Redefining Mainstream Popular Music

New book
Redefining Mainstream Popular Music
Edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor


Redefining Mainstream Popular Music is a collection of seventeen essays that critically examines the idea of the “mainstream” in and across a variety of popular music styles and contexts. Notions of what is popular vary across generations and cultures – what may have been considered alternative to one group may be perceived as mainstream to another. Incorporating a wide range of popular music texts, genres, scenes, practices and technologies from the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and New Zealand, the authors theoretically challenge and augment our understanding of how the mainstream is understood and functions in the overlapping worlds of popular music production, consumption and scholarship. Spanning the local and the global, the historic and contemporary, the iconic and the everyday, the book covers a broad range of genres, from punk to grunge to hip-hop, while also considering popular music through other mediums, including mash-ups and the music of everyday work life. Redefining Mainstream Popular Music provides readers with an innovative and nuanced perspective of what it means to be mainstream.

Music, Style, and Aging

New book
Music, Style, and Aging: Growing Old Disgracefully?
Andy Bennett


The image of the aging rock-and-roller is not just Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on stage in their sixties. In his timely book, Music, Style, and Aging, cultural sociologist Andy Bennett explains how people move on from youth and effectively grow older with popular music. For many aging followers of rock, punk, and other contemporary popular music genres, music is ingrained in their identities. Its meaning is highly personal and intertwined with the individual’s biographical development. Bennett studies these fans and how they have changed over time – through fashions, hairstyles, body modification, career paths, political orientations, and perceptions of and by the next generation. The significance of popular music for these fans is no longer tied exclusively to their youth. Bennett illustrates how the music that ‘mattered’ most to people in their youth continues to play an important role in their adult lives – a role that goes well beyond nostalgia.

Music, Politics, and Violence

New book
Music, Politics, and Violence
Edited by Susan Fast and Kip Pegley


Music and violence have been linked since antiquity in ritual, myth, and art. Considered together they raise fundamental questions about creativity, discourse, and music’s role in society. The essays in this collection investigate a wealth of issues surrounding music and violence – issues that cross political boundaries, time periods, and media – and provide cross-cultural case studies of musical practices ranging from large-scale events to regionally specific histories. Following the editors’ substantive introduction, which lays the groundwork for conceptualizing new ways of thinking about music as it relates to violence, three broad themes are followed: the first set of essays examines how music participates in both overt and covert forms of violence; the second section explores violence and reconciliation; and the third addresses healing, post-memorials, and memory. Music, Politics, and Violence affords space to look at music as an active agent rather than as a passive art, and to explore how music and violence are closely – and often uncomfortably – entwined.

Out of the Absurdity of Life

New book
Out of the Absurdity of Life – Globale Musik
Thomas Burkhalter and Theresa Beyer


The first book of norient (network for local and global sounds and media culture –, edited by Thomas Burkhalter and Theresa Beyer, discusses contemporary movements and trends within globalised music scenes in Europe, Africa, Latin-America, Asia and the US. In Out of the Absurdity of Life – Globale Musik, journalists, scientists, artists and photographers question protest and provocation within the USA, Ghana and England. They dive into the shrill party worlds of São Paulo, trace the reinvention of Syrian synthesizer-pop and discuss the provocation potential of Latin-American copulation dance-moves. Journalistic and scientific, part of the book is in German, part in English. Continue reading


New publication
Popular Music and Countercultures

The first issue of the French edition of “Popular Music and Countercultures” is now out and online. Table of contents (with texts by Sheila Whiteley, Andy Bennett, Simon Warner, Giovanni Vacca, etc.):

To purchase/subscribe from beyond France:

An English version of this issue will be published, with new papers, in 2013 by Ashgate.

Journal on the Art of Record Production: Publication of Issue 7‏

Journal on the Art of Record Production
Publication of Issue 7‏: Technology, Time and Place

We are pleased to announce the online publication of Issue 7: Technology, Time and Place

The issue opens with Dr. Mark Katz and Dr. Samantha Bennett’s editorial and includes: 10 articles; Ken Scott, Kevin Doyle and Dave Fisher interviews; a review of Allan Moore’s new book Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Popular Recorded Song; and a review of Ken Scott’s EpiK DrumS – A Ken Scott Collection.