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{ Category Archives } music

“This chapter says ‘Put it out of your mind’”: Books Read in 2016

I’m slowly flipping through Tim Ferris’s Tools of Titans and a couple of academic books, so I think it’s time for my annual tally: Books read in 2016: 156 Comics and graphic novels included in reading total: 30 Books of poetry included in reading total: 2 Books reread included in reading total: 2 Academic & […]

“Gnawing my way back home”: Books Read in 2015

I’m currently halfway through Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void and not likely to finish it before 2015 is over. For the 7th year in a row, here’s my breakdown of books read over the past year: Books read in 2015: 162 Comics and graphic novels included in reading total: 28 Books of poetry included […]

Dangerous and the Revolution of Michael Jackson’s Panther Dance

I’m loving one of the recent 33 1/3 books (the 100th volume?!) focusing on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. I distinctly remember buying the album just as I began flirting with my own sense of musical interest. My friend down the street would regularly play the record when we were hanging out, while a separate group would […]

Fandom, Ownership, and Improvisation: A Triptych on Improvisation

I Last night Ally and I made the trek to Boulder to see the Brad Mehldau trio perform. I’d seen Mehldau a couple of times back in LA (he’s even released an album titled after my favorite venue). I hadn’t paid attention to the fact that the show was Mehldau performing as part of a […]

Kanye and Old Glory: A Confrontational Soul

I was sitting on the deck of a pirate ship in a non-descript office building in San Francisco celebrating the nuptials of my close friends from earlier in the day when a voice next to me said, “I heard you like Kanye West.” I knew it was bait. And I took it. An hour later […]

Beautiful Dark Twisted Pedagogy: New Article in Radical Teacher

My article, “Beautiful Dark Twisted Pedagogy: Kanye West and the Lessons of Participatory Culture,” is now  available in the most recent issue of Radical Teacher. It can be read here.  Here’s an abstract:  This article builds off of the author’s classroom experience as a high school teacher in South Central Los Angeles and looks at […]

The Problematic Charity of Jay Z’s Picasso Baby

Over the weekend I watch the extended music-video-quasi-art-thing Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film. I would argue it’s one of those three nouns: a performance. And while I think Jay Z has been making  strong efforts at pushing himself and the hip-hop genre into loftier domains, I think Picasso Baby is representative of what’s wrong […]

Why I Think Educators Should Be Talking About Pussy Riot (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

I’ve been struggling trying to figure out how to talk about Pussy Riot with my fellow educators. Even that sentence sends a bristle down my spine – how many people have already stopped reading because of the name? And isn’t that the point of naming a band something like Pussy Riot or Fucked Up or […]

The Mystery of Willis Earl Beal and the Bread Crumbs of Digital Media

It started innocently enough. It started like this: Scrounging around the hipster fodder of Pitchfork, I read about and streamed a new track by an unknown singer. Intrigued, I did a quick Google search. I read an article that described the outsider artist that only left me with more questions. I picked up my phone […]

Not Quite EverythingEverything: Why Our Approach to Music Education is Kinda Awful

Over the past week, along with an abundance of holiday shopping, I purchased the updated anthology of Underworld’s selected hits and rarities. It was with nostalgia that the opening arpeggiated notes of “Rez” kicked in that I remembered the way the band seeped into my consciousness. It was the Golden Age of Napster and it […]