Interview in Music Journalism Insider

I first worked with Todd Burns back in 2013 when he commissioned me to write a “loop history” of one of my fave loops of all time: dembow. Of course, RBMA is no more, nor are various other outlets for music writers. In the light of this changing and precarious landscape, Todd has been devoting […]

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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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Representing Dembow Dominicano

As I wrote back in 2011, If I were writing my mega-essay on reggaeton today, I’d want to make a lot more space for the Dominican Republic’s local take on the genre. And that has only gotten truer in the 8 years since, as Dominican dembow has continued to grow, change, and gather steam, including […]

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AfrodiasporaPOP!

In October, I spoke to Rolling Stone (always wanted to say that!) about how, in their words, “reggaeton, dancehall, baile funk, afrobeats and other diasporic styles are mixing faster than ever — without much help from the U.S. music industry.” The topic has been a sustained thesis on this blog and in my work, of […]

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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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Get on the Good Foot

The following piece was published in December 2016 in The Wire‘s special issue, Spirits Rejoice: Sacred Songs, Divine Drones, and Ritual Rhythms (#394). I was excited by the call for pitches because I’ve been connecting lots of dots in my music history courses at Berklee between sacred and secular traditions, and I’ve become more and […]

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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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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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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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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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Picó’clock

Once again it’s that time! I’ll be guesting at Boston’s Best Dance Night™, Picó Picante, this Friday– Picó is always the ideal occasion to break out treacly dancehall pop covers, classic reggaeton, salsa remixes, and azonto jams, among others, so, yeah, pretty much always ready for that. And readers of W&W need no intro to […]

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Urb & Beach Boyz

This Friday, at the very #rare time of 5pm and at a rather lovely spot, I’m psyched to be opening for two of my favorite (erstwhile) local talents: Rizzla DJ & False Witness, the two from the #KUNQ crew who cooked up the time-warped, globally-warmed, zombie beach party of Isla Toxico — While we won’t […]

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Owed to Picó Picante

Tonight is the 2 year anniversary of Picó Picante, one of the shining lights of Boston’s club scene, and something I’ve been grateful to be close to — The pics of me at Picó over the years attest to the special vibes of the place (even when I’m seemingly giving the stankface to someone making […]

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Good Giggity! (Early Summer Edition)

Summer vibes really on lock all a sudden, eh? Boston tropical and ting! (In fact, the main reason I’m finally getting around to writing this post — best intentions notwithstanding — is on account of IT IS TOO HOT TO SLEEP.) The dog daze arrived just in time, tho, for I’m delighted to report that […]

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Damas de Honor Duro

This is my new favorite thing in the world, and somehow it makes it make more sense that Luanda is the most expensive city on the planet. Sure is rich anyway (here’s a little background, fyi) — /big tip of the proverbial hat to Farrah Jarral, whose awesome voice I first encountered on Keysound’s classic […]

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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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Spectacular Copulative Writing

Allow me to point you over to Norient.com, where I’ve just contributed an article that attempts a brief history of perreo and other “spectacular copulative” dances, including a glance at such recent instantiations as daggering, perreo chacalonero, and of course, choque. Longtime readers know I’ve been working to develop an analysis of such practices — […]

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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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Crashing Two Bumpy Dances

Yesterday Cluster Mag posted my second contribution to what we’re calling a “multimedia mash-up series.” (The first was my Lambada mega-mix.) As with my “Gasodoble” remix, this mashy montage sources related clips from YouTube — in this case drawing from Colombian (and a Dominican) choque vids and a variety of folk (mostly US-based) doing the […]

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