VPMC83.doc

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Department
Music and Culture
Course
VPMC83H3
Professor
Ken Mc Leod
Semester
Winter

Description
“Workin’ Hard, Hardly Workin’/ Hey Man, You Know Me’: Tom Waits, Sound, and the Theatrics of Masculinity Tom Waits -projection of masculinity in popular music -theatrical reflections on masculinity -explore gender identities in a sincere and believable ways -musical expression that is autobiography -present masculinity as performance and mask -middle class with high education as audience -portrayal of the past -both Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen display theatrics of masculinity -masculine archetypes -vernacular sounds with sincerity Singing the Self -gender identities are performances, conceptual play -identity of gender is intersocial and intersubjective -involve individuals with their social conditions to sagisfy the need to theorize relationship between self and others (ego/ personal identity) -selfsameness and perception of sameness and continuity -association of identity formation with memory (social framework of memory) -1950s American popular music, except blue involved little direct expression of singer’s inner self -expression of emotion without autobiography -did not represent working-class voices -singers did not write their songs -post 1950s, musical expression became self expression -free for rebellion, masculine identities with class of consciousness Jimi Hendrix -black musician -found himself the object of fascination with male sexuality -questioned limit on freedom of mind and body -electric guitar serves as technophallus, phallic display -allow display of musical and sexual mastery (superhuman persona) Tom Waits -construct masculine images by downplaying the guitar -emphasize piano and tenor sax (jazzy combination) -avoid anxiety present in rock’s identity authentication -working class hero represents the voice of common working man -1950s and 1960s: American popular music provided a medium for the expression of working people in vernacular musical language -more popular with people of colour and women -Whitman: authentic American voice sang from a view of working class seemed libratory -tie between heroic American artist with androcentric homosociality 1) brotherhood that exclude women’s subjectivity and sexual liberation 2) snapshot of life of people lower than the middle class, everyday men 3) hipster -resistance to dominant society -style based on imagined African American culture -cross-racial borrowing -originally associated with sensibilities of idea about blackness and masculinity -male-centered social world -women as negative presence -part of men’s experience but they do not possess subjectivity Tom Waits and the Singing Self -explicit theatricality -direct address can be interprete
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