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The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Morgan Bimm

York University
PhD Candidate
Toronto, Canada

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When the DIY Venue is a Blog: Tastemaking Spaces in Flux 

In this presentation, I argue that the ‘liveness’ of music scenes has always been channelled, in moments of flux, into new spaces for music criticism and community. Drawing on interviews collected for my dissertation chapter on the garage rock revival of the 2000s, my presentation will showcase the historical importance of DIY bloggers to the New York garage rock scene. This DIY music blogger culture is part of a larger trend that sees women, folks of colour, and other people who have historically had trouble accessing particular music scenes and mainstream music publishing breaking down the hegemony of existing industry structures via emerging digital tastemaking spaces. To quote Giulia Pines, who ran the blog New York Doll in the early 2000s, her peers’ proclivity for new tech like digital photography and weblogging points to a timeless impulse whereby “each group [comes] of age and [realizes] that they don’t need gatekeepers [...] they can just become it on their own platforms” (2020, interview). In the recent absence of live music and with a growing entanglement of music with platforms like TikTok, podcasts, and crowdfunding sites like Patreon, this presentation asks: how do emerging digital music spaces continue to infuse moments of political and social flux with possibility (Hu 2019, 2020; Phillips 2018)? How can we see the demonstrable porousness between the early web and live gig or show culture reflected in today’s technological shifts? And how do we ensure that the history being made in DIY digital spaces, like those of 2000s DIY bloggers, are archived and remembered appropriately (Baker and Collins 2017; Long et al. 2017), given their cultural significance, and despite their lack of connection to a mainstream music press and the legitimacy conferred therein?


Morgan Bimm is a PhD candidate in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York University. Her research interests include fandom, DIY media, and youth cultures, and her dissertation considers the role of girl culture in the cultural mainstreaming of 2000s indie rock. Morgan’s publications include a co-authored chapter on Carly Rae Jepsen in The Spaces and Places of Canadian Popular Culture and writing on the digital meta-lives of protest signs featuring lyrics in Networked Feminisms.