, and also productive of urban spatiality, as this paper will argue. It is productive of and the beneficiary of, as well as a sign of, what Edward Soja, in Postmetropolis, has described as the city’s “synekism,” “the stimulus of urban agglomeration.”

This paper will explore the role that music plays in constructing urban spatiality and the city through a discussion of Russell Smith’s 1998 novel, Noise. In this novel, James Rainer Willing is a classically-trained musician and freelance writer whose every experience seems inextricably intertwined with snatches of music, from Shostakovich to Portugese pop music to Whitney Houston to Underworld, etc. At the beginning of the novel, these conflicting musics impede his creativity and are oppressive but by the end of the novel, after he returns to Toronto after a sojourn to suburbia, it is clear that the overlapping and constant music of urban life is essential to his creativity. It produces the city, and produces him as an urban subject.

Craig Morrison (McGill University)
Nostalgic Rock Festivals: Performing Rockabilly, Garage, and Psychedelia in the 21st Century

Once a style has faded in the marketplace, a revival and widespread acknowledgement often follow a period of inactivity. For fans and participants of a style, however, books, research, record reissues, and museum displays do not offer sufficient possibilities for involvement and community interaction. Though, as David R. Shumway argues, “recording has assumed priority over performance in rock,” he recognizes that “performance has remained the ideal locus of rock authenticity.” While rockabilly, garage, and psychedelic are defined by their canonic recordings, they all value performance. Legendary moments in their mythologies refer to events such as Elvis Presley’s 1956 television appearances, battling garage bands playing “Louie Louie,” and the Grateful Dead’s shows from 1965 to 1995. It is therefore not surprising to find that these styles survive in performance sites. The sites examined are three annual festivals observed in 2001: Viva Las Vegas, the world’s largest rockabilly festival, held indoors in a hotel in Las Vegas; Cavestomp, a garage festival held in an auditorium in New York City, and the Gathering on the Mountain, held outdoors at a ski resort in Pennsylvania. The paper shows how each draws inspiration from an iconic figure, and transplants the cultural setting to one mimicking the sites that fostered the style originally. This paper will attempt to show how some styles considered moribund remain vigorous through community activity.

Murray Forman (Northeastern University)
From Club Popsicle to the Tropicana: Nightclubs, Music, and the Image of Urban Leisure on Early Television, 1948-1955

The focus of this paper is on early television broadcasts of musical performances set in urban nightclubs. Underlying my presentation is the acknowledgment that the theater is commonly accepted as a dominant spatial locus underlying early television performance (Spigel, 1992). Technical limitations and a general lack of studio space in New York City necessitated the use of large stages, usually in Brooklyn and Manhattan, for early television broadcasts of musical programs and variety shows. In many of these shows, the large stage was represented literally, with vaudeville or Broadway musicals constituting primary referents. Yet the theater was not the only performance space represented on the new medium in its earliest phase: the urban nightclub, too, emerged as a prominent spatial referent for musical performances. The nightclub was well-suited for portrayal on television–the “intimate” medium–for, in contrast to the broad spaces of the theater stage, the nightclub setting provided an enhanced sense of intimacy between audiences and performers.

In my presentation, I will first analyze the spatial construction (i.e., set design, props) of the nightclub as a locus of musical performance and the production styles (i.e., staging and camera work) that reinforced the intimacy of the nightclub performance. The main body of the paper will address the “urban attitude” that is infused in nightclub-based music programs between 1948-1955. As I will illustrate, particular images of urban leisure were conveyed through these programs and can be traced through the musical performance contexts and the operative discourses among the performers and program hosts. The programs under discussion will include The Morey Amsterdam Show (1948-1950), Club Seven (1948-1951) Flight to Rhythm (1949), Tony Martin’s Club Popsicle (1950), and I Love Lucy (1951-1957), as well as various nightclub-oriented performances on variety programs. (Many of these programs remain inaccessible for outside screening. Efforts will be made to secure videotaped examples for presentation).

