Alternative Mainstream : Making Choices in Pop Music
Which mechanisms of decision making and choice lie at the basis of the selections made by people working in the pop music circuit? Which frames of thinking and evaluating do pop music professionals apply? Almost as a rule, these people discuss the same bands, those that make the crossover to the outside world — the ‘hypes’. What are the origins of these hypes? What makes people talk about some, yet the same bands, while remaining silent about other bands?
Alternative Mainstream deals with the music segment that lies between the ‘mainstream’ and the ‘underground’. This segment includes genres that range from hip hop to rock and from folk to electronic music. Gert Keunen attempts to uncover which aesthetics and ideologies lie at the basis of the cultural construct that is the alternative mainstream and embeds his findings in a broader socioeconomic context.
Gert Keunen (1969) is a teacher, publicist and musician. He holds a PhD in Cultural Sociology and is an associate lector in Music at Fontys Academy for the Performing Arts in Tilburg, where he is responsible for research. He also teaches music history and music industry at said Fontys Academy/Rock Academy, at PHL Music in Hasselt, at the Erasmus Academy/Rits in Brussels and at the School of Arts/Music Academy in Ghent. Before, he has worked as a label manager at record company Zomba/Rough Trade, as a music programmer at the Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent and as a freelance music journalist for De Standaard and De Morgen daily newspapers and Gonzo Circus magazine. He is the author of Surfing on Pop Waves: Een kwart eeuw popmuziek (Kritak, 1996) and of Pop! Een Halve Eeuw Beweging (Lannoo, 2002).
2014, 416 pages