Feb. 21st, 2017

kenjari: (piano)
Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant-Garde
by Bernard Gendron

This fascinating and extremely well-written book examines the relationship between art, the avant-garde, and popular music from the late 19th century Parisian cabaret scene through the late 20th century New York punk and new wave scene. Along the way, Gendron follows the post-WWI European avant-garde's fascination with jazz and the mechanisms through which rock music gained cultural capital and critical approbation in the late 1960s. I kind of wish Gendron had given a little more attention to the ways race and gender intersected with all of this, but perhaps that really needs a separate book to cover adequately. Nonetheless, Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club does a wonderful job of looking at the relationships and tensions between avante-garde art and popular music. I especially enjoyed the exploration of the New York new wave scene, since I am a fan of a lot of music that came out of it.

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