Tobias c. van Veen (University of British Columbia)
Turntables, Warehouses, Techno and Revolutions: The Sounds of the Temporary Autonomous Zone

“Rave” culture is more than the evolution of disco or Kraftwerk, meaning that it transcends a simple genre of sound; and rave culture is more than a particular space, meaning that it surpasses a specific and fixed locale, such as the institution of the nightclub. “Rave” culture becomes the intermingling between sounds and spaces, a transient context between ear and situation, a hybridity of the senses, whose threads intertwine through a fuzzy politics, drawing from anarchism, situationism, and hippy commune culture, yet claiming none as a definitive doctrine. Perhaps “rave” can be said to be the culture of that which sticks various forms of spatio-sonic-resistance together: a cultur(al) jam, a jamming of the interstices of culture. In this paper I will closely investigate a certain strain of rave culture that pushed its limits as a socio-political force through sonic means, occupying warehouses, squatting farmland, and reclaiming the streets, all to the sound of relentless beats from DJs and live performers, and theoretically attuned to the work and inspiration of UK ‘anarchist’ Hakim Bey, whose concept of the “Temporary Autonomous Zone” inaugurated what one rave group called “musikal resistance.” And in the depth of this milieu, it should come as no surprise that Bey was heavily influenced by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, spurning his concept of the T.A.Z. and “ontological anarchy,” thereby allowing us to speculate upon the indirect impact of the rhizomatic connection between Deleuze and Guattari and the rave scene.

Michael Jarrett (Penn State University)
Catching The One After 909

Because it seizes upon and, subsequently, exploits a detail, the research question that organizes this study can be understood as a contemporary or remotivated application of a surrealist method–the cinephilic enlargement of a film scene. It suggests alternative ways of talking about popular music. The film scene that arrests my attention, the one that I find perpetually entrancing, is found early in Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night. It finds the Beatles in a train station, pairs them with the railroad. To initiate an exploration of this scene, I relate anecdotes recorded by Nathaniel Hawthorne, W. C. Handy, and Dziga Vertov. And then I turn to A Hard Day’s Night. In all of these texts–literary, filmic, and musical–trains play different but crucial roles. Structuralist theory–found in Claude Lévi-Strauss’s The Raw and the Cooked–hears them as telling stories about noise (about narratives disrupted). But instead of using theory to tell us what we already know about trains (employing them as metaphors substantiating some larger argument), we might ask, What might trains teach us? If trains are used as clues to unpredictable knowledge what could they say about popular music, city sounds, the Beatles, and A Hard Day’s Night?

Gregory J. Seigworth (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)
Blown Soundscapes, New City Rhymes

“…heat rises / lights thru the town / blown soundscapes / blue city eyes / black lightning / new angel flies”
–from “New City Rhymes” Sonic Youth, NYC Ghosts and Flowers (2000, Geffen)

The images of September 11, 2001 are indelible. Buildings and planes, explosions, implosions, fire and rubble. The soundtrack for these terrorist attacks was, at first, completely secondary. After all, the images, as they arrived, were horrific and, by themselves, already said more than enough. Too much in fact. Unspeakable. And, then, the sound followed (not unlike the untimeliness of thunder resounding across the space opened by a lightning flash): as a way of struggling toward some means of making sense. Or, falling short of sense-making, engaging in a struggle–along the edge that cleaves image and sound together–to give tentative shape to jarring and disjointed feelings. Everywhere, so it seemed, there was a sudden, visceral need to find the frequency and rhythm at which these events resonated: the need to make these events offer up a moment (if only brief) of auditory recompense for what had instantly evaporated in the visual slam of unfathomable images.

Locating such an event-soundtrack is a process at once individual and collective. In the wake of the events of September 11, decades-old songs, nationalistic anthems, and contemporary pop tunes took on new vectors of palpable potential. Weights shifted and what previously seemed subtle subtext and nuance tipped decidedly toward far firmer substance as lyrics and music clung more closely to concrete things.

