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'You've got to go to gigs to get gigs': Indie musicians, eclecticism and the Brisbane scene

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The present article explores the 'indie' music scene in Brisbane, an Australian capital city undergoing rapid cultural and socioeconomic development. Within Brisbane, a dominant narrative of popular music-making has emerged from local history, promotion and music writing. This narrative depicts a commercially successful, professional present and, thus, separates Brisbane musicians of today from the city's troubled cultural/political past. Unfortunately, such readings of local music-making overlook marked similarities between musicians past and present. Drawing upon face-to-face interview data collected from musicians currently working in Brisbane's 'indie' scene, the present article strives to document current practice and to reconnect and contextualize the experience of this community with the city's music history. The resulting analysis reveals a music community working within an isolated cultural space plagued by instability and a degree of antagonism, thus bearing strong resemblance to Brisbane's mythologized punk rock past.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of English, Media Studies and Art History, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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