Tales of the Tape(s)

Among other recent publications, I’m especially happy to share a paper I co-wrote last year with my ol’ friend and colleague, Pacey Foster. As some of you surely know, Pace has been working for several years to collect, curate, and explicate a very special cassette archive documenting the early Boston rap scene. (Check these articles

Incoming / Outgoing

Despite my relative silence here this summer — about which, more soon — big tings a gwaan, especially as the fall semester rolls around. First up, I’m thrilled to report that I leave today for Rotterdam, my first visit to Holland / the Netherlands! I’m fortunate to have been invited to participate in a conference

Social Media & Electro Diasporas

This Saturday I’ll be at Cornell, speaking on a panel alongside some esteemed colleagues. The subject at hand is, more or less, the animating force behind this blog in recent years: “(post-)regional dance musics and their transformation through the internet” — The students organizing the event have an ambitious agenda for digging deeper into this

Best African Dance Ever

So, yeah. There’s rearing; and then there’s rearing — Slightly older kids, well enculturated & irrepressibly motivated, can tend to take things to the next level, bumping body parts with acrobatic abandon and lighting rooftops (and laptops) on fire — Devotees of dancehall reggae and reggaeton will no doubt recognize elements of perreo and daggering

Dembow Criollo

If I were writing my mega-essay on reggaeton today, I’d want to make a lot more space for the Dominican Republic’s local take on the genre. Generally referred to as dembow (rather than reggaeton) — or dembow dominicano, to signal a certain national(istic) distinction — the Dominican artists and producers working in the style essentially

Platform Politricks

orthogonal image copied from some website or other I’ve been working on this monstruo post since last January, and hinting at it here and there, making it feel all the more urgent to finish though I haven’t had the time to tie it up. And yet, what has made finally publishing this post so hard

Global Reggae

Next week I begin teaching my second course at MIT. It’s a new syllabus, though it draws on certain materials I’ve used before. In contrast to previous offerings, however, this will be the first time I teach a class with a primary focus on reggae outside of Jamaica — on what I’m calling here “global

Music Industry and Digital Youth Culture

Next Tuesday (Feb 2) will be the initial meeting of the first class I’m teaching at MIT. I’m excited about the course, a new one, which invites students to read along with me and collectively investigate what I’ve been calling music industry — that is, a broader understanding of musically-propelled cultural practice than something like

¿Como Se Dice “Talking Head” en Español?

I’m excited to announce, for a couple reasons, that next week PBS will begin airing the 4-part series, “Latin Music USA.” Episode 1 (Latin Jazz, Mambo) and Episode 2 (Salsa) will air on Monday, October 12; Episode 3 (Chicano Rock, Tejano, Norteño) and Episode 4 (Latin Pop, Reggaeton) will air the following Monday, October 19.

Who Gotcha?

The Story Behind The Story Behind The Roxanne Shante Story By Wayne Marshall and Jeff Chang If a rapper claims to be a killer, no one cares. If she says she has an education, they send in an investigative reporter, or at least someone who purports to be. Oh don’t we love gotcha journalism. But

Audio Theory from a Media Masseur

Ubuweb is a deeeep archive of avant art, music, speech, etc. I spent some time today on Marshall McLuhan’s page, delighted to find his classic work (recently reissued) in audio collage form! Side A [audio:http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/mcluhan_marshall/Mcluhan-Marshall_The-Medium-Is-The-Massage_01.mp3] Side B [audio:http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/mcluhan_marshall/Mcluhan-Marshall_The-Medium-Is-The-Massage_02.mp3] a few rndm pull quotes, some sarcastically spoken — We shape our tools and thereafter our tools

Hokey Mom Playing Cards

I think I’ve finally got my linkthink flow resolved, so there should be a more consistent stream of delishish posts from here on out. For whatever glitchy reason, my recent taggage has gone un(re)published here, so I’m going to paste it in below just to throw all you loyal readers a bone or two. Plz

linkthink #69377: Who Wants to Bet That Obama Becomes a Far More Common First Name Than Barack?

Berkman Center pioneers steer the course of cyberspace – USATODAY.com gwaan charlie & co.! (tags: berkman harvard internet academia education activism charlie) DTLBASSTOWN.mp3 (audio/x-mpeg Object) crazed dance mix by dropthelime, as played recently @ basstown (tags: DJ mix mp3 house techno club remix boston) Energy Flash | Gas (director’s cut) simon reynolds on gas (wolfgang

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 #29505: Shockness Awester

GHETTO BASSQUAKE: Kuduro Wants You vamanos keeps the torch aloft for kuduro, resisting flavor-of-the-month global-gtech consumption (tags: kuduro blogpost angola africa global ghettotech mp3s video dance blogging) New York to Back Same-Sex Unions From Elsewhere – NYTimes.com first, a pardon for slick rick, and now this?! i’m starting to like this paterson guy (n/h) (tags:

linkthink #3954: Areas of Excerptise

SSRC Books » Blog Archive » Structures of Participation in Digital Culture “Structures of Participation in Digital Culture, edited by SSRC Program Director Joe Karaganis, explores digital technologies that are engines of cultural innovation…” (tags: academic book pdf digital culture research tech web2.0) Day 2 of the R. Kelly trial: The “Little Man defense” and

