22 posts tagged with race and Music.
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Everybody’s in the minstrel show

“Oh,” says the ad man. He’s responsible for the hour of primetime television Revlon has bought and turned over to Belafonte, who, by the way, will not be singing “The Banana Boat Song,” and has also decided that he won’t accept commercials. “Oh my god,” says the ad man. Belafonte grins now, and says what he thought then: “Swallow that sh*t, motherf***er.” The Revolutionary Life of Harry Belafonte.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 4, 2013 - 36 comments

“WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE OPENING FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE???”

Some fans said the show “cracked [them] up.” One wrote, “I knew Ben Gibbard had to have some humor in there somewhere.” But what exactly was funny? Freedia’s act isn’t tongue-in-cheek. The implication was that Postal Service frontman Gibbard had offered a spectacle—something ridiculous. In fact he had offered a legitimate performer of another genre. What would be funny is Miley Cyrus twerking, if she didn’t look vaguely like Hitler Youth doing it.
posted by josher71 on Aug 1, 2013 - 213 comments

The Mothership Connection

Minister Faust explains the meaning of George Clinton's Mothership
posted by Artw on May 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit and other soundies

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit
Dorothy Dandridge - Cow Cow Boogie
Dorothy Dandridge, the Nicholas Brothers & Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo
Hoagy Carmichael - Lazybones
A very young and very beautiful Dorothy Dandridge, exploding with talent and charisma... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 26, 2012 - 12 comments

An interview with MaryBeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues

...The cult of and luster for country blues among these record collectors came about because not only were recordings by Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Robert Johnson not successfully sold to African Americans, but other record collectors were not interested in them either. There were so many collectors of New Orleans jazz that not only did the recordings became too expensive to collect, they also didn't want them -- they wanted to find something that required more energy to uncover, and more energy to actually appreciate. Anyone who has ever listened to Charley Patton knows that you have to learn how to listen to him, you have to really struggle -- it is a work of archeology, really, to make out what he is saying. It is powerful, and I don't want to deny its power, but you have to learn how to hear that power, and African Americans, when these records came out, didn't necessarily hear that.
From an interview with Marybeth Hamilton, author of In Search of the Blues [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 26, 2012 - 13 comments

mama put my guns in the ground -- I can't use them anymore

...after enrolling in public school and moving to Montana — a predominantly white state, albeit one with a decidedly hippie-ish vibe — Lamb and Lynx decided they simply no longer believed what they’d been taught. Prussian Blue, five years later. Previously, previously.
posted by gerryblog on Jul 17, 2011 - 105 comments

Leopold!

Where did that great song from Long-Haired Hare come from, anyway? [more inside]
posted by jtron on Sep 18, 2010 - 12 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

Black, Brown & Beige

The New Yorker discusses Duke Ellington’s music and race in America, via Harvey G. Cohen's new book, Duke Ellington's America (excerpt). Music clips to accompany the articles inside the fold. (via Follow Me Here) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 20, 2010 - 15 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939), which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 6, 2009 - 50 comments

I Am Crack

Crack Is Whack (nsfw)
posted by Xurando on Nov 13, 2007 - 33 comments

"[W]hat I really wanted to hear ... was a bit of swing, some empty space, and palpable bass frequencies."

Q: Is [country] somehow more soulful than Wilco? A: Oh, hell yeah.: Sasha Frere-Jones writes a polemic on why indie music lacks a certain something. Writes more and more and talks about it, too. The Voice weighs in. Slate says it's class, not race. Or perhaps kt's response is more your speed?: not everything needs critical assessment or whatever.
posted by wemayfreeze on Oct 19, 2007 - 103 comments

A variety of talent both well known and forgotten.

Harlem Variety Revue. Pre-rock & roll TV show featuring swing from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan. Rhythm & blues from Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Martha Davis and Larry Darnell. Jazz & calypso from Nat Cole. Ballad by Dinah Washington. Doo wop from The Clovers. Harmony from the Larks and the Delta Rhythm Boys (complete with exciting choreography). Comedy provided by Nipsey Russell & Mantan Moreland, tapdancing by Coles & Atkins and Bill Bailey (check out that 1955 Moonwalk at the end!) Hosted by Willie Bryant.
posted by andihazelwood on Jun 16, 2007 - 12 comments

Regarding Paramount Records

...In 1924 New York Recording Laboratory decided to expand its reach into that market by purchasing the Black Swan label. Founded in 1920 or 1921 by black entrepreneur Harry H. Pace, the pioneering company recorded everything from ragtime to grand opera, as long as it was sung by African-Americans... Paramount's biggest star was Ma Rainey, a blues moaner who influenced the legendary singer Bessie Smith... Paramount did not neglect male blues singers, who tended to be folk artists in the sense that their music was made initially for the entertainment of isolated rural communities. These included the singers and guitarists Charlie Patton... Blind Lemon Jefferson...
Compliments of the Season from ParamountsHome--where, among many other things, one can find an online copy of David Evans's biography Charley Patton in Parts 1, 2 and 3 or look at a picture of Skip James in 1932, not to mention a view of Paramount's promotion of Patton as the Masked Marvel. And that is not, as they say, all...
posted by y2karl on Dec 18, 2006 - 14 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

Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, Barbershop Quartets & etc.

While culling my clippings file for the big move, I came across Ragtime: No Longer a Novelty in Sepia, which led me to the The Rag-Time Ephemeralist, a labor of love by one Chris Ware , whose 'The Acme Novelty Library' and Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy In The World I had long admired. The Ragtime Ephemeralist's mention of Out of Sight - The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895---here's a review from Musical Traditions--and, its very own links page, as a consequence, led to this post about Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, with a slight nod to Barbershop Quartets. There's more, of course...
posted by y2karl on Jan 21, 2005 - 27 comments

Act a foo!

Is hip-hop holding back white youths? (wmv)
posted by delmoi on Aug 8, 2003 - 20 comments

Is hip-hop holding blacks back?

How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back As a white guy with a young kid, I worry about how the often gleefully violent, misogynist rap music he may choose to listen to could affect him. Maybe that's a racist thing for a white boy to say, but when a black scholar like John H. McWhorter says it, maybe it's worth considering.
posted by kgasmart on Aug 6, 2003 - 97 comments

Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle

Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle. Bo Carter is not the household name that, say, Robert Johnson is but he first recorded and most likely wrote one of the standards of the 20th Century. The essay linked deals with him, his song and the push me-pull you of race and culture in America. It's a post graduate thesis rife with postmodernist terminology--yet full of ideas and insights, not all of which I necessarily endorse or agree with--but which I've found thought provoking. (Details Within)
posted by y2karl on Aug 1, 2002 - 15 comments

George Burdi, formerly a major figure in the White Power movement publicly denounces racism.

George Burdi, formerly a major figure in the White Power movement publicly denounces racism. Burdi was a member of the skinhead band Rahowa(RAcial HOly WAr) and considered by many to be the next major ambassador of hate to the mainstream. Some time in jail, among other things seems to have turned him around. This interview offers some interesting insights on what makes young people vulnerable to recruitment by hate groups and perhaps, what we can do to prevent them from taking hold.
posted by jonmc on Mar 16, 2002 - 13 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

White Rap Revisited:

White Rap Revisited: Following up on last month's discussion, here's the reader blowback from "N. Bedford Crouch's" article, featuring confirmation of the put-on and a tip of the pen to Metafilter.
posted by ryanshepard on Dec 17, 2001 - 2 comments

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