Tuesday night reading room open later hours
A generous excerpt from "Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be
Best news of the day: the Joy of cooking hauled out them old tapes and guess what has resulted from one of the best group of females Berkeley had to offer?See if you've guessed right by clicking right here
Composer Edgard Varèse was father to Frank Zappa's iconoclastic ways as well as the focus of the rock and jazz hall of famer's swan song -- which may finally get to be heard.
By Richard S. Ginell, Special to The Times
Source: 2006 Punmaster's MusicWire
Big Hubbadubba coming up
The Pop Music Critic as Cultural Critic, Feb. 2006
Thursday evening is a reception and dinner and some introductory babble from
me [Ann Powers], Jim DeRogatis and Mark Anthony Neal. Here's the meat of the schedule, the next day:
*Friday, February 17, 2006
**/U of MN SJMC Conference Center , Murphy Hall, Minneapolis/*
*9:00*-*9:20*-Welcome and plan for the day. Kathleen Hansen, Director,
MJC, and Thom Swiss, Visiting Professor, UM. Participant introductions.
*9:20-10:00*-Seeing the Music Critic as Critical -Ann Powers, Jim
DeRogatis, Mark Anthony Neal, and Thom Swiss
*10:00-11:00*-Best Practices for Reviewing Pop, Rock, and Hip-Hop/
Differences between Reviewing Practices. Mark Anthony Neal, Jim DeRogatis
and Ann Powers
*11:00-11:15*-Q & A
*11:30-12:15*- Why and How I Wrote that Book: Jim DeRogatis, Ann Powers,
and Mark Anthony Neal on moving from short-form to long- form pop criticism.
*1:00-1:30*-Ethical Traps and How to Avoid Them (all three keynotes)
*1:30-2:00*-Censorship/Restrictions: Popular Music as Target for Youth
Practices and Journalistic Practices. Ann Powers, Mark Anthony Neal, Jim
*2:15-4:00*-Breakout groups with all participants to discuss popular music
*4:00-4:30*-Closure and evaluation
I Want to See My Name Up in Lights, a small division of the better late than never news dept.
PopMatters announces book imprint: Softskull and PopMatters Sitting in a Tree
Says Booksquare, "We think this means cool stuff aimed at cool people. If not, we are always open to gentle correction. In fact, we’re sure of it ... "
Actually, this is great news. You know it is.
"Dealing with the label is like dealing with people on heroin. They never pick up the phone, they don't do a thing for you, and they make the simplest things so hard."
-- Hank Williams III in ICE
A trip down memory lane to a singular place and time. The hip sidetrack
, Raleigh's first coffee house.
The 2006 Experience Music Project Pop Conference
Jan 16, 2006 Deadline for proposals just around the corner (via 33-1/3).2006 EMP Pop Conference
Eric Weisbard was kind enough to send me this call for proposals, for the EMP's annual Pop Conference in Seattle in late April. If previous years are anything to go by, there should be a healthy smattering of 33 1/3 authors in attendance - no doubt buying drinks for everybody, with the royalties from their massive book sales.
The 2006 Experience Music Project Pop Conference
Seattle, WA, April 27-30, 2006
What forces are at work when we like something we “shouldn't”? What role does shame, either shame succumbed to or shame resisted, play in the pleasure we as fans and interpreters take from the music we love? Is loving music passionately (collecting it, critiquing it, fashioning one’s identity around it) itself becoming a guilty pleasure, i.e. something increasingly rare and in need of explanation, something self-indulgent or questionable? To what extent do these issues reveal hierarchies of taste, transformed subjectivities, the effect of politics on culture, or other lines of contestation permeating popular music?
For this year’s Pop Conference, we invite papers, panels, or other presentations on these topics. Related questions include but are not limited to:
--In what terms do “guilty pleasures” operate beyond the U.S. experience? How do different genres define the inappropriate?
