Wendy Fonarow

Wendy Fonarow is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Glendale College, specializing in live music, ritual and performance. She has worked in A&R and as an industry consultant in the US and UK, and is author of the series “Ask the Indie Professor” for The Guardian. Her book Empire of Dirt, about British indie music, is published by Wesleyan University Press.



"Where is the City? Where is the Scene?"

City music scenes enjoyed attention from the popular media and academics in the 1980s and 1990s, but today, with the popularity of the internet, some urban spaces devoted to interaction around music are changing, and sometimes disappearing. Inexpensive forms of music production and dissemination, both within and across cities, were defining features of pre-Internet scenes, as was the perceived interchangeability of musicians and fans, and the ability for scene participants to connect across geographical boundaries. Music is now largely disseminated online, and people can more easily connect across localities, regions, countries, and continents. Do internet-mediated musics like chillwave implode the notion of the urban, and, more generally, the local?

Participants in this roundtable will discuss the dynamics of urban scenes in the recent years, virtual communities of shared aesthetics, the movement of American artists and media from local scenes to global centers, and the changing notions of “place” when considering loci of music consumption and production in a world of home-based and mobile media.