Links for the week

D.I.S.C.O. – we owe it all to the Nazis, apparently.

Like peacock versions of Hamburg’s swing kids, the Zazous thrived in opposition to the Nazis’ hatred of jazz. When Goebbels issued edicts banning the “rhythms of belly-dancing negroes”, the remnants of Montmartre’s jazz community were deported, interned, or at very least unemployed. The scene that had raised Josephine Baker to legend resorted to home-grown musicians playing US jazz standards, renamed on programmes to fool the censors. …

Crucially, it was the Zazous who gave Paris its enduring taste for dancing in cellars to records. Unable to congregate openly, they took their precious swing 78s underground, for les bals clandestins in cafés off the Champs-Élysées or in the Latin Quarter.

Much more DJ history on the 100 Years of the DJ timeline.

New Music Box worries about classical marketing’s obsession with age – two things: first, classical is obsessed with history and biography, and second, the Mozart/child prodigy effect. We love ’em, so expect them to keep on coming. Anyway, it isn’t just classical that’s obsessed with age. Pop is too; although you don’t tend to see Christina Aguilera’s age stamped on the back of her CDs (a gentleman wouldn’t ask), pop has such clear parameters of what ages are the norm that the question is mostly academic. And when anyone steps outside those parameters, we are told about it, all the time. How many times have you heard the ‘Sonic OAP’ joke, or read about Madonna the ‘aging superstar’, or that Billie Piper was 14 when ‘Because we want to’ came out, or that Supergrass had to bunk off school to go on their first UK tour, etc, etc. Age is always an issue, isn’t it? The only thing about classical composers is that they can be anywhere between 11 and 800 years old, so some sort of guidance is helpful.

Kyle Gann throws some much needed water on the fuss being made over Fanfare‘s allegedly unethical music review/advertising policy.

And WFMU has music made by volcanoes!

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