Welcome, II

16 Nov

Hi, I’m Axver. I thought I would just quickly introduce myself, as an addendum to John’s welcome post.

I am a New Zealand historian, primarily but not exclusively focusing on the 19th century. My research interests are the nature of socio-political allegiances, the development of statehood, infrastructure as a tool of governance, first wave feminism/the campaign for women’s enfranchisement, and the role and demise of religion as a social phenomenon. I also take a considerable interest in political and theological topics well beyond New Zealand’s shores.

What, you ask, does this have to do with music? Music is one of the most important factors in my life. I could not write history without music to stimulate my imagination. Music is a central component of cultures worldwide, and it both creates shared experiences between cultures and links us to cultural pasts. It lives and evolves, drawing upon the past, synthesising it, responding to it – much, in fact, like the writing of history. No wonder I find it so much easier to create my historical works with musical accompaniment.

So what are my musical interests? I am best known online as a U2 fan. I am co-maintainer of the Internet’s largest U2 setlist database, U2gigs.com, and I have an encyclopaedic memory of the band’s concert history. That said, I am mainly a fan of U2’s 1980s output (and some of the 1990s material, especially the Passengers side project with Brian Eno), and my musical interests have left a considerable amount of the U2 fandom of my teenage years behind. I take a particular interest in post-rock and post-metal (or “atmospheric sludge metal”, if you wish to use RateYourMusic’s much less useful, much more verbose term), the Dunedin Sound and associated output from Flying Nun Records, shoegaze, and some varieties of metal (generally your more atmospheric varieties; my preferences will become clear over the course of this blog). By no means, however, are my interests limited to these genres alone.

I hope you enjoy the blog, and I will soon add more content.

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