Cities have long been perceived, conceived, and lived as cacophonous and polyrhythmic spaces but September 11 irretrievably altered this soundscape, adding layers of blown ash and blasted block to the city-sound and, in so doing, transforming the whole of the sonic repertoire of “the city.” This paper will look and listen to the real-and-imagined psychogeographies of New York City (and its immediate vicinity) as presented in three albums–Sonic Youth’s NYC Ghosts and Flowers, PJ Harvey’s Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, and Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-out–all released in the year prior to the terrorist attacks upon the twin towers of the World Trade Center. It will be argued that, as words and sonic texture, each of these recordings offers, in uncanny advance, a slightly different figural approach to the re-negotiations of sound and city that follow in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.

Christophe Pirenne (Fosrchungscentrum Populäre Musik)
Le rock cosmique berlinois

Dans la seconde moitié des années 1960, Berlin est sans doute la ville qui symbolise le plus les tensions et les conflits latents opposant les blocs de l´Est et de l´Ouest. Scindé physiquement par le mur depuis 1961, Berlin devient le refuge de toute une bohème allemande, en même temps qu´un creuset créatif d´une vitalité exceptionnelle. Dans ce contexte politico-urbanistique particulier naît à la fin des années 1960, un style de rock irréductible aux modèles anglo-saxons, qui prendra rapidement le nom de rock “cosmique.”

Dans ma communication, j´aimerais montrer que, dans la gestation et le développement de ce genre musical, le poids du contexte urbain de Berlin ouest est immense. Des groupes emblématiques du rock “cosmique”, tels que Ash Ra Temple, Tangerine Dream ou Agitation Free, sont directement dépendants des milieux undergrounds de la ville. On les trouve dans le quartier de la Technische Universität, dans une poignée de clubs alternatifs, à l´académie de musique du quartier de Wilmersdorf, près de certains théâtres… Ce sont dans ces lieux essentiels que ces jeunes musiciens se forgent une conscience politique, acquièrent un bagage culturel que l´on pourrait qualifier de post-moderne et découvrent l´instrumentarium hybride qui leur permettra de créer de nouveaux sons.

Matthew Wheelock Stahl (University of California)
To Hell with Heteronomy: Performance of Self and Creation of Value in an Eddy of the Mainstream

Institutions of the music business) record labels, clubs, radio stations, fanzines, and so on) are in the business of hierarchizing. By selecting who to record, who to promote, who to put first on a bill and who to put last, who goes into heavy rotation and who goes into the circular file, who gets interviewed and who gets ignored these and other institutions assign value to musicians and bands in ways that tend to create and sustain a field of differentiated positions characterized by unequal distributions of economic and symbolic power. But not only do they create difference between bands and musicians in regional and national markets. At the local level, in the urban world of self-promoted, self-produced and self-released indy bands, where bands and their members are embedded in close relations with friends and coworkers, similar processes of hierarchization effected by local music and music business institutions are nevertheless at work. In this ethnographic study I examine how a group of Bay Area musicians and their friends, spouses and coworkers, through various carefully constructed practices, seek to mitigate the effects of heteronomy within their social circle. Following Durkheim’s notions of sacralization, ritual, and the cult of the individual and Goffman’s subsequent analysis of remedial ritual in everyday life, I describe and theorize several of this group’s social practices that attempt to attenuate the potentially destabilizing effects of the special valorization accorded musician members by local music industry institutions.

Toby Hayes (C0C0S0L1DC1T1)
Chases through non-place

The text I wish to propose for the IASPM conference discusses and extrapolates upon a project undertaken by the French/English multi-media collective called Battery Operated. They completed a project called Chases through Non-Place last year that they have been touring ever since. It is a sound and video project that extrudes and questions Marc Auges notion of the non-place as a site of transient ontologies.

