Archive for August, 2008

August 26th, 2008

Inadequate Blackmail

  • 'Daddy Yankee called Mr. McCain “a fighter for the Hispanic community” and “a fighter for the immigration issue.’’ Mr. McCain, who noted that his wife, Cindy, had gone to Central High School, said, “I just want to say thank you, Daddy Yankee.’’ ' :: (thx, bracken)
  • "The Boston Police Department is proud and pleased to announce that this year’s Caribbean Festival was conducted in a successful manner as thousands attended and enjoyed this year’s festival and parade. The Boston Police Department did make 23 arrests. Of the 23 arrests, four were made in connection to gun-related offenses. In addition to the arrests, the department is pleased to announce the safe and successful return of several children lost during the festivities. … Moreover, Operation PAWS, a citywide warrant program conducted to combat and prevent gang violence, was employed the week leading up to this year’s festival. As a result of Operation PAWS, Boston Police arrested 56 individuals. In addition to the above, numerous intelligence gathering efforts, information analysis and video surveillance provided essential aid and support to all officers assigned to the festival." :: report includes blotter of incidents from the festival
  • "Boston police are crediting the success of this year's Caribbean Festival to the arrests made before the event. … 'The crowd was not as big as it usually is but it was very peaceful, and I didn't see any rowdy behavior,' said parade marcher Diana Peterkin. 'I felt comfortable. I felt safe.' Festival organizers supported the sweep, saying they didn't want the festival to be ruined by a few criminals. In addition to the 56 captured, police also arrested 23 other people. Four of those arrested face gun-related charges."
  • "Nearly 100 Boston police officers fanned out across the city yesterday and arrested dozens of suspected gang members and alleged criminals as part of an aggressive preemptive strike against violence at today's Caribbean Festival, a cultural event that has often been marred by shootings and stabbings. … Shirley Shillingford , president of the carnival, said the efforts are necessary. 'When you think about the amount of money that people put into paying for their costumes and the amount of work that goes into putting together this event, it would be really pathetic to see even one person come out and do anything that will give a bad image to the carnival that we work so hard to put on,' she said. 'It takes a drop of poison to contaminate a whole bucket of water.' "
  • "Have you ever thought that you're also raw meat?" :: félix jiménez y miguel rodríguez casellas offer some theoretic-poetics on "corned beef chic, or the audacity of contempt"
  • ' "Ambient advertising"—the business of putting adverts in public spaces—is a booming industry. It has outgrown all other advertsing sectors in the last three years. In 1995, it hauled in profits of £10 million. In 1998, these have grown to about £58m. It has taken the metaphorical advertising phrase of "selling space" literally, snatching up the places where your eye falls, and—in that pervasive new corporate ethos—making them work harder. ' (via shaviro/

videyoga ::


August 22nd, 2008

Are You On MyFace?

videyoga :: bleepers & practical jokes

August 21st, 2008

Dad&Daughter Daze, Late Summer Gaze

finally, a little video spot :: girl’s crawling like a champ these days, esp for one of dad’s devices —

August 19th, 2008

Run Tings

So, not only did Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (levitating below) set a world record in the men’s 100 meters, despite pulling up 20 meters early to celebrate and showboat…

… but, in the women’s 100, Jamaican sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser, Sherone Simpson, and Kerron Stewart made it a clean 1-2-3 sweep (technically, a 1-2-2, actually) —

Lest we get too gassed about our favorite likkle-but-tallawa island’s dominance, however, the NYtimes puts things in humbling perspective. Maureen Dowd’s column this past Sunday, in case you missed it, bears the striking title, “Russia Is Not Jamaica.” Here’s the rubels quote —

As Michael Specter, the New Yorker writer who has written extensively about Russia, observed: “There was a brief five-year period when we could get away with treating Russia like Jamaica — that’s over. Now we have to deal with them like grown-ups who have more nuclear weapons than anybody except us.”

Ah, nothing like the infantilizing frankness of good ol’ imperial discourse. In other words, run all you want, likkle pickneys. Run and get me a rum & coke.


August 15th, 2008

YouTube, America, Distinguished Guests, Crumbs…

videyoga ::

August 15th, 2008

Sense and Sensuality

I received a CFP in my inbox today that served to rekindle several thoughts simmering in my head since Shadetek went babelfishing

Analysing the Musically Sensuous
Society for Music Analysis Autumn Study Day

University of Liverpool, School of Music

22 November 2008

For most listeners to music, sensuous affect is of primary, perhaps even singular, importance. Our responses to music in everyday situations, ranging from background ambience to pounding film scores to sources of studious contemplation, are mediated through music’s sculpting of sensual, physical, emotional and affective experiences.

Yet when it comes to analyzing the musically sensuous, music theory and analysis have proved stubbornly resistant to (and perhaps even fearful of) engaging with the musically sensuous, often retreating instead into ostensibly more cerebral studies of the musically syntactical. This one-day conference seeks to contribute to the process of redressing that imbalance, not least by acknowledging that separations of the sensuous and syntactical in music are, at best, artificial necessities for study and, at worst, utterly misleading. …

The focus of this conference relates closely to a point Ripley brought up in a comment as well as to my own initial trackback linkthink. And the question of music’s sensuous qualities — esp independent of textual/lexical/syntactic primacy — is one thread in the wide-ranging discussion @ DuttyArtz that has been rather underexplored, in my opinion.

