Monday, September 17, 2018


Here's a piece I wrote for Pitchfork about 20 years of Auto-Tune - and the whole related realm of pitch-correction and "vocal design" technologies. It spans from from Cher's "Believe" to  Migos's "Slippery," via Britney, Kanye, Ke$ha,  Keef, Flavour N'abania, Man like Nayvadius, and more. Detractors dispatched; digital existence dissected; defining sound of the 21st Century delineated.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Writing in Reading ( x 2)

Next week I arrive in Reading for the conference Writing the Noise: the Politics and History of Subcultural Music, organised by the Subcultures Network at the University of Reading.

On Thursday 6th September, I'm delivering the opening keynote, a talk titled "Writing About Music: Then, Now and Tomorrow", followed by Q+A. That's at 11 am, in the Henley Business School Room  G11.

On Friday 7th September, I join fellow Melody Maker vets David Stubbs and Cathi Unsworth for the closing session of the conference: a panel discussion about the UK weekly music press and rock journalism moderated by Matt Worley (the man behind the whole conference). That's at  5: 15 pm in the Henley Business School Room G11.

In between there are tons of other interesting talks and discussions about subcultures, music genres, sonic formations, and the politics of fandom and tribal identity - everything from the Bristol Sound to John Maus via Italian punk, skiffle, female skinheads and the Meatwhistle.

More information about Writing the Noise here.

Bizarrely - having never been to Reading in my life before, not even for the Reading Festival - I return to the city a little over a fortnight later for another conference at the University, this one organised by Pil and Galia Kollectiv.

EuroNoize: Art Bands, DiY Music and Cultural Identity takes place on  Friday 21st September.  My talk is at 4.30 p.m. and is titled "DIY - then, now, tomorrow." Location for the conference is Madjieski Lecture Theatre, Room RGL04, Agriculture Building, University of Reading.

Loads of other interesting talks and speakers that day including glam scholar Philip Auslander, critic Sarah Lowndes and Chris Bohn of The Wire / NME renown. And that chap Matt Worley pops up again talking about the Marquis de Sade with a paper titled "Whip In My Valise" !

More information about EuroNoize and full schedule here. Tickets available here.