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“We Are Here”. Indie Cultural Economics and Auratic Audiovisual Authenticity

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Abstract 

This article investigates the cultural economics of the international indie scene with a special focus on the Seville-based four-piece indie neoflamenco band named Pony Bravo and specifically on the group’s prolific sonic and graphic montage visionary, Daniel Alonso Mallén. Pony Bravo draws on a variety of music traditions, connecting the sound and rhythm of the various marginalized «souths»: U.S. southern roots rock and blues, Andalusian rock, flamenco, African and Jamaican rhythms, etc. As they play with these traditions, the group uses their platform to fight for the right to do so: to borrow, to sample, to quote, to remix, to collage, to recycle the rhythms, melodies, harmonies, lyrics, ideas, and images of those creators and tricksters that came before them. With help from Walter Benjamin’s dichotomy between auratic and nonauratic artforms, this article explores the inflation of subcultural capital in indie music (through fan assimilation of nonauratic knowledge) and the elevation of the auratic live artifact as a reaction by those who would keep that currency in check. Daniel Alonso elevates the auratic moment captured as content within the nonauratic form of the archived online promotional poster. He simultaneously champions the demise of all forms of the nonauratic in his embrace of a sort of cultural capital socialism vis-à-vis creative commons (instead of intellectual property) licensing and his antagonistic stance toward the institutions (the SGAE) and legislation (la ley Sinde) that fight for the protection of national and international artists’ IP rights.

Key words 

Pony Bravo, rock, blues, flamenco, cultural economics, audiovisual authenticity

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