Friday, November 2, 2007

Dementia Precox on Halloween: 24 Hour Party People

Going to this show caused me to realize that things are going on in Dayton all the time, at all sorts of venues:

Dementia Precox was nearly before my time in Dayton. I saw some of their last shows at CST; memorable enough to cause me to come back for this reunion.

More pix here.

"24 Hour Party People" or "Be Midwestern"?

I wonder if anyone is familiar with Manchester, UK? A city that is using pop culture as a urban regeneration and branding strategy. This is even being taught in one of their colleges..check out this syllabus from Manchester Metropolitan University:

The following four sections will each focus on a different city and era, analyzing the symbiosis between popular culture and urban change in 1960s London, The north and popular culture in the 1960s/70s, 1970s New York, and Manchester from the 1980s to the present day. The unit involves film screenings. The unit breaks down thus:

  1. Defining The Popular, Defining The Urban
  2. Austerity To Affluence: Post-War Cities And Rock And Roll
  3. London 1960s: Swinging City
  4. 1960s British Cinema
  5. Northern Soul: The Regions In The 1960s And Early 1970s
  6. New York 1970s/Mean Streets
  7. Manchester 1980s: The Pop Culture City
  8. Screening Manchester.
  9. Manchester: Pop Culture And Urban Regeneration
  10. Course Review

The Dutch have picked up on this too: Tilburg University on Manchester:

  • Content:
    This unit will explore popular urban cultures in context of initiatives aimed at urban social and economic regeneration. It will draw both on ethnographic and policy sources, closely following initiatives and developments in the local and north west area (Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Kirklees and Greater Manchester). This will set the empirical context for a considered discussion of topics and issues which will include the specifics of British urban regeneration policy, cultural policy, and cultural studies. In addition other topics to be considered include: spatiality and the city; economic development and the cultural industries; cultural industry sub-sectors - music, fashion, multimedia, performance, media, broadcasting; urban regeneration and cultural policy in Manchester.

  • Defining Terms:
    Popular culture; urban regeneration; urban governance; economic development; the carnivalesque; third spaces; night time economy; risk society / late modernity; social exclusion.

SW Ohio as the "Lancashire of the Midwest"?: Cincy= Liverpool? Dayton= Manchester? Hamilton and Middletown and Springfield as places like Bolton or Preston? Using our strong indy music scene as something to build on, as something to develop a city brand that is more 'rust-belt meets creative class' rather than cornfield?

Or not.

Maybe I should shut up and dance?

..on edit, but wait, there's more!

A good article in the Grauniad. Here's an exceprt:

The idea of the city as an attractive vibrant place to be begins with rock'n'roll," confirms Anthony Wilson, "Why is that even more true in cities like Liverpool and Manchester? When it comes to popular culture in these two cities, you're talking world, global level."

Punk and acid house are without question the two most important cultural revolutions of the last 25 years and both changed the way we approach cities. Acid house wasn't just about people taking drugs and dancing all night. As a new generation moulded a new lifestyle for itself that was alien to its older siblings, let alone parents, cities slowly changed to reflect that. Pre-club bars started cropping up to cater for changing lifestyles and tastes.

The most innovative bars provided a breeding ground for youth culture, from live DJs and bands to young artists and photographers, fashion shows and film screenings, right down to aspiring chefs. It was a culture that fed on itself and grew organically. More importantly, these embryonic cultures can shift the emphasis of the city's fabric.

Hello, Dayton?

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