Research project: Estonian punk (1985-1995)

Punks in Tallinn, ca. 1982. Photo: Arno Saar, collection of Tõnu Trubetsky.

The first punk bands in the ESSR were established at the end of the 1970s. Punk was blacklisted in the ESSR, after youth riots erupted at a September 1980 concert of the punk band Propeller. During the first half of the 1980s the punk movement was small but steady in size. The punk’s main ways of expression were extravagant behaviour and clothes, organizing illegal concerts and social life in Tallinn’s cafés. Nevertheless, being a punk was socially frowned upon and meant problems with family, in school and in public where the youths were ofter arrested by the militsiya. Continue reading

CfP: Underground Adventures. Temporal Experimentation in Postwar Countercultures (Berlin, Deadline: 15.9.16)

Call for Papers:
Underground Adventures: Temporal Experimentation in Postwar Countercultures
(24 – 25 March 2017, Berlin)

When the Berlin Techno scene emerged in the wake of the fall of the wall in 1989, party-goers often occupied urban relics: they danced in old factories and power stations, in the basements of decaying buildings, and in the obsolete infrastructure of the Cold War. Much like other countercultural movements since the 1950s, the ravers of late twentieth-century Berlin sought adventure in the interstitial, “underground” spaces of the everyday. While scholars have thoroughly addressed the spatial dimension of countercultural and underground movements – the construction of “heterotopias” (Foucault) – less attention has been paid to the creation of distinct temporal experiences – what might be termed the “heterochronies” of the underground. Continue reading

Cfp/cfa: Music – Sound – Radio: Theorizing Music Radio (Copenhagen, Deadline: 15.9.16)

In a year, the Danish music and radio research project Ramund will close. To mark this, we will organize a seminar focusing mainly on the theoretical aspects of the many different relations between music and radio and the meetings between the two in music-radio. The aim of the seminar will be to publish an anthology of articles. Continue reading

“In that mess we became part of the Geniale Dilletanten scene”: Mark Reeder and the West Berlin avant-garde music scene around 1980 (Interview)

Mark Reeder, 1999.

The West Berlin avant-garde music scene from around 1980 was a wild movement. This scene is an inexhaustive source of fascinating stories and ideas. For instance, while the rest of West Germany was trying to cope with the threat of a nuclear war, Blixa Bargeld tried to recreate the sound of collapsing buildings, and the girls from Malaria! played with the gruesome idea of bathing in ice cold and clear water, as if they couldn’t wait to speed things up and call upon the end of the world by themselves. Frontstadt West Berlin was the perfect playground for developing an experimental and mysterious scene like this one. But how to define this avant-garde scene?  Continue reading

Conference: Popular Music and Power (Berlin, 24./25. June 2016)

Popular Music and Power. Sonic Materiality between Cultural Studies and Music Analysis

Conference Program:

Friday, June 24

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institute of Musicology and Media Studies, Georgenstraße 47, Medientheater

11:00-11:30 AM Arrival and Greetings

11:30-11:45 AM Jens Gerrit Papenburg (Berlin): Introduction

Panel I – Relational Sonic Materialities beyond Text/Context

Chair: Sebastian Klotz (Berlin)

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Workshop: “How to Write and Conceptualize the History of Youth Cultures” (Berlin, 30.6.-1.7.2016)

Initially, delinquency and crime provided the lens through which academics discussed youth culture. Studying deviant behaviour ensured that criminologists focused on questions of re-education and the relationship between the newly-branded ‘teenager’, delinquency and youth culture.With the emergence of Cultural Studies in Britain, ‘youth’ was interpreted in generational terms, through which a critical understanding of the changing nature of British society could be inferred. Across the academic landscape of historical studies, however, youth cultures tend to play but a minor role in general overviews and historical narratives of the history of European societies after 1945.

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Lectures: Pophistory at the Institute of Historical Research (London, May & June 2016)

British pophistory is not just visible in London’s physical and cultural landscape. Upcoming events related to the history of pop culture at the Institute of Historical Research representing the long tradition of studying the everyday culture of people in Britain: Continue reading

Volume! Special Issue / numéro spécial “Beatles Studies”

beatles_couv-small250

Crédits : Matthieu Saladin 210 x 210mm – 242 p. – 19 € – ISBN 978-2-913169-40-1.

