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Popular Music, Gender and Postmodernism
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Popular Music, Gender and Postmodernism
Anger Is an Energy


March 1997 | 235 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Popular Music, Gender, and Postmodernism begins by tracing the migration of cynical academic ideas about postmodernism into music journalism. The result has been a widespread fatalism over the presumed ability of the music industry to absorb any expression of defiance in hiphop and rock. Commercial "incorporation" supposedly makes a charade of musical outrage, somehow disconnecting anger in music from any meaning or significance. Author Neil Nehring documents the considerable damage done by the journalistic employment of this tenet of postmodern theory, particularly in the case of the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, whose emotional intensity was repeatedly belittled for its purported incoherence. As a rebuttal to academic postmodernism and its exploitation by the mass media, Popular Music, Gender, and Postmodernism emphasizes that emotion and reason are mutually interdependent. Though mistakes can occur in the conscious choice of an object at which to direct oneÆs feelings, the preverbal appraisal of social situations that generates emotions is always perfectly rational. Nehring also surveys work in literary criticism, psychology, and especially feminist philosophy that argues on the basis for the political significance of anger even prior to its full articulation. The emotional performance in popular music, he concludes, cannot be discounted on the grounds, for example, that lyrics such as CobainÆs are difficult to understand. After detailing more and less progressive approaches to emotion in music criticism, Nehring focuses on recent punk rock by women, including the Riot Grrrls.

 
PART ONE
 
No Respect for Suffering: An Introduction to Postmodernism
 
The Vicious History of Aesthetics
Romanticism, Modernism and Postmodernism on Mass Culture and Ressentiment  
 
Collaborating with the Oppressors
Postmodern Academics on Music  
 
Kurt Cobain Died for Your Sins
Postmodernism in Music Journalism  
 
PART TWO
 
Emotional Rescue
Feminist Philosophy on Anger  
 
The Post-Postmodern Voice
Emotion and Writing about Music  
 
The Riot Grrrls and Carnival

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