I’m starting off my dissertation chapter on Vienna Teng and A-Mei, two pop musicians, with a discussion of Teng’s performance of her song “City Hall.” Two musicians in her band pantomime some of the actions in the song. You can see a clip of one performance on YouTube (where else?). One of the arguments I make in this chapter is that in listening to Asian American songwriters, critics and audiences must do a lot of work to create their own understandings of what makes the music “Asian American” or not, and that part of this slipperiness of Asian American popular music is rooted in the ambivalence of racial belonging that has ungrounded Asian Americans historically. It’s pretty much the stupidest argument ever. But the best dissertation is a done dissertation, right?
On an unrelated note, I am eating these Jones Soda Co. carbonated candies, the Berry Lemonade flavor. They taste like vitamins. If only they had the nutritional value of vitamins. Heh.