Arcademish Ish

Last year I published a couple reviews that land somewhere between the realm of ethno/musicology and music criticism — a netherworld I obviously like to explore. One piece engages with the multimedia work of Arca; the other with a cheeky French rap video. One appeared in an academic journal devoted to Latin American art and

Legions of Book

As published in issue 377 of The Wire (July 2015), here’s my joint review of two recent books about soundsystem/DJ culture, each of them impressive efforts of deep documentation and deliberate framing even as each takes a rather different approach to the project. Together, they further round out our understanding of the soundsystem as global

Groovin’ on Groove Music

Appended below is the “director’s cut” (or unabridged author’s version) of a book review I wrote almost a year ago, which will soon finally see the light of day in the Journal of Popular Music Studies. The book is Mark Katz’s Groove Music, and I say enough below that I needn’t say more here, but

Good Giggity! (Early Summer Edition)

Summer vibes really on lock all a sudden, eh? Boston tropical and ting! (In fact, the main reason I’m finally getting around to writing this post — best intentions notwithstanding — is on account of IT IS TOO HOT TO SLEEP.) The dog daze arrived just in time, tho, for I’m delighted to report that

No Logos?

Ok, rounding things out, here’s the 3rd review/polemic in the 3-part series I’ve been running here (see parts 1 and 2). This one’s the most recently published, hardly a year old! (That’s not bad for lag, as these things go.) On the surface, it’s a review of 2010’s Anthology of Rap (Yale); but again, while

Dances With Words

Following up on the last post/review, I’m running the next in the triad I described there: a series of book reviews written over the last few years which together bring matters of form — and its institutional (re)production — to the fore. This one — a review of Mark Butler’s Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter,

How To Wreck a Nice Book

This Thursday at MIT, Dave Tompkins will be giving a talk based around his book, How To Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder From World War II To Hip-Hop. I’ve not given the book a full treatment on the blog, but I’ve been recommending it to anyone I talk to about music or technology or

More Writing on the Walls: Graffiti En DF Addenda

A few things to add to my recent post about graffiti in Mexico City — First, Said Dokins, one of my guests at Postopolis, writes to share some supplementary materials — in particular, documenting the role played by women in “arte urbano”: También te mando unos links de los libros que nuestra editorial tiene actualmente

Real Wreck a Nice Real

I’ve been trying to get Dave Tompkins to come do a reading in town this spring from his much anticipated and well-worth-waiting-for book, How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop (Stop Smiling 2010). An afternoon at MIT followed by a night of vocoder-animated Beat Research seemed pretty apropos,

El Arte De Tocar El Amazon

from Raquel Rivera to wayne marshall, Deborah Pacini Hernandez date Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM subject riddle me this Hi dear compis. I still don’t quite understand how the amazon sales work, but I got a big kick out of seeing us #1 in salsa and and #1 reggae. And #11 in rap.

B-Boy = Book Boy, and Other Uprock Narratives

Some bookish things to report, including the latest re: Reggaeton — namely, that tomorrow, Wednesday May 27 (which happens to be my born day), I’ll be appearing alongside co-editor Raquel Rivera on WNYC’s Soundcheck.

Super Freaks and the Collective Talent

I love the moment at 0:21 in this credit card commercial: It’s obvious why, no? MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” — a “work” which, in addition to the song itself, includes as a part of its whole a now iconic video, known as much for its choreography as parachute pants — has become a

Trading in Futures

Working on a little something about the dialectic(s) between dreadlocked aliens, Rastas in space (in reggae and sci-fi), and Jamaicans/Africans as “aliens” among us/US. If you have any other tips/refs in addition to these provocative pics (thx @rizzla_dj & @dizzyjosh for their Star Wars intel), do tell — Bonus points for anyone who can name

Covers, Blurbs, y Otras Traducciones

Amazing how an Amazon link makes our book finally feel real. (Pre-orders in teh house!) And though they don’t have any imgs yet, I’m happy to report that I do, and — having lobbied HARD for this particular photo by Miguel Luciano to grace our cover — I’m thrilled to share it with y’all: On

Hey, Big Lacuna

"Resisting, Subverting and Destroying the Apparatus of Surveillance and Control": An Interview with Mike Davis | (voices of resistance from occupied london) interview with mike davis about London, LA, and other cities at our strange moment, at times getting downright foucauldian — "So the internet gets to threaten freedom because of the way in which

Knee High to a Duck

It was due to serendipity (and size) that my hip-hop books ended up on the bottom shelf. But, boy, was that a good move.

