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Empire of Dirt
The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music
Wendy Fonarow

Wesleyan University Press


• Theoretical Frame: From Observation to Communication
• Active Bodies
• The Audience and Subjectivity
• Music as Activity
• Subjectivity in Action
• Turn On the Bright Lights6
• Methodology
• From Plus One to A&R
• Your Itinerary
• Conclusion
What Is “Indie”?
Indie . . . What’s at Stake?
• Indie as a Mode of Distribution: An Industrial Definition
• Indie as a Genre
• Indie as an Ethos
• Indie as Pathetic
• Indie as a Mode of Aesthetic Judgement
• The Mainstream Is a Centralized Hierarchy
• Dance Is Not the Way the
• Future Is Meant to Feel
• Indie: What Is It?
The Zones of Participation
The Event
• Zone One
• The Pit
• The Front
• Zone One
• Spectatorship: The Initiates
• The Psychosomatics of Zone One
• Zone Two
• The Mode of Comportment of Zone Two
• Comportment Features That Vary over Space
• Gigs as Social Life
• The Process of Change from Zone One to Zone Two
• The Heterogeneous Audience
• A Move toward the Exit
• Conclusion
Zone Three and the Music Industry
The Activities of Zone Three
• The Liggers
• The Guest List
• Routine 1: Example of Professional Strategy
• Routine 2: Example of Personable Strategy
• Routine 3: Code Switch from Professional to Personable
• Passes
• Privileged Spectatorship
• Conclusion
The Participant Structure and the Metaphysics of Spectatorship
Proximity, Affiliation, and Consensus Building
• Verticality and Asymmetry
• Contesting Spectorial Positions: Closeness and Distance
• Age
• The Metaphysics of Participation
• African Expression in a Protestant World
• The Nature of the
• Moral Threat
• A Ritual of Transformation
• Conclusion
Performance, Authenticity, and Emotion
Indie’s Version of Authenticity
• Indie’s Conventions of Being in Performance
• Emotion and the Decay of Emotion
Sex and the Ritual Practitioners
Gendered Spectatorship
• The Groupie as Sexual Predator
• Indie Versus Mainstream: Groupie Troublesomeness
• Offstage Behavior Mirrors Onstage Spectacle
• Come Together
• Sing for the Moment
• The Tricksters
• Indie Coyotes and Foxes
Afterword: My Music Is Your Dirt
Appendix 1. NME’s Top 100 Albums of All Time
• Appendix 2. NME’s Top 50 Albums of the 1980s
• Appendix 3. Select Magazine Survey, 1994
• Notes
• References
• Index

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:58:56 -0500