On the whole, it has been a productive few days for me in Honours land. I endured a productive full-day study slog in the lab on Saturday with Steve, which saw each of us muster up word tallys to be proud of. One of the other worthwhile exercises we attempted was to articulate our ‘research paths’ to one another effectively and as quickly as possible. This was interesting, as our understanding of each other’s topics is limited, but it served as a positive exercise for breaking down the more complex arguments we are each trying to deliver and expressing them in a way that an impartial observer could understand.
I have added an extra case study to the mix.. Queensryche’s “Operation: Mindcrime” album. I feel that the leap between the early 1970s (Jethro Tull) and the late 1990s (Radiohead) is too great to adequately trace the progression of media technologies in the music industry, and more importantly, could be seen to suggest that the 1980s was an unimportant era in the history of the concept album format and also in the socio-cultural contexts affecting music: which would have been terribly false. While the era had adverse effects on the concept album, it is still highly significant to its development.
I look forward to addressing “Operation: Mindcrime” in my work. The political nature of “Operation: Mindcrime” and its complex narrative concept earned it the reputation of being one of the greatest rock/metal albums of the 1980s, and it is indeed a personal favourite album of mine.
My dogs brekky introductory chapter draft (which discusses why the concept album is important, which case studies i have chosen, and my decision to divide my research into two streams: relations with new media technologies and reflections of socio-cultural contexts) received some helpful feedback from the likes of Callie and Gemma in last weeks lab class. With the suggested amendments made, supervisor Ed has taken his first glance over it and decided that its time to shelve it until my arguments have some more substance in the form of my case studies, and come back to it later. Ed has also picked apart much of my overlong literature review segments as I begin to weed out all of the unnecessaries.
As i dive head first into the case study process, one of the first things i have needed to think about is the ratio of innovation i inject. How much of each case study should focus on the existing literature, facts, stats and ideas about each of the albums i am studying? And how much of the content should express my own reasonings, projections and thoughts?
At this stage i feel that there is a lot that i want to say to support my broader arguments, but i know that finding authoritative evidence from the work of others that achieves the same end result will be more effective.
Another aspect of my case studies that i am having trouble with is how I should set them out in order to achieve consistency and coherency between them. I feel as though subheadings that divide each of the case studies into topics such as “background information”, “technological context” and “sociocultural context” could be a useful approach. Ideally, this would mean that linear narratives could be discerned as the reader analyses my case studies (tying in nicely with their chronological order) and i believe this would be valuable to the strength and flow of my arguments.
I look forward to experimenting with various structural approaches throughout the coming week as i complete more writing!