Immersion Blender

WireTap Magazine – Free Association: Sound of Silence larisa/ripley's article on the recent rash of dubious takedowns in the mp3blogspotosphere :: written for a youth/general readership, so pretty backgroundy, but a good explanation of the current lay of the land :: bye bye blogspots (tags: mp3blog blogging copyright copywrong digital culture p2p) Beat Diaspora: Beats,

¡ Casi Aquí !

The Duke U Press catalog for Spring 2009 is already out. Why should you be excited? See pg 1 —

Skin Care Adventure

Is Michelle Obama's "Ass" Off Limits? | Critical Noir | Blogs | Vibe.com Mark Anthony Neal — 'Never before has a First Lady's body been subject to the amount of scrutiny and surveillance as is the case with Michelle Obama; she has been rhetorically poked, prodded and groped. Many would have found such a line

Hugs for Tecnobrega

Tecno brega / eletro melody is back on my radar for 2 reasons — 1) Ronaldo Lemos, the Rio-based law prof who’s been hailing the genre’s open business model for years now, has just published a new book about tecno brega and its creative approach to the music biz, Tecnobrega: o Pará Reinventando o Evento

Linkthink #833: Beyond a Boundary

YouTube – Roots Manuva – Again & Again “With this record I was trying to tune into that old Channel One, Studio One aesthetic.” :: roots manuva hits that ball out the park on this lead single (prod. by shyFX?!) :: rodney da realest, u done know (tags: reggae hip-hop cricket caribbean video youtube london

Linkthink #328: Me So Corny

Lives and Letters: The Lion and the Mouse: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker “Stuart Little isn’t Gregor Samsa. He’s Don Quixote, turning into Holden Caulfield.” :: a wonderful little history of a wonderful little book (thx, O-dub!) (tags: book history library newyorker writing academic) colombia_04.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object) a joyful rollicking accordion cumbia via /jace

linkthink#2931: On the Radio

Oxford University Press: Foundation: Joseph Schloss “Based on interviews with many of the dance’s most significant figures as well as on four years of on-the-ground research in New York City, [Joe Schloss’s] _Foundation_ offers the first serious study of b-boying…” :: go joe! this gonna be good (tags: breakdance book academic ethnomusicology hip-hop dance) Der

linkthink #519292: Loosing My Mind [sic]

Shaggy feat Trix & Flix – Feel The Rush | The Heatwave Blog – dancehall reggae and bashment “la cumbia cienaguera” of samim’s “heater” fame (and a hit in its own right in south america for decades) gets yet another odd reanimation via shaggy and the euro 08 football cup :: and round and round

linkthink #5489: Stimulus Packaging

Banned in the U.S.A. (Almost) – washingtonpost.com “What is so unspeakably wrong with saying that justice, secularism, tolerance and equality of citizens — rather than privileges granted on the basis of religion — should be among the values of a state?” (tags: book op-ed middleeast religion government politricks israel palestine censorship) THE VICE GUIDE TO

linkthink #1593: orb-eyed nagimandavah

BOMB Magazine: Ned Sublette by Garnette Cadogan garnette interviews ned about his new orleans book :: knowledge gems dropped left&right (but mostly left, knamean) :: dig the stuff on funkiness toward the end (tags: neworleans book interview caribbean US urban culture race history cuba jazz funk) itwofs.com – chronicles of plagiarism in indian film music

linkthink #3949: Performative Geometries

EBONYJET Culture Page | Dancehall and Doiley Boyz ‘I decided to take these people who are put on a platform within that dancehall space — worship of a don or a “shotta” — a bad man — and peel it down to the very feminine, beautiful men using all of the things that are within

linkthink #3846: Kamikaze Narcissist

The Second Plane – Martin Amis – Book Review – New York Times “The genital theory of history may be novelistically useful, but it is analytically silly.” :: that, and other gems, in a skewering review by leon wieseltier (tags: book review nyt islam middleeast orientalism 911 writing) Guess The Country [30 PICS] – world

