Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Punk economics!

This is great. I forget how I even came upon this one (safe to say, though, that I was looking up something punk): Thompson S. (2001). Market failure: Punk economics early and late. College Literature 28(2) 48-65:

Punks and punk businesses have, at best, a conflicted relationship with commodification and capitalism, around which aggregates of anxiety coalesce in material form as punk `zines (fanzines), songs, liner notes, and activism launched against what punks perceive as the encroaching realm of capitalism. What I propose is that, after 1979, both in response to the initial “sell out” of punk’s late 70s English scene and in order to preserve control over their field of production, punks adopted economic strategies for resisting capitalism. In fact, the attempt to oppose commercial music in economic terms became crucial to the definition of punk in 1979 and has remained so through the present.

However, punk has failed and continues to fail, even on a relatively small scale, to overturn the dominant mode of economic production that is proffered it-the commercial practices of the major record labels. Punks are unable to absent themselves from commodification and small-scale capitalism; but, in their attempts to resist these economic forms, they fail commercially, which is a sort of punk success after all. In their continual effort and failure to establish a zone of exchange that is qualitatively different from late capitalist commodity exchange, punks testify to the need and desire for such a zone and refuse to abandon the possibility of creating one.

You know you want to. You know you can’t resist.


Serge Gainsbourg

Missive from my wife:

Good lord. And you don’t even like the song ironically.

Hateful, and clearly riven with jealousy (of what is not, yet, certain). You be the judge.


As cool as Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo put together.


It is the new year, and I’m ringing it in with Radiohead. Yes, I am.


Does this relate to Economics? It does not. Except that being a Radiohead fan will make you a better Economist, because being a Radiohead fan will make you a better version of anything it is that you should happen to be trying to be.

Over at, you will find the “Top 10” Radiohead music videos. Go.

Frenzal Rhomb

Busy with …things. At the risk of alienating, say, everyone:

Frenzal Rhomb 1:

Frenzal Rhomb 2 (many bad words):

“The day I realised music could change the world”

Billy Bragg – among my heroes, and definitely one of the reasons I critique (and, fair to say, criticise) the US to its face – has an article in today’s Guardian.

Back in the late 70s, I was working in an office, a place of casual racism and homophobia. I never spoke out against it because I felt I was in a minority and didn’t want the grief. On the streets, the National Front were marching through immigrant neighbourhoods, stirring up trouble and trying to divide communities.

I may well have carried on turning a blind eye were it not for the Clash. When their name was added to the bill of the first Rock Against Racism carnival in April 1978, I knew I had to be there. When I arrived at the rally, in east London, I was amazed to see 100,000 young people just like me – one for every vote the National Front had won in the council elections the year before.

It is brief, and it is specific to the UK (the BNP, specifically), but it is still the man who wrote The Great Leap Forward

This will never be an academic blog

I could settle for academic-ish. Do you like Radiohead? I periodically re-discover this wonderful video somebody made, of the song “Creep”.