II:about:II

Need to contact me? Try  AdomaitisD@gmail.com

Hi!

I’m not-so-legally married to a charming woman.

Ethnomusicologist + Anthropologist = love.

Although both of us are from Massachusetts, we live in Florida with our two furchildren, Spud & Zasha:

As you can imagine, they kind of run the place. If you’ve never heard of “husky zoomies”, go ahead and google it.

Want some more?

Our souls firmly live in New Orleans, LA where we both lived for nine+ years – in the cracks of every watermeter cover, on the steps in front of Jackson Square, in the alley on the left side of the St. Louis Cathedral, on a bar stool at Molly’s, and second-lining down lower Decatur. Therefore, we go ‘home’ to NOLA as often as possible (usually every few weeks).

Anyway…

I was raised in a small rural town in central Massachusetts. My childhood activities included making forts in cow pastures, learning the difference between rabid and friendly, eating lots of zucchini, watching British sitcoms with my grandmother, and hiding pieces of my mothers’ placemat collection just to tick her off.

The day before my 18th birthday, I hopped on a plane and moved to New Orleans.  One day I was giving directions to a tourist from New England and they didn’t understand the concepts of “river side“, “lake side“, “and neutral ground“. I’m pretty sure that’s when I coined myself as local.

Then, during my first year in NOLA (New Orleans, LA), while working on the infamous Bourbon street, I paid a homeless man in a wheelchair to ‘walk’ me to the bus when I got off of work every day at 4am. His name was Charlie – I think. I realized I was one of those “weird people” the tourists warned their kids about. This made me giddy. So of course, I moved to the Faubourg Marigny, an eccentric gayborhood right outside of the French Quarter. It’s riddled with queers, quarter rats, and gutter punks. My people.

Anyway, in the midst of all that I earned a few degrees in music. Currently, I’m in love with being an ethnomusicologist. I love folk festivals, playing Sousa marches on my euphonium, hiking and beaching, traveling, refreshing Google Reader, and begging street musicians to pose for pictures in return for my leftovers.

This blog basically acts as a landfill for my musical thoughts, projects I’m working on, or other sound-related items of interest. Maybe some random topics, too.

I like to read, talk, and think about music and religion, international comparative studies in music education, wind band evolution, American music curricula, New Orleans music, community music traditions, Tibetan music, Nepalese music, children’s music cultures, historical western musicology, musical archaeology, medical ethnomusicology, military music, music and politics, organology, etc…

Friends of mine you should check out:

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25 comments

  1. Love your bio :)! It’s always interesting to read about the person, whose blog you’re following, a bit more. This explains a bit about you.

    Sara (aka kultis)

  2. Hey there, i stumbled on your site while doing some browsing for articles about bounce. I’m doing a gender studies masters here in London at the moment, hoping to write my thesis using ideas based around sissy bounce, am also a musician. My partner is from NOLA, i’ve been a couple of times (am hoping to go back for mardi gra in the new year if i can find the air fare!) and he’s been steadily ingraining all the various musical aspects of NOLA into me which is amazing. I’m still in verrrry early stages of research. I was reading your thoughts on possible research avenues in your Queer Rappers post, they sounded really interesting and i was just wondering if you’d pursued this any further? I’m really wanting to write about bounce in the context of ‘gender from behind’. The limits of performativity and bounce as an expression of sexuality…or rather, how it reflects New orleans as a historical site of sexual and racial expression, by taking a phenomenological route and focusing on using the behind (both literally and metaphorically) in a queer perspective/expression, on/of gender, focusing on the individual and wider socio-context. Errm, well maybe none of that made sense…it’s 2am and my head is jumbled. But if you have any thoughts i’d be really interested to hear them from an ethnomuso point of view!

    all the best,

    tomathy.

    1. hey Tomothy – I’m glad you found me! It’s nice to meet you! Sissy Bounce is definitely turning into a potential thesis topic for me as well. I just turned in a prospectus, so we’ll see where it ends up. I’m really happy with the annotated bibliography I put together. There’s a lot more out there than you think, but you have to really dig. I’ve fleshed it out more than I have here in the past few weeks, though I’ll gladly share it with you if you send me your email address.