linkthink #8998: The Money of Color

zSHARE – 02 live set 2.mp3 – “Where They At” vintage nawlins bounce live performance — triggerman & raunch galore (via twankle&glisten) :: http://twankleandglisten.blogspot.com/2008/05/lil-sumtn-sumtn.html (tags: neworleans bounce hip-hop live mp3 vintage digitized) zSHARE – boss man mood. original soul jazz cl.mp3 tis the season for killer instros :: a new reggae-soul-jazz mix c/o dr.auratheft ::

linkthink #5939: Nestle’s Crunk

Dr Pepper Sabrosura Radio Ad Dr. Pepper propels its latest campaign con cumbiaton! :: “Treat your taste buds to Dr Pepper while you indulge in our latest radio ad featuring the best Cumbia to a Reggaetón beat you´ve ever heard!” :: i think calle 13’s got em beat on that count, tho (tags: cumbia reggaeton

The Cute Ears Theory

My ol fren Derrick Ashong continues to grain traction with his impromptu, utterly eloquent explanation of why he supports Obama. The latest to shine some light: the Grey Lady. Pull quote — Mr. Ashong, with an audience of more than a million so far, thinks he knows what made the difference for him. “My ears,

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 –

Prison, American Style

1 in 100 U.S. Adults Behind Bars, New Study Says — For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report. Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local

Hordes on Shopping Sprees?

If by “liberal bias,” the NYT is accused of taking pointed liberties with the language they employ, well then, count me as another critic. Take, e.g., a couple recent items demonstrating the Grey Lady’s ongoing implicit prejudice against the plight of Palestinians (via the always astute, and acerbic, angryarab and leninology), dehumanizing and trivializing as

What Chew Know About Down in the Hole?

I’m not really a TV watcher. Really. I mean, sure, I’ve watched something like 2000 videos on YouTube over the last couple years (and I don’t think that even counts videos embedded in blogs, etc.). But I probably watch OldTube only a couple hours a week at best — like if, say, a big Bawstin

Globalistas e Baptistas

Not long ago, w/r/t global gobbledecrunk, I referred to an interview I gave recently to a Brazilian journalist. The journo in question is Camilo Rocha, who doubles as a DJ (& has a fab disco mix over @ Spannered). The piece was just published in Folha de Sao Paolo, apparently Brazil’s biggest newspaper. I don’t

Just Call Me Mr. Meme Maker

when i say that ghislain poirier is one of my favorite global ghettotechies®, i think i mean that unsardonically, but i’m not sure where that leaves us ghislain’s music, however, usually leaves me grinning if not spinning keep it blazin, g —

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). —

Hallelujah Holla Black

Some readers might remember that I participated in a panel about ego trip’s White Rapper Show earlier this year at the annual meeting of IASPM-US. I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts / comments from that session here for a while, but haven’t had a moment to collect (or transcribe) them. Well, I just spent

Order of Importance

a car bomb maybe almost exploded in London today ; how many do you think actually exploded in Iraq this week? guess what’s on the news? the horror. ::::::: :::: :::: :::::: :::: :::: ::::::: :::: :::: :::::: :::: :::: :::::: :::: :::: and, right … cats. which will win @ the water cooler? tune

Prez 2.0: The Cher Presidency

It seems a sign of a seismic shift in presidential-electoral politics, and perhaps a turn for the worse, that all of 08’s frontrunners are firstnamers. Barack? Hillary? Rudy? Mitt? Who’s the next Americal Idol? I mean, at least we all thought of Reagan, explicitly, as an actor. Get yer 3D glasses, folks, this is gonna

Brave You World

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to sound like Time fckn Magazine or appear too technoptimistic. Indeed, allow me to repeat here — for those who aren’t comment readers — /jace‘s well-put and well-taken anxieties w/r/t web2point0h: i think most of web2.0 activities is lil autonomous nodes — blogs, youtube uploaders & viewers,


Much as I like to bellyache bout the NYT, you gotta love it when they let pomo philosophers pen op-eds about politricks. And even if (sadly — for all of us, not just him) Zizek’s mostly remixing his ol’ desert of the real spiel, I was totally tickled to see him — in so many

The Party Line

When the NYT prints something like this — Hamas, a radical Islamic movement that is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the West, , , , it tends to remind me of, The Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine, , , , &

It’s a News Story

Charlie Nesson has been on a YouTube tear of late. And though, given that his clips often lack a certain coherence, I look fwd to the day that my dear dad-in-law (“in law” indeed) becomes a video wiz, I love that he’s been embracing the tech (as always) and launching headlong into exploring and sharing

Telling Truth

RE: the ongoing discussion of how we tell the truth — I wonder, do the fuzzy storylines of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything help to bring things into focus? (I feel like they do.) Can sharp perspectives emerge through blurry lenses? (I think they can.) I heartily recommend catching up with Ben (there’s quite an

Riff Mental

Yesterday Becca and Charlie hosted Tricky Nick Sylvester in their CyberOne class in order to discuss “Active Participation in the Media.” It’s an interesting conversation, raising a number of points every good reader should consider (and that means YOU). Nick speaks well, students don’t let him off easy, and Becca keeps our eyes on the