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


do you want to?

lovely US cellular field, where chevy trucks drive into the outfield at least twice a game

  • i think i like jordan davis's "non-poetry" (like t.s. eliot's) about as much as his poetry (like t.s. eliot's -- except for the bad stuff about jews), which is to say, often quite a bit. (when dwelled upon, those seem like small words of praise, but i feel them stronger than hyperbole.) recently, jordan's prose reminded me of shakespeare's hopes, much as he reversed them, when he spoke of the court of future readers.

  • speaking of that court (and other courts that might do something a bit more proactive), you should read timothy burke on sadness and authoritarianism (&how it gets worse). it may be scant consolation that there remain eloquent defenses for what used to pass as this country's constitution, but it still makes me feel better.

  • mays and benizo: "considered visionaries in the hip-hop space" -- hmmm, i wonder who put that phrase together. (via)

  • and speaking of phrases, aren't 'enemy combatant' (which as ebog points out, now includes YOU) and other neolophemisms sorta the admin's version of geopol biznizzspeak, if more monstrous in its colonization of our, um, joined-up thinking. i mean, it's like they're trying to leverage the synergy of the moment in order to think outside the box on a fast track to a win-win game plan, or something, with value-added. thing is, this administration, which remember was hailed as the "MBA administration" (feelin lucky?), joins a not-so-illustrious group of MBA peers (and funders, natch). synergy indeed.

  • /jace stirs up the pot in his inimitable way. but i'm waiting for the next mix to tell me what he really thinks ;)

  • and to bring us back to 'do', tho this might sound like a stretch, i submit -- if i may -- that one thing /rupture's articulating in his celebration of grime's "funky, fractured subjectivity" is precisely the sort of musical poetics of blackness, or sonic afro-modernity maybe, or -- right! -- negrophonics, that finds resonance, as artistic practice, with eliot's ideas about the powers of poetry:
    "Poetry is of course not to be defined by its uses...It may effect revolutions in sensibility such as are periodically needed; may help to break up the conventional modes of perception and valuation which are perpetually forming, and make people see the world afresh, or some new part of it. �It may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves, and an evasion of the visible and sensible world. �But to say all this is only to say what you know already, if you have felt poetry and thought about your feelings."

    -- T. S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism


plug fetish

chicagoans! i'm playing my first local party this weekend, saturday night, at a secret spot somewhere around downtown (TBA). headlining is none other than my riddim methodist colleague, kid kameleon, and joining us on the bill are such loco locals (and regionals) as curtis chip, ipaghost, wesley clay, and the no ma'am kru (i.e.). should be a vibes. par for the dance, i plan to play some slyly syncopated stompers, spanning the electro-carib diaspora as usual.

for more info, see here.

got some other chi-town gigs coming up, too. for now, murdochspace is the best way to keep tabs on those.

[update: unfortunately, i'm told, things are starting to look kinda shaky on the party -- something about the space falling through. i'll try to put another update up when i hear more, but for now it's best to check in with me or with that "dorkwave" gmail address (see the flyer) sometime on friday or saturday. ah, the ol' "underground party scene" -- gotta love it. ::sigh::]

[update ii: all right, it's on! apparently the promoters have found a good alternative spot for us, if at something of an "aboveground" location. anyhow, it's happening at 1968 n. milwaukee ave, at the intersection of western / armitage / milwaukee. $10 cover, doors open at 10; i'm playing from 1-2, kid k from 2-3. word.]


sight, site, cite

mass bay from american air

  • mr.murk brings back his egyptronix mix for the first of his podcasts.

  • which reminds me that dr.auratheft has some excellent new mixes up, including a bellydance diaspora special and some great latin/caribbean stuff via family history.

  • which reminds me as well that, in case you haven't been following along (and, really, why not?), the blogariddims series -- hourlong mixes by some of the musical blogosphere's finest, fortnightly -- has been rolling along with several stellar offerings since i last reminded y'all about it.

    from john eden's and paul meme's heavy dancehall pressure to the cool'n'dark constitution of bassnation's turn to the "texturematched" flex of soundslike1981, i've been grateful for the bimonthly beats and bleeps and blurs. the latest taste of blogariddimic (or should that be blogatextural?) goodness comes from tim rutherford-johnson (of the rambler), an engaging crawl across the "contemporary classical" landscape.

    what are you waiting for? subscribe, already.

