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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Why 7 Rings Rings So Many Bells

This month’s New York magazine features a set of articles about popular music today and why questions of plagiarism seem to dog so many hit songs. I was happy to contribute an article teasing out the controversies around Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” by taking a musicological deep-dive into the disputed musical figure in question, a […]

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Me & Moortje in Aruba!

Can’t believe it took me four years to track this down, but I was happy to finally find footage of an interview I did alongside DJ Moortje with Revolt TV while in Aruba back in 2014. The interview appears to have been incorporated into Revolt’s special on the Electric Festival where we were both speaking […]

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More Re:ggaeton

The “Despacito” effect continues. That is to say, I continue to receive media inquiries about reggaeton a good year after the song’s triumphant run. And while I’ve started to get a little tired of the same questions, this newfound enthusiasm over and curiosity about reggaeton has also resulted in some cool invitations and some strong […]

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Still Bubbling After All These Years

I’m headed back to Amsterdam this week to attend the ADE where I’m excited to be a part of the screening of a new documentary on bubbling. Check out your boy the beatboxing talking head! the film will have English subtitles, and hopefully will be widely available before long I can’t say how humbled and […]

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Boston Is a Island, Seen?

s/o thephoenix (rip) for the img My recent post involving a Boston sound session focused on the use of the zunguzung meme, so I didn’t discuss some of the other interesting and awesome things about the recording — and how I found it. I’ve been turning my attention back to the story of reggae in […]

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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 […]

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Zunguzungunguzung-again

I recently added a few “new” instances of ye olde zunguzung meme to the list, each helping to tease at this knotty tapestry we’ve been weaving. First, thanks to the attentive ears of NYC-based Puerto Rican electronic act BalĂșn, we discover that PR-based Nuyorican reggaeton pioneer Ivy Queen once wove a zunguzung allusion rather seamfully […]

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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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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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Gone Farmin’

It’s been *crickets* here on the blog for a while, and the main reason is that I’ve been spending more time behind a tractor and less in front of a laptop. And loving it. I don’t spend very much time on the tractor, actually, because the work I do at Belmont Acres, a 5 acre […]

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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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Sound Studies of Jeff Goldblum

For whatever reason, I’ve now become the guy that your crazy internet uncle (in my case, El Canyonazo) now forwards emails about Jeff Goldblum remixes. The latest, which appeared delightfully unsolicited in my inbox last week, samples his unnervingly odd laugh from Jurassic Park (which someone else has turned into a 10 hour version if […]

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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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Our Starters, Which Art of Earth (and Fingers)

Last month, Nico and Charlie each made their own sourdough starters — the yeast + bacterial cultures that have been used to leaven bread since…leavened bread (which predates sliced bread, by the way). Nico began hers the simple, local, wild way: just take some flour — in our case made from Western, MA wheatberries we […]

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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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Animated Sheet Music

You know me, total sucker for musical visualization, so I was delighted to see Dan Cohen’s Animated Sheet Music come across my radar (h/t @samim). Whether or not you read Western notation, it’s easy to follow along with the animation (indeed, it makes a good score-reading exercise just to watch the bouncing notes). And there’s […]

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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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