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You scream, I scream, we all scream...

The song "Turkey In The Straw" is one known to millions of Americans as well as many, many others around the world. Here's a National Public Radio article that shines some light on the virulently racist lyrics that attended that familiar old melody in its earlier incarnation. WARNING: Do not go to the link if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 14, 2014 - 117 comments

an old song, and some new thoughts on it

When you see a song from 1924 called "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy", you just wanna hear it, right? Then, maybe, read some contemporary observations on it. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 21, 2010 - 35 comments

I Am The Judge

The Sample Story of Rush by BAD II (with Pig Meat Markhum) [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Jul 31, 2010 - 17 comments

"We Con the World"

The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: "We con the world, we con the people. We'll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper."
While the Israeli government has apologized for distributing links to the video, Israeli government spokesmen nevertheless maintain that the video is "fantastic" and "what Israelis feel." And not just any Israelis: the video was produced by and stars, among others, the Jerusalem Post's deputy managing editor Caroline Glick.
posted by orthogonality on Jun 6, 2010 - 153 comments

Well, there's at least ONE "Whitie" could use some killin'...

The minstrel show is alive and well. In case you were in any doubt that Williamsburg is chock full of unbelievable wankers, Jeremy Parker brings us Kill Whitie, a hip hop dance party by whitie, for whitie... to mock non-whitie (possibly NSFW). I mean, how is this really all that different from, say, this?
posted by dersins on Aug 26, 2005 - 177 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.2 - On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy

On "Love and Theft" & On On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy & The Annotated Love And Theft...    In melody, Bye and Bye comes by way of Billie Holiday's Having Myself A Time and Floater by way of Bing Crosby's (& Eddie Duchin's & Kate Smith's & Isham Jones's...) Snuggled On Your Shoulder--and lyrically, by way, in part, of Junichi Saga's Confessions Of A Yakuza, which was not a crime novel, as StupidSexyFlanders once surmised, but an outright As told to memoir, which makes it four or five degrees from Yakuza to Dr. Saga to translator to Dylan to Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?

Oh, who's going to throw that minstrel boy a coin ?
posted by y2karl on Apr 14, 2005 - 18 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.1 - William Henry Lane & Pattin' Juba

Single shuffle, double shuffle, cut and cross-cut; snapping his fingers, rolling his eyes, turning in his knees, presenting the backs of his legs in front, spinning about on his toes and heels like nothing but the man’s fingers on the tambourine. Dancing with two left legs, two right legs, two wooded legs, two wire legs, two spring legs–all sorts of legs and no legs–what is this to him? And in what walk of life, or dance of life does man ever get such stimulating applause as thunders about him, when, having danced his partner off her feet, and himself too, he finishes by leaping gloriously on the bar-counter, and calling for something to drink, with the chuckle of a million of counterfeit Jim Crows, in one inimitable sound!

Dancing Across The Color Line.   In 1842, Charles Dickens came to New York City, where initally, he was wined, dined and theatrically entertained by the upper crust. Afterwards, he then went slumming and soon saw William Henry Lane, aka Master Juba, a man of whose dancing a number of historians say is where tap dance began, step lively in a cellar in the neighborhood called Five Points--the very same neighborhood creatively misrepresented recently by one Martin Scorcese in Gangs of New York. The dance he did was known as Pattin' Juba and the first time it's rhythm--which we think of as the Bo Diddley beat--was used on a sound recording was in 1952, when Red Saunders and his Orchestra, with Dolores Hawkins and and the Hambone Kids recorded Hambone. Continued within
posted by y2karl on Apr 4, 2005 - 3 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.0: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter

Jump Jim Crow, through the hoops of one Robert Christgau's erudition as he surveys the literature extant in In Search of Jim Crow: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter, through multiple readings of Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World and and Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. Consider, too, The Minstrel Cycle from Reading The Commitments and other various and sundry attempts to peek inside the minstrel mask—all multiple readings reading blackface minstrels from the pejorative to the explorative, subversive to oppressive, past to future, unfolding tesseractly, if not exactly, with singing, dancing and extraordinary elocutions. Buy your tickets and step within for The Meller Drammer of Minstrelsy in The Minstrel Show 2.0
posted by y2karl on Mar 31, 2005 - 17 comments

The Minstrel Show: Academic Histories of Blackface Minstrelsy

The Minstrel Show The Minstrel Show presents us with a strange, fascinating and awful phenomenon. Minstrel shows emerged from preindustrial European traditions of masking and carnival. But in the US they began in the 1830s, with working class white men dressing up as plantation slaves. These men imitated black musical and dance forms, combining savage parody of black Americans with genuine fondness for African American cultural forms. By the Civil War the minstrel show had become world famous and respectable. Late in his life Mark Twain fondly remembered the "old time nigger show" with its colorful comic darkies and its rousing songs and dances. By the 1840s, the minstrel show had become one of the central events in the culture of the Democratic party.. The image of white men in blackface, miming black song, dance and speech is considered the last word in racist bigotry for some. And yet, standing at the crossroads of race, class and high and low culture, blackface minstrelsy is one fascinating topic in academic circles. It’s history is intertwined with the rise of abolitionism, the works of Mark Twain and the histories of vaudeville, American vernacular music, radio, television, movies, in fact all of what is called popular culture. Details within.
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2002 - 26 comments

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