Posts Tagged 'punk'

Big Sound Saturdays: Sonic Zoo pt. 1

Big Sound Saturdays: Sonic Zoo pt. 1

Animals have been imitated in musical compositions for years. I think immediately of Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals from 1886, though I’m sure that in vaudeville, minstrelsy, and other popular entertainments, the tradition is much older. Catalyzed at least in part by John Cage’s “4’33” (four minutes and thirty-three seconds of any combination of instruments resting, silent, while the intended audience listens to the ambient noise of their surroundings), the inclusion of animal sounds in rock and roll might similarly serve to blur the distinction between art and the everyday, drawing attention to the textured sounds of the recording environment.

It might also, a la Donna Haraway, query the foundational relationship between human and animal. Since A Cyborg Manifesto, Haraway has expanded her conversation about the intersection of human and technology in this, our technofuture, to one that considers our inter-species relationship with dogs. Understanding our relationship to dogs, for Haraway, helps us to understand our ethical relationship to our natural environment. How, then, do we listen to, and hear, this nature, and how does it talk back?

Big Sound Saturdays: Apocalypse Sound!!

Big Sound Saturdays: Apocalypse Sound!!

The 1940’s and ‘50’s boast such an enormous archive of atomic bomb scare songs—most of them lovingly compiled onto the Atomic Platters (“Cold War music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security”)—that it feels a little tired to loop them all into a mix that would probably end up being kind of hard to listen to. I went for apocalypses of mind and body instead…In the hopes of mixing these songs into something that sounds like an atomic explosion, this mix is a little out of my usual Big Sound Saturdays fare. Apocalypse Sound!! is loaded with garage rock, punk, riot grrl, afrobeat, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and some big tunes from Italy, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Politics of Style: Subculture and Circulation

Politics of Style: Subculture and Circulation

While the zoot suit remained more or less subcultural—it was never picked up by the (white) mainstream as anything other than a nostalgic emblem of a depoliticized jazz age—other forms of subcultural style circulate more widely and suggest a more complex relationship between subculture and mainstream than we usually suppose.