Tag Archives: Logistics

Japanese Hip-Hop and Commercialization

11 May

Here’s a link to today’s listening.

During class I referred to theorist Andres Huyssen’s work (although I couldn’t remember his name) on the feminization of culture. He wrote an essay titled, “Mass Culture as Woman: Modernism’s Other” from his book After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986). I also referred to Nina Eidsheim’s research on race, technology, and vocality. Let me know if any of these issues interest you.

We decided as a class to have the review session next Thursday at 3PM. The final exam will be May 22nd at 3:30PM. Remember, the essay questions will help you as you study.


Scheduling Madness

5 May

As promised, here are two polls related to the studying and taking of our final exam.

Review session?

Final Exam Date?

Once we settle on a date for the exam, we can schedule a two-hour chunk. Please submit your answer ASAP.

A final word on Mumbai

25 Apr

Here is a link to the listening from the last class on Mumbai where we discussed scenes from three different films that drew on “Light” classical styles as a way of indexing various aspects of the past or the weight of tradition.

As we discussed in class, there are many versions of “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein” from Kabhie Kabhie (1976). Here is the video featuring the voice of playback singer Mukesh (he won a big award for his playback performance in this song).

Here is a link to the entirety of Umrao Jaan (1981). The scene we discussed occurs around 40-minute mark. Don’t forget to select the “cc” to see the English subtitles. The song/scene we covered from that film, “In Aankhon Ki Masti,” was recorded by playback singer Asha Bhosle:

There are many versions of “Radha Kaise Na Jale” on youtube. The one below has the option of English subtitles if you want (select “cc” and then “English” for it to work). However, if the choreography and colors are what excite you about this example, feel free to hunt around for something better.

As you prepare for Friday’s quiz, note that track names and movie titles are more important than the names of the playback singers or composers when discussing Bollywood. When there is both visual and musical material to consider, the video is most important for how it relates to the conventions (i.e. the “context) of bollywood music clips. For example, with “Yunh Hi Chala Chal” from Swades, the video was really important to that discussion because it was such a departure from convention. For “Radha Kaise Na Jale” (Lagaan), the scene and music are about equally as important. The conventions are important to DDLJ as is the “situational” setting for “Yeh Dosti Hum Nahim” from Sholay. For all of the Bollywood material, the readings can really help to elaborate on the content and issues we discussed, such as the relationship of industry and modernity to the music or differing ways of referring to the past.

If any of you are especially invested in the material we covered in this unit and want to learn more about it, I am willing to share additional resources, including books, articles, and other film recommendations.

Listening / Logistics

24 Feb


Here is a link to this week’s listening. It’s a pretty exciting playlist literally decades in the making.


As we discussed in class, there will not be a traditional essay or paper for assignment two; rather, I am expecting everyone to weigh in to extend the discussion we began about From Mambo to Hip-Hop and Chapter 2 of Latin Music USA (with a minimum of 100 words). That post with a more suitable prompt will be up by tomorrow.

Since we rescheduled a make-up class for Sunday March 4th at 2PM, I thought it would be simpler to move urban folk/bluegrass/old-time class to Friday, March 2nd. The listening quiz will happen on Tuesday, March 5th (Cumbia day) at the beginning of class. Or, to rephrase, the schedule for the next 2 weeks will be as follows:

  • February 28: No class!
  • March 2: Urban Folk Music and Class Mobility
  • March 4 (Sunday, 2PM, place TBD): Unit 2 | Mexico City, Mariachi, and the Culture Industry
  • March 5: Listening quiz for unit 1; Cumbia, Techno-Cumbia, Sonidero
  • March 9: Rock en Español and Latin Alternative

I know schedule changes can be confusing, and I appreciate everyone’s flexibility.

Salsa and More

22 Feb

This Friday, we will be discussing two genres of music explicitly connected Latin Americans living in New York City: salsa and reggaeton. In preparation for class, I have assigned the second episode of PBS’s Latin Music USA. The website for the mini-series contains an interactive section if you want to dig in to the rhythms in Latin American music’s U.S. transformations.

I know that a number of you were not sure which readings to prioritize since there is quite a bit of content assigned for Friday. I suggest focusing first on Pacini Hernández’s chapter and then reading Wayne Marshall’s piece. Both are excellent.

As you consider the histories of salsa and reggaeton, I have a few discussion questions that might help as you approach Latin Americanidad. In general, how would you consider the encounter between African American and Latin American musical styles in New York City? Why was salsa’s eventual development dependent on boogaloo/bugalú? What geographic, industrial, and social factors made this possible? How does the history of reggaeton complicate the assumptions of music and place?

Disco Part 1

17 Feb

Here is a link to the 4 tracks we covered in class today. And here is a link to the massive vocabulary list I provided.

The next time we meet, I hope to specifically discuss the urban sounds associated with disco and how those were (mis-)interpreted by U.S. popular culture during the 1970s. We will also talk about disco’s relationship to hip-hop and the differences between the two genres. As we discussed today, disco is often viewed as the black sheep of musical styles that developed in NYC during the 1970s, especially when discussed against hip-hop and punk. As you read the chapter from Lawrence and the chapters by Jeff Chang and Tricia Rose, keep those tensions in mind.

And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, let me know.

Looking Ahead to 2/16

16 Feb

As I mentioned in this comment, tomorrow we’ll briefly discuss From Mambo to Hip-Hop (it will come up repeatedly over the next few weeks), and the reading originally assigned for Tuesday. I will likely lecture ahead to some of the content originally scheduled for tomorrow. We will eventually be on schedule, but we will have to content ourselves with playing catch-up due to complications of the teach-in. Tenha paciência!

As we look ahead to tomorrow, think about what might be the thesis of From Mambo to Hip-Hop and how the filmmakers argue it through their examples. Consider how the film might connect to the chapters we’ve covered in the textbook thus far (and, perhaps, the process of thinking through the first writing assignment).


In other news, I heard (via Twitter) from a student who took the last iteration of this course. He says that he’s pleased we are spending so much time in NYC and Tokyo (more time than the last time I taught this class). He describes a new scene in New England called the rage / rager scene (electro / dubstep, etc.) as well as a rave scene (hardcore, trance, etc.) and some fierce opposition between the two. Apparently a lot of scene veterans are sad about the tension between the two groups… Do we have a sense of opposition between scenes here in Florida? Do you experience regional oppositions? Some of you referred to this in your first writing assignment, but I thought it would be nice to make the convo more, well, social.