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


headed home

not to cambridge. to wayneandwax.com.

so, my dear dear readers'n'referrers, plz update your links and follow me over this-a-way >>

let's keep the conversation going. shit, let's take it up a notch.

see you after the jump.


ps -- new feeds, too: rdf rss rss2 atom -- but do poke around.


ni chicha ni limonada

in pursuing the chacalonero thread further, i've been in conversation with joshua tucker, an ethnomusicologist at UT-austin (and the guy previously in my shoes), who knows a thing or two about music in peru.

clearing up some of my questions about sr. chacalon jr. -- that link, btw, dates "perreo chacalonero" to at least feb/05! -- as well as about chicha more generally (the music, that is), joshua has helped me to hear the phenomenon in better context:
First, I can't help but notice that the song itself is remarkably similar in form and tone to "Mesa que mas aplauda," which was huge in Peru a couple of years ago, when it was huge all over Latin America. (If you don't know it, it's here. And I'm sure the story behind it's floating around on the internet as well.) Rooted in chicha sounds instead of merengue, but still, the procedure, such as it is, seems to be the same, and the themes of over-the-top sexuality fit pretty well.

As for the whole Chacalon link, I can't help but think that the popularity of this Chacalon Jr. (who I have never otherwise heard of) has surged since the (really good) telenovela about his father aired last year. I can't help but wonder of he was making chicha music until pretty recently, when reggaeton arrived in Peru (in c. 2003-4), and that any success he's got is piggybacking on his ability to market himself in his father's name.

Which is interesting, because this thing, and the whole reggaeton phenomenon in Peru generally, fits very obviously and perfectly with chicha's earlier position. Despite the whole academic fuss over chicha being a kind of hybrid fusion of the Andes and the international sphere, it's important to remember that the actual listeners didn't, and don't, hear it that way: they hear it as a local variant of cumbia, nothing more. That is, it was a very deliberate identification with (tropical) pan-Latin (working-class) musical currents instead of any locally available identities, on the part of Lima's poorest sectors. This video, of the kids onstage, looks EXACTLY like a chichodrome: I mean it is one, or it probably becomes one on another night of the week, and this music is catering to exactly the same audience that chicha catered to a generation beforehand.

And what's FURTHER interesting, actually, is looking at that in light of the debate that you link to - look at post number 280, where a woman upbraids Chacalon Jr. for not making music like his father, saying "esa si fue musica," when in fact, until say, ONE YEAR AGO, the general reaction to Chacalon's chicha was pretty similar to the rejection of perreo you see on that list - in class/intellectual (the same thing in Peru) terms that is: the erotic element wasn't there in chicha's dismissal, but the overtones of moral panic were (linked to generic gang violence and hoodlumism instead).

Only other thing I can really think to say is that I'm pretty sure this came from a DVD being sold on the street in Peru - they all start with that same film-reel thing.

muy interesante, no? (not to mention generous, joshua, thx again.) after señor tucker asked if i had any additional, more specific questions, i shot him the following:
I do have one specific question. Not knowing much about chicha, I wonder if you could point me to the particular features of "Perreo Chacalonero" that signify chicha. Is it a pretty typical example? Save for the vocals? I'm assuming that the "perreo" thing comes from reggaeton, but there's little about the track that points to reggaeton other than those references. Is there anything particularly atypical about the musical backing?

to which, he graciously replied:
...the sound of a wah-wah guitar like that, especially with the light, nominally "tropical" percussion underneath, in a Peruvian context instantly signifies "chicha" to the (this) listener. Chicha was a local version of cumbia, made by and for Lima's expanding "popular" sector (in the Latin American sense of the word - working-class), almost 100% composed of Andean migrants, beginning in the late sixties, becoming stylistically consolidated through the seventies, and dominating the Peruvian "popular" music scene in the eighties. It basically took some key elements of pan-Latin cumbia as it existed at that time - light "tropical" percussion, the basic eighth-and-two-sixteenths rhythmic pattern - and substituted electric guitars, later keyboards as well, for the melodic instruments typical of cumbia. According to most academic analyses, performers also took some of the elements of Andean melodies, and it's true that they occasionally arranged (folk-pop) huaynos, and also that many chicha melodies use the same waffling between relative major/minor modes that's used in huayno music. However, it was perceived, like I say, more as a link to an international, pan-Latin musical stream, a local variant of cumbia, than anything else. And it was reviled by Peruvian elites: today, the word "chicha" has expanded to be somewhat equivalent to the English term "white trash," it denotes everything
esthetically and socially unacceptable about the lowbrow masses among the plebe, from the perspective of Peru's (self-)perceived economic/intellectual creme.