  • /// ..in more texty bubblings.. ///

  • after much parisian preamble, luis has finally started blogging (a bit) about EDM and, among other things, the making of parisian masculinity. check his rundown of the city's annual techno parade.

  • i'm pleased to report that "the riddim method" article i co-authored with peter manuel, the title to which some might recognize from me-&-da-methodists' group blog, has finally been published. (more over at -- you guessed it -- the riddim method.)

  • and don't miss k-punk's review/interview of/with kode9 (as if anyone was gonna miss it after sr.reynolds pointed us there).

    but we might ask, indeed we should, whether the parallel that kode9 draws between dubstep and d'n'b -- "To a certain extent, the switch from UK garage to dubstep parallels audio-socially the transition from jungle to drum'n'bass" -- should make us as uncomfortable as the "switch" from jungle to d'n'b made us. wasn't it woebot who said blackness did not seem to be a part of dubstep? of course, i contend that it does, to my ears, but the celebration of the scene in musico-critical discourse alongside the increasing silence around grime would seem to belie a more troubling "audio-social" shift than kode9 and k-punk discuss.

  • btw, "sight, site, cite" is a triple-hom, didntchaknow?

  • /// ... ///

  • ps -- catch some dancehall/dance gems over at erin's.

    seems that regional dance phenom we were hoping for has officially blown, and i think, for all the deep localness of each and every spot and step, youtube and other (global) mass media, especially of the DIY/"democratic" ilk, have played no small role.

    [update: the new CFP for EMP would seem to affirm my curiosity about the translocal life of such dances as harlem's chicken noodle soup, philly's wu-tang, detroit's jit, cali's krump, etc. one of the conf's orienting questions for this year is: "Does the Chicken Noodle Soup dance live on 119 and Lex or on Youtube?" (obv, the answer's "both," but one can say a lot about that.)]


but it's hot though

  • how hot is the new tego album? well, i'll tell you in some detail soon (via the phx), but suffice to say it's hot enough that someone stole my car radio to get a copy.*

    i'll say at this point, though, that i totally agree with the choice of "los maté" -- with its chipmunk'd ranchera chorus (e.g.) and filtered dembow -- as the lead single. and i like the use of mariachi men in the video to bring out the sample's resonance, though the rest is fairly standard, unimaginative r'ton fare: e.g., tego as a gangster, scantily-clad dancers.

    (*all right, it's prolly not the cd they were after -- it was my shitty stereo -- but i appreciate the neighborly welcome all the same. ah, life in the big city.)

  • otherwise tho, i should say, life here in chi-town has been pretty good to date, and it remains full of promise. for instance, tomorrow night i've got my first bomba lesson-session with the good people @ africaribe, and after that, for a helping of some good ol' hometown (sonic) soup, i plan to check out one of beantown's best, the inimitable kfw, playing at danny's.

  • /// and from the various and sundry dept (see also) ///

  • so fresh and so clean: reverse graffiti (it may even be 'legal')

  • action figures reanimated!! umeancompetitor has embarked on a new saga, starwars stylee, while bustatoons is pursuing a remarkably serious blog about he-man [via]

  • in a few short years, duke university has gone from being among the most "gay-unfriendly" schools in the country to one of the "top 20 friendliest" for gay students -- no small thanks, no doubt, to fine by me, which was initiated at duke by becca's sister and some friends. (as you may know, it's totally fine by me, too, though that should really go without saying.) baby steps, yeah, but they do get you somewhere eventually. coming soon: gay marriage? fine by me.

  • popefully speaking:

    angryarab: "I also get upset when Muslim masses react more strongly to words and cartoons than to wars and aggression."

    and juancole offers postcolonial perspective on the papal provocation. (see also)

    heavyweight author karen armstrong weighs in, too.
  • 9.13.2006


    • becca's and charlie's class has begun. par for the course, she and the other instructors will be keeping a blog as they go, attempting to document the successes and missteps and nitty-grit and whatnot of offering harvard's first course open to the public. the first and second lecture videos are already up, as is becca's first post, or two or three.

      [i do disclaim!: in that first post-class post, bec calls me her "husband" (which is true, but weird for me to see all anonymous in the third person like that) and she quotes "sexy jesus"; also, for the record, i was never forced to answer the riddle of the three hats, which is good b/c i'm not very good at riddles.]

