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A Phan on Phish: Live Improvised Music in Five Performative Commitments
Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies
  • Jnan A. Blau, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Publication Date
Explored as a series of five interrelated performative commitments, the author takes seriously the notion that live musical performance, especially when it is pervaded by an improvisational ethos, can be quite powerful and well worth close examination. In particular, the band Phish, with its devout subcultural following of “phans,” is mined as a rich site for critical, theoretical, and descriptive fodder. The author writes as both a phan and a scholar, drawing from his own experiences seeing Phish live on many occasions as well as from an interdisciplinary body of scholarly literature. The essay provides insight not only into the Phish phenomenon but also into the intersections of performance, communication, popular music, and critical cultural studies.
Citation Information
Jnan A. Blau. "A Phan on Phish: Live Improvised Music in Five Performative Commitments" Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies Vol. 10 Iss. 4 (2010) p. 307 - 319
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