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Rocking Around the Clock: Music Television, Post Modernism and Consumer Culture

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The first non-stop rock video channel was launched in the US in 1981. As a unique popular culture form, MTV warrants attention, and in this, the first study of the medium, originally published in 1987, E. Ann Kaplan examines the cultural context of MTV and its relationship to the history of rock music. The first part of the book focuses on MTV as a commercial institution, The first non-stop rock video channel was launched in the US in 1981. As a unique popular culture form, MTV warrants attention, and in this, the first study of the medium, originally published in 1987, E. Ann Kaplan examines the cultural context of MTV and its relationship to the history of rock music. The first part of the book focuses on MTV as a commercial institution, on the contexts of production and exhibition of videos, on their similarity to ads, and on the different perspectives of directors and viewers. Does the adoption of adolescent styles and iconography signal an open-minded acceptance of youth’s subversive stances; or does it rather suggest a cynicism by which profit has become the only value? In the second part of the book, Kaplan turns to the rock videos themselves, and from the mass of material that flows through MTV she identifies five distinct types of video: the ‘romantic’, the ‘socially conscious’, the ‘nihilistic’, the ‘classical’, and the ‘postmodern’. There are detailed analyses of certain videos; and Kaplan focuses particularly on gender issues in videos by both male and female stars. The final chapter explores the wider implications of MTV. What does the channel tell us about the state of youth culture at the time?


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The first non-stop rock video channel was launched in the US in 1981. As a unique popular culture form, MTV warrants attention, and in this, the first study of the medium, originally published in 1987, E. Ann Kaplan examines the cultural context of MTV and its relationship to the history of rock music. The first part of the book focuses on MTV as a commercial institution, The first non-stop rock video channel was launched in the US in 1981. As a unique popular culture form, MTV warrants attention, and in this, the first study of the medium, originally published in 1987, E. Ann Kaplan examines the cultural context of MTV and its relationship to the history of rock music. The first part of the book focuses on MTV as a commercial institution, on the contexts of production and exhibition of videos, on their similarity to ads, and on the different perspectives of directors and viewers. Does the adoption of adolescent styles and iconography signal an open-minded acceptance of youth’s subversive stances; or does it rather suggest a cynicism by which profit has become the only value? In the second part of the book, Kaplan turns to the rock videos themselves, and from the mass of material that flows through MTV she identifies five distinct types of video: the ‘romantic’, the ‘socially conscious’, the ‘nihilistic’, the ‘classical’, and the ‘postmodern’. There are detailed analyses of certain videos; and Kaplan focuses particularly on gender issues in videos by both male and female stars. The final chapter explores the wider implications of MTV. What does the channel tell us about the state of youth culture at the time?

38 review for Rocking Around the Clock: Music Television, Post Modernism and Consumer Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Very helpful and interesting, but I rankled a bit at her interpretation of androgyny in hair metal performers (although I rankle with every iteration of that ideology, not just Kaplan's in particular). Also a lot of Freudian analysis, which... sigh. But still, a very good resource for anyone interested in postmodernism, MTV, or just how music (and how we consume it) was changing in the 1980s in general. Very helpful and interesting, but I rankled a bit at her interpretation of androgyny in hair metal performers (although I rankle with every iteration of that ideology, not just Kaplan's in particular). Also a lot of Freudian analysis, which... sigh. But still, a very good resource for anyone interested in postmodernism, MTV, or just how music (and how we consume it) was changing in the 1980s in general.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    If Lacan did not say it, it does not matter. Kaplan can channel Lacan into a sock puppet and than speak The Truth (TM).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Murrell

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ancie White

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leyre

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen Romanko

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wika

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jack Tomascak

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Frances

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  12. 5 out of 5

    Núria Araüna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dito Aria

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fastnbulbous

  16. 4 out of 5

    John

  17. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

  18. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alyx

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christophe

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gail

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiny Pants

  24. 5 out of 5

    R2

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allen Richards

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joasia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ada

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  29. 4 out of 5

    De Ongeletterde

  30. 5 out of 5

    Naz Özyaseminler

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ola

  32. 5 out of 5

    Fernando1909live.com

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

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    Jenny

  35. 5 out of 5

    Shaunagh Taylor

  36. 5 out of 5

    Kiana

  37. 5 out of 5

    Demet Öztürk

  38. 5 out of 5

    Rt

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