Summer of Technomusicology (2014): DJ Mixes

The fifth etude in our summer session required students to cook up short DJ mixes that follow a particular musical thread across time and space. As readers will know, I’ve made a few of these over the years, and I’m obviously enamored of such an audible form of storytelling about music culture in the age […]

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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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Where’d the Beef?

No one does radio (by which I mean, audio storytelling) like Benjamen Walker. You may know him from his incarnations as the host of Your Radio Nightlight, Too Much Information, or Theory of Everything, which has recently become one of the flagship programs in PRX‘s new podcast network, Radiotopia. I feel very lucky to count […]

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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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Watch Out for the Big Girl

Today marks five years with Charlie in the world. That’s five years full of her sweetness and smiles and sensitivity and boundless love. As Becca recently recounted, a few months before Charlie was Charlie, we were very afraid that we had lost her. I’m still struck by the sadness of the thought of that little […]

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Treble Culture, the Essay!

It all started with a provocative turn of phrase and a successfully solicitous blog post, and now some 13k words and 5 years later, I’m delighted to report that my epic essay on “Treble Culture” has finally been published! It’s been a little frustrating to watch something I completed a long time ago — and […]

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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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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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Jampacked Picó

Picó Picante is always a nice nice time, but this Friday they’ve really stacked the decks — All these DJs are stellar and longtime friends & colleagues, and among other things, Jubilee has a poppin new EP out on Mixpak Records, and Dev/Null just posted a helluva 2 hour session devoted to atmospheric jungle from […]

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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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Desperately Seeking Dembow: Wayne & Wax Poetics

I don’t know if you dear readers get tired of hearing about dembow, but I sure don’t. That said, if my boom-ch-boom-chick narratives start to seem as monotonous a march as some allege with regard to the dembow beat itself, do let me know. Well-worn paths notwithstanding, I’m happy to share this latest riff on […]

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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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Six!

The girl that made me a dad turned 6 on Friday! Amazing. Watching Nico grow & change & stay the same, each year feels richer than that the last. What a treasure. Here’s to another wonderful year — and many more to come.

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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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Cyaan Stop Won’t Stop

If raggamuffin hip-hop never gets tired for you either, I’m happy to report that yet another juicy mix of fliptongue stylistics over dusty breaks and jeepbeat bass has come to my attention — Originally cooked up in 2010 by one Matt Nelkin, and now re-upped with special edits for your DLing & DJing pleasure, “Boombap […]

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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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Welcome (African?) Wizardry

I’m a little late sharing the good news of the John Wizards, a producer-singer duo from South Africa who put together my favorite recording of this year. But given that even some of my most musically voracious friends have still not heard them, I’m clearly not too late. So let me put it like this: […]

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Boys v. Girls

There’s been a lot of news in the past week about the legal kerfuffle between the Beastie Boys and a company called GoldieBlox, which markets science/engineering toys aimed at girls (and their parents) seeking something beyond the standard pink princess fare. Apparently, GoldieBlox has successfully leveraged the “viral” qualities of the net to project their […]

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