For decades, millions of music fans have gathered every summer in parks and fields to hear their favorite bands at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury. How did these and countless other festivals across the globe evolve into glamorous pop culture events, and how are they changing our relationship to music, leisure, and public culture? In Everyone Loves Live Music, Fabian Holt looks beyond the marketing hype to show how festivals and other institutions of musical performance have evolved in recent decades, as sites that were once meaningful sources of community and culture are increasingly subsumed by corporate giants.
Examining a diverse range of cases across Europe and the United States, Holt upends commonly-held ideas of live music and introduces a pioneering theory of performance institutions. He explores the fascinating history of the club and the festival in San Francisco and New York, as well as a number of European cities. This book also explores the social forces shaping live music as small, independent venues become corporatized and as festivals transform to promote mainstream Anglophone culture and its consumerist trappings. The book further provides insight into the broader relationship between culture and community in the twenty-first century. An engaging read for fans, industry professionals, and scholars alike, Everyone Loves Live Music reveals how our contemporary enthusiasm for live music is more fraught than we would like to think.
Genre in Popular Music
Fabian Holt University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress ML3477.H65 2007 | Dewey Decimal 781.64
The popularity of the motion picture soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou? brought an extraordinary amount of attention to bluegrass, but it also drew its share of criticism from some aficionados who felt the album’s inclusion of more modern tracks misrepresented the genre. This soundtrack, these purists argued, wasn’t bluegrass, but “roots music,” a new and, indeed, more overarching category concocted by journalists and marketers. Why is it that popular music genres like these and others are so passionately contested? And how is it that these genres emerge, coalesce, change, and die out?
In Genre in Popular Music, Fabian Holt provides new understanding as to why we debate music categories, and why those terms are unstable and always shifting. To tackle the full complexity of genres in popular music, Holt embarks on a wide-ranging and ambitious collection of case studies. Here he examines not only the different reactions to O Brother, but also the impact of rock and roll’s explosion in the 1950s and 1960s on country music and jazz, and how the jazz and indie music scenes in Chicago have intermingled to expand the borders of their respective genres. Throughout, Holt finds that genres are an integral part of musical culture—fundamental both to musical practice and experience and to the social organization of musical life.