--Who are the performers, the issues and the hidden pleasures, that you have wanted to write about but never dared, or who you loved and then forsook?
--What happens when you center your focus on “minor” histories?
--How do the desires for novelty and permanence, diaspora and roots, or for that matter extremity and conformity, play out against each other in music?
--Can we think in less whiggish and salutary ways about pop and progress, or how music functions in dark times?
--Does doubt affect the creation of musical works, and not only reception? What guilty pleasure do performers feel about their own social impact?
--How does technology and futurist rhetoric affect distinctions in pop fashion between the sublime and the ridiculous?
--What are the connections between pop shame and “passing”: sexual, racing, class, nationality?
The EMP Pop Conference first convened in Spring 2002 and is now entering its fifth year. The goal has always been to bring academics, writers, artists, fans, and other participants into an all-too-rare common discussion. Most presentations are of the 20 minute panel talk variety, but unorthodox suggestions are our favorite kind and we can support a wide range of technological experimentation. Previous year’s conferences have resulted in the anthology This is Pop (Harvard, 2004), the current special issue of Popular Music (“Magic Moments”), and a second anthology that is under preparation. This year’s program committee includes Drew Daniel (Matmos), writer Jessica Hopper, Jason King (New York University), Michaelangelo Matos (Seattle Weekly), Ann Powers (Blender), David Sanjek (BMI), Philip Schuyler (University of Washington), and Karen Tongson (University of Southern California).
Proposals should be no more than 250 words, should be accompanied by a brief bio and full contact information, and are due January 16, 2006. Proposals are judged by liveliness of prose as much as pertinence of topic. Email them, as well as any questions about the conference, the theme, your topic, or the application process, to organizer Eric Weisbard at EricW at emplive.org. For more information on previous conferences, including a full range of participants and abstracts, go to: emp
-------------------Time past is regained in two old cigar boxes
Perhaps because so much of music is rhythm - time cut into metric pieces - it has the power to rearrange, obliterate or reclaim time. So as we reach the part of the year when we become most attuned to the passage of days, it's worth looking back at some releases that reach into the past and pull it gloriously into the present.
Appropriately, a couple of these projects come in replicas of old cigar boxes. However, only one comes with a bottle opener. The church key is included in "Fonotone Records," a five-CD box from Atlanta's Dust-to-Digital Records devoted to the quixotic label enterprise of Joe Bussard of Frederick, Md., record collector par excellence.
Bussard contributed some of the choicest sides from his laboriously assembled collection of 25,000 priceless 78s to Dust-to-Digital's Grammy-nominated 2003 gospel box "Goodbye, Babylon." The company's new 131-track set is a monument to Bussard's other obsession - Fonotone, which from 1956 through the late '60s issued dozens of homemade 78s, long after the format had been displaced by the 45 rpm single.
Bussard's love for the old-time blues, hillbilly music and hot jazz he collected was reflected in the music he recorded. You won't hear any drums or electric instruments on Fonotone records; you will hear lots of bottleneck guitar, fiddles and, frequently, jugs (usually played by Bussard himself).
Much of the talent he employed was fine - guitarists John Fahey and Stefan Grossman cut their first sides for him -- but what's most impressive about "Fonotone Records" is the high pitch of Bussard's mania for the past. From its medium to its music, his label attempted to reanimate regional styles and sounds that had vanished into the ether by the late '30s.
A well-known record collector warned against interviewing Bussard, saying, "He's, well, a little crazy." Possibly, but it's hard not to love a man who would fight off time itself.
Several of Bussard's vintage sides found their way onto "Good for What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows 1926-1937," a compilation from Old Hat Records. (The Raleigh, NC, label issued an album of Bussard's rarities, "Down in the Basement," in 2002.) The two-CD set is a headfirst dive into a bygone era before infomercials, when travelling patent medicine hucksters used live musical talent to rope suckers into the tent.