Oh, performers also adopted the stage presence, coordinated moves, and outlandish matching costumes of cumbia stars:

You can see and hear the greatest of chicha bands, Los Shapis, looking older and more rotund than in their heyday but sounding exactly the same, here - and check it out, before the clip begins, you get a little promo for the production company with a number of musical figures and the words "supporting what's ours," and that your guy, Chacalon Jr appears there alongside Los Shapis:

So, in that example, you hear the classic chicha guitar sound, and the classic percussion: clean and stripped-down, respectively (btw, as with Mexican cumbia et al, salseros and other aficionados of esthetically/politically "engaged" musica tropical loathe this stuff for its simplicity/childishness, depending on how you perceive it). Later bands did use a wah-wah kind of sound, but I think it might also have become more prominent in chicha's nineties-era reincarnation, as tecnocumbia. Tecno- here has nothing to do with Detroit: in Peru, it's appended to any musical tradition that's traded acoustic for electric instrumentation, especially if it uses a drum machine to replicate "tropical" percussion (hence, tecno-huayno and tecno-huaylas). Tecnocumbia came around in the mid-nineties, and like Raul Romero notes in his article in the collection From tejano to tango, it was kind of extraordinary to the extent that it bridged the gap between what had been fairly strictly demarcated ethnic/racal listening communities. That is, for a while: up until about 2001, it was listened to by people of all kinds in Peru, at all places on the race/class spectrum: however, between the time that I lived Ayacucho from June-August of 2000, and when I returned in August of 2001, it had pretty much faded back to radio aimed at the "popular" sector.

But what's funny is, tecnocumbia was just repackaged/re-marketed chicha! Like Raul says in that article, it was basically chicha that had been de-Andeanized, had the key signifiers of Andean migrant-ness removed from it. The music was presented as being from the Amazon (a place just recently developing in the Peruvian consciousness as a peopled part of the nation), or alternatively the north coast, and many tecnocumbia bands were simply chicha groups that had traded in their (highly chicha-connotative) electric guitars for keyboards (I think that's a direct quote from Raul).

This didn't fool everybody, and a lot of people just kept calling it all chicha. Also, I should note that some people will almost certainly insist that some of these bands that converted into tecnocumbia groups were never "chicha" groups, but rather "cumbia norteña" groups, such as Agua Marina. Again, whatever interest people on the north coast might have in dissociating themselves from the "chicha" label, the music was pretty much the same stuff - you tell me:

Anyway, this is based on half-remembered impressions, but it seems to me that many tecnocumbia bands have made more liberal use of the wah-wah sound than happened in chicha per se: but the line bleeds pretty thin here.

I'm glad you also find nothing here that points to reggaeton - I couldn't see it either, but I figured you're the expert as far as that goes! About what's atypical - I've never seen this approach in any Peruvian music, to have one repeated musical figure (sample?), over which the (frankly, lazy) vocalist does nothing but exhort the dancers/listeners and repeat the name of the song. Both of those things - the (highly "performed") laziness of the vocalist (DJ?) and the repetition of the actual track title - are what made me think of "Mesa que mas aplauda." Oh, and the sex. I just can't believe it's coincidental: it's true that Peruvian tecno- bands (of whatever ilk) always have "animadores," guys who encourage the audience to dance and drink and such, but they're always supporting a vocalist that actually sings.

