ise Waxer was an ethnomusicologist of salsa music, respected and admired for her critically-acclaimed book tracing the development of salsa music, vinyl recordings, and memory in Colombia, entitled, The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves, and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia (Wesleyan, 2002). A year later, her book would be awarded the highest prize for a monograph (i.e., single-author book) in her discipline by the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), namely, the Alan Merriam Prize (2003). But Waxer was never able to receive her prize or the well-deserved recognition that came with it, because she died suddenly in the summer of 2002. That fall, at the meeting of SEM where she was also awarded the Merriam Prize, the Popular Music Section of SEM decided to establish an award in her honor: the Lise Waxer Student Paper Prize. To remember her pathbreaking work in the ethnomusicology of popular music, this prize sought “to recognize the most distinguished student paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music presented at the SEM annual meeting.”
Well, the good news is that I won the Lise Waxer Student Paper Prize this year. (more…)
PHD: Pizza Hut Delivery in Lima, Peru. Note the image of a delivery boy on fire on the left…
uick interruption in my dissertation-by-blog series to say: I’m a doctor! No, not the kind of doctor that can write a prescription and stick things into your orifices (although I suppose that depends on the context), but a PhD. I defended my dissertation on Tuesday morning, July 19th, 2011. It went well, tons of people showed up, and I wore this lovely new suit that I got tailored during my trip to Peru earlier this month; charcoal with violet pinstripes!
ey folks, a few weeks back I mentioned that I would be writing a feature story for Resident Advisor on the Luna Land party that took place in late August. Well, here it is! It looks at the story behind the party and the messy “scene politics” of Berlin EDM at that moment. It includes discussion of the location itself (Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park), Bar 25, Minimoo (an event promoter from NYC), Berlin’s “post-tourism,” gentrification, and the controversy around the Luna Land party itself. Check it out!
ontinuing a recent trend of Berghain-themed posts, I wanted to draw some attention to the work of Andarín Gallardo, an artist and “travel junky” who recently posted a set of sketches about his first night at “the best club in the world.” Andarín gets his nickname from “El Andarín,” the brother of his great-grandfather, who went on a two-year journey on foot around Central America. And now, three generations later, a new Andarín is indulging his Wanderlust and recording his travels—most recently, in Berlin.
Yes, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing “the best club in the world,” but don’t forget that it DID actually get top billing by Resident Advisor (2008) and DJ Mag (2009). You can look at my earlier profile of Berghain/Panorama Bar for details, which is also how I found Andarín’s page. I noticed a spike in traffic to my Berghain profile from a particular website around Oct 16, and I followed that link to find that Andarín had linked to my profile as a verbal description of Berghain.
He, instead, presented a visual description. (more…)
ello there! I bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. The short answer is: in Chicago. The slightly less short answer is: on the job market and applying for every fucking post-doc on the planet. So, things have been a little busy over here. Also, relocating across the Atlantic, writing new dissertation chapters, revising old dissertation chapters, submitting two new journal articles and reviewing two books is keeping me rather occupied.
But I’m back. I’m no less busy—that’s for sure—but I have days and days worth of ideas and stories that I want to publish here and I’m quickly realizing that there is never a “good time” to sit down and write new, unsolicited, non-deadlined material. But before I even post a link to that amazing set of sketches about Berghain or comment on the recent spate of homophobia-related violence or write a short essay on the problem of doing academic work on a “fun” topic…I want to indulge in some nostalgia and write a brief review of my last weekend in Berlin this summer. Some of the events described here will reappear as a feature in Resident Advisor very soon (i.e., the Luna Land party and the drama behind it), so stay tuned for that, too!
Part of what made this weekend especially epic was the presence of a friend from Britain, whom I had met last spring at DEMF / Movement (in Detroit). In the interest of privacy, I’m going to give him the obviously fake name of Milhouse, which should also make for some amusing resonances with The Simpsons as you read through this.
es, yes, I’m a bit late to be commenting on the tragedy at Duisburg. The story has been covered in print and online endlessly since the event last Saturday, and the German press has been reporting daily on the personal and political aftermath. There’s even a Wikipedia page devoted to the disaster already. In a nutshell: there was a huge turnout at the Love Parade last Saturday (July 24), which was held in Duisburg this year, and overcrowding in the tunnel which served as the only entrance and exit to the even site led to a panic and a stampede, killing 21 and wounding more than 500 (note: initial reports counted 19 dead, but two others succumbed to their wounds a few days later).
I’m not planning to describe the event in any detail. Der Spiegel has been providing thorough English-language and German-language coverage of the event and its aftermath, including descriptive details and arresting photography. I’m also not writing here to respond to the disaster from the point of view of the Electronic Dance Music community; Will Lynch has already provided a clear and concise report of the event at Resident Advisor, and Emmy over at What Time Is Your Flight? has reflected on the impact of this event on dance music/festival communities and has gathered together news coverage and video from the event.
have a bunch of stuff I want to write about from last weekend—and I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get to all of it—but I wanted to post this note on here before it slips my mind and the affective impact of all of it wears off.
I suspect that I underestimate the extent of my readership. Every once in a while, I meet someone who has been forwarded one of my blog posts through a mutual friend (when I arrived in Berlin for example, nearly all of Bob & Donna’s friends had read at least some of my writing or heard about it). Every time that happens, there’s a brief moment of scary-fun disorientation, where the pleasant surprise of being deemed worthy of reading (and forwarding) collides with the realization that the ever-important “first impression” happened without you—that is, it happened with your text / performance / product instead of with you. It’s sort of like getting caught with your pants down, but with an exhibitionist twist: you kinda like it, but you just wish you had thought to wear more fashionable underwear.
So recently, I’ve had a whole slew of these experiences, including one last night that really surprised me. (more…)
t this point, those of you who’ve read my previous mini-profile of Berghain already know that getting in can be complicated; there’s severe selection at the door, and yet the door policy is never fully revealed or explained, and so any night out here is accompanied by a flurry of analysis and strategizing. As readers of my previous blog, Luis in Paris, will remember, I’m also interested in the rather fluid ethical component of this process (something I’ve called liquidarity in my work): who goes in with whom and who vouches for whom, based on differences in access, appearance, “coolness,” familiarity with the bouncers, and so on. Last Friday and Saturday comprised my “homecoming” to Berghain / Panorama Bar, and both evenings provided rich examples of how contingent and complex entry into a nightclub can be.
Friday, July 9th
I was joined this weekend by Bob and Donna, two French friends living in London, who come to Berlin nearly every three weeks to party. (more…)
espite having been back from my travels for two whole days, I still don’t have any notes from either the Detroit or Montréal festivals to post here. Don’t worry, I have lots of fieldnotes with lots of pictures and anecdotes; I just need to write them in decent prose, sort through my photos, and decide on how I’m going to organize things (chronologically or thematically?).
In the meanwhile, though, check out this review of the first day of the Detroit festivities (the Movement Festival a.k.a. DEMF), written by one of the British lads that I met during my travels (more about that when I finally write my own event review). He wrote it for Data Transmission, an online magazine / social media hub for electronic dance music that resembles Resident Advisor but is more UK-centric. Actually, it’s interesting to compare the reviews by both sites, since they have a different roster of writers, a different editorial philosophy, and a different (but overlapping) target audience. Here are the two reviews side-by-side:
By the way, the photos for the Data Transmission review were taken by my own very dear Rémi, who accompanied me through both Detroit and Montréal. The story of how that came about goes back to a few days before the festival in Chicago…