Battery Operated look at the role of Muzak within the urban environment and treat is as the military tool of psychological control that it was conceived as by General Owen Squire in the same year (1911) that Taylor laid down the blueprint for modern capitalism in The Principles of Scientific Management. The use of Muzak through the past 80 years of Capitalism has seen its cultural position change from increasing productivity from workers on Fordist type production lines, through to aurally persuading customers to consume at the ŒPoint Of Purchase‚ in the period of capitalism that David Harvey called flexible accumulation. Today Muzak is used in the Super-Modernist architectures that Marc Auge calls non-places such as airports and hotels to induce psychological parameters that aid the controlled movement and surveillance of mass numbers of people who inhabit them.

Battery Operated took location recordings in 8 non-places to produce soundtracks for these architectures. The sound is a mixture of musique concrete and breakbeat (hip-hop/drum’n'bass) production techniques and theories. There is an adroit bastardization of these two obviously opposing forms of modern sound production from the euro-centric intellectual formalism of the GRM‚s musique concrete to the street forged techniques born out of NYC, LA, London and Manchester, UK. Both genres of sound production comment on and express ideas of identity very differently within the production of space in the urban condition. The utilization of these two styles are used to produce a type of inverse Muzak that Battery Operated propose would be played over annoys to create a sonic architecture that was based on chaotic rhythms and frequencies that were banned by the Muzak corporation–replacing Michel de Certeau’s ‘passengers’ who move in accordance to directions and sonic signs with bodies who invest in potential collision, disruption and cross communication.

William Echard (Carleton University)
Country Home, Let’s Go Downtown: Neil Young, Urbanity, and the Poetics of Musical Space

This is a paper with two agendas, one critical and one theoretical. The theoretical agenda proceeds from my assumption that there are at least two broad streams in existing work on spatial theory, which may be informally labeled ‘culturalist’ (for example Lefebvre, Bakhtin, and de Certeau) and phenomenological (for example Bachelard, and more recently Anton). While there are interconnections, I suggest that these streams of thought often proceed separately. This paper will suggest how existing semiotic work on musical spatiality (the ways in which music signifies energetic events in virtual spaces) can be one site where the two schools of thought may be productively combined. My critical agenda is to study the nature of spatial representations in Neil Young’s lyrics and music, with a special emphasis on their portrayal of the urban and the rural as conflicting but complementary environments. The opposition Neil Young creates between rural and urban spaces is complex, reflecting his treatment of spatiality in general: lyrical, performative, and musical. It resonates with larger trends in country rock and related genres, and also engages a complicated relationship, not unique to Young but highly developed in his work, between the private sphere and interiority, on the one hand, and aggression and public display, on the other.

Wade Nelson (McGill University)
Never Mind the Authentic: You Wanted the Spectacle / You’ve Got the Spectacle (And Nothing Else Matters?)

In most major North American cities, the popular music critics featured in weekly city-specific entertainment papers can be seen as gatekeepers or guides to music consumption in the city. These writers hold privileged positions as consumers with (a certain amount of) influence. In earlier work (specifically, in my Masters thesis), rock press coverage of particular events within the domain of popular music in 1996 were examined in regard to criteria of valuation (specifically the Sex Pistols reunion and tour, the original lineup/Kabuki makeup reunion and tour of KISS, and the release of a new album and the headlining of the Lollapalooza tour by Metallica). It was seen that there were not only the expected authentic versus inauthentic considerations in regard to criteria of valuation, but a second sensibility that could be termed a “postmodern” one. Furthermore, it was shown that there is a complexity in regard to the ways in which rock writers evaluate particular popular music events beyond both the criteria of valuation of authenticity and what may be referred to as a postmodern sensibility. Rather than choosing objects of inquiry that one would expect to be received as inauthentic, the current work examines the coverage within two such weekly papers (Vancouver’s Georgia Straight and Montreal’s Mirror) of a band that one might expect to be lauded as authentic or otherwise positively valued: Radiohead. Thus, this paper examines the criteria of valuation espoused by popular music critics as featured in two Canadian weekly entertainment publications in regard to the band Radiohead in 2001.