    • prof twist had his students do the chicken-noodle-soup dance last week, which prompted me to ask whether they'd be doing the wu tang next. which prompted joe to hope for a nationwide city-by-city competition for most distinctive dance-and-song phenom. (which would be awesome.) which prompted me to recommend he read /jace's post on reggaeton from dec 04 in which señor ruptcha wishes "lean back" wouldn'ta been the kind of dance craze to preclude other dances crazes. (which, happens to be maybe the best and most poetic take on reggaeton i've seen to date.)

      [also, i like how joe uses utilizes the word "utilizations" after "pedagogical" in the title to underscore the silliness of "pedagogical" -- which, i have to admit, is a better word than "teachagogical" and a better word than "utilizations."]

    • the dancecult list brought to my attention (and now i to yours) a couple academish academisch articles on EDM, if you're into that sort of thing:

      1) an ambitious undertaking to reconceptualize rhythm, which features a few too many mixed metaphors and theory "pre-sets" for my taste


      2) an article by luis (inparis!), which seeks to reclaim the pleasures of repetition -- tout court !! -- from all the utterly unfunky music theorists out there. (not that i don't know plenty of some perfectly funky music theorists.)

      [and i mean perfectly. (jk! feelin cheeky today. lology.)]

    • but the best thing i've read in the last few days is kofi agawu's new piece in the current JAMS: "structural analysis or cultural analysis: competing perspectives on the 'standard pattern' of west african rhythm." any of y'all who've done any west african percussion playing will know the pattern he's talking about: that ol' 12/8 bell pattern which, as has been said, holds everything together. well, as usual (but it's still dazzling every time), agawu does an excellent job discussing the extant discourse and showing why he has some good ideas about the subject. identifying each mode's strengths and weaknesses, he proposes an approach that dispenses with neither "structural nor cultural points of view" but instead brings them to bear on each other, all in the name of "developing" -- as a research community, he means -- "a cross-cultural analysis of african rhythm" (6-7). i won't give the rest away because it's a pleasure to read and i couldn't possibly edify like agawu.

      of course, this being JAMS, the footnotes are where a lot of the heavy lifting happens. allow me to reproduce for you but one which will give a sense of agawu's tone and procedure here:

      [the piece is good enough -- and writing about it inferior enough, that it's making me want to start pdf blogging. i mean, we got enough mp3 bloggaz around here already. in the name of open courses, anyone up for reading along this semester?]


    bin laden didn't blow up the projects

    did you remember to 'never forget' today?

    just checking.


    linkthink #7362629

    • two of my favorite academics and family members, becca and charlie nesson, are teaching a course together this fall. charlie at the law school, and becca at the extension school -- in second life, no less! it proves to be something special, examining (and making) arguments not in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion, and exploring the role of media technologies to facilitate and amplify such arguments.

      i believe the extension school enrollment is already full, but they're also encouraging "at large" participation, so if this seems up your alley, check out the course website, watch the video (see below), browse the syllabus, and join the party.

    • in other bloggy news...

    • raquel rivera's reggaetonica blog is rolling along like some dembow snares, offering interesting discussions of race, class, and reggaeton (including real deets on real estate), and featuring some engaging commentary c/o felix jimenez.

    • greg scruggs, who's back in cambridge after a stimulating summer in rio, promises to continue unpacking his thoughts and observations at beat diaspora. what's more, he promises to play a bunch of his favorite funk tunes this monday at beat research, some of which will soon be released here in the US c/o flamin hotz records.

    • luis-manuel garcia is an ethnomusicology student here at U of C. only this semester, luis is in paris. he's been nice enough to lend me his record collection while he's studying, dancing, eating, walking, and blogging (like a mufucka) his way around gay paree. yippie! (but please tell us more about that funky french EDM, monsieur.)

    • anthropologist ted swedenburg, who writes about rai and franco-maghrebi identity, among other things -- you know where this is going right? -- has a blog!


    a lot of unpacking to do

    more literally than metaphorically, but there's always plenty of the latter too, knamean.

    still, i've finally reached the windy windy and am steady settling into my lil apt in the vibrant barrio of humboldt park. if the mango-con-chili we had at this weekend's "fiesta boricua" was any indication, this is a place with mucho sabor. i look forward to more.

    be right back with mo' wax very soon. sorry for the extended wane. gotta get a proper internet connection first though. comcast, where you at?

    !hasta pronto!