Well, I finally missed a Sunday post! I can only hope that it didn’t ruin any of your April 26th experiences, not letting me direct you to any random corners of the internet while (most of) you are still (mostly) stuck in your homes. The Sonic Sunday series (which will continue, don’t get me wrong) began as a form of New Years’ Resolution for 2020 in an effort to put a better foot forward digitally as far as my research and publication interests. Obviously, New Years’ Resolutions are made to be broken, and I’m not just saying that because my only other resolutions included “cool it with the parentheses” and “don’t get caught in a global pandemic.” Eggs on my face!
To make up for my irresponsibility, I’ve got a couple pieces of news to share here. I’m so happy to report that my 2019 book Capitals of Punk (Palgrave) is now available in paperback! I always pay tribute to the hard work of my editor and good friend, Joshua Pitt, but in this case, a lower price ($30, £30, €30, or something in that ballpark depending on where you are on Earth) was a priority we had been talking about since last summer.
Also, while we’re on the subject of the semi-lockdown many of us are still living under, anyone who orders a copy of the book from Palgrave’s website will immediately receive the digital version (a 20-dollar/pound/Euro/etc. value) for free with their order. Did I mention that the digital version price had also lowered, precipitously? Because it has! I’m grateful for this elevation of the accessibility of my book.
To anyone who’s checked out my Australia Megamix a couple weeks back (a tribute to Joshua and all of my friends Down Under) or enjoyed my France Vinyl Mix this past week (equal parts a tribute to my friends/collaborators in France as it is an audio experience of Capitals of Punk… save for my inability to find anything by Prohibition on vinyl), I’ve got an extra special mix going up this Wednesday. I won’t give away what it will be, but if you know me, it’s the kind of vinyl mix you’d make fun of me by saying I would make.
Happy Friday and Happy May, everyone. I was particularly inspired by the 30 Day Song Challenge that made its rounds on social media over the past month, so I decided to put my own (predominantly) geographic version together. Download the image below onto your phone/computer and post it each of the next thirty days (I know May has 31 days, but there were only room for 30) with a song that each cue brings to mind. Popular formats are via Instagram Stories and via Twitter (sharing YouTube links).
If you’d like, share it with the extensive hashtag #SonicGeographySongChallenge so I can see what you pick! I’ll share my full song list after the 30 days are over. Remember you can start this whenever you’d like and complete it (or not) at your own pace. Most importantly, have fun and let me know how you enjoy it.
Happy Wednesday, everyone, or as they say to the Brits and Americans who consistently flood Paris, Happy Wednesday! This week, we’ll be grabbing our cans of spray paint, hopping on nos vélos, and setting off on a journey of découverte.
This week’s mix is a curious bunch of vinyl I’ve acquired on a few trips overseas, with a few key exceptions of rare finds in the US. I tried to include a multitude of songs sung in French, though it was a challenge since so many punk and hardcore songs are recorded in English. French is a language best suited for hip-hop flow and chansons, where English tends to fit with punchier, more aggressive music. As a linguistics nerd, I enjoy this weird binary.
One of the threads that ran through a bunch of my interviews with French collaborators for Capitals of Punk was how France has always felt “late to the party” within pop music (especially rock and punk) among Western countries. This dynamic is what makes French pop music so interesting to me, especially that which is produced with no consideration of the all-powerful English-language tunes, or even that which is produced in direct resistance to the Anglo-American cultural dominance.
I hope you enjoy the variety of material you’re about to hear! I’m also excited to make an announcement on Your Sonic Sunday this coming weekend that is intimately related to this week’s Sonic Geography Mix. Sorry I missed this last Sunday. Sixteen straight Sundays to kick off 2020 wasn’t a bad run.
Funeral Service (Riems) – “Pills”
Schlitz (Paris) – “Destroy Babylon” (from Wondawful World 7″)
Too Much (I have no clue) – “Silex Pistols” (from the Born Bad French Punxploitation LP)
Kromozom 4 (Paris) – “La Tuture” (from 7″ split with Heimat-Los, which I found in Knoxville, of all places)
Baton Rouge (Lyon) – “D’Année en Année”
Sport (Lyon) – “Eric Tabarly” (LP bought at FEST 14)
Maladroit (Paris) – “She Spent Valentine’s Day on her iPhone” (from 7″ split with Teenage Bubblegums)
Kimmo (Paris) – “Clac Son”
Frustration (Paris) – “Artists Suck!”
