Revolutionary songs in a gentrifying city: stylistic change and the economics of salvage in Southern Mexico

Andrew Green

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Abstract

In this article, I explore the case of a musician performing revolutionary songs in a restaurant in a town in southern Mexico undergoing rapid gentrification. I draw out the constraints and possibilities for musical creative agency that emerged in a setting in which commercial activity was driven by the accumulation of profit and ground rent. Here, commercial strategy could be seen to influence close musical detail; yet such stylistic changes were accentuated by these songs’ connection to a movement committed to the end of capitalism. Nonetheless, I draw on the recent work of Anna Tsing to argue that recognizing the incompleteness of revolutionary songs’ translation into the rapidly gentrifying context of San Cristóbal may help to underline performer agency and creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-370
Number of pages20
JournalPopular Music
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018

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