The Old Hat package, accompanied by a lusciously illustrated booklet annotated by label owner Marshall Wyatt, is a wonderful compilation of blues, early country and what can only be described as hokum. Listening to these antique sides, one can almost smell the Kickapoo Indian Salve and taste the Bardex Tonic. The pitches may have been the purest snake oil, but the music still delights.
The omnipresent Bussard also contributed 78s to Revenant Records' startling "American Primitive Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897-1939)" and to Columbia/Legacy's "You Ain't Talkin' to Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music." The latter cigar-boxed three-CD collection, which collected three Grammy nominations this month, harkens back to the days before there was even a name for country music. It surveys the brief but fruitful career of banjoist-vocalist Poole, who set the template for every string band picker that followed and for such countrified hellraisers as Hank Williams.
Some contemporary listeners may be perfectly satisfied with the machine-tooled cacophony of the present. However, as the year turns, those seeking that perfect Proustian moment may want to savor these collections, which fling one deep into another time, when American music sang in mysterious tongues.
©2005 Reuters Limit
(thanks to bob sarles, ravin films
More Bay Area Haps Unfolding this JanuaryHow cool is Al Kooper
(you must lay your eyes on this photo)
Greil Marcus (Mon/9)
Cultural critic and Dylan-o-phile Greil Marcus ("Mystery Train," "Lipstick Traces," "Old Weird America") knows how to pick apart a song, especially a Bob Dylan song: In his recent book "Like A Rolling Stone," he spends 283 pages examining the six-and-a-half-minute hit from 1965. With his comprehensive knowledge of American popular and political history, Marcus is like that fascinating, eccentric favorite professor you had in college, practically logorrheic with idiosyncratic musings. On Monday evening, Marcus will give an open-to-the-public talk at St. Mary's College, focusing on Dylan's early protest song "Masters of War," hosted by poet and musician (and former St. Mary's prof) Chris Stroffolino, followed by what is sure to be a colorful Q&A. -- Jan Richman, special to SF Gate
St Mary's College, 1928 Saint Mary's Rd., Moraga; 7 pm; free; (925) 631-4000.
It's that time of year, when Jason Gross goes all out in his herculean annual recap for rockcritics.Best Music Scribing Awards, 2005
Jason Gross of Perfect Sound Forever Taps His Keyboard in a Virtual Salute to the Music Writers and Editors Who Made Reading Worthwhile All Over Again
(This should keep you all busy and quiet at your desks for awhile. Then you're free to make all the noise you want).
Ok, ethnic music and world music hogs. The invitation is from the fine folks at Rough Guides Music to listen to their World Music Network, streaming radio and mp's and all sorts of multimedia delights. Rough Guides offers some of the finest collections you'll ever hear, and that music is just a click away.worldmusic network
Every once in awhile, a personal connection with music, like this sweetness:“Lemon Tree, Chopsticks, and Moon River. . .”
Remembering my father through the music he loved
By Charina Sanz-Zarate / MindaNews / 03 January 2006
DAVAO CITY -- On New Year’s Day, during the early afternoon siesta lull when all is silent after a night of revelry, I found myself prying open the old brown piano stool of my father. Inside, dust had gathered on yellowed sheets of piano pieces, Papa’s collection which he lovingly kept since he was a young man. I know because he scribbled on one of the sheets the date “November 27, 1960” when he was only 20 years old.
One of my all time heroes Freddie Roulette
AND he has gigs coming up in the Bay Area
Where to see him
• Baltic Square Pub, 135 Park Place, Point Richmond. 9 p.m. Jan. 6. Free. 510-237-4782. With special guests Harvey Mandel, Rick Kellogg and others.
• Freight & Salvage, 1111 Addison St., Berkeley. 8 p.m. Jan. 18. $18.50. 510-548-1761. With Country Joe McDonald and Friends.
• Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market St., S.F. 9 p.m. Jan. 19. $16. 415-861-5016. With Country Joe McDonald and Friends.