THANK YOU FOR BEING BLACK, OR, IF YOU DONT LIKE SLUMMING YOU DONT LIKE CLIMBING

All of the reggae covers of Police/Sting songs I’ve heard are great. Freshest name on the list:

Junior Reid – Synchronicity

junior-reid

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Team Moji flew from Harlem to Copenhagen to party when I played there, and we were the only black people on the boat i think and a Danish woman came up to my friend Erin and said: you have a great smile. thank you for being black!

I was like wow and Moji said to me: “i LIKE being thanked for being black when i’m in europe. yup, it is a singular experience, a real treat, and something you don’t really get uptown (where everyone is black and already sick of the black people they know).”

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anyhow, let me get b(l)ack to making fun of a [correction!] Anonymous Poster on W&W’s blog, which was the original intention of this post. He expressed this sentiment, doesnt matter which way the waters flow so I mirrored it darkly:

“…Refined European polka and waltz started being exported to the Texas area in the late 19th century, where it was welcomed by uneducated Mexicans, always in search of the newest first-world dance beat to mimic and ape, last season it was the waltz, now it’s polka! These Mexicans call it Norteño.

“It’s a shame seeing these Mexicans take the glorious German accordian and refashion it to their own rural, underdeveloped needs. Completely unaware of the polka classics, the wonderful songwriting of the Volks, ignorant of Wagner and our traditions, the Mexicans have appropriated our instruments and pulled them down into the realm of the popular…

“I freely acknowledge that my general visceral reaction against working-class usages of cosmopolitan elements grows out of the confirmed suspicion that these things are not usually carried out in the sense of submission and homage, but rather, as you say above, cross-class climbing and an indigenous craving for a mediated refinement / urbanity / sublimity [insert desired quality of our population here]. . .

13 thoughts on “THANK YOU FOR BEING BLACK, OR, IF YOU DONT LIKE SLUMMING YOU DONT LIKE CLIMBING”

  1. Hi dude! 🙂

    (I assume it’s me you’re parodying, or I really need to keep better track of other Swedish blogs.)

  2. Oh wait, no it isn’t (If I just googled correctly). Easy mistake to make, I’ve certainly made (I guess more subtly) similar points in the past.

  3. Ouch. Is this satire?

    Also, re: the accordion. Have you read Lipsitz’s essay on techno from Footsteps in the Dark? Accordion as the root of industrial music production.

  4. apologies Birdseed – it *wasnt* you, i had my wires crossed! corrected– no Swede blogger, it was an ANONYMOUS AMERICAN ETHNOMUSICOLOGIST posting on Wayne’s blog: http://wayneandwax.com/?p=306

    & Kevin — tell me more about this essay!

  5. dude, you are F’D up! LOL.

    Lipsitz is always good reading. Kevin, if you know other accordion- or polka- related essays, lemme know, been looking for those…

  6. historically accurate, sort of, but way the fuck off in terms of appropriation theories.
    by anonymous´s right, elvis was a cross climber, because the ukelele is portuguese and was appropriated/used by polynesians in hawaii due to exploitation/exploration (same word in portuguese, “explorar”)

    http://www.pbs.org/accordiondreams/cultures/index.html

    and let´s be careful, accordian and bandoneon are different, and durango and sonora are just as much bandoneon as accordion…

    much of mexico doesn´t use the accordion anyways, it is from the north…but then again, I guess argentina, the northeast of brazil, and columbia are all just lower classes trying to get an edge.

    Or maybe the accordion is easier to carry than the piano…

    according to Joao Gilberto in Chega de Saudade, the reason bossa nova was played on the guitar (as opposed to Tom Jobim´s piano work) was it was easier to play on the beach in rio…

  7. i like musical decisions based on ease-of-carry. Guitar, Serato, flute.
    Piano, 3 crates of rare vinyl, tuba.

    “and let´s be careful, accordian and bandoneon are different” – yes, but The People use ‘acordeon’ to refer to both in various contemporary cumbia/durango/etc scenes,

    actually, i find that folks mostly use ‘acordeon’ to refer to bandoneon; ive got stuff like ‘Cumbias con Acordeon’ comps with a guy playing bandoneon on the front…. totally unaware of the cognitive dissonance he is generating.

  8. Jace, some cumbias con acordeon use bandoneones? Wow, that’s a new one to me. Whether Mex or Colombian, I’ve usually seen/heard only accordions.

    I’ve actually been meaning to hit Monterrey to dig the accordion history — there used to be a Hohner factory there.

  9. ok wait: what’s the difference btwn a button accordion and a bandoneon?

  10. There are different instruments… though I guess with the accordions can happen like with the lillies.

    The bandoneon has buttons on both sides but has different mapping and sound than the button accordion. Also the bandoneones are done with a different aleation (mix of metals, I don’t know is this is the word in english) for the pipes and though they have harmonics, they have a main note more clear than the accordions.

    But yeah, I guess you can call a bandoneon a “button accordion” if you get a good lawyer, though not in the middle of La Boca! 🙂

  11. Of special note is the bandonion or bandoneón, a German concertina system the original bisonoric layout of which was devised by Heinrich Band. This type of concertina is traditionally featured in Tango music due to the instrument’s popularity in Argentina in the late 19th century when Tango developed from the various dance styles in Argentina and Uruguay. When Tango spread as a fashionable dance to Paris in the early 20 century, the Bandoneón was adapted with a new unisonoric finguring option known as the French or Piguri system. But the bisonoric layout is often preferred as the more ‘traditional’ option. Bandoneóns with more than one reed for each note are typically dry-tuned. One of the most famous exponents of this instrument was Astor Piazzola.

    but then again, it’s wikipedia, innit?

  12. nice track you posted… thanks.

    i’ve always liked the pseudo-mystical, socially-critical vibe of the police. stuart copeland’s reggae-influenced technical drumming is the shit.

    but what other reggae covers of police tunes are there out there? i have to assume someone has done “every breath you take” in an alton ellis vibe. “spirits in the material world” would be sweet in deep roots dub.

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