The Importance of Speculative Fiction and How It Implores Us to Create a Leftist, Anti-Capitalist Future

Over the last 18 months or so I've been reading a ton of near-future dystopian speculative fiction. This week I finished Paolo Bacigalupi's excellent The Water Knife (I hope there's a movie adaptation of it coming soon) and I am itching to read the second installment of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy. I've also recently read …

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Brian Ward’s Just My Soul Responding Reviewed Here

Brian Ward's mammoth book, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm And Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations, argues that examining “changes in black musical style [in this case R&B, Soul, and Funk] and mass consumer preferences offer us a useful insight into the changing sense of self, community and destiny among those blacks who” rarely leave …

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On George Lewis’ A Power Stronger Than Itself

George Lewis’ monumental book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music is a social, cultural and musical history of the innovative and highly influential Chicago based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.  Like other contemporary avant-garde music and arts groups such as New York City’s Jazz Composers Guild, led by …

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Iain Anderson’s This is Our Music

Iain Anderson's 2007 book, This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture, successfully examines who decides the value of jazz and its meanings, especially in the 1950s and 1960s.  His book focuses on the increased popularization of jazz and its acknowledgment, or designation, of it as “America's art form”; the construction of …

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