Monday, February 20, 2006

Simon Reynolds' Blog

Simon Reynolds, co-author of The Sex Revolts, has a very smart blog called Blissblog.

Tracklist, Oceanic Rock & Queercore

Music for week 2 of The Sex Revolts:

1. "Eight Miles High," The Byrds, Fifth Dimension (1966)
2. "Hurdy Gurdy Man," Donovan, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, (1968)
3. "Monterrey," Tim Buckley, Starsailor (1970)
4. "Mother," John Lennon, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
5. "Golden Hours," Brian Eno, Another Green World (1975)
6. "Another Green World," Brian Eno, Another Green World (1975)
7. "Loomer," My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (1992)
8. "Papua New Guinea," The Future Sound Of London, Accelerator
9. "A Huge Evergrowing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld," The Orb, Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (1991)
10. "The Drowners," Suede, Suede (1993)
11. "I Am Hated for Loving," Morrissey, Vauxhall and I (1994)
12. "Horny In The Morning," Pansy Division, Wish I'd Taken Pictures (1996)
13. "Vanilla," Pansy Division, Wish I'd Taken Pictures (1996)
14. "Koeeoaddi There," Incredible String Band, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1968)

Tracklist, Thrust Rock

Here's the track list to the songs we will listen to during week one of our discussion of The Sex Revolts (S. Reynolds & J. Press):

1. "Whole Lotta Love," Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II (1969)
2. "Search And Destroy," Iggy & The Stooges, Raw Power (1973)
3. "Bodies," Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)
4. "Submission," Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)
5. "Death or Glory," The Clash, London Calling (1979)
6. "Heart Shaped Box," Nirvana, In Utero (1993)
7. "Midnight Rambler," The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed (1969)
8. "Radioactivity," Kraftwerk, The Mix (1991)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Queer Willie

Listen to and read about Willie Nelson's new single, "Cowboys are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)," here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Angela McRobbie

Here's more information on Angela McRobbie, whose article, "Settling Accounts with Subcultures: A Feminist Critique" (1991), we will discuss tomorrow.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Oldschool Hip-Hop: NYC Tourism

In today's NY Times, we learn that Hush Tours is offering hip-hop sightseeing tours of the Bronx and Harlem. Tour guides include such old-school luminaries as Grandmaster Caz (pictured above), Curtis Blow, and DJ Red Alert.

The author, Jody Rosen, recounts the tour (only $70) she took with Grandmaster Caz, who gave his own account of the mostly forgotten history of rap's origin. Among the tidbits: "[Caz] described how the looting of hi-fi stores during the 1977 New York City blackout propelled D.J. culture. ('It was like Christmas for black people" he said. "The next day there were a thousand new D.J.'s.')"

And I learned from Rosen that "underground or 'backpacker' rappers, who position themselves as the true heirs to the old school, carrying the spirit and politics of hip-hop's 'golden era' into a debased age of bling and chart-topping gangstas." (I didn't know the explicit connection of backpacker rap to old school.)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Oldsmobile

From U.Chicago Press website. More illustrations from the book here (left-hand column: scroll down).

"the utopian imagination of the Detroit automakers"

Oldsmobile, 1961. This is as neat a vision of consensus order as one will find anywhere in American culture: Norman Rockwell landscape, patriotic colonial architecture, confident man, fawning wife, mirthful children, jolly firemen, and reassuring reminders of the jet-age military. Five years later an ad like this would appear to be from a different country.

More on Thomas Frank at his website.


Larry Neumeister writes in an AP story, "'Cool" remains the gold standard of slang in the 21st century, as reliable as a blue-chip stock, surviving like few expressions ever in our constantly evolving language."

Here are some more excerpts:

"[B]y the 1940s, the word exploded into popular usage through its constant use in jazz clubs, where musicians showed the versatility of a word that had already enjoyed wide use in the nation's black population.

The 1997 book, 'America in So Many Words'...traces the origination of the modern usage of cool to the late 1940s. In 1947, the book noted, the Charlie Parker Quartet recorded 'Cool Blues.' [Charlie Parker is depicted above.]

A year later, Life magazine titled an article 'Bebop: New Jazz School is Led by Trumpeter Who is Hot, Cool and Gone.' And in 1948, The New Yorker said 'the bebop people have a language of their own. ... Their expressions of approval include "cool."'

Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California at Berkeley, said the word should have faded away at the end of the fifties. Instead, it was adopted and redefined by hippies, followed by surfers, rappers and techno-geeks."