Thursday, October 19, 2017

Putting Your Money Where Your Sources Are: Royalties, Nominations and Recognition.

The other week the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced. Amongst this year's bunch included L.L. Cool J, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone and others. (I honestly was so shocked that Nina Simone was not inducted already...) 

The week prior to this announcement, I had accompanied my internship supervisor to a panel she was a part of featuring women in music. Afterwards at lunch with the group, we were talking about pioneering women in music. Someone brought up Lil Hardin Armstrong and her influence to blues, and to add I brought up the stories of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Rose Marie McCoy (who I wrote a bit about here.)

Later that weekend, I came across the video on facebook from Genius about Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" and how she didn't see any royalties up until 2014. This specific topic has been brought up again with the recent Jay-Z's "Bam" and here you can read Genius' coverage on it. I shared the vid and commented: It’s astonishing that so many influential women have been so over looked for their work. That pattern has got to go. 

I very much feel that need for change. To pay women and POC, particularly black women/women of color, for their intellectual, creative (and any kind of) work is so necessary. Societally, institutionally, and culturally we need to prioritize this. For so long they have been overlooked, robbed from, dismissed for their creative genius, underpaid, etc. and continuing that and letting the work of black and brown women go unpaid and unrecognized is unethical. 

Certainly glad to see Sister Rosetta Tharpe getting her credit as the Grandmother of Rock and Roll. Because without her pioneering work to the genre.... there'd be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Musically yours,

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Magic of Moonlight Densetsu

This little melody haunts most of us who grew up watching the Sailor Moon anime. The theme is heard throughout the series and its incarnations: the theme songs, as background music, in the star locket. The above version is one of my absolute favorite versions.

When I think of the transformative power of music, when I need to escape the sometimes overwhelming truth of reality, or just need some magic in my life, this melody always comes to mind. Playing this little tune instantly transports me to a much more serene place. (My inner moonie couldn't pass that up.)

A few years ago, I came across a post on tumblr explaining the history of this tune, "Sayonara Wa Dance No Atoni" is a song from the 60's by Chieko Baisho, Japanese singer and actress, and served as the melodic inspiration for "Moonlight Densetsu." I don't have the emotional attachment to this song as do Moonlight Densetsu, but I do enjoy listening to it!

I am marveled how deeply engrained in my musical memory this tune is, and I've seen others comment on this same sentiment. I turn it on at some of my lowest moments. A most influential melody on myself, and I'm sure a generation of anime lovers, that it's worth noting its power. 

Musically yours,

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Disrupting Academia Through A Hip-Hop Album

So if you haven't heard of the viral doctoral candidate who is producing a hip-hop album as his dissertation... read this article to get a sense of what I'll be addressing in this post:

This has been one of my favorite things to read this year. In the midst of reading emails and looking at grad programs, my thesis advisor sent me this article saying it reminded her of me. First of all, I was honored. This Ph.D. candidate, A.D. Carson is obviously a badass, and I find his whole project to be so resistant. The article shares, “'The central thesis of my dissertation is: Are certain voices treated differently?' said Carson. 'I’m trying to examine how an authentically identifiable black voice might be used or accepted as authentic, or ignored, or could answer academic questions and be considered rightly academic. So I have to present a voice rather than writing about a voice.'”

There is no doubt that Carson's examinations about voice in this project are contesting the elitist norm of academia. This is something I'd love to see more of.

Musically yours,