This study explores the construction of “authenticity” and related identity-competencies in popular electronic music through an investigation of the music group Ladytron during their formative first decade: 2001-2011. Textual analysis is used to examine the Ladytron narrative; the story that discursively emerges in/between industry and popular articles, music reviews, and band interviews. In developing the Ladytron narrative, the band's identity depends on negotiations between a “roots” concept of electronic music authenticity, performing artistic integrity, and interaction with audiences who participated in the perpetuation and maintenance of this alternative/indie identity. The Ladytron narrative shows how music artists might maintain an identity alternative to mass culture, while creating their own space within it.
“Authenticity” in Popular Electronic Music: The Ladytron Narrative
Heidi Mau is an assistant professor in the Department of Communications at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on media and communication, particularly intersecting areas such as digital, popular, and fan cultures, gender and sexuality, and memory studies.
Cheryl L. Nicholas is an associate professor of communication arts & sciences at Penn State Berks. Her research is based on how symbolic activity constitutes and is constituted by cultural worldviews. Theoretically, her work is grounded in language and social interaction, and critical perspectives. She is also interested in postcolonial and queer theory.
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Heidi Mau, Cheryl L. Nicholas; “Authenticity” in Popular Electronic Music: The Ladytron Narrative. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 March 2020; 32 (1): 106–122. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2020.32.1.106
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