“Songs of Black Vocal Rhythm and Blues or Doo-Wop,” David Goldblatt

    David Goldblatt argues that vocal rhythm and blues, or doo-wop, is impacted by race, class and location. Characterized by its nonsense syllables in a cappella songs, doo-wop is defined by its origins as public singing in urban neighborhoods. . . . Read more at Public Circulation!

The Public Circulation of Ideas

What good are ideas if we don’t share them? As scholars, we research, write and publish in increasingly inaccessible spaces: journals behind paywalls and scholarly books with steep price tags. The fewer individuals who interact with ideas, the more constrained our notion of those ideas. This reminds me of how Lawrence Levine describes the state of…

Boys in a Girl’s World: Men, Fandom and K-pop

The fandom for Hallyu-era Korean popular music (K-pop) is overwhelmingly female. However, a portion of it does involve men, both as participants and critics. How does that impact the way we may view the fandom? In “Girls’ Generation: Gender, (Dis)Empowerment, and K-pop,” Stephen Epstein and James Turnbull challenge what they call “the triumphant discourse of the…

Ask the Rogue Adviser!

When I go to conferences, I often end up answering questions from members of the audience after the presentation. Or, I’ll have random conversation with students from other institutions about my work. I’m happy to give others the benefit of my 18+ experience in academia as an active researcher of cultural studies. But why wait…

New Orientalism or Old Hybridity?: Indian Music in K-pop

In “So Contagious: Hybridity and Subcultural Exchange in Hip-Hop’s Use of Indian Samples,” Sarah Hankins explores the sonic meaning of music from South Asia in African American music, specifically hip-hop. This made me wonder about the implications for K-pop, in light of its own practices in relation to hip-hop and its own cultural exchange with…

“Where U At,” Supreme Team

“Where U At” is a track by Simon D from the 2010 album Supremier.  An intro with sparse, echoing instrumentation, the song features a regular beat that establishes a laid-back vibe along with mellow horns and an electric guitar that provides well-placed accents. The musical atmosphere complements Simon D’s flow.   Image: Johnelle. “Supreme Team Get Ready.”…