03 March 2007

Cross-dressing Wagner and West African Pop

Have I got your attention? The first is an article from the Guardian. As if we didn't already think Richard Wagner was more than a little crazy, there's a possibility he may have had a thing for ladies' clothes.

Our department has an opening for a professor, so over the last two weeks they've interviewed three candidates and us poor, put-upon graduate students have sat through their lectures. Actually I didn't go to the first one, and the other two were interesting. On Tuesday I heard a lecture on the history of music in California, and today I got to hear a lecture on western influences on Bollywood music and a mock class on West African pop (music of Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali). This isn't a genre that's ever been on my radar screen before, but I was fascinated by the oldest genre discussed, which is called highlife and originated in Ghana. Get thee to iTunes and look up E. T. Mensah. It sounds a lot like Cuban jazz to me. Very cool stuff.

No comments: