nate patrin.

April 15, 2008, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Criticism, Music | Tags: , , , ,

So this morning at 8 I wake up with a toothache and a sore throat to the sound of jackhammers across the street. I suppose this’d be kind of a crappy day if I wasn’t still pretty happy about how my Seattle excursion went; the EMP Pop Conference wasn’t entirely as entertaining by itself as it was in previous years (for future reference: as far as sheer entertainment value usually goes, journalists/writers > straight-up academics), but I hung out with a ton of cool people and had some great meals (at restaurants and prepared by friends) and bought a ton of CDs, which I may briefly review here later. I also extended my record hangoverless streak to something like 50 (non-consecutive) nights of drunkenness, which means either I’m not getting hammered enough or I have some sort of miracle booze resilience. Plus I only got really rained on once. Highlights of the conference proper, in brief: O-Dub on retro-soul, Scholtes on the formative years of Mpls funk, Leonard Pierce on Muslimgauze, Greil Marcus on the Dylan tribute concert where the Roots murder the hell out of “Masters of War” (similar performance here), Jody Rosen on vaudeville protofeminist-slash-diva Eva Tanguay, Eric Weisbard on the impact of “Bennie and the Jets” on ’70s soul (and vice-versa), the “Bob Marley + the word ‘struggle'” panel I thought’d be redundant and turned out to be great, Jesse Fuchs invoking mathematical paradox in music, and Ann Powers examining the ever-shifting role of the stripper as pop muse. Stuff I’m mad I missed: Elijah Wald on the YouTubification of Mexico’s drug-trade-ballad narcocorrido tradition, Douglas Wolk on “The Ballad of the Green Berets”, Steve Waksman on Blue Öyster Cult’s “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” and Will Hermes on the cult of the breakbeat in mid ’70s NYC.

Meanwhile, here’s some stuff I wrote: my underground rap-centered edition of Pfork feature Through the Cracks, as well as reviews of two Philadelphia International comps and Clinic’s Do It!