Guest Editors: Madison Moore and Francisco Raul Cornejo
The Journal of Popular Music Studies invites submissions for a special issue on global nightlife cultures. There’s a myth that to be interested in nightlife — to party, to seek pleasure in the night, to devote oneself to a club scene and its music — is to somehow be less concerned about the more “serious” aspects of everyday life. After all, how can you feasibly go to work tomorrow if you’ve been out until 6 a.m. or later? Ears ringing from pounding dance music. Club stamps still visible on your wrists. Isn’t it better to stay at home, safe in the bosom of domesticity and fully tucked away from the ribald dangers and creatures of the night?
This is, of course, the primary moral argument that has been lodged against nightlife and club cultures since at least the late 19th century because it goes against the very core of modern urban life: productivity. Curfews, cabaret laws, zoning laws, and debates about which types of nightlife establishments can open where and what can be allowed to happen inside of them, how loud music can be played and until when — these are all aspects of nightlife that are controlled by the irrational fear that nightlife is always up to no good.
But this simple moral argument overlooks three key ingredients of nightlife: 1) that global nightlife is a multi-billion dollar industry. To put that number in perspective, in New York City alone nightlife is a billion dollar industry and in places like Berlin, nightlife is one of the main cultural-touristic attractions; 2) that nightworlds are spaces for subcultural aesthetic innovations and experimentation; 3) and finally that through intimacy, dance, and self-styling, nightworlds create unique possibilities for social belonging and connectivity within and across race, class, gender, and sexualities.
This issue seeks to further investigate such particularities and their specific historicity, expanding on the current bibliography that, as much as it forms a canon strongly supported by Bourdieusian and Cultural Studies approaches, can and must profit greatly from a more theoretically diverse perspective. We hope to bring the best of recent work from a range of interdisciplinary fields to bear on music, place, and the global nightlife economy, from Berlin to Angola, thereby deepening our understanding of a cultural phenomenon that garners novel modes of existence throughout the globe.
Full details (including submission information) found here.
(Editor’s Note: We originally approached Lisa Jane Persky to write a memoriam piece about Lou Reed that was to run in Issue 26.1. That wasn’t able to happen but she was generous enough to initially allow us to run the piece on our website and that eventually evolved to what is above (in video form and below as an essay): a gorgeous, elegiac ode to not just Reed but the New York City of his and Persky’s youth. We’d like to thank Persky for all her work and we welcome our JPMS readers to take some time to listen/read and share. –O.W.)
Lisa Jane Persky was a founding member of the New York Rocker staff. Her work as journalist, photographer and artist has appeared in Mojo, Q, Uncut, The Los Angeles Times, L.A.Weekly and Fortean Times, among others. She is also a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her fiction has appeared in Bomb and in the anthology Eclectica: Best Fiction. Lisa is also an actor. Currently, she is working on a memoir of growing up in Greenwich Village.
Issue 26.1 (Spring 2014) is now out.
The Journal of Popular Music Studies now has its own dedicated website. Once we launch the new volume year (beginning with 26.1), we’ll be using this to provide more extensive information to readers and subscribers, includingenhanced content (i.e. audio, visual, etc.) related to essays from each new issue of the journal.
In the meanwhile, you can always access direct copies of the journal via our publisher, Wiley.
Coming up for 2014 we’re looking to streamline the submissions system, expand our book review section and build on the great work of Drs. Karen Tongson and Gus Stadler. Stay tuned!
Gayle Wald & Oliver Wang