Nearly half a century after Luciano Berio praised the Beatles in his ‘Commenti al Rock’ (1967), this special issue of Volume! surveys the research carried out on the band that was, according to John Lennon, ‘more popular than Jesus’. In light of an extensive bibliography covering the first 50 years of what we now call ‘Beatles Studies’, one learns, for example, that the British Invasion originated in Paris, that Popular Music Studies began with the musicological study of popular music, that the theory of harmonic vectors can help analyze pop music or that Marshall McLuhan’s concepts shed an interesting light on albums such as Abbey Road.

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CfP: “Pop Nostalgia: The Uses of the Past in Popular Culture” (London, Deadline: 30.6.2016)

Pop nostalgia, we are told, is everywhere. Our current golden age of television—from Mad Men to VinylDownton Abbey to Call the Midwife—lovingly recreates earlier periods of the twentieth century, while club nights devoted to the 1980s or 1990s allow us to return to our youth. What is more, popular culture is, in the words of music journalist Simon Reynolds, addicted to its own past. It not only reminisces, it revives, reissues, remixes earlier forms and styles instead of coming up with genuinely new. Finally, our most modern technologies are always also time machines: producing sepia-coloured images of the present for an anticipated nostalgic recollection in the future.

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Scopitone/A History of the Forerunner of Music Videos

Scopitone. Histoire culturelle du télé-box et de la chanson filmée yéyé

(1959-2010)

Audrey Orillard (audrey.orillard@univ-paris1.fr), historienne a soutenu le 9 avril 2014 à l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne une thèse sous la direction de Myriam Tsikounas consacrée au Scopitone. Histoire culturelle du télé-box et de la chanson filmée yéyé (1959-2010). Vous trouverez ci-dessous un résumé en français et en anglais ci-dessous.

Audrey Orillard (audrey.orillard@univ-paris1.fr), a French historian, has defended her Phd on 9 April 2014 at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. The title of her thesis, which she did under the supervision of Myriam Tsikounas is: Scopitone. A Cultural History of Machine Music and Yéyé Filmed Songs (1959-2010). You’ll find an abstract in French and in English below. Continue reading

Appels à communication/Call for Papers: Heavy Metal/Punk

Deux appels à communication qui peuvent vous intéresser pour des colloques qui se déroulent en France /Two call for papers for conférences which will take place in France:

1- Heavy metal et sciences sociales. Un état des lieux de la recherche en France et dans le monde francophone. Angers, France, le 18 et 19 décembre 2014/ Heavy Metal and Social Sciences. A State of the Art of Research on Metal Studies in France and French-speaking countries. Angers, France, 18-19 December 2014.

Les propositions doivent être envoyées d’ici le 15 septembre/Proposals should be sent by 15 September. All the détails here.

2) Rappel: Disorder. Histoire sociale des mouvements punk/post-punk/ Reminder: Disorder.Towards a social history of punk and post-punk. Attention, les dates ont changé: le colloque a lieu les 26 et 27 mars 2015 à Paris!/Be careful: the dates have changed: the conference will take place on the 26th and 27th of March  2015 in Paris!

Les propositions doivent être envoyées d’ici le 15 septembre/Proposals should be sent by 15 September. All the détails here.

Research project: “Emotion and Music reception as indicators of change within societies. Germany and Great Britain from 1950 to 1970”

The 1950s and 60s brought significant change to the popular musical landscape. Outbursts of violence at Rock ‘n’ Roll concerts, the liberating bodily movements of twist in the early 60s, the screaming fans at Beatles concerts, and the rise of club culture: when Rock ‘n’ Roll and Beat music surged into the realm of public attention, they were much more than simply new forms of entertainment. Bands and Artists like Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones helped to reshape the musical world. Continue reading

Pop history will be debated at the German Historians’ Convention 2014

From September 23 to 26, 2014, over 3000 scholars, teachers and students will convene at the University of Göttingen for the 50th Convention of German Historians, the German Historikertag. The event is one of Europe’s largest humanities conferences. “Winners and Losers” is the motto of next year’s anniversary convention. There will be a panel about the history of popular culture. Here is the concept: Continue reading

Von der “histoire du rock” zum “Arab Spring”: neue Calls zur Popgeschichte

Pop entwickelt sich als Thema und Fragestellung in den Geisteswissenschaften erfreulich gut weiter und findet zunehmend Resonanz in Publikationen und auf Veranstaltungen. Darauf deuten neue Tagungen ebenso hin wie der Anklang, den das Thema auch auf größeren Kongressen findet. In diesem Zusammenhang sind auch  drei neue Calls zur Pop-Geschichte zu verstehen, die uns soeben erreichten und daher hier zur Kenntnis gebracht werden sollen. Continue reading