Buried Option (Orléans) – “Mandrake Falls”
Sunsick (Marseille) – “Holidays”
Telephone (Paris) – “Regarde Moi”
Berurier Noir (Paris) – “Hèlene et le Sang” (from Concerto Pour Détraques reissue LP)
Computerstaat (Paris) – “Crypt” (some cold wave for your souls)
Starshooter (Lyon) – “Betsy Party”
Thrashington D.C. (Brest) – “Banned in B.M.O.”
Metal Urbain (Paris) – “Panik” (Punk française starts here)
Sherwood (Paris) – “Le Bourgeois”
Watermane (Montpellier) – “Greetings from the Basements”
Ferry “Rock” Berendse (Weird story/Indonesian born) – “Rock and Roll Mops” (off the Born Bad Record early French R&R comp)
Amanda Woodward (Caen) – “Pleine de Grâce”
Edith Piaf (Omnipresent) – “Mon Manège À Moi (Tu Me Fais Tourner La Tête)”
Sooner than later, I will post my third and final update from my Summer 2019 trip to Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand, thereby setting a new record for longest-delayed update from the road. I actually came close a few weeks ago, but I forgot. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe it’s quarantine. But, it’s coming.
For now, enjoy this vinyl mega-mix I did of Australian records that purchased in Australia (with a few exceptions, noted in parentheses).
The Gooch Palms (Melbourne) – “Living Room Bop” (purchased from the band at the Fort Sanders Yacht Club)
Dr. Raju (Sydney) – “Don’t Wanna Know” (found at Toxic Toast Records in LBC)
The Riptides (Brisbane) – “Riptide”
The Hummingbirds (Sydney)- “Blush”
Camp Cope (Melbourne) – “Footscray Station”
Brain Children (Melbourne) – “Future Flights”
Thigh Master (Brisbane) – “Company”
The Eyes (???) – “Get it Strait” (b-side of ‘City Livin’ EP)
The Triffids (Perth) – “Estuary Bed”
Royal Headache (Sydney) – “High”
Pinch Hitter (Sydney) – “Nine to Fine”
Swirl (Sydney) – “People I Know”
The Go-Betweens (Brisbane) – “Head Full of Steam” (I think I found this in Urbana, IL, a week after returning to the States)
The Smith Street Band (Melbourne) – “Birthdays”
Nova Scotia (Brisbane) – “Don’t Forget Your Lunchbox”
Money for Rope (Melbourne) – “Hole Like You”
The Newsletters (Melbourne) – “Don’t Let Me Walk Away”
Hungry Lungs (Cairns) – “A Mile Away”
AC/DC (Bon Scott RIP) – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (purchased somewhere in North America)
Happy Sunday! I’m sorry not to get this posted until the later side, but I’ve been occupied with pet projects and haven’t been spending as much of my time on the internet (unless your understanding of “the internet” includes FaceTime-ing platforms). I’m grateful to report that my friends and family are generally doing well, and as I notified my students this past week, we’re over a month into lock down, and this next month is going to be slightly easier.
Even further outside the subject of academia, prior to mid-March, I became involved on the tech side of a local theater production of “James and the Giant Peach.” Of all the things to look forward to on the opposite end of what this pandemic is putting us through, this is at the top of my list. For those of you anywhere near Central Michigan, I’ll keep you posted.
People enjoy ragging on Florida (often, with good reasons), but I refuse to add fuel to that fire. Now, I’m not defending any of the developmental phenomena behind the state (I caught myself describing the Sunshine State as a “pile of gated communities, plus Lil Jon” in a chat with friends last night, which I know isn’t fair… Lil Jon is more into Vegas these days), but I love it regardless. As a child, I had the good fortune of basking in the dying embers of the golden age of Jewish Miami – I ate at the Rascal House, wandered around South Beach, and if my sister and I were good, our parents would haul us up to the Orlando region for a day with Mickey. Of course, there are so many non-tourism facets to Florida that deserve love and attention – the amazing flora and fauna, the crazy pre-Disney history (including a 1920’s land-grab that culminated with one major developer disappearing), and so much punk rock that’s equal parts scruffy, high-octane, and sentimental.
That latter point informs much of this week’s playlist, which I compiled from a pile of 7-inches and 10-inch records, with an LP reissue or two (plus an indispensable Florida Folklife compilation) mixed in for good measure. I hope you enjoy it and remember, as Radon once said, “there’s unlimited sunshine in a bottle of Tropicana.”
Transmissions from Cape Canaveral (John Glenn’s first manned Space Flight)
Merchandise (Tampa) – “I Locked the Door”
Rational Anthem (Sarasota) – “Just Shrug”
Against Me! (Gainesville) – “Sink, Florida, Sink” (7″ version)
Emmett Murray (Pahokee) – “She’s a Fool, She Ain’t Got No Sense” (Drop on Down in Florida 2xLP!)