Hip-hop Japanthropology & the End of the Jews

Recently I brought two authors to campus to share their work with my class — that’s the only connection between the two otherwise disparate topics in the title of this post. (Hope I didn’t alarm anyone by implying improbable causal relationships.) … 1. The “hip-hop Japanthropology” was c/o Ian Condry, a professor at MIT who

linkthink #566858: Kurdish African Music Video

global media coverage, proportionally (via) Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business chris anderson’s latest :: on the freeconomy (tags: book business commerce free culture tech economics) Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s Journal the author discusses making (his) books available for free (tags: books blog free culture literature comics) The Charms of Wikipedia –

Adventures in Anachronistic Irony #5593935

Bruce Sterling on Jules Verne’s Invasion of the Sea — Mr. Verne’s latest techno-thriller boldly confronts the menace of Islamic terrorism. He has topnotch chops in technical accuracy, with endearing dashes of broad humor and a keen eye for telling detail. Let me be the first to predict this: someday this French novelist will be

linkthink #5647477

YouTube – RDC Mugen: Homer Simpson Vs. Predator Warrior bizarre mortal kombat-style face-off between homer and predator (tags: videogames predator thesimpsons humor youtube) WikipediaVision (beta) mashup tracking, in real time, anonymous edits to wikipedia via google maps (tags: mashup google web2.0 wikipedia visualization map webapp) Getting to roots of Mexican rock – CULTURE MIX –

If That’s What You Mean

Mark Dery: Have you ever felt, as one of the few blacks writing SF, the pressure to write science fiction deeply inscribed with the politics of black nationalism? Samuel R. Delany: The answer there depends on what your question means. If you mean: Do I feel that, deep within my work, I’ve situated material that

Book Review: Michael Veal’s Dub

As promised last week, what follows here is my review of Michael Veal’s recently published book on dub. It won’t appear in print for perhaps another year, which is a little silly and unfortunate, but that’s how it goes. I see no reason, at any rate, not to share it now that it’s written, especially

Ethnomusicology Meets King Tubby Inna Barnes&Nobles

Been working on a review of ethnomusicologist Michael Veal’s recently published book on dub (it’s called Dub [BUY!]), which I will share with y’all before too long; meantime, as I jot down some excerpts, I thought I’d share some of my favorite passages — insightful thoughts and neat narratives and such. To wit, a nice

Beat Research – Oct 07

As usual, DJ Flack & i&i & special guests will be conducting some weekly Beat Research over at the Enormous Room. Here’s our schedule for the month of October — Oct 1 :: Brian Coleman For anyone interested in hip-hop history Brian Coleman needs no introduction, he is the author of Check the Technique: Liner

Superficial Reflections

“To swing with the rhythms of another is to enrich oneself — the conception of the learning process as dug by Hip is that one cannot really learn until one contains within oneself the implicit rhythm of the subject or the person.” “(And yet crazy is also the self-protective irony of the hipster.” “the nihilism

Talkin’ All That Canon: On Hip-hop’s Jazz

Did I say something about “counter” canons? I think I like “loose” canons better. But the gist remains: that is, if we listen to some genre of choice through the ears of another, it can tell us a great deal about both genres (which is to say, about the producers and devotees of both). —

Feather in My Blog

As noted elsewhere, this here humble blogger has been bestowed a spot in the 2006 edition of the illustrious Da Capo Best Music Writing series. What’s more, it’s one of my blog-posts — as opposed to a more traditionally “published” piece — which has earned itself the distinction. Of course, the post in question is

Geertz on the Brain

As an example of how the work of Clifford Geertz might continue to inform our understanding of (the significance of) culture, consider the following passage from William Sewell’s Logics of History (Chicago 2005), itself a compelling interpretation of a series of texts. Bringing the methods and insights of the social sciences and the ‘histories’ to