Sunday, October 25, 2009

Keeping on...

I have been gone for a ridiculously long time, I know. Things have been busy, and not just with my family. I’m hard at work transcribing interviews and analyzing the research I have conducted and data that I have collected. And lucky me, I get to spend some of my time working with this stuff at the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti while Todd Osborn plays music. Seriously, how awesome is that!? If it seems odd that I would chose a super loud bar as the only other location besides my home that I work on this bitch, just imagine whatever ignites and inspires you to create something fabulous, and that’s what my occasional Sunday nights in Ypsi are for me. I come prepared with my bag full of fieldnotes (next it will be all my blog posts, then interview transcripts, and other printed documentation that I have written or collected since February 2008). I am reading through my fieldnotes doing thematic coding – I’m pulling out all the major themes that I see in my notes as I read through, maintaining a list that just seems to keep growing. I mark the location in the text where that theme appears, trying to keep a workable number of general themes that reappear in my notes. I have taken hundreds of pages of notes while doing this research and trying to write my dissertation just from memory of all that would produce a document based on only a fraction of what I have actually done Detroit. Once I have coded all my documentation, I can begin to decide what I am going to use in my dissertation from all this data, and how exactly I am going to organize it.

I've done most of my secondary source reading already, so just in case you thought I was doing this all from and about me, don't worry, that's not really what ethnomusicology is.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that I can keep up this blog with any regularity while doing all that. Sorry, I know, it’s devastating for me too. So I will try to make monthly posts to keep you up to date and share any interesting things with you.

Here’s an interesting thing: Mike Banks and Carl Craig playing together at the Amsterdam Dance Experience this past weekend and speaking at a conference there. Carl Craig appears at parties in Detroit a few times a year. I’ve seen Mike Banks out once since I moved to Detroit in 2008, and he was in the crowd during James Pennington’s set. The only other times I have seen him here is when I actually went to Submerge for an event and then a second visit to meet with him, attempt to interview him, have things get a little lost because of miscommunication, and then spend the evening talking, joking, and telling stories. Recorded interview will actually be happening in the coming weeks, so I’m really looking forward to that! Anyway, the thought of getting to see Mike Banks on keyboards with Carl Craig in Detroit gives me the shivers and causes my heart to flutter. I guess I can figure out a few reasons why this doesn’t happen in Detroit. For one, Mike Banks has dedicated decades to this city and continues to do so in ways that don’t usually involve live musical performances. Submerge is a remarkable, renowned, and crucial institution in the city of Detroit. It’s global impact is just as profound. The musical and cultural contributions of Underground Resistance are substantial and far-reaching. Also, he keeps pretty quite in the United States in general, including Detroit. He tends to put energy into people and places that already know and care who he is and what he stands for. So doing a show in Detroit that would probably draw lots of people from surrounding areas, and maybe even lots of people from the whole Midwest region, seems like it might not be something he would really devote himself to. And this is all just my own speculation, yes, I’m admitting that to you and not just pretending that I know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t really know why Mike Banks doesn’t play much in Detroit. Maybe I’m kind of right, but it’s not really something that is publicly discussed. I would fall all over myself to see him play here. Actually to see him play anywhere, I’ve never seen him play. Freaking terrible, I know.

Well that’s what I’ve got for you tonight. I’m going out now to see Todd Osborn and a *secret party* at the Elbow Room – I’ll get to hear Choir of Young Believers, Chris Bathgate, and Matt Jones. Let’s see how much work I get done!!!!

Oh yeah, and I’m going to see Dam Funk on Halloween in Detroit. I don’t even have words. And Kevin Reynolds and Matt Abbott are also playing. I’m totally, completely, utterly, stoked.

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