- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (November 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226305899
- ISBN-13: 978-0226305899
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Chicago's famous blues scene is a world of grungy bars set in upscale neighborhoods, where affluent white tourists bask in the musical tradition of the black working class. According to Grazian's fascinating study, this fertile stew of contradictions makes for a cultural Rosetta Stone that helps us decipher the relations between art, business and postmodernity's quixotic search for the real. The ironies go on forever. As fans flock to blues venues in search of authentic black culture, they are served up a commodified and caricatured "minstrel show" of endlessly repeated blues standards punctuated by off-color jokes; inevitably, a backlash sets in amongst aficionados, who set off to ever smaller bars in ever poorer neighborhoods where the truly authentic blues are said to reside. Sociologist Grazian is less interested in finding authenticity than in understanding the "symbolic economy of authenticity" by which we accrue social status and seek out an "idealized reality" that "might render our lives more meaningful." If that theory sounds stuffily academic, be assured that Grazian's approach is anything but. Much of his research methodology consists of hanging out in blues joints, drinking beer, striking up conversations, occasionally sitting in with the band on the sax. The result is a elegantly written exploration, both skeptical and sympathetic, journalistic and erudite, of the many diverse subcultures, both black and white-tourists, regulars, bartenders, impresarios, musicians-that stake a claim to the blues. Photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Chicago has given the world distinctive forms of urban blues and urban sociology.... In Blue Chicago, David Grazian's lucid and bracingly unpious study of the blues scene, the two homegrown traditions meet with satisfying results." - Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune"