Innovative Research Methods 101

When you’re doing historical research, you can be pretty rest assured of a few things:

1) You’re going to have to read a lot of books.
2) You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in the library.
3) You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in the archive (this is different from the library, but only slightly).
4) You’re going to have to forgo any sort of social interaction for long periods of time.  

 Sometimes, though, depending on your topic, you have to get creative with your methodology. Such was the case when Joey “Shithead” Keithley played an afternoon gig at the Black Dog in Edmonton. The frontman for the seminal Vancouver punk band D.O.A., Keithley was a major part of the punk milieu during the 1980s (and ever since). So in the name of historical understanding, I had to put down my book, venture out of the library, and walk past the archive and head to the pub. Once there I had to order a pint from the barman, sit down in front of the stage, and utilize the handy coasters on the table to carry out my important research.

This was the result:

Said “Fuck You” was by the Subhumans (the Stiffs?)
Played a song by the Skulls
DOA in the USSR
1983 General Strike – inspired by Eastern Europe
Poland 1985 (?)
All the songs are political (called the premier “fucked up eddie”)
Homage to passed on punks “surfin’ bird
Pot – prisons – waste of money – people can’t travel
Punk rock – be yourself –  think for yourself – positive change
Punk vs counterculture
Dreamweaver” made me want to play punk rock
Punk = Folk
Songs of protest = resistance
Leadbelly – There’s a man going round taking names
Into Bob Dylan
Johnny Cash

Guthrie  – this machine kills fascists
music is the voice for freedom and justice
Star Trek characters – men for all ages…now? culture then vs. culture now
Toronto vs. Vancouver
Was going to be a civil rights lawyer
FUCK racism
What’s playing in Canadian cities like? Red Deer?

Yup, don’t be surprised if soon most historical research is done at the pub, and primary sources are replaced with coasters.

Now…all that needs to be done is making sense of what the heck I wrote down.

 

 

 

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One Comment on “Innovative Research Methods 101”


  1. Coaster research – it’s the new black!

    Well done Rylan, in a twisted kind of way I would argue that this is ACTUALLY one of the best primary sources you’ll ever have – I mean books are nice and all, but to get anything out of them you actually have to READ them! That can be a bit of a challenge after a few pints….


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