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What Is Post-Punk?

Genre and Identity in Avant-Garde Popular Music, 1977-82

Mimi Haddon (author)

ISBN: 9780472131822

Publication Date: Mar 2020

Format: Hardback

Combines a close reading of the late-1970s music press discourse with musical analyses and theories of identity to unpack post-punk's status as a genre. Mimi Haddon traces the discursive foundations of post-punk and presents case studies of bands including Wire, PiL, Joy Division, the Raincoats, and Pere Ubu.
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Popular music in the US and UK during the late 1970s and early 1980s was wildly eclectic and experimental. 'Post-punk', as it was retroactively labeled, is not an easily definable musical category. How do electro-pop melodies, distorted guitars, avant-garde industrial sounds, and reggae beats fit under the same categorical umbrella? What post-punk is not is as interesting a question as what it is.

What Is Post-Punk? combines a close reading of the late-1970s music press discourse with musical analyses and theories of identity to unpack post-punk's status as a genre. Mimi Haddon traces the discursive foundations of post-punk across publications such as Sounds, ZigZag, Melody Maker, the Village Voice, and the NME, and presents case studies of bands including Wire, PiL, Joy Division, the Raincoats, and Pere Ubu. By positioning post-punk in relation to genres such as punk, new wave, dub, and disco, Haddon reveals post-punk as a community of tastes and predilections rather than a stylistically unified whole. Haddon diversifies the discourse around post-punk, exploring both its gender and racial dynamics and its proto-industrial aesthetics to restore the historical complexity surrounding the genre�s terms and origins.

A detailed exploration of an otherwise under-explored cultural phenomenon, What Is Post-Punk? is a significant addition to scholarship in popular music, of interest to scholars of genre theory and discourse analysis, including feminist and postcolonial discourse.
Illustrations 15 illustrations
Pages 240
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Mar 2020
Publisher University of Michigan Press
Subject/s Punk, New Wave & Indie  
Mimi Haddon is Lecturer in Music at the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex.

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