Informer: A Brief History of White Reggae

White-Reggae-history-spin

READ IT ON SPIN

This one’s, ahem, a Labour of Love if you will (shout out UB40). It went live a few days after my D’Angelo review, and I was too embarrassed to post these two side by side. Four months later, I’m into it. Like so many lefty caucasians raised in 420-friendly families, I ingested a lot of reggae as a yout’ and, for a brief high school moment, thought I’d found saviors in 311 and Sublime. I still bump a lot of Jamaican roots, but the time has come to give dap to the odd phenomena of blond dreadlocks and fake patois (shout out Das Racist), plus the restless audio hybridizing of the ’90s. This list goes back to the very birth of white reggae in 1965, and ends in 2014 with that most irie and unexpected of recent hits, “Rude.” Peep it on SPIN.* Continue reading

Using the Beatles as a Weapon

In which the A.V. Clubhouse was asked which music we’d use to punish an enemy (a la the army and Metallica). Read em all here. My entry below:

Reading Kenny’s response makes me wonder at the long-term psychological effects on those fortunate (?) enough to have attended the Watch The Throne tour. Twenty years from now, our society will feature a sizable segment who flinches at the mere mention of words like CRAY-on and CRAY-fish (or Kreayshawn, but that might be for different reasons). I’ve used hardcore music, from Brotha Lynch Hung to Refused, to spite parents, roommates, and neighbors when occasion called for it, but as I get a little older, a little smarter, and a lot meaner, I think less about blunt-force trauma and more about the kind of psychic brutality that could drive people to question their very existence. Like “Revolution 9” by The Beatles, played not loud, but at a just audible level through a small speaker spackled into the wall between my apartment and the one next door, on some sort of standalone device hotwired to the building’s grid so it never runs out of power. Or a quietly nagging Skrillex loop somehow rigged to trigger every time the platinum-Jeep-driving douchebag down the street uses a kitchen appliance. “Honey, is the blender broken?” “No, it’s fine.” “Then why does it sound like an engine that won’t turn over?” I mean, really, people. We’re adults now. It’s time we start thinking like the terrorists.