Drake Portrait

Drake. Canadian, former child actor, biracial, raised Jewish, talks about his ’emotions’: could this be new face of hiphop?

Jon Caramanica will join me on WNYC’s Soundcheck today to discuss…

Yes- Round 2 of my WNYC Soundcheck hosting experience continues today. In addition to the chat with Caramanica, jazz bassist Stephan Crump will perform a few songs, and I’ll interview Josh Kun about Asian-Americans in US pop (check his recent article on Legaci). Broadcasting live: 2-3pm, WNYC 93.9 FM.

Hosting Soundcheck yesterday was a blast – and probably the only time you’ll hear me talking about the Beatles. You can listen here. Working with the full Soundcheck team is a radically different experience from my WFMU show. It’s like augmented reality: real voices in your head, a stream of digital info enhancing all that your senses take in, research crew, A/V wizards, Neumann mics, …

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If that is not enough… the multimedia storm/media hallucination continues later today as we debut the Dutty Artz Book Club, Ustreaming at 7pm EST, with a Dutty Artz radio session to follow. We’ll be rolling deep: Matt Shadetek, Lamin Fofana, Taliesen, and myself broadcasting live from the basement of Dubspot.

For the 1st edition of Dutty Artz Book Club, we’re gonna have a spoiler-free discussion of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. We love Octavia.


Octavia E. Butler

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In other news, since I am reading a book about cloning Carlos Fuentes (Cesar Aira – El Congreso de la Literatura), I decided I should read Carlos Fuentes – and the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe has a rich vein of second-hand Fuentes books for cheap. I bought two today (a bilingual edition of Aura, and A New Time For Mexico). Total cost: $9!!

Housing Works is the best. Oases, occasionally, are real.


  1. book reviews here would be most welcome! i sometimes think i should read more carlos fuentes, but i found la región más transparente to be a frustrating read, so i haven’t really explored more.

  2. I love Fuentes, tho like Paul am not so into La region mas transparente (…yet. Reading it now). I think it’s partly the 1950s dialogue which is harder for me to understand. The version I have (Catedra Letras Hispanicas) has a ton of footnotes explaining the slang as well as the historical background– which i find really interesting, but kinda distracting.
    Paul- I’d try La Frontera de Cristal (one of my absolute favorite books) or el Gringo Viejo. Probably more accessible. And both really delve into the complicated relationship btw the US and MX, if that interests you.
    The Death of Artemio Cruz is also amazing and a total classic, but full-on stream of consciousness, which maybe you’d find frustrating too…?
    I also liked Aura, but it doesn’t involve the socio-political critique that i’ve really loved in his other books.
    My 2 centavos.

  3. Sara B. – thanks for the Fuentes recommendations! I have a few minutes left in MX and will try to find La Frontera de Cristal. The first 2 chapters of A New Time For Mexico are elegant, beautifully-constructed, very impressive esp. in the context of the more directly political chapters which follow.

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