Month of November, 2007
Gone but not forgotten: my friend Daphne Brooks is putting together this amazing James Brown conference at Princeton for November 29-30th. I will report on the events but here is the announcement:
"Ain't that a Groove": The Genius of James Brown
November 29-30, 2007
Pop music writing has ALWAYS had a subject/object war - who gets to write? what do they get to write about? How is it done? But we're currently in a fever pitch of argument about the subjectivity of pop writers in terms of race. I see this as sparked by Kelefa Sanneh's piece in the NY Times and BMW, "The Rap Against Rockism," which took discourse about race/genre/subjectivity that had been simmering since the 1970s an put it into the mainstream.
From Jiang Zhi's "Plato and his Seven Spirits" series.
Dear Jon Pareles,
The excellent Brooklyn record shop Sound Fix is kicking off a new reading series called "Talking About Music" with an event with beloved New Yorker (and BMW06 contributor) Alex Ross, whose book The Rest Is Noise is a subway reading favorite these days.
What does it mean to situate your understanding of the world and history with your own subjective history? One of the most forceful moments I have ever witnessed at the EMP Pop Con is when the fabulous Drew Daniel (Dr. and Sir Matmos both in one body) discussed his upbringing and relationship to the song "Sweet Home Alabama," as he remembers it being sung in a football stadium in Kentucky.
BMW contributor and longtime Stylus writer Nick Southall wrote a piece "Why We Killed It" on his blog about the death of Stylus. Last year when sorting through the loads of writing I get for the book I noticed a huge trend for these meta-critic pieces, and rightfully so.
Like any "best" list (ahm), or list in general, The Voice's "Best" list is a way to compile and rank a lot of disperate information to make some kind of definitive statement about its object, in this case, the whimsy and ever-change of NYC.