Monday, June 29, 2015

Another zine update: It's done!

The zine is done and ready to be published! Not for You: Stories of Music & Work from the Precarious Service Industry will be out just in time for the start of the summer tour. I'm excited to announce that it will be released through my good friend Phil Mittereder's Mad House Publications. The official launch will take place at Wooden Shoe Books in Philadelphia on Thursday July 9th at 7:00 pm. The tour itself is really coming together. Events have been added in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian Folkways on July 14th, Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative in Madison, WI on July 21st, and Adeline, Inc. in Duluth, MN on July 28th. I'm still hoping to make it out to the Pacific Northwest the first week of August, but I'll need to raise more money on the IndieGoGo campaign to make it happen. Only 6 days left! Please donate today if you can and help spread the word. Thanks! Oh, and don't forget to follow The Music & Work Project on Facebook and Twitter for more updates...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Not for You? A short excerpt from the zine

Only about a week to go in the IndieGoGo campaign and I'm just putting the finishing touches on the zine, "Not for You: Stories of Music & Work from the Precarious Service Industry." Some people have asked me about that title and so I'd like to share the following excerpt where it originates. This is from the story about my first coffee shop job:
 As the summer faded away and the leaves began changing colors, I found myself sitting at yet another evening staff meeting. This time there was tension festering between the owner and us worker bees. Her impossible expectations of perfection and ultra-efficiency clashed with our all-too-imperfect humanity on the clock. She rattled off a litany of improvements that needed to be made immediately including issues with the music we played on shift. She explained that it was a privilege for us to choose our own soundtrack and then emphasized: “The music is not for you. It’s for the customers.” It was a revealing moment, exposing the antagonistic dynamics between management, customers, and those of us that must sell our labor to survive to the beats and rhythms of the service industry. 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer zine tour updates!

First, I want to thank you everyone who has contributed to The Music & Work Project summer zine tour IndieGoGo campaign! You're all amazing. There's still a ways to go before I reach my goal and only a couple weeks left. So please help spread the word and donate if you can.

On a related note, today is my last day of work at the coffee shop where I've been for the past few years. It's exciting and scary and liberating and overwhelming. Here's to taking risks and not quitting our day dreams...

And finally, the "Not for You" summer zine tour is starting to come together! Zine readings and discussions have been confirmed in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, South Bend, and Des Moines with others being planned as you read this. I have also been invited back to the Goddard Graduate Institute in Plainfield, VT as the visiting scholar at their August residency! I'm psyched.

Check out the full tour schedule below and get in touch if you're interested in setting up an event.

Matt Dineen

Summer zine tour schedule

July 9th: Philadelphia, PA @ Wooden Shoe Books & Records
July 14th: Washington, DC @ Smithsonian Folkways
July 16th: Baltimore, MD @ Red Emma's
July 17th: Pittsburgh, PA @ TBA
July 18th: Cleveland, OH @ TBA
July 19th: South Bend, IN @ The Birdsell Project
July 21st: Madison, WI @ Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative
July 23rd: Des Moines, IA @ Plain Talk Bookstore
July 25th: Chicago, IL @ TBA
July 28th: Duluth, MN @ TBA
Aug. 1st: Portland, OR @ TBA
Aug. 6th: Seattle WA @ TBA
Aug. 9th: Plainfield, VT @ Goddard College

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Support the Music & Work Project summer zine tour!

The IndieGoGo campaign just went live! Check it out here. Donate if you can and please help spread the word!

Music and work. I’m curious about the role that music plays in our working lives. How do the soundtracks to our jobs shape our daily experiences on the clock? Are these songs functioning only to increase productivity and profits for the boss? Or is the workplace playlist freely controlled by their workers to reduce alienation and open a portal toward liberation? Can music be a tool of resistance?
What if there is no music at all?

I’m going to explore all of these questions and more in The Music & Work Project. I believe that looking at the realities of wage labor through the lens of music has the potential to heighten our understanding of capitalist society - and hopefully illuminate possibilities beyond the current economic system. And unlike existing academic and corporate research on music in the workplace, my exploration will be from the bottom up; from the eyes and ears of actual workers.  

To begin this project, I’m going to share my own stories of music and work. I’m currently writing a zine that documents my years in the service industry and the music that helped define all those jobs. Not for You: Stories of Music & Work in the Precarious Service Industry explores the antagonistic dynamics between management, workers, and customers in relationship to the beats, rhythms, lyrics, and melodies played at each job.

This exploration starts with my own stories. But I also want to hear yours.

Starting in early July, I will be going on a summer tour to listen to the experiences of other people around these questions. What kind of role does music play in your working life? How has this changed since the first jobs you ever had? I want to hear your story. Bring me to your local bookstore, community space, cafe, or bar. I'll do a short reading and then open a dialogue where everyone can participate. Or host a potluck dinner at your place, or in a park, and we can have these conversations over some delicious food, in a non-capitalist space. I'm up for anything!

After the east to west coast tour is over, I’ll develop a presentation and produce a second issue of the zine - focusing on how other people have processed music at work.

In order to make all of this happen, I have to quit my current service job. So I'm gonna need a little help! It will cost $5,000 to publish the zine and fund this research. So if this project sounds interesting to you and you'd like to be part of it in some way, please donate today! Everyone who gives $10 or more will get a copy of the Not for You zine. A contribution of $50 or more will also include a copy of the zine that I’ll create from my research during the tour.

Thanks so much and hopefully I'll see you on the road this summer!

<3 Matt Dineen