Archive for October 10th, 2012

October 10, 2012

Rockism

Pete Wylie

Rockism is a term referring to perceived biases in popular music criticism, coined by UK singer songwriter Pete Wylie in the early 1980s. The fundamental tenet of rockism is that some forms of popular music, and some musical artists, are more authentic than others. While there are many vague interpretations of it, rockism is essentially believed to treat rock music as normative.

From a rockist view, rock is the standard state of popular music. Interestingly, it is not entirely rockist to love rock, or to write about it. One may also care about R&B or norteño or bubblegum pop, but discuss them in a rockist way. The idea is built into the way people talk informally about what kinds of popular music interest them. Rockism is often suspicious of the use of computer-based production systems.

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October 10, 2012

Assemblage

plagiarism

Assemblage [uh-sem-blij] refers to a text ‘built primarily and explicitly from existing texts in order to solve a writing or communication problem in a new context.’ The concept was first proposed by Johndan Johnson-Eilola (author of ‘Datacloud’) and Stuart Selber in the journal, ‘Computers & Composition,’ in 2007. The notion of assemblages builds on remix practices, which blur distinctions between invented and borrowed work.

Johnson-Eilola and Selber discuss the intertextual nature of writing, and they assert that participation in existing discourse necessarily means that composition cannot occur separate from that discourse. They state that ‘productive participation involves appropriation and re-appropriation of the familiar’ in a manner that conforms to existing discourse and audience expectations.

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October 10, 2012

The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free

Détournement

The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free is an anarchist parody of the popular Tintin series of comics. An exercise in detournement (turning expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself), the book was written under the pseudonym J. Daniels and published by Attack International in 1988. It has recently been re-printed by anarchist publishers Freedom Press which includes for the first time Tintin’s earlier adventures during the Wapping dispute as told in ‘The Scum,’ a 1986 pamphlet which was produced in solidarity with the printworkers.

The story features a number of characters based on those from the original series by Hergé, notably Tintin himself and Captain Haddock (referred to only as ‘the Captain’ and depicted here as being Tintin’s uncle), but not the original themes or plot. Snowy is featured on the cover – being especially visible on the first edition’s cover – but not in the narrative. The story tracks Tintin’s development from a disaffected, shoplifting youth to a revolutionary leader.

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October 10, 2012

Swipe

Jack Kirby

Swipe is a comics term that refers to the intentional copying of a cover, panel, or page from an earlier comic book or graphic novel without crediting the original artist.

Artists Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Hergé, and Jim Lee are common targets of swipes (though even ‘The King’ is not above reproach: Kirby was known to have swiped from Hal Foster early in his career, as were many Golden Age artists — many of whom kept ‘swipe files’ of material to be copied as needed).

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October 10, 2012

Sampling

Sampler

In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically manipulated tape loops or vinyl records on a phonograph.

In the late 1960s, the use of tape loop sampling influenced the development of minimalist music and the production of psychedelic rock and jazz fusion. In the 1970s, DJs manipulating vinyl on turntables gave birth to hip hop music, the first popular music genre based originally around the art of sampling.

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October 10, 2012

Beatboxing

Shlomo

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments.

Beatboxing today is connected with hip-hop culture, being one of ‘the elements,’ although it is not limited to hip-hop music.

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October 10, 2012

Freestyle Rap

Freestyle Fellowship

Freestyle is a style of a cappella rap, with instrumental beats, in which rap lyrics are improvised, i.e. performed with no previously composed lyrics, or ‘off the top of the head.’ It is similar to other improvisational music such as jazz – Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship describes it as being ‘like a jazz solo’ where there is a lead saxophonist acting as the improviser and the rest of the band providing the beat. Rap battles are sometimes improvised in this way.

It is similar in both form and function to the ancient practice of flyting (contest consisting of the exchange of insults). Originally, in old school hip hop of the 1980s, the term ‘freestyle’ referred to a pre-written rap verse that was not on any particular subject matter, but rather was written for the purpose of demonstrating skill. The term is still occasionally used in this way, though since the 1990s, the majority of today’s artists use it to mean improvised rapping.

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October 10, 2012

The Dozens

your mom

The Dozens is a game of spoken words between two contestants, common in Hip-hop/Urban communities, where participants insult each other until one gives up or violence erupts. It is customary for the Dozens to be played in front of an audience of bystanders, who encourage the participants to reply with more egregious insults to heighten the tension and consequently, to be more interesting to watch. It is also known as ‘sounding,’ ‘joning,’ ‘woofing,’ ‘sigging,’ or ‘signifying,’ while the insults themselves are known as ‘snaps.’

The origin of the game is unclear, but it has roots in Africa: similar contests are held in Nigeria among the Igbo people, and in Ghana. Comments in the game focus on the opposite player’s intelligence, appearance, competency, social status, financial situation, and disparaging remarks about the other player’s family members—mothers in particular (‘yo′ mama…’)—are common. Commentary is often related to sexual issues, where the game is then referred to as the ‘Dirty Dozens.’

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October 10, 2012

Roast

A roast is an event, almost exclusively in the United States, in which an individual is subjected to a public presentation of comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories, and heartwarming tributes, the implication being that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and therefore, show their good nature.

It is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted, as the individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a ‘roast.’ The host of the event is called the ‘roastmaster.’ Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been ‘roasted.’

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October 10, 2012

Mustard

Grey Poupon

Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant (white or yellow mustard, brown or Indian mustard, or black mustard). The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, salt, lemon juice, or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in color from bright yellow to dark brown. English mustard is among the strongest, made from only mustard flour, water, salt and, sometimes, lemon juice; but not with vinegar.

French-style Dijon mustard has added vinegar, and is milder. Bavarian sweet mustard is milder still. Homemade mustards are often far hotter and more intensely flavored than commercial preparations. A strong mustard can cause the eyes to water, sting the palate, and inflame the nasal passages and throat. Mustard can also cause allergic reactions. As a cream or a seed, mustard is used in the cuisine of India, the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Balkan States, Asia, North America, and Africa, making it one of the most popular and widely used spices and condiments in the world.

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