A Media Scholar’s Response to Trax, Trump, and a Strange New World

July 31, 2017 Trax on the Trail has helped keep me connected to political events for over a year. As many of us academics seek ways to respond to the new normal, some of us may want to do what I did—sign up to participate in blogs like Trax o the Trail. Most of usContinue reading “A Media Scholar’s Response to Trax, Trump, and a Strange New World”

Korean Drumming at the Women’s March in Lexington, KY

February 17, 2017 Like dozens of cities around the nation and globe, Lexington, Kentucky witnessed a women’s march with thousands in attendance the day after Trump’s inauguration (January 21, 2017). Lexington police and the Kentucky National Organization for Women said it was the largest march seen in city history. The overarching goal of this march and the sister marches wasContinue reading “Korean Drumming at the Women’s March in Lexington, KY”

Donald Trump, Jackie Evancho, and the Performance of Embattled Whiteness

January 18, 2017 You can access this essay at Musicology Now. Interested in learning more about inauguration music? Please check out Musicology Now’s other inauguration-related essays. And join Musicology Now for their live blog event which will start on January 19th and continue into inauguration day. Musicology Now is a blog sponsored by the AmericanContinue reading “Donald Trump, Jackie Evancho, and the Performance of Embattled Whiteness”

The Trump Bump II: Satire, Remix Culture, and User-generated Campaign Musical Posts

January 12, 2017 In a previous contribution to Trax on the Trail, I noted that Donald Trump had received “more nightly [i.e. televisual] news attention than all of the Democratic campaigns combined,” and “unquestionably more attention online than any other Republican candidate.”[i] As the official Republican presidential candidate, Trump continued to garner extensive audiovisual coverage, butContinue reading “The Trump Bump II: Satire, Remix Culture, and User-generated Campaign Musical Posts”

Just Sing No: 30 Days, 50 Songs and the Musical Campaign for a Trump-Free America

December 19, 2016 Ryan Bañagale’s essay on the first seven songs of the 30 Days, 30 Songs website discussed the project’s beginnings.[i] Since then, more songs have been released. On October 24, organizers Dave Eggers and Jordan Kurland pointed out that they were expanding it to 30 days and 40 songs because so many more artistsContinue reading “Just Sing No: 30 Days, 50 Songs and the Musical Campaign for a Trump-Free America”

The President Takes the Stage: On Theatre and Safe Spaces for Politicians

December 8, 2016 On November 18, Republican Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multicultural hip-hop retelling of the life of the titular founding father. Miranda had used songs from the musical to campaign for Democrat Hillary Clinton, and was publically against the Republican platform, particularly its plank on immigration. In response to Pence’s attendance,Continue reading “The President Takes the Stage: On Theatre and Safe Spaces for Politicians”

Un-Conventional Music

November 25, 2016 Historical precedents inform us that national party conventions are supposed to ratify a platform and select a nominee, affirm party identity, and celebrate collective unity.[i] This occurs through a four-day spectacle of sight and sound that builds to the climax, the nominee’s acceptance speech at the end of the last day. NotContinue reading “Un-Conventional Music”

30 Days, 30 Songs: “Puncturing that inflated horror of an ego”

October 17, 2016 I won’t lie. I’m a fan of just about anything Ben Gibbard does—be that as frontman for Death Cab for Cutie, as fifty-percent of The Postal Service, or as trail running fanatic. When word of a new Death Cab for Cutie song came across my newsfeed last week, I immediately clicked throughContinue reading “30 Days, 30 Songs: “Puncturing that inflated horror of an ego””

The Snowths & Mahna Mahna, Baby & Johnny, Michael Myers & the Final Girl Join the Debate

Much to the delight of Trax on the Trail and its contributors, the second presidential debate inspired at least a dozen musical settings. We have seen Hillary and Donald singing duets, busting out dance moves, assuming Muppet personas, and appearing as the leads in a horror film. Indeed this activity brings some much needed levityContinue reading “The Snowths & Mahna Mahna, Baby & Johnny, Michael Myers & the Final Girl Join the Debate”

Not Another Term: Music as Persuasion in the Campaign Against the Re-Election of George W. Bush

October 5, 2016 Not Another Term: Music as Persuasion in the Campaign Against the Re-Election of George W. Bush October 5, 2016 It is not unusual for pop musicians to use their fame and their music as a platform for critique of presidents. Former presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan were on theContinue reading “Not Another Term: Music as Persuasion in the Campaign Against the Re-Election of George W. Bush”