by carl wilson

Immodest Proposals: Pop Conf and 33 1/3

goofysize.jpg plunderdab.jpg

Agenda Item 1: Although it's officially past the deadline, you can probably still sneak in a bid on giving a presentation at this spring's 8th annual Pop Conference at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. This year's model? "Dance Music Sex Romance: Pop & The Body Politic." So far as a member of the programming committee, the paper I am most excited to have encouraged is one about sex sounds in music and how deeply unsexy that usually is. (Full exemption granted to Jane Birkin c. 1969, because.) Send proposals of up to 250 words and a 50-word bio to Eric Weisbard at and Right this minute! You are already late!

Agenda Item 2. You have two more weeks, though, before you are too late to submit proposals for the latest call from the 33 1/3 series of books on albums (which includes my book, see left). I won't reiterate all the details here - you can read 'em at that last link - but I encourage my Canadian readers especially to go for the gustibus here. I've already caught wind of a Metal Machine Music proposal brewing in the kitchen of a particularly terrific venerable Toronto critic, among others.

But if you are at all stymied for ideas, here are my two nominees for records I would write about if I were ever going to write another 33 1/3 book, which I'm not: 1) local hero John Oswald's founding manifesto of mashup, Plunderphonics (aka "Girl Talk is 20 years late to the party") (and btw, I'm sure you'd have Oswald's full cooperation on that project); or, 2) The classic K-Tel compilation Goofy Greats, a fantastic opportunity to analyze the nature and quiddities of the novelty song, of which Goofy Greats is one of the more formidable and, I would hazard, influential assemblages ever known to man.

You're welcome!

General | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, December 17 at 4:17 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (8)




Posted by soittoäänet on January 13, 2009 1:24 AM



goofy greats! haven't heard that mentioned since i was a kid! (though all the songs have stuck with me, of course. god, we played that record to disintegration.)

Posted by allana on January 12, 2009 1:18 AM



Thanks for the vote of confidence but I had already prepared a 1000 word pitch on Discharge's Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing. As it turns out, I'm not going to send it in as on the off, off, off chance it made the cut I don't think I'd write a book the majority of Discharge fans would actually like (ie digressions on the apocalyptic imagination, atrocity imagery in art, collage versus found art).

So anyone wants that one, by all means. Me, I'm gonna go listen to State Violence State Control and do the hell out of my dishes.

Posted by Brian on December 18, 2008 6:03 PM



did anyone submit something about careers made via sexual favors? it would be interesting to see a catalog of rumored and documented cases.

I was trying to put something together on calypso and "telling it like it is" (have you heard how dirty some of those calypsos are?) and kept on running across stories of female calypsonians who would sleep with judges at the carnival.

altogether though, a tough topic. maybe i'll try again next year.

Posted by david b on December 18, 2008 1:29 PM



There's a whole crazy story about that picture of Michael Jackson -- someone could write a book!

Oswald got a gov't grant to make the album, press 3,000 copies (if memory serves), and give it away free, to circumvent copyright concerns. Sony threatened to sue for -- what, defamation? of Michael Jackson? -- over the album cover. Oswald had no resources to fight a corporate behemoth even on a groundless suit, and agreed to "destroy all copies" of the CD. Shortly after the suit I happened to meet Oswald at the home of a mutual friend (terrific composer and super nice guy Miguel Frasconi, whom I had never met, but who was living with a friend of mine at the time), and I heard most of the album then. I had done collage work of my own by then, and I enjoyed hearing Oswald's stuff. Also of note: his gorgeous two-CD collage fantasia on the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star," called "Grayfolded."

I'd never heard of the novelty comp, and seeing the track list made me feel like an alien, as I experience two of the songs not as novelties or "goofy" at all, but as two of the greatest records ever -- "Leader of the Pack," that densely-packed drama of class war and death and audio concrete, with a portrayal of love and terror that routinely brings me to tears; and "Surfin' Bird," a manic bit of otherness rarely matched in rock, or in any music.

Posted by john on December 18, 2008 12:41 PM



That picture of Michael Jackson is really giving me the heebie jeebies. --dc

Posted by David Cantwell on December 18, 2008 11:19 AM



I'd like to see Brian Joseph Davis take on the Oswald!

Posted by Jason on December 18, 2008 8:24 AM



Ahh! Thank you for this reminder!

Posted by Chandler Levack on December 17, 2008 10:46 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson