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Special Issue of Popular Music on ‘Music and Alcohol’

Posted: September 17th, 2014 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Popular Music invites contributions to a Special Issue on Music and Alcohol 

Popular music is littered with songs about alcohol, some condemning it, some celebrating it – ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)’, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’, ‘One Mint Julep’, ‘Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee’, ‘What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)’, ‘I Drink’ and so on.  Each genre has its own repertoire of such songs, and its own take on the pleasures and pain of alcohol. Songs about drinking have featured across time and throughout the world – from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to medieval troubadours and broadside ballad peddlers in Europe and across folk traditions in the Americas. But alcohol features in many other guises in popular music. In the UK there was even a genre directly associated with it: Pub rock; and in an earlier era in the US, prohibition and the speakeasy contributed to music’s social history. The drinks industry is a major sponsor of venues and festival, as well as of tours and artists. The laws on alcohol licensing are intimately tied to the regulation and zoning of live music. Meanwhile, those who warn of the dangers of alcohol have campaigned for an end to sponsorship and endorsement by the music industry and its stars. Psychologists have experimented with the relationship between the consumption of booze and music, while artists and others have made claims for the creative powers of drink. And finally, musicians have not just taken inspiration from the bottle, they have become implicated in its manufacture (Elbow are responsible for a beer called Charge and Status Quo for one called Piledriver; Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs struck a profit share deal with Ciroc Vodka that involves him in developing the brand; a premium Jack Daniels is named in honour of Frank Sinatra; and Sting produces his own wine in Tuscany).

This Special Issue is an opportunity to explore these issues, and many others, from a variety of disciplinary perspective and approaches.

In the first instance, the Editorial Group of Popular Music invite expressions of interests in the form of Abstracts of 150-200 words, together with contact and affiliation details of the author(s) by December 15th 2014.   We welcome proposals for full-length articles (max 10,000 words) or shorter Middle Eight contributions (max 3000 words). These will be reviewed by the Editorial Group and contributions invited for a deadline of September 1st 2015.  These will be then subject to peer review in the normal manner, with publication of the selected pieces in 2016.

The issue editors will be Keith Negus and John Street. Abstracts should be sent to: [email protected] by December 15th 2014.

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