Facing the music: essays on pop, rock and culture

The crucial difference between the new British and American rock and roll centers around the fact that at the core of the British new wave was the militant working class sub-cultural phenomenon of punk rock. This is especially important in the subject matter taken up, and also in the politics and targets of critique. Specifically, punk rock expression validated, and in fact forcibly injected, an extremely broad realm of social issues and questions as “acceptable” content in popular music: political questions about dead-end jobs, identity and militarism. The American new wave was not centered around punk rock; and US punk itself grew more out of the dominant culture as a counterculture without real working class affinities.

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The first type of response generally fails to recognize the broad cultural-political impact of punk rock and its importance for the left and its practice with the masses. This response fails to see the possibilities for advances in popular culture in the dissolution of capitalist hegemony and in building working class hegemony. Much of the left tends to view popular culture as a monolithic block of capitalist conspiracy and manipulation, ignoring the complexities and possibilities we have discussed above. The fact that punk rock validated political themes in popular music once again, opened the field for the left. First, Rock Against Racism was able to sponsor Carnivals with the Anti-Nazi League drawing thousands of people and many popular bands to rally against racism and fascism. Now, openly socialist bands like the Gang of Four are taken seriously by mainstream rock critics and record companies, and thereby are able to reach a broad audience with progressive entertainment.

Changing Lifestyle And Impact On Indian Culture

Since popular music is a relatively autonomous element within the complex totality of society, a direct and unmediated connection between the state of the economy and developments in music cannot be mechanically imposed on our analysis. However, whenever possible we must take into account the effects of an expanding or contracting economy, and the economy of the music industry itself, on the cultural expression of a given period, as well as the effects of other broad social factors such as war and repression. Concrete examples of this include anti-war lyrics in the music of a wide range of mainstream rock and roll bands during the Vietnam war, and the angry response of British punk rockers to the prospect of dead-end jobs and welfare lines, given the current economic situation in England.

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship (2009) Pop, Rock, and Worship by Don Cusic. Facing the Music: Essays on Pop, Rock, and Culture.

Music and Movies Essays: American Culture of Pop Music

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the first groups to experiment with the basic rock format