The presentation/discussion with Michael O’Malley was quite a show—”a really big shew”—as Ed Sullivan might have said.
In thinking it over, it seems it was a mash-up (not necessarily a bad thing) of a lot of different issues. I appreciate that he gave us ways to think about music and songs as sources. And also how to present that information (or chance to “think historically” about the sources) to students (or others) through digital technology.
To do that, tho, he relied on knowledge he has both as a historian and as a musician. Lots of musical knowledge—about singers, beat, chords, recording studies—even before he got to the “technical” matters of compression and mid-range dips (I don’t think that was the word).
as well as youtube [and how to capture videos from it www.atube.me/ ] will be fun—it not useful—in the future.
I have questions of historical interpretation: I don’t know that a song like “Chinaman Blues” that promotes racism/orientalism/etc. is “transgressive.” Or if it is “transgressive,” how does that transgression differ from the Flirtations (the ‘90s gay male a cappella group) singing “My Boyfriend’s Back”
or how lesbian audiences “in the know” about Dusty Springfield
or Leslie Gore
listened to them (vs. other listeners). Being passed information about them—or Janis Ian—
was a rite of passage in some gilt communities—a “threshold” experience.
This is a long way of getting to the issue that I am always mulling around: which of the approaches are interesting to see what people have done, but I am unlikely to ever use (because I lack, not simply the digital technical ability, but the ability to think historically with/through that kind of source) and which are the ones that I can see doing although right now I am at sea (bobbin’ along). No need to decide anything now although I do find myself “tuning out” (so to speak) when I don’t see myself using it.
And that experience is a good reminder of what students often go through—an additional plus of this institute for me as a teacher.