This Bike is a Pipe Bomb (Pensacola) – “The Black Panther Song”
Spoke (Gainesville) – “Descant”
Discount (Vero Beach) – “Disappointed”
Less Than Jake (Gainesville) – “Dopeman” (b-side to the “Johnny Quest” jukebox 45)
King Friday (Miami) – “North Carolina” (original No Idea 7″)
DieAlps! (Tampa) – “Invincible”
Torche (Miami) – “Loose Men”
Radon (Gainesville) – “Headaches and Bullshit”
Sloane Peterson (Miami) – “Tired Eyes”
LOAD (Miami) – “Pastor’s Day”
Death (Orlando) – “Mutilation”
As Friends Rust (Gainesville) – “Scapegoat Wets the Whistle”
Pohgoh (Tampa) – “Kandy Koated Cisses”
Hot Water Music (Gainesville) – “Moonpies for Misfits”
The Tim Version (Tampa) – “1916”
Little League (Tallahassee) – “Fuck Off and Write a Song about It”
A New Found Glory (Coral Gables) – “My Friends Over You”
Despite owning this 7-inch, I didn’t play anything from it. Strange.
Happy Sunday, everyone. We’re almost halfway through April, and I just had a birthday a few days ago. Moving on: here’s some reading, watching, and/or listening material to commemorate (if that’s in any way appropriate) the fact that it’s been one month since everything stateside began to shutter in a big way.
My American-ostensibly-in-exile friend Jamey Essex is back at it again with more quality “Pedagogy in the Time of Coronavirus” content over on his website here.
Speaking of local institutions on Central Avenue in my former hometown, the Central Collective is running a virtual human claw Easter Egg hunt tonight. I have no idea about the practicality of this, but it looks like a worthwhile and curious effort.
ICYMI: I released my 2nd Sonic Geography Vinyl Megamix this past Wednesday, focusing on the music of Tennessee. If you’re nice, I’ll post Episode 3 this coming Wednesday!
Remember to get outside and experience the extended Clinic music video that is the great outdoors in the US of A.
Another semester of Intro World Regional Geography/Globalization = another set of musical geography papers. I always look forward to assigning this piece, and the variety of songs that students analysed always produces a few surprises. I was also fortunate to learn about a few new (to me) artists like Mr. Vegas, and the amazingly-named Tropical Fuck Storm (TFS), and Declan McKenna.
The almost-full list is below, with any multiple submissions in parenthesis. I would make a Spotify playlist if I used Spotify, but you can find any of these in good quality on various online platforms. It bears mentioning, too, that almost every track is available on vinyl in some form from your local/regional record shop, who are likely suffering right now and subsisting on mail orders.
“America: Fuck Yeah!” from Team America: World Police
Gordon Lightfoot – “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (2)
Sean Kingston feat. Nicki Minaj – “Letting Go”
Mukesh – “Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein”
Evan Legler – “Michigan”
The Monkees – “Pleasant Valley Sunday”
Pink Floyd – “San Tropez”
Kendrick Lamar – “Compton”
The Veronicas – “Change the World”
Men at Work – “Down Under”
Kid Rock – “Detroit, Michigan”
Declan McKenna – “Brazil”
Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind” (3)
NWA – “Fuck Tha Police”
Yusuf Lateef – “Eastern Market”
Alabama – “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta have a Fiddle in the Band)”
The Arcade Fire – “Here Comes the Night Time”
Lee Greenwood – “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Glen Campbell – “Southern Nights”
LCD Soundsystem – “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”
Well, I missed Sonic Sunday this weekend, but I’ll make up for it with some quaran-tunes for your enjoyment. This week, I’m taking a voyage across the mercilessly wide state (almost as if it was added to the Union in some type of land-grab) of Tennessee. When I moved there in 2013, I made the argument that the Volunteer State has contributed more to popular music history than any other, and I still tend to agree with that idea.
This DJ mix, though, gave me the opportunity to share some wax tracks released by various friends I made in my six years of living in Knoxville as well as a few stone-cold classics.
Dead Man’s Lifestyle (Morristown) – “Common Lush” (split lathe 7″ with Cop Funeral)
In light of these events, I’ve decided to release this video version I recorded of a specialized lecture that I created my World Regional Geography classes about the geography of Major League Baseball and Latin American circulation. I hope you enjoy it, and please don’t be distracted by how I’m still learning where to look when I record these.