Nerd time

3 Mar

I currently have THREE academic papers in the works. Well, the ideas are set, anyway. I like to start with a title and then allow that to guide my writing direction.

Here they are.

No Reason to Get Excited: Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” as Myth, Leitmotif, and Metaphor

Free Man in Paris: Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark” as Folk Music Watershed

This last one doesn’t have a title yet, but the gist is that it’s about gender roles in brass instrument development in 19th Century Paris (where all the brasses were refined, thanks to the trend towards orchestral expansion).

Sublime to the ridiculous, indeed.

I actually emailed composer Bear McCreary about the first one, hoping to get 15 minutes to pick his brain about it.

(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Battlestar_Galactica_(reimagining)

I don’t know how much original research has been done on AATW in recent years, but I’m hoping I’ll be the first to get a paper out on it that also addresses the BSG stuff, the Dave Matthews Band covers, etc.

The Joni Mitchell paper has been on my mind since my undergrad days. I realize it’s a bold statement I’m making, that this album helped kill folk music, but the title COULD be more inflammatory than it is. 🙂

For a decent piece of scholarship with an EXTREMELY inflammatory title, check out a book called How the Beatles Destroyed Rock & Roll by Elijah Wald. He argues his case. Not sure how much I agree with him, but it’s a fresh perspective.

Any thoughts? I know the first two are sort of mainstream, like rock journalism, and the last one more “New Musicology.”

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