“Neckties” vs. “Warlords”: Yeezy and HOVA’s contesting masculinities

So, in my earlier post about Jay-Z’s DOA, I argued that he was defending a more traditional ghetto-hetero-black masculinity against Kanye’s Autotuned insurgency into hip-hop and its canon of “proper” masculinities. Kanye’s LMFAO “Paranoid” remix (Youtube below) makes it clear…

Pop and the New Millenium Music Critic

In his P2K essay, Tom Ewing argues that, in the last decade, pop finally became something that serious people (music critics, academics) took seriously. This is not so much attributable to some change or set of changes in “pop” itself,…

Does a mid-sized city like Charlotte even NEED a professional Symphony Orchestra?

No. As this Observer article explains, the Charlotte Symphony is in serious financial trouble:http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/909093.html Clearly the community cannot financially sustain a professional symphony orchestra. Does it need to? Ought it? Nope. Certainly we need to save the great institutions –…

Pathological Sublime = the Abject

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/08/04/a-young-persons-guid.html#more Mark Derry details his new project about the “Pathological Sublime.” Now, I

Taste, Hipness, and White Embodiment – my new article in Contemporary Aesthetics

http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=549 Contemporary Aesthetics has just published its special issue on Aesthetics & Race, edited by the wonderful Monique Roelofs. You should check out my article on taste, hipness, and white embodiment (complete with discussion of James Chance’s “Almost Black”). Here’s…

Rancière and Media Theory

Marshall McLuhan’s claim that “the medium is the message” is a more-or-less foundational tenet of media studies, and it is exactly this claim that Rancière contests. In an insight that is both groundbreaking and re-hashing some 18th-century observations on aesthetics,…

Phase-shifting process music as an analogue for social identitity: or, re-thinking intersectionality via “It’s Gonna Rain”

So, I’m working on am argument that social identities (race, gender, etc.) are mutually constitutive, and that metaphors of “intersection” and “blending” don’t accurately capture the ontology of social identities (as mutually constitutive). As a part of the argument, I…

George Michael fucks gender, wonders “If I Were a Boy…”

So, in spite of her husband’s regressive gender politics (see below), Beyonce had some serious genderfucking onstage last night in London. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. George Michael joined B onstage for “If I Were a…

Death of Autotune, or massive repudiation of perceived effeminacy?

Ok, so, Jay-Z has released a new track titled “DOA (Death of Autotune)”, produced by Mr. Autotune extraordinare Kanye West. There’s a ton of media buzz about the track (which seems to be the purpose of a track which attacks…

steve reich <=> beyonce

Compare: (1) Reich’s “Clapping Music” (one of the phasing pieces) to (2) Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (sorry, no embed for this one) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mVEGfH4s5g I’m teaching a course this summer on the philosophical, aesthetic, and compositional relationship that tie mid-20th c avant-garde…