linkthink re: hip-hop, reggae, the US, jamaica, and anything else wayne wants to wax on



so much for "hotlanta"--the storied city was, at least in meterological terms, purdy cold this weekend. of course, i spent most of my time confined to a hotel and its surrounding mall, attending and celebrating the society for ethnomusicology's 50th annual conference.

there's nothing quite like hanging out with 800-or-so other folk united by a love of music and the role it plays in our lives and societies. i don't think the midtown sheraton typically hosts a full-out samba jam in the lobby from 1-2am, but that didn't stop my colleagues from singing, dancing, and drumming their butts off every night. perhaps more amused than entertained, the receptionists and security guards seemed glad to have us around anyway.

it was hard for me to get a sense of the sprawling city, especially so tethered to a hotel. but i can't front: it was a pleasure just to ride the MARTA from the airport and check off all the stops i've learned from outkast songs.

college park! east point! decatur!

despite the cold, there was plenty of music and camaraderie to keep us warm. on top of that, the scandal bag guys uploaded their heatwave 2005 mix just in time to provide some extra hotness (if only in my headphones). i've been digging the whole heatwave movement--bringing together dancehall, reggaeton, hip-hop and related strands--for a minute now, though i've not yet had the pleasure of attending any of their sessions across the pond. the mix is a great compendium of all the big tunes that have been heating up clubs around the world over the last year, with some remixes, classics, and specials thrown in for good measure. one thing that strikes me about the mix is the actual style of mixing, which seems appropriately hybrid: the transitions fall somewhere between the smooth, sometimes extended blends of hip-hop and the abrupt, pull-up style of reggae. new jams appear with hardly any warning (save for those alarmist sirens), keeping the vibe going strong. this is club music, dance music, fun music, world music. listen to it loud. get it here.

while we were busy geeking out down in altlanta, my man pace was geeking out up in boston, keeping his return to the blogosphere going strong by posting a provocative "confession" over at riddimmethod and then some serious data crunching, analysis, and argument over at libraryofvinyl. i can't say i have a strong opinion on the "funkiest year ever," but pace's posts are persuasive.

in other music geekery/scholarship/resources, i've been meaning to link to the following for a while now:
  • anthony mccann, an ethnomusicologist who has been studying the confines of copyright, provides a deep list of links to work on popular music.

  • although not academic in orientation, dub.com provides a generous list of links to dub-related pages all around the web. definitely worth checking out. they just started podcasting, too.

another resource i came across this weekend is calabash music, which offers "fair trade" music from around the world. some quality stuff, too: they've released thomas mapfumo's last two albums, for instance. but perhaps you'd prefer some tanzanian hip-hop courtesy of x plastaz. or killer kwatio from mapaputsi. either way, calabash serves up high quality mp3s, free of DRM nastiness, and they are committed to giving artists around the world a fair shake at promoting and selling their music to a devoted, discerning audience. they also offer a free mp3 every week for registered users. promising stuff--learn more here.

finally, the picture below--for obvious reasons--is of the best signage i spotted in my limited travels around atlanta. in case you're wondering, they're in the "hair and body care" business. that should clear up any questions about pronunciation.

soge? fine by me.


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