Month of October, 2009

Dancecult - Online CC:ed Electronic Music Journal

I'm happy to welcome the journal Dancecult into the world. Found it through a link on Simon Reynold's Facebook page, so it has to be good. I'm excited to see a new crop of widely-defined genre based journals for popular music opening, and hope that the respective conversations occuring in them will prove to be more fruitful and will reflect back on the larger world of popular music scholarship.

I'm also excited to see the whole thing as an open access journal licensed under Creative Commons. Science journals are taking the lead in this, and it is high time that humanities and social science journals do the same. But there is so much resistance - especially from the heavyweight publishers with whom there are long term contracts - that I think the model of opening new journals rather than mess with the old might be the best way to go for now. 

Nov 2nd NYC Best Music Writing reading

NYC Reading November 2nd

Monday, November 2, 2009, 7pm
Housing Works Cafe
126 Crosby Street, NY
Free (books to donate highly encouraged)


Greil Marcus, Guest Editor

and 2009 Contributors:
Josh Eells
Charles Talyors
Jace Clayton
Nick Sylvester
Carrie Brownstein
Jody Rosen
Paul Ford
William Hogeland
Jesse Serwer 

BMW 2009 Out!

Best Music Writing 2009

10tn Anniversary Edition

Guest Edited by Greil Marcus

Out NOW!

Vice Czechoslovakia 2009

For better or worse, Vice Czechoslovakia was launched last night into a variety of clubs, bars, Chinese restaurants, and backpacker hangs that surround Dlouha street in Prague. I wandered to one launch place – the three tier Chapeau Rouge, a medieval grifter version of the Ludlow Street Knitting Factory with Brazil-like steampunk accents, to see who the physical audience for said magazine was. I fought from the ground floor ABBA bounce to the basement drum and bass meltdown and subbasement indie rock cavern, where I found a small group of friends and hung watching what might be best described as a continual onslaught of awkward study abroad kids and the occasional Czech posse pushing their way to and fro.We went to watch a DJ friend when the indie rock cleared, and her hypernot mix of bounce and epic trance failed to enchant the awkwards, who stood staring at the tiny stage while they barely registered the beat with their bodies. 2am, the occasional snakey hustler winds through the crowd, a girl in a keffiyeh starts the floor going, the music settles a bit and they're off. Still it was a sad grind, and I wandered out without a glimpse of the madness supposed to cling to the magazine's gatherings. Instead it felt like a desperate attempt to make the madness, an attempt that felt like every other night of desperate fun for undergrads abroad in the bowels of a seedy Czech club, which is to say...pretty boring.

I am aware that I have been watching various iterations of the Vice launch party for a decade now as this brand of transnational post-PC hipster cool (pace Nathan Barley) finds local adherents willing to do all the money raising and content so they can be associated with the global brand. Like any "new" media form though, Vice has excelled at making its audience from its own pages, not so subtly showing them the values, attitudes, postures, and materials they need to participate in their world, which my friend Luke used to refer to as "cool kid usa." Who are the people who Vice sees as its potential subjects for transformation? And who are the people who brought the magazine here? I spoke to one of them the other day in a bar, and when I asked if the kind of values represented in Vice will take hold in Czech youth she said something to the effect of "we are arrogant enough to think yes." It was actually the first time I had ever heard anyone in the Czech Republic use the word "arrogance" positively to describe there's the beginning of an answer.


Vice CZ first edition