Theater of jambands: Performance of resistance

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Title: Theater of jambands: Performance of resistance
Author: Allaback, Christina L., 1976-
Abstract: Jambands were born in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco with the Grateful Dead, who dominated this musical genre until the mid-nineties. Jamband expert Dean Budnick coined the term shortly thereafter to describe bands that perform long, improvised jams during their live shows. As these improvised shows have increased in popularity, they have become great spectacles, featuring light shows, filmed images, dancing, storytelling, and short plays. While the performance happening inside the arena deserves study, there is an equally interesting performance that takes place in parking lots before and after the shows. This is the performance of the identity of the jamband fan. How is jamband fan performance maintained and negotiated in the environment of the jamband show? Why do people need to perform this identity? Do they resist or contribute to the society that formed this subculture? Is it possible to resist society and perform "utopia," or are these fans' philosophies and styles always recuperated back into the society they try to resist? This dissertation seeks to analyze this performance as fans express behavior during pre- and postconcert activities. I will limit my study to fans of the four largest American arena jambands: the Grateful Dead, Phish, The String Cheese Incident, and Widespread Panic. While Performance Studies have sought to compare everyday life to theater, my dissertation seeks to use performance studies and subculture studies to examine whether a performance of an identity or membership within a group can be resistant to or contributing to society. This examination may help us gain a greater understanding of our social experiences.
Description: x, 181 p. : ill. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/10219
Date: 2009-06


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