I’ll grant the post-struct folk that we’re always already contained by language/discourse/ideology, but even so a phenomenological account of musical experience should not elide the bodily dimensions of listening/dancing — never mind the pleasures we take in vocal timbres (that Barthesian grain) and rhythms and melodies irrespective (certainly sometimes) of their being saddled to or propelled by words, those ideological phenomena par excellence.

I think we do music a disservice when we impose such narrow confines on the various interpretive frames that musical experience opens into. One of the most convincing exegeses of the listening process in all its complex glory can be found in Steven Feld’s, “Communication, Music, and Speech about Music” (pdf), which happens to be one of my favorite ethnomusicological essays of all time.

From a more personal standpoint, I can attest that I don’t always listen to lyrics. In fact, I often ignore them — sometimes so habitually that I’ll have heard a song dozens of times, and attended to and noticed all sorts of details in it, but will have no idea what it’s about. I may have developed this listening mode when waist deep in hip-hop tapes, especially in cases when “lyrical skill” — as we sometimes called it back-in-the-day — was sorely lacking, while “flow” — referring more to the voice’s non-lexical performance — was not. Sheeeeet, in some cases, the beat was actually good enough to sustain one’s attn against some truly awful rapping. (A few Gang Starr album cuts come to mind.)

Whether a matter of habit or an active aesthetic choice (or, more likely, something flittering back and forth between the two), I apply this mode of listening across language and genre. It doesn’t matter if it’s Engllish (my first language) or Jamaican English / “patois” (which, mostly, sounds as comprehensible as any English dialect to me at this point) or Spanish (which I kinda understand) or German (which I understand far less) or Portuguese or French or Italian (some cognates here and there) or the hundreds of other languages I might come across in my musical wanderings. I tend to listen to human voices as simply other voices in the musical texture; I pay no mind to phonemes, just phones. Or at least I try.

Indeed, I say tend because I’m not always able to ignore the powerful work that words can do.

If we’re gonna attend to lyrics, as we sometimes do — for better and for worse — then we still have to ask, what good is an injunction to respect, as Shadetek puts it, “artistic intentions”?

Let’s take what seems to be a common limit case in discussions of which songs DJs will play (or not) due to their lyrical content: Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye.” Indeed, it’s the track that Matt himself offers as an example — and calls “a good song” “nastiness aside” (nastiness aside? but i thought that “we really need to make sure that if we’re gonna engage in a style that we’re doing it on all levels, not just formal”).

I disagree that it’s a good song. Catchy as Buju’s melody is, pleasurable as his gruff tones may be, and enjoyable as I find that chintzy, R&B-flavored riddim (which first endeared itself to me via Mad Cobra’s “Flex,” especially given that track’s ability to incite lascivious dancing at high school jams), I find my experience of that song to be constantly, consistently tripped up by Banton’s intolerant vitriol.

If someone’s artistic intent is to urge violence against gays as a way of puffing up his manhood, I’m just not down wit waving the wannabe flag for that one, you feel me? My own urge is the opposite: to disrespect artistic intent, to distort and subvert, to do something like this —

Buju Banton, “Walk Like a Battyboy” (w&w splice)

Now that’s a Buju track I might actually play in the club.

The playful but critical gesture embodied in that mp3 is not gonna make me any friends in Buju’s camp. And, no doubt, it’s gonna ensure that I’ll never set foot in Buju’s camp again. But you know what, I could never be Buju’s friend. Beca’, to be frank, Buju’s an asshole. Simple and plain. (Motherf*ck him and John Wayne.) Even so, I can’t help it — I love ‘Til Shiloh. You done know.


August 11th, 2008

Linkthink #74943: The Future Is Later

videyoga ::

August 2nd, 2008

Beach Research#08.08

Off to the Cape for a week or 2 or so 4 some r&r w/ fam&friends. Blogging will be intermittent for a bit. Go outside!

Here’s a sneak peek of our lil trio on a bon voyage —


August 1st, 2008

Opposite of Babble = Silence?

Recent discussions spurred by Matt Shadetek and /Rupture quoting him feel like the culmination of a couple years of critical discourse, clumsy practice, and increasing interconnection between the two. I’m enheartened to see this kind of debate taking place and the number of insightful perspectives offered up, and I think it can only be good for “the scene” — if we can — for there to be a greater degree of reflection around all the production and circulation in which we’re engaged.

But the last thing I want to emerge from this critical conversation about “global ghettotech / gobbledigook” is for people like Stu to disengage or stop what they’re doing. I totally understand the conflict Stu describes between one’s time and the ability to blog richly contextual pieces about the wonderful (musical) things we can access these days. It’s a balancing act, no doubt. Which is why my own blog wanes&waxes between linkthink and essay-like catharsis.

This whole dilemma reminds me too much of the crippling process of becoming a graduate student — probably in most disciplines but especially disciplines that practice an explicit degree of self-reflection (e.g., anthro and its kin). I used to get so caught up on words and language and representations (in my academic writing) that I could hardly write at all without employing enough qualifications to paralyze the prose. It sucked, frankly, all around. And I’m deeply grateful to blogging for helping me break out of that particular kind of self-consciousness (b/c surely blogging has plenty of its own) and to feel less timid about just putting something out there.

It’s better, I think, to engage, if clumsily, than not to.

Better still to be thoughtful, careful, and graceful about it. But we can’t all be Jace Claytons. Some of us have to be Stu Buchanans and Wayne Marshalls and Guillaume Decouflets and Will Quinneys and Matt Shadeteks (or whatever his real name is) — or any of you other dear avatars out there.

Let’s keep the deep conversation going, yes, and/but the linkthink too —



I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com


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