      I like your ‘gender from behind’ idea – it could definitely work, and could make for a great conference presentation among other things. I wonder though, if perhaps tying Bounce dance movement in with historical racial expression is a bit of a stretch? Sometimes a dance is just a dance. Also – it’s really important to understand both worlds of Bounce (gay & straight) music and defining your operational definitions concisely. It has the danger of causing some serious socio-political conflict among the poor black [heterosexual] communities in at least two neighborhoods I can think of… Have you been to NOLA yet? If your partner doesn’t have any musical connections with Bounce artists, I’d be glad to introduce you to a few folks –

      D

  3. Oh great i’m happy you’ve decided to pursue it, yeah if you’d be able to send the bibliography that would be amazing, any help with research is greatly appreciated at this point! email is: tomathydalychandler@hotmail.com

    I definitely agree that dance is very often just a dance, i think in order to keep my perspective as open to interpretation as possible, i will have to emphasize that this is an argument from a queer point of view (i.e. – from behind, heh). And that one could quite easily just alter the perspective. I think you’re right that maybe using it as a performance of ‘racial expression’ perhaps throws up difficult connotations, maybe ‘cultural expression’ leaves the argument a little more open to interpretation. I think i will pull other examples of dance i.e trad african dance through to jazz/swing era dance and see how they compare, but state that they are not necessarily entirely related.

    And yeah i’m beginning to see the divisions between the straight/gay sides of the music, style, lyrics etc. I’d be interested to know more about this though, like which specific neighborhoods, and why you think thats the case? (aside from the obvious) The dance also seems to differ in terms of style as well depending who is doing the dancing (men seems to be more about the bouncing footwork, kicks and arm movement, women/trans more about using the behind in a more acrobatic dance) but also i’ve seen a few video’s which blur these lines with men and women interchanging the style of dance. Again, this is all just my speculation, i’m sure you would know more about this!

    I’ve been to NOLA a couple of times, last time was abut 2 years ago, really hoping to come back sometime next year if i can get the money together. But yeah any introductions would be great, i was thinking of trying to get in touch with Alison Fensterstock or Aubrey Edwards who did the ‘Where They At’ project. Was thinking also maybe Rusty Lazer as well, since he seems really involved with nola street music. but if you have any other recommendations i’d love to hear them.

    Tdc.

    1. Pulling it from trad. african dance could really work! One angle that you could look at includes comparing the neighborhoods spoken about within the lyrics and the neighborhood venues where the actual performances occur. An interesting cross-cultural/cross-neighborhood dichotomy occurs.

      In general, although the performers themselves dislike the term, I just think it’s very important to distinguish between straight bounce artistry and culture and “sissy bounce” artistry and culture somehow in your work – maybe through a disclaimer and some well-placed operational definitions. That’s where the discrimination and socio-political issues come in. They are sometimes from the same neighborhoods, but the culture, song texts, audiences, venues (sometimes), and performance environment (especially) are completely different. Take a look at West Bank vs. French Quarter vs. 9th Ward performance venues.

      Alison is definitely a source, but on the other hand, culturally she is as far from an emic perspective as we are. Right now she’s the “go-to” person for the scene, but I’m not sure she’s the only one. I’m planning on taking a purely ethnographic approach that would in essence, leave her out of it… though yes, she’s a great source of information – and certainly the only ‘name’ that’s being thrown around right now. Aside from the thesis, would you be interested in doing a joint project on this? I’ll email you soon –

      DA

  4. I’ll definitely try and look at some of the differences between neighborhoods and venues. Yeah i think i remember seeing an interview with Freeda (i think, maybe katy) where she was talking about the designation ‘sissy’, how they see it as an outside label and that she and others simply make ‘bounce’ just from a different stance lyrically. Operational definition would be a good way to distinguish, but at the moment i have a hard time thinking of how to spell it out, and also how to state the obvious without sounding like it’s a solely binary divide between the two.

    Since my thesis is not going to be quite as long as a phd thesis i’m probably just going to be focusing on a theoretical argument (my background is actually in philosophy). Also my Uni is very stringent with field research ethics so i just decided for the moment it probably wasn’t the best idea to pursