Dissolve Music, Again

Next week I’ll help kick off a 3-day “spatial sound” festival at MIT’s Black Box theater as one of about 20 acts diffusing sound/music through a 360-degree soundsystem powered by d&b audio. (My own set will probably be from ~9-9:30pm on Wednesday, Feb 19.) No doubt the performances will run the gamut as far as […]

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Social Dance in the Age of (Anti-)Social Media

A few years ago I started teaching a class at Berklee called “DJ Cultures and American Social Dance.” We survey the history of social dance across the Americas, with particular attention to the era of DJing, but we try to place that cultural turn within the long-view of how dance has functioned in different societies, […]

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Listening to the Sound of Culture

Last summer I was invited by Small Axe, a journal I have long wanted to write for, to take part in a book discussion of Louis Chude-Sokei’s engrossing, ambitious The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics. I’ve enjoyed Chude-Sokei’s perspectives on dancehall, Nigerian 419 scammers, and Bert Williams for years, and I was already […]

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Technomusicology Spring16

Do you like sound? Do you like art? How about music and media, and their aesthetics and histories? Would you enjoy telling some stories about music and media through sound art? If you’re tired of dancing about architecture and ready to do some musicking about music — and you’ve got the time and means — […]

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YouTubology, Spring 2015

As you may know, I think the mini-mega-montage is the method, and I’ve been asking students to make them for a few years. One of my biggest inspirations for assigning students to make YouTube-sourced montages is the fact that musical supercuts are already an ordinary practice, whether we’re talking about the best Nae Nae Vines […]

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Technomashicology Spring 2015

My students have been hard at work in this spring’s session of Technomusicology at the Harvard Extension School (which I’ve just realized marks 10 years since I first started teaching there!), and I’m eager to share some standout projects. We recently turned to the mashup as a media form to grapple with, thinking about the […]

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The Freedom of Dutch Bubbling

I’ve got an article in The Wire‘s new issue devoted to “Freedom Principles” (December 2014). I was inspired by the call for submissions to thread the idea of freedom through the story of Dutch bubbling, which I think embodies it in a number of important ways. After having the privilege to visit with some of […]

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Fresh Jamaican Catch-Up

What can I say? It’s been a chockfull summer. Mostly with farming and teaching, but also, I’m happy to note, with writing and talking about music as well. And while I’ve found the time to do some “dancing about architecture,” I’m afraid I’ve been a little slack when it comes to linking/re-posting it here. So […]

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YouTubology Summer 2014 Edition

For their 4th etude of our summer adventures in technomusicology, my students produced their own YouTube montages (as I’ve discussed here and there), and, as usual, I’m smitten by the results. I even shed a few YouTubeTears in class as we screened them together. I’ve rounded them up in playlist form, but allow me to […]

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Montage Is the Method: Migos Flow Edition

Over at Complex, David Drake offers up a supercut that “trac[es] the lineage of the Migos flow” — that is, the 8th note triplets that underpin “Versace” and have been making waves across the rap world. For Drake, the recent, remarkable spread of the so-called “Migos flow” offers compelling evidence that, even as it may […]

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Summer of Technomusicology

The Summer of Love is way behind us, as is the Second Summer of Love, & perhaps the Third and Fourth. The Summer of Technomusicology, however, will soon be here! I’m thrilled to report that I’ll be offering my favorite class to teach in the world right now, as premiered last year at Harvard U, […]

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People Watching People Watching YouTube on YouTube

Back to the native genre beat for a moment… I’ve realized that I neglected to mention such obviously indigenous YouTubery as dhol playalongs and keystyling vids (wherein one “freestyles” a few bars in the comments section of a hip-hop instrumental), but these clearly have their precedents in pre-online-video cultures — if far less public and […]

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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 […]

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Megamontage Is the Method: Mozart to K-Pop

an utterly awesome eight-year-old diva, via YouTube This past week I’ve whipped up another couple YouTube montages in the vein of Gasodoble, Bump con Choque, and my students’ projects in last year’s technomusicology class. Unlike my previous efforts, which not too surprisingly involve reggaeton, these new mega-montages engage repertories that I don’t generally mess with: […]

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Vacuum Cleaner Relaxation & Other YouTube Natives

Been thinking about “native” YouTube genres, or genres which, in their way, are “native” to the platform, having necessarily emerged on YouTube — new forms and conventions, in other words, essentially made possible by YouTube’s existence and special features (especially, but not limited to, unprecedented access to an endless archive, thanks to massive uptake and […]

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Dembow Complex

In case you missed it, I recently published a piece in RBMA mag about the history of the Dembow, a history I’ve been working to tease apart and put together for a looooong time now. If you’re not familiar with RBMA, it stands for Red Bull Music Academy. And I was pretty happy to be […]

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Virtual Rites of Spring

Wow, this is quite an amazing piece of work. Stephen Malinowski collaborated with Jay Bacal to make an animated graphical score of Stravinsky’s controversial classic. I love tracking music this way, far more interesting than a static and graphically impoverished waveform. Now that’s what I call technomusicology! Malinowski and Bacal have carefully pegged shapes and […]

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Panel People, Can Y’all Get Funky?

For anyone who missed our panel last week and would like to check out our conversation, I’m happy to report that it’s been archived here. But here’s an embed for your viewing ease — Video streaming by Ustream Thanks again to my eloquent interlocutors, all of whom had colorful stories & trenchant perspectives to share, […]

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Love Limited

Remember when I asked — rhetorically and remixically — whether there were limits to your love for Soundcloud? Well, it took a little over two years, but the super smart sample-sniffers over at Audible Magic have apparently finally decided that one of the two mashups I made by way of commentary / limit-testing should be […]

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