Political Rock: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Political Rock

1st Edition

By Kristine Weglarz

Edited by Mark Pedelty


250 pages

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Political Rock features luminary figures in rock music that have stood out not only for their performances, but also for their politics. The book opens with a comparative, cultural history of artists who have played important roles in social movements. Individual chapters are devoted to The Clash and Fugazi, Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Sinead O'Connor, Peter Gabriel, Ani DiFranco, Bruce Cockburn, Steve Earle and Kim Gordon. These artists have been chosen for their status as rock musicians and connections to political moments, movements, and art. The artists and authors show that rock retains a critical strain, continuing a tradition of rock politics that matters to fans, activists, and movements alike.

Table of Contents

Contents: An introduction to political rock: history, genre, and politics, Mark Pedelty and Kristine Weglarz; The Clash and Fugazi: punk paths toward revolution, Mark Andersen; Peter Gabriel: the masked activist, Mark Pedelty; Bob Dylan: someone else’s stage, Keith Nainby; Bruce Cockburn: Canadian, Christian, conservationist, Aaron S. Allen; Billy Bragg: mixing pop and politics, Douglas M. McLeod; Sinéad O’Connor: a collision of bodies, Marcy R. Chvasta; Steve Earle: the politics of empathy, Mark Mattern; Kim Gordon: ordinary, feminist, musician, Norma Coates; Ani DiFranco: making feminist waves, Nancy S. Love; Pearl Jam: the conscience of arena rock, Kristine Weglarz; Rage Against the Machine: militant poetics, Michael LeVan; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Kristine Weglarz is an Assistant Professor of Telecommunications and Film at the University of West Florida’s Department of Communication Arts. Her dissertation and research focuses on the political economy of live rock performance, constructions of authenticity, protest rock, mediaphemes, and 'liveness' as cultural constructions. She teaches courses on multi-camera electronic video production, popular music and media studies, introduction to mass media, and the political economy of media. Mark Pedelty is an associate professor of Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of War Stories: The Culture of Foreign Correspondents (1995), Musical Ritual in Mexico City: From the Aztec to NAFTA (2004), and Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment (2012). Pedelty has also published a number of journal articles dealing with popular music, including 'Woody Guthrie and the Columbia River: Propaganda, Art, and Irony' in Popular Music and Society 31(3): 329-355 (2008). Dr Pedelty is currently conducting applied research concerning music as environmental communication.

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock