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The Resisting Muse:  Popular Music and Social Protest

The Resisting Muse: Popular Music and Social Protest
Ian Peddie, ed.
Burlington, VT : Ashgate Publishing Company, 2006
ML3918 .P67 R47 2006 c.2

Popular music has traditionally served as a rallying point for voices of opposition, across a huge variety of genres. This volume examines the various ways popular music has been deployed as anti-establishment and how such opposition both influences and responds to the music produced. Implicit in the notion of resistance is a broad adversarial hegemony against which opposition is measured. But it would be wrong to regard the music of popular protest as a kind of dialogue in league against "the establishment." Convenient though they are, such "us and them " arguments bespeak a rather shop-worn stance redolent of youthful rebellion. It is much more fruitful to perceive the relationship as a complex dialectic where musical protest is as fluid as the audiences to which it appeals and the hegemonic structure it opposes.

The book's contemporary focus (largely post-1975) allows for comprehensive coverage of extremely diverse forms of popular music in relation to the creation of communities of protest. Because such communities are fragmented and diverse, they share experience and identity popular music purports is dependent upon an audience collectivity that is now difficult to presume. In this respect, The Resisting Muse examines how the forms and aims of social protest music are contingent upon the audience's ability to invest the music with the "appropriate" political meaning.

Amongst a plethora of artists, genres, and themes, highlights include discussions of Aboriginal rights and music, Bauhaus, Black Sabbath, Billy Bragg, Bono, Cassette culture, The Capitol Steps, Class, The Cure, DJ Spooky, Drum and Bass, Eminem, Farm Aid, Foxy Brown, Fold, Goldie, Gothicism, Woody Guthrie, Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop, Independent/home publishing, Iron Maiden, Joy Division, Jungle, Led Zeppelin, Lil'Kim, Live Aid, Marilyn Manson, Bob Marley, MC Eiht, Minor Threat, Motown, Queen Latifah, Race, Rap, Rastafanarianism, Reggae, The Roots, Diana Ross, Rush, Salt-n-Pepa, 7 Seconds, Roxanne Shanté, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, Michelle Shocked, Bessie Smith, Straight edge Sunrize Band, Bunny Wailer, Wilco, Bart Willoughby, Wirringya Band, Zines.

Quoted from back cover.