Will Hermes

Will Hermes is a senior critic for Rolling Stone and a contributor to NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He has written for The New York Times, Spin, the Village Voice, GQ, Salon, and Entertainment Weekly. His book Love Goes to Buildings on Fire was published in 2011, and he co-edited SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music.


"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.