The Kind of Drones We Like

Hard to believe the fall semester is already coming to a close, but we’re going out with a bang in Technomusicology (see & hear some of our projects here and there): Thursday’s final class session will feature a visit from none other than Jace Clayton, aka DJ /Rupture, globe-trotting artist, writer, label honcho, three-turntable magician, […]

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The Montage Is the Method

Last week the students in my technomusicology class submitted their video ├ętudes. The assignment was relatively straightforward: make a montage of YouTube-sourced videos interlinked by some (musical) subject, theme, or tune. One additional challenge, if made far easier by Ableton’s video capacity, was to attempt to bring the various performances into a kind of musical […]

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Selected Student Essays, Transduced

I’m happy to report that the semester has been going swimmingly. Sorry for the dearth of posts here, but I’ve been rather engaged with reading, for one course, across a vast and dense literature on music, race, & nation while exploring, in another, the history and potential of music’s (and sound’s) deep entanglement with technologies […]

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Gone for November

What a weekend on the way! First, this Friday, I’ll be honored & pleasured to drop some gems at the Good Life (downstairs to boot!) for an absurd iteration of Pic├│ Picante, my favorite local dance party. (And apparently Boston’s too!) In addition to resident DJs, Pajaritos and Oxycontinental, I’ll be joining downstairs headliners Uhuru […]

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I’m Not a Harvard Man, I’m a Harvard, Man

I’m very pleased to report that I’ll be teaching full-time in the Music Department at Harvard this year, filling the big shoes of two ethnomusicolleagues on leave, Ingrid Monson & Richard Wolf. This is an honor and a pleasure, and even as a one-year non-renewable gig, it sure beats the adjunct beat I was walking […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Technomusicologically Speaking

I’ll be talking twice in the next two days about a thing I’ve been calling technomusicology. If in a previous moment bi-musicality represented cutting edge musicological literacy, today’s tech-suffused world would seem to call for the development of something akin to technomusicology — which might also include a sort of technomusicality. Aside from bringing into […]

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Me @ EMP

I’ll be in NYC this weekend participating in the annual EMP pop conference, always a lively gathering of people who not only care about music but care about finding the right words to talk about music. I’m pleased to be involved in two promising panels — a roundtable with the likes of Eddie Stats, DJ […]

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On RETV the Girls Dem See Me

Bigups to my man Marvin Hall, aka @hallsoflearning, aka the guy we’ll be thanking someday for the Jamaican turn in robotics — or something equally astounding — for uploading an old reel from RETV (Reggae Television) dating back to 2003. That’s the year I was living in Kingston with my better-half, doing dissertation research alongside […]

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Reggae Reverberations, Skype Narration Stylee

Last month I spoke over Skype with Roifield Brown, a British-Jamaican producer working on a series of podcasts and a short film devoted to the international influence of Jamaica’s distinctive shapes and forms, or in his words: How Jamaica Conquered the World. It’s no doubt one of many many tributes to the likkle but tallawah […]

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Is “Africa” “Actually” African?

Africa Is a Country, a wry but passionate blog devoted to “Africa” — the idea, not (simply) the song — in contemporary media (but “not about famine, Bono, or Barack Obama”) has been threatening to make a weekly series out of the genuinely remarkable resonance of Toto’s 1982 soft-rock anthem. It’s a begrudging tribute of […]

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Jivin’ Ladybug Picnic

Today I’ve got a Q&A with Jared Demick at his site The Jivin’ Ladybug, a “Skewered Journal of the Arts” or in slightly plainer terms, “an online arts journal devoted to word-whittlers, picture-pizzazzers, & sound-slingers, all over this here globe!” Though the latter most obviously describes me, and the middle option may seem more dubious, […]

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Secret(e) Soundscapes & Other Ethnomusicologoodies

radio towers > ivory towers This week in Cluster Mag I’ve got a piece that follows up on my late summer production & performance, at metaLAB‘s openLAB_03, of a personal(ized) archive of Boston’s radio soundscape. The centerpiece of “Love That Muddy Ether” is Boston Pirate Party, an ode to an increasingly diversified sound of the […]

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Ghe20 G0th1k Meets Hatsune Miku Uptown in Cambridge

A little more about this Monday’s special edition of Beat Research… I’m thrilled to report that Venus’s partner-in-rave, $hayne (pic’d above), will be joining her on the trip. That means we’re gonna be treated to a tag-team/4-handed Ghe20 Goth1k performance the likes of which Greater Boston has not yet been party to. So get ready, […]

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The African Americas Project & the Mystery of Dem Bow

I’m headed down to the University of Delaware tomorrow for “The African Americas Project,” a two-day symposium bringing together quite a mix of artists, musicians, and scholars to explore the connections between Latin America, the Caribbean and the US. For my part, I’ll be talking about “Reggaeton’s Afro-American Address,” by which I mean the ways […]

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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 […]

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Imagined Community Organizing

Pardon the late notice, but for anyone who can attend, I’ll be talking today at Tufts at the annual conference of the Transnational Studies Working Group, which this year gathers around the theme: “The Sights and Sounds of Transnationalism: Sensing Through the Nation-State” (pdf). I’m happy to report that I’ve been asked to speak as […]

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Rethinking Music Industry w/ Nancy Baym

For this week’s “Back Talk” — the Q&A that runs on the back page of the Phoenix — I had the pleasure to pose a few questions to Nancy Baym, a scholar who’s work (& Twitter feed) I’ve been following for a few, especially as my own research turns more to questions of music “industry” […]

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