Sunday, June 01, 2008
WITH THE RADIO ON
M.I.A. - Bamboo Banga (DJ Eli Mix)
The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
It ain't where you're from, it's where you're @ to para-sign Rakim. Back in the homeland, more security with 42 days of detention getting through the lower house of Whitehall.
I've been indisposed for almost as long with work. Not much chance of me joining the post-managerial class. Working over a hot keyboard has taken its toll. Due my fourth session with the physio next week.
I think it was mainly the writing frenzy for this departmental seminar I did on 'Situating popular music: the case of M.I.A'. In the end, it was more the first part rather than the subtitle, though Maya did make an appearance for about fifteen minutes. I'm sure she'd have been taken under Warhol's wing for an NYC weekend if the wig & spex were still here.
Will post the seminar material when I've tidied it up a bit. The prep was draining though helpful, and took me from the several vistas of The Clash's 'Straight to Hell' to M.I.A.'s lines of flight in 'Paper Planes', all in less than an hour. It certainly cleared out some space in my head for the new world order and mobility of music.
On these issues I'm fighting my own impulses to 'make it move, make it move, make it dance and groove' après Sly and Robbie. When so much energy is spent putting things in their place, let us slip away from the categories. But then the nomadic is no picnic on the highways or byways.
Maya's never standing still for long. A couple of days before the seminar the vinyl gods sent me to Real Groovy and without looking for it, I came upon the Homeland Security Remixes.
I prefer the 'Paper Planes' tunes with their multiple vocal stylings, but DJ Eli's version of Bamboo Banga was new to me. Is that the early 80s synthy riff of Yazoo's 'Don't Go' or 'Situation' (the Francois Kevorkian US remix)? Will have to check.
If it is the former as I first suspected, I thought it was an arresting juxtaposition:
Maya on the move in her paper planes with her visa, laptop wireless and mobile phone, crossing the borders with the friction of UPS trucks.
At the same time the memory of Alison Yazoo's absent voice is belting out 'don't go' like a family member that wants to shut the door, stand in front of it, and not let you pass. Or let you through only if you realize you're not coming back.
Maya's already taken Jonathan Richman's Bostonian road-tripping to the air. Is she coming back to ground in the remix?
Was this some weird diasporic feedback loop? Don't go. Stay. You'll lose all the stuff that matters, only gain restricted access and carbon counts. But the radio is still on and if the BPM don't get that high, the words are still 'a 100 miles an hour'.