New Book – Burkhalter on Popular Music in Beirut


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This book offers the first in-depth study of experimental and popular music scenes in Beirut, looking at musicians working towards a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture in a country that is dominated by mass-mediated pop music, and propaganda. Burkhalter studies the generation of musicians born at the beginning of the Civil War in the Lebanese capital, an urban and cosmopolitan center with a long tradition of cultural activities and exchanges with the Arab world, Europe, the US, and the former Soviet Union. These Lebanese rappers, rockers, death-metal, jazz, and electro-acoustic musicians and free improvisers choose local and transnational forms to express their connection to the broader musical, cultural, social, and political environment.

Burkhalter explores how these musicians organize their own Continue reading

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2 new music remixes on urban topics

Still trying to figure out garage band’s higher level functionality, but I’ve added two more songs to the list (in addition to the previous one “Capital, Time and the City [featuring David Harvey]:

“Under the paving stones the beach/beat” drawing from podcasts on Guy Debord/The Society of the Spectacle and a slogan sometimes attributed to him associated with 1968.

“In Manchester” mixing Joy Division and a lecture on F. Engels.

Check all three of them here. [where there are 5 more songs on non-urban topics drawn from Spanish Lit./Cult.]

Convenient Parking: suburbia / popular music / parking documentary

Much has been written on urban sprawl and music — in relation to the punk  / post-punk period specifically (the new interdisciplinary journal Punk & Post-Punk is forthcoming with a special 2012 issue on Manchester, in fact) — and yet I wonder if there’s been anything done with popular music and suburbia that has taken on the band Modest Mouse. Far from having time for this project myself, but it seems that the band’s albums are full of references to suburbia, car-culture, the shopping mall-phenomenon Continue reading