The Mask is the Face: Self-Design in the Age of the Algorithm 

Modern scarification We wear our souls in here.Second Life resident Biology’s offspring is culture, but culture feels little allegiance to its heritage. It has become rabid, turns back to devour its father. But culture is a Cronus, a middle way, a transitory stage. Culture in turn gives birth to the algorithm, but the algorithm feels…… Continue reading The Mask is the Face: Self-Design in the Age of the Algorithm 

Regarding Rockism Pts 2 & 3: The Progress of Poptimism and the New Rockism

Part One explored the origins and evolution of different authenticity models in American popular music criticism, breaking apart contemporary constructions into essentialist and personal models stemming, respectively, from European-American and African-American cultures. Now, in Parts Two and Three, poptimism’s rise to near-hegemonic acceptance is examined through the lens of Lana Del Rey and her shifting reception at Pitchfork…… Continue reading Regarding Rockism Pts 2 & 3: The Progress of Poptimism and the New Rockism

Regarding Rockism, pt 1: Black Truths, Noble Savages

Daniel Johnston, “Some Things Last A Long Time” I. Introduction Controversy over Lana Del Rey has centered around everything from her singing ability and views on feminism to her interview last year with the Guardian in which she opined on musicians who have died young. (“Glamorous?” she was asked. “Ummmm, yeah.”) But within music criticism circles, one…… Continue reading Regarding Rockism, pt 1: Black Truths, Noble Savages

Oh Boy: Christopher Owens, Headspace, and Artistic Irony

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about two songs in my record collection. T.B. Blues One is Jimmie Rodgers’ “T.B. Blues,” considered by some musicologists (e.g. Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor) to be one of the first popular autobiographical songs. Rodgers made a career out of singing songs about other people—miners, gamblers, gunslingers, jailbirds. But…… Continue reading Oh Boy: Christopher Owens, Headspace, and Artistic Irony