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The politics of hope

On the basis of a body of reggae songs from the 1970s and late 1990s, this book offers a sociological analysis of memory, hope and redemption in reggae music. From Dennis Brown to Sizzla, the way in which reggae music constructs a musical, religious and socio-political memory in rupture with dominant models is illustrated by the lyrics themselves. How is the past remembered in the present? How does remembering the past allow for imagining the future? How does collective memory participate in the historical grounding of collective identity? What is the relationship between tradition and revolution, between the recollection of the past and the imagination of the future, between passivity and action? Ultimately, this case study of ‘memory at work’ opens up on a theoretical problem: the conceptualisation of time and its relationship with memory.

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2 Music worlds In the previous chapter I suggested that punk and post-punk are best conceived, for sociological purposes, as ‘music worlds’, a concept I  adapt from Howard Becker’s notion of ‘art worlds’ (1951, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1995, 2004, 2006a, 2006b; Faulkner and Becker 2009; see also Bottero and Crossley 2011; Finnegan 1989; Lopes 2002; Martin 1995, 2005, 2006a, 2006b). In this chapter I elaborate upon this concept. Before I do, however, I briefly review three alternative conceptions, explaining why I have chosen ‘music worlds’ over them. As much

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Open Access (free)
New retro movies in 1990s Hollywood cinema

, reconstructing the past as an episodic narrative. This narrative dramatises the relationship between past and present, constructing a memory of the past through the recycling of particular iconography that metonymically comes to represent it. Particular fashions, music and visual images are memorialised, and become subject to reinterpretation in the present. Memories of the 1970s in the 1980s, for example, are

in Memory and popular film

3049 Experimental British Tele 16/5/07 08:02 Page 166 10 Experimental music video and television K. J. Donnelly The music video as an aspect of experimental or avant-garde television has received surprisingly little attention in the frequent and wide ranging discussions on the topic. This is particularly surprising since many of the techniques of the avant-garde became evident (and some filmmakers worked) in music video and profoundly altered the way that pop music appeared on television. Considerations of television still suffer from ocularcentric

in Experimental British television
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Bob Dylan via Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

Coupe 03 22/3/07 3 01:06 Page 79 ‘Vision music’: Bob Dylan via Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg In October 1975, Allen Ginsberg and the songwriter Bob Dylan visited the grave of Jack Kerouac. They had stopped off at the Edson Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts during the course of Dylan’s tour of the east coast of the United States. He called the tour ‘The Rolling Thunder Revue’, this name being an allusion in general to the ‘freewheeling’, unplanned nature of the enterprise, and in particular to a Cherokee medicine man called Rolling Thunder, who had become

in Beat sound, Beat vision
Notes on the Repertoire

The Gothic or “Goth” subculture emerged from Britains punk scene during the early 1980s. The music associated with the movement showed a sophisticated handling of themes and aesthetics associated with Gothicism, proving that the Goth adjective was more than just a fanciful label given to the bands by the music industry and the popular press. In order to gain a greater understanding of what is genuinely Gothic about this body of music, this study investigates Goth from a musicological perspective exploring specific techniques that were used by the artists, and examining the reasons why Gothicism appealed to many British youths during the Thatcher-era.

Gothic Studies
Constructing the televisual pop community in the GDR

11 Popular music on East German television: Constructing the televisual pop community in the GDR Edward Larkey Popular music in the GDR media was always subject to intense political scrutiny so that Western influences, if they could not be prevented altogether, would at least be incorporated into discursive structures largely controlled by the ruling Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands; SED). Before the 1970s, television programmes were supposed to help develop a musical alternative to capitalist pop music, to distance GDR music

in Popular television in authoritarian Europe
A figurative dance suite

100 8 A dance to the music of Herrmann: a figurative dance suite David Cooper M Prelude y earliest encounter with the music of Bernard Herrmann was in the early 1970s, as a teenager growing up in Belfast who was interested in contemporary music and always on the lookout for the scores of new pieces I could afford to buy. I  discovered by sheer chance the music for Bernard Herrmann’s Echoes for string quartet in Tughan-​Crane’s music shop, a somewhat surprising piece for them to have in stock. It was some time later that I found a coupling of the work on LP

in Partners in suspense

4 The construction of a musical memory The history of reggae music is long and complex and, in reference to a common expression within reggae and the Rastafari movement, “half the story has never been told.” In opposition to other scholars who describe it in terms of a linear evolution stemming from one source, and hence consider each new development as the extension or direct product of the preceding one, Bilby argues that Jamaican music “has evolved in a considerably more disorderly manner than this and has always been stylistically more heterogeneous and

in Time and memory in reggae music
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Notes on methodology

2 Interpreting songs: Notes on methodology Since the 1960s, popular music has developed enormously, largely due to technological progress in terms of musical delivery (vinyl records, cassettes, compact discs, minidisc, MP3 and so on) and to the proliferation of radio stations, television, and more recently personal computers (Jones 2000). Popular music gives a central importance to singing, and therefore to lyrics; from Otis Redding’s love songs to The Police’s “Roxanne” to the poetic texts of Bob Dylan to the seemingly innocuous blues of Muddy Waters, the

in Time and memory in reggae music