Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) on stage with the Golden Chords.Image courtesy Monte Edwardson and Leroy Hoikkala. BY RICK SHEFCHIK When discussing the history of Minnesota rock music, Bob Dylan tends to rate barely more than a footnote because he was living in New York and playing folk music when such seminal groups as The Trashmen, … More On Bob Dylan’s early folk years and the flourishing Minnesota music scene in the 1960s
BY RYAN THOMAS SKINNERAssistant professor of ethnomusicology at The Ohio State University For many, to think of a place called “Mali” is to hear, first and foremost, its music. Mali may be a poor, landlocked, and sunbaked country in the West African Sahel, but its widely acclaimed music culture—with its bluesy resonances, danceable rhythms, and … More What is "Malian music"?
BY MARK ALLISTERProfessor of English, environmental studies, and American studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota Teenage rebellion takes many forms, but teens rejecting their parents’ music is a less likely expression of that rebellion than it once was. When I was growing up, my mom and dad listened to opera, to their scratchy old … More Teenage rebellion by music? Not so prevalent anymore.
BY ANTONIO T. TIONGSON JR.Assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico Growing up in the Bay Area in the 1980s proved to be formative in terms of laying the groundwork for the kinds of questions I grapple with in Filipinos Represent. During this period, I came of age deeply immersed in … More On hip-hop, DJs, and racial parameters
Sometimes the act of not listening can chart new territories for Chicano borderlands music. BY DEBORAH VARGASAssociate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside The recent unexpected passing of singer Jenni Rivera—born Jenny Dolores Rivera Saavedra in 1969 in Long Beach, California—once again placed the spotlight on histories and experiences of Mexican-American … More Selena, Jenni Rivera, Eva Garza—meditations on an author’s soundtrack.
Street scene near Galleria Umberto, a public shopping gallery in Naples, southern Italy. Here, author Jason Pine discusses the city’s neomelodica music scene that makes celebrities out of young singers—and the politics of gaining such fame. BY JASON PINEAssistant professor of anthropology and media, society, and the arts at Purchase College, State University of New … More Counterfeit capitalism and the neomelodica scene in Naples
After more than thirty years, the intriguing story behind the battle to bring Love in Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson to the big screen still marches on. What follows is a final summation of the decades-long struggle to create a film out of “Love in Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson,” a screenplay by … More Calling Hollywood’s bluff: Summing up the wild "Love in Vain" saga (Part 3 of 3)
Born in 1911 and deceased in 1938 at age 27, much about American blues singer Robert Johnson’s birth, life, and death remain a mystery. Here, Alan Greenberg discusses his decades-long journey to bring a screenplay about Johnson’s life and the culture of the Mississippi Delta and blues music during the 1930s to the big screen. … More Patience & chaos: The battle to bring "Love in Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson" to the big screen. (Part 2 of 3)
One of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Robert Johnson’sshort life remains steeped in mystery and wrapped in some of the most enduringlegends of modern music. BY ALAN GREENBERGWriter, film producer, film director, and photographer It was 1974, and it all began when I was building a bed. Living alone … More With a little help: How crucial encounters with Werner Herzog and Mick Jagger led to the development of a screenplay about Robert Johnson’s extraordinary life and legacy.
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month this month, writer Paul Devlin has agreed to discuss Papa Jo Jones’ little-known stint on Route 66, a series for which all episodes have been recently made available on YouTube. Hello, Good Night, Sweet Blues! — BY PAUL DEVLINEditor of Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones … More Papa Jo Jones, Jazz Drummer and . . . Actor?