Karaoke Exhibit at Towson University

On Thursday (February 16), I had the honor of hosting a panel in Towson University’s Center for the Arts, where some of the most distinguished KJs in the D.C./Baltimore area shared their expertise. Collectively, the KJs represented nearly 150 years of karaoke hosting experience with clients ranging from Wolf Blitzer to the Philippine Festival at the Maryland State […]

Read More Karaoke Exhibit at Towson University

Organology of Virtual Instruments: On the Changing Size of Air Guitars

The size of an air guitar is in flux. For over 20 years, the official Air Guitar World Championships organization has hosted international air guitar competitions. During this time, the scale of these events has rapidly changed–from a marginal event existing alongside the Oulu music video festival to a cultural force (and source of tourism) in […]

Read More Organology of Virtual Instruments: On the Changing Size of Air Guitars

Dissecting Airistotle: Towards a Vocabula(i)ry for Analyzing Air Guitar Choreography

Musical gestures are an important part of the way we hear sounds. My 99-year-old grandmother taps her toes, when she hears Perry Como. My father—a guitar player—twitches his fingers, when he hears Jimi Hendrix. I bob my head when I hear Chance the Rapper. We all do this somewhat subconsciously, organically. Yet we all do this somewhat persistently.

Read More Dissecting Airistotle: Towards a Vocabula(i)ry for Analyzing Air Guitar Choreography

Shadow Conducting and the Phonograph: Why Men Play Imaginary Instruments in the Dark

The development of the ability to record sound in the late 19th century and emergence of the phonograph as a consumer technology in the early 20th century spurred a century of new private listening practices, in which people could listen to recorded music in the privacy of their own homes. That is to say: One can hardly […]

Read More Shadow Conducting and the Phonograph: Why Men Play Imaginary Instruments in the Dark

Nick Jonas’s Guitar Fail

At the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2016, Nick Jonas delivered a guitar solo that became famous as an epic failure. After video clips circulated of Jonas misplaying notes in his televised performance, amateur performers online created remediations of his original performance: cover versions of his solo, samples of his solo in new music […]

Read More Nick Jonas’s Guitar Fail