Music Blogs, Music Scenes, Sub-Cultural Capital: Emerging Practices in Music Blogs

In: New Media and the Politics of Online Communities
Beatrice Jetto
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Drawing upon theories largely used in popular music studies I propose a new approach for the analysis of music blogs using concepts such as music scene, sub-cultural capital and authenticity. I first consider music blogs as an emerging form of commercially independent fan production, a more recent digital reincarnation of fanzines, creating and circulating sub-cultural capital within indie music scenes at a local as well as at a virtual level. I describe how music blogs filter information in different but often overlapping contexts. Using Bourdieu’s Field of Cultural Production as the main theoretical framework, I argue that contrasting dynamics of hierarchisation and commercialisation might influence how music blogs filter information. Although music blogs have been considered as operating independently from the music industry, I raise some issues in regards to their authenticity and cultural autonomy from pressure of power within indie scenes. I argue that music blogs’ cultural production is often shaped by personal motives as well as more commercial motives such as popularity and professional status. The considerations presented in this paper are based on primary ethnography data on the Australian indie scene and in-depth interviews with Australian music bloggers.

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