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DIY House Shows and Music Venues in the US Ethnographic Explorations of Place and Community

PDF DIY House Shows and Music Venues in the US Ethnographic Explorations of Place and Community 1st Edition

Book author
  1. David Verbuč
1631460101 9781032049175

DIY House Shows and Music Venues in the US is an interdisciplinary study of house concerts and other types of DIY ("do- it- yourself") music venues and events in the United States, such as warehouses, all- ages clubs, and guerrilla shows, with its primary focus on West Coast American DIY locales. It approaches the subject not only through a cultural analysis of sound and discourse, as it is common in popular music studies, but primarily through an ethnographic examination of place, space, and community. Focusing on DIY houses, music venues, social spaces, and local and translocal cultural geographies, the author examines how American DIY communities constitute themselves in relation to their social and spatial environment. The ethnographic approach shows the inner workings of American DIY culture, and how the particular people within particular places strive to achieve a social ideal of an "intimate" community. This research contributes to the sparse range of Western popular music studies (especially regarding rock, punk, and experimental music) that approach their subject matter through a participatory ethnographic research.


It took eight years to complete this book, and on this path, numerous people helped me in achieving this task. This book would not exist without their help. I started this project as a part of my PhD dissertation process at the ethnomusicology department at University of California (UC) Davis. I am grateful to the music faculty there for their supportive role, and particularly to my dissertation mentor, Henry Spiller, for his guidance, patience, and editorial comments. This work would not be the same without his critical eye. I am similarly indebted to the members of my dissertation committee, Beth E. Levy, Katherine In-Young Lee, and Nathan Brown, for their careful and critical reading, indispensable comments, and for all the help with the editing process. Right next to them stands Sandra Graham who greatly supported me in my initial years at UC Davis, and who was always ready to help in any regard. I might not come so far without her initial guidance, encouragements, and support. I am also grateful for the funding from UC Davis, the Bilinski Foundation, and the Ministry of Culture in Slovenia that provided for the necessary material means supporting my study and research years in Davis and in the United States.

After I graduated at UC Davis, in 2014, I moved to the Czech Republic, where I started to teach anthropology, ethnomusicology, and popular music classes at the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University, Prague. My stay there proved crucial for the final stage of turning my dissertation into a book since it provided me with some free time during school breaks and with material and professional support in achieving this endeavor. I am particularly grateful to Zuzana Jurková and Hedvika Novotná in this regard. In addition, the writing of this book was also supported by the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University Prague’s grant SVV 26060702. I am thankful also to my Slovenian mentors, Svanibor Pettan, who first brought me into contact with the field of ethnomusicology, and Rajko Muršič for his informal support and invaluable advice during my fieldwork and study years. Furthermore, my gratitude goes to the editors from the Routledge publishing house, Rachel Harris, Rowan Pease, and Constance Ditzel, for their very professional and dedicated work on this project, as well as to the Routledge’s anonymous reviewers for their invaluable critical
comments that helped substantially in raising the quality of the final version of this book.

Most importantly, I would like to thank to all of the DIY participants in the United States who made this project possible in the most practical terms. I was lucky to have met so many great people who were always very generous in helping me getting contacts, introducing me to people, explaining DIY knowledge and practices, accepting me as a friend, or offering me shelter and food. In Davis, I could not do without Craig Fergus, Elisa Hugh, Seann Jóhansson, John Brumley, Rick Elle, Sharmi Basu, Gareth Ewing, Sally Hensel, Evan Clayburg, Ian Cameron, and many others. In Portland, I was lucky to have met Jeffrey Kologe and Dena Goldsmith- Stanley, Jai Milx, Dylan Kordani, Danielle Warhola, August, Zena, and Amanda from Glitterdome, Gary, Marge, and Ellen from Garfield house, Justin and Karis, Breana, John, and Jack from Jurassic Park, Brian from Scowling house, Suzanne from H.O.G.S., Chris from North Hole, Colin from Punx house, Teague, Chris, Dan, Herbie, and Emma from Waffle house, Aaron Scott, Cody Brant and Shane McDonell, Mike from Mike’s house, Brian Mumford, Erick and Jackie (Tenses), Arolia, Tanner, and Josh, Reid and Kevin, and Marcelo. Great thanks also to my dear Portland friend Ana Kujundžič, who often helped me with hospitality and lodging in Portland. In Olympia, I am indebted to Karli Marshall, Joshua James Amberson, Blen Davidson, and Ian Bickelaupt. In Oakland, special thanks go to Robert Eggplant, who was always there for me, and right next to him, Helena Gannon, Rosie, Mickey, John Benson, Colleen and Rosie (Upside Drown), Heather Blotto, Erin Allen, and Joey Casio (R.I.P.). In Los Angeles, I am most thankful for their help to Ian Torres, Jorge Leal, Alex Norma Nereida, Josh Taylor, and Abe; in Washington, DC, to Amy Oden, Paul Kristapovich, and Ian MacKaye; in Kansas City, to Amy Froggpockets; in Chicago to John Bellows, Alex, and Liam; and in Minneapolis to Graham, Rosina, and Jess.

Last but not the least, I am grateful to my family, and especially to my mother and father, Marjana and Gregor Verbuč, for their unconditional love and enormous support through all these years of studying and writing, and following my dreams.

Earlier and abridged versions of Chapters 3 and 8 were previously published in academic journals Communication and the Public (Verbuč 2017), and Lidé města / Urban People (Verbuč 2015), respectively.
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