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Haunthenticity: Musical Replay and the Fear of the Real

Haunthenticity: Musical Replay and the Fear of the Real

by Tracy McMullen


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An interdisciplinary and existential exploration of live musical reenactment

In this persuasive study, Tracy McMullen draws on philosophy, psychology, musicology, performance studies, and popular music studies in order to analyze the rise of obsessively precise live musical reenactments in the United States at the turn of the millennium. She investigates this practice, what she terms, Replay, in popular music, jazz, and performance art arguing that it is a symptom of deep-seated fears of the fleeting nature of identity. Musical Replay claims a type of authenticity that is grounded in the exact material details of the original (instruments, props, costumes, people, etc.), and attempts to make up for the loss of identity: cloning the past and using it as a replacement. The scholarship is wide-ranging and ties theory and evidence from diverse fields and experiences together seamlessly and convincingly. Haunthenticity : Musical Replay and the Fear of the Real ultimately argues for a new way of conceiving subjectivity and identity within critical and cultural studies, moving beyond Western epistemologies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819578532
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 03/11/2019
Series: Music / Culture
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

TRACY MCMULLEN is a saxophonist, composer, and associate professor of American vernacular music at Bowdoin College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Haunthenticity: Repetition and Identity Compulsion in Cultural Production 1

1 Performing Security: Replay as the Performance of the "Perfectly Known" 26

2 Capturing the Real: Ziggy's Strain and Old Hells 64

3 If I Should Lose You: Keeping Jazz Alive 96

4 The Importance of White Women Being Earnest: Lez Zeppelin and the Performance of Cock Rock 126

Conclusion A Different Lean: On Intimacy and Emptiness 156

Notes 171

Bibliography 197

Index 213

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"By arguing compellingly that practices of musical replay reflect a deeply seated unwillingness to face the Real and a desire to have it all, forever, McMullen shows how these practices reinstate hegemonic structures of power and signification."—Philip Auslander, author of Reactivations: Essays on Performance and Its Documentation

"An essential read for anyone interested in contemporary music and performance."—Norma Coates, Western University, Canada

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