Anyway, I hope that's interesting/helpful to you as well - feel free to put any of it up, noting the caveat that I don't know anything about this track and am out on a limb a bit...

i can't say that i have much to add to joshua's thoughtful, thorough comments. i suppose the features he identifies at the end -- heavy repetition, a DJ exhorting dancers, explicit sexual content (and called "perreo" at that) -- are the most likely to have been borrowed from or inspired by reggaeton (if not reggae -- weh yuh seh, fire links?). i've been wondering about reggaeton in peru for a minute now, both b/c i'm curious about the genre's spread beyond the caribbean and the US and b/c afro-peruvian singer susana baca (who sells her music digitally via calabash, btw) is here in chicago this week. one thing i happened upon not long ago which confirmed, if somewhat implicitly, the popularity of reggaeton in peru is this piece, in which daddy yankee endorses music piracy and we're told that his hotel in lima is mobbed by fans.

but how clearly can we connect the "perreo chacalonero" to reggaeton? i'm not sure. little if any of the discourse i've seen on any of these video comments, message boards, etc., seem to figure reggaeton in the debate. instead people focus on the (im)morality of the dance, the "lowness" of such cultural practices, and the attendant inferiority of this or that national or social or cultural group. considering how reggaeton animates similar debates in PR, DR, cuba, and the US, it's interesting that it hasn't been more implicated -- as a corrupting outside agent, sin duda -- in all the chatter 'bout the chacalonero.


¡pooh bear, yo le conozco apenas!

as some attentive, clicky readers might have noticed in my last post about the exploding latin american youtubosphere, i finished by asking how to say "omg!" in spanish, pointing to yet another video that leads to dozens of videos. that one, however, goes well beyond the "yasuri yamileths" out there, demonstrating -- with well-known cartoon and kids-show characters no less (para niños!?!) -- the latest dance craze to sweep latin america, or at least peru: the "perreo chacalonero"!

now, many of you are probably familiar with the perreo, the aptly-named doggy-style dance that goes hand-in-hand (torso-in-torso?) with reggaeton. scandalizing older generations and bucking middle-class mores, the dance was apparently banned for a short time by the PR govt, a move which seems only to have popularized it further. plenty of clubbers will recognize the dance as simply the sort of grinding or freaking that has been a staple of (american, if not global) club culture for some time now.

at any rate, the perreo chacalonero is a variation on the perreo which features far more explicit moves, if that can be imagined. it's about as public an example of simulated sex as one can get. according to this news clip (whose exxxplicit footage requires one to be registered on youtube to see it -- tho this one doesn't), the perreo chacalonero has become an "escandalo" in peru and, if one goes with the sensationalist rhetoric, is provoking moral panic in chile and argentina. (as one can see from the comments on that vid, it has also offered an opening for a class-tinted, historically-fraught flame war between chileans and peruanos, among others -- and there's more along those lines in various other comment threads. [thx to galeb numa for the navigation and explication!])

interestingly, like so many other viral video dance crazes, the perreo chacalonero appears to be tied to a specific track (by papa chacalon and/or his son, chacalon jr -- still tryna track that down), though there seems to be a wider genre of recordings which seem to inspire this sort of drrty drrty dancing. the phenomenon thus represents yet another localization of the reggaeton template, bringing in andean/cumbia elements and making connections to other local pop (though, admittedly, i need to listen and learn a lot more before i make any more grand musical-analytical statements -- any especialistas out there want to offer an opinion?).

videos of the latest forbidden dance have also, as with yasuri yamileth and chacarron, elicited no small number of parodies and DIY take-offs, including versions featuring legos and plenty of gleeful homoeroticism.

but the pooh bear footage takes the cake. ¡aydiosmio!


we are all yasuri yamileth

^^that's the latest latin american viral video (or the latest that i'm hopelessly late to). actually, it's but the tip of the iceberg. raquel sent me the link, which i took at first to be some sort of underground reggaeton video (which it sort of is). despite its cartoonishness, the production was low-fi enough and the performance serious enough -- and the location oh-so ghetto credful -- that it pulled off a kind of verisimilitude. but then i saw the "related videos," one after another, none of which kept as straight a face as the above.

getting into the act are lil kids (yasuritos!), and moms (in the kitchen, no less), plenty of teens (from venzuela to canada), groucho marx, and some apparently rather popular cross-dressing pals (brace yourself for that one). there's even already a highlight reel, containing clips from most of those i've mentioned:

removing much of the mystery, raquel also sent a link to a page on wikipedia, fwiw (which, yes, should go w/o saying), offering a persuasive account of the song's origins, a surprisingly (suspiciously?) detailed story about its digital distribution (naming specific bloggers and message boards), as well as a complete transcription of the lyrics. As the entry tellingly tells it:
In Venezuela, Yasuri Yamileth is a huge success because people identify that name as someone from low class with bad manners. The song is played even in the most exlcusive nightclubs
everyone can identify with a good stereotype about poor people then, no? que bueno. i don't mean to be glib. clearly there are diverse modes of reception/reproduction being expressed across these videos, ranging from the celebratory and sympathetic to the exploitative and derisive (with plenty in between and beyond). but the song appears to have been invented as a distancing gesture, and the gilette razor, chorizo, and bachata references keep yasmuri yamileth squarely, even as she shimmies, in the realm of the other -- a paradoxical outcome of such a self-identified song. mi nombre es, mi nombre es, mi nombre es...

it reminds me a bit of the reaction i got from an ethno colleague who works on brazil when i asked him about the popularity of funk in broader brazilian society. "it became this slumming thing," he said...
In 2000 or so, when funk took over Carnaval and threatened to replace the usual marchinhas and other trad musics, it was not popular with [upper class kids], but aspiring thugs, trouble-makers and malandros (and maybe the real ones, too). Then, like 5 years later, it returned, pretty much sounding the same, and found a new demographic. Parents got a wee bit nervous that little Patty and Maurice were going to get into trouble via the new music, especially how they were dancing!
not to see this as equivalent exactly, but there's something unnerving in the classface minstrelsy, if you will, parading around on youtube in second-hand short-shorts. at the end of the downloading day, is this just a bunch of kids (and adults) dancing to the equivalent of a kevin federline / paris hilton song?

at any rate, i'm grateful for that wiki entry b/c i'm afraid i just don't have time right now to hunt down, a la chacarron, the various strands swirling around yasuri yamileth. i find it pretty remarkable all the same.

performance and representation of class, race, gender, and sexuality aside, this latest musically-propelled meme ricocheting around the youtubosphere calls attn yet again to what sure seems like a sea change in the media environment. (indeed, i'm tempted to call it the media "ecology" based on the way these things seem to sustain each other, grow in unpredictable ways, cross-fertilize, etc.) from local dance crazes to DIY dramas, vlogs and lonelygirls, and "home movies" of all sorts, the age of peer2peer television is upon us.

let's hope the world keeps getting wired so the real yasuri yamileths will find a way to get out, get free, get even.


ps -- unrelated (sorta), pero como se dice omg! en espanol?


the bolívar doctrine

check out chavez, who's got another book for ya, speaking to time:

TIME: Do your feelings about Bush reflect your feelings toward America in general?

CHAVEZ: No. I revere America as the nation of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Mark Twain--who was a great anti-imperialist, who opposed U.S. adventurism in the Spanish-American War.

TIME: You often speak of the link between U.S. foreign policy and its appetite for oil.

CHAVEZ: Bush wanted Iraq's oil, and I believe he wants Venezuela's oil. The blame for high oil prices lies in the consumer model of the U.S. Its reckless oil consumption is a form of suicide.

TIME: You said recently that you believe the "Bolívar Doctrine is finally replacing the Monroe Doctrine" on your watch. Why?

CHAVEZ: For two centuries in this hemisphere we've experienced a confrontation between two theses--America's Monroe Doctrine, which says the U.S. should exercise hegemony over all the other republics, and the doctrine of Simón Bolívar, which envisioned a great South American republic as a counterbalance. Bush has spread the Monroe thesis globally, to make the U.S. the police of the world--if you're not with us, he says, you're against us. We're simply doing the same now with the Bolívar thesis--a doctrine of more equality and autonomy among nations, more equilibrium of power.


por ejemplo, dale correa!:

and see, and, and,


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?]