Download Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in by Chris McDonald PDF

By Chris McDonald

Canadian revolutionary rock band Rush used to be the voice of the suburban heart classification. during this publication, Chris McDonald assesses the band’s impression on renowned song and its legacy for legions of lovers. McDonald explores the ways that Rush’s critique of suburban life—and its suggestions for escape—reflected middle-class aspirations and anxieties, whereas its performances manifested the dialectic in prog rock among self-discipline and austerity, and the will for spectacle and extra. The band’s reception mirrored the inner struggles of the center type over cultural prestige. Critics cavalierly brushed off, or apologetically praised, Rush’s song for its middlebrow leanings. McDonald's wide-ranging musical and cultural research sheds gentle on some of the most profitable and enduring rock bands of the Seventies and Eighties.

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Additional info for Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown (Profiles in Popular Music)

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30 Careers in popular music might be added to the list, since many critics and fans accord more respect to musicians who have clearly paid their dues—struggling to start a career, doggedly honing their craft, slowly rising through the ranks—than to artists who appear to have attained instant success. “The Fountain of Lamneth” narrates such an initiation ritual mythically, presenting the idea that hard work is necessary for advancement and a fulfilling life. “The Fountain of Lamneth” is also a mythical affirmation of individualism.

Along with ethnicity and gender, social class comprises an important part of how individuals learn to live, speak, work, and play. Following Rita Felski and Adrie Kusserow, I think of class as a social identity that has not only economic and sociological dimensions, but cultural and psychological ones as well. At the same time, social class in North America needs to be understood as fluid and ambivalent, since people may change their class position in partial ways, form political allegiances in ways that contradict their class position, and may consume or participate in cultural expressions that come from all over the sociological spectrum.

28 This reveals much about the middling cultural position of much of the middle class. On the one hand, there is a desire for something more than entertainment perceived as empty (or without “improving value,” as Felski states); rather, the desire is for entertainment perceived as having substance or cultural capital, which provides an affirmation of bourgeois morality. , action films, reality TV, romance novels) as empty, acceptable for a bit of diversion but mostly mindless. 29 Consuming mass culture with a message is one example of how middlebrow audiences find a compromise between high-culture aspirations and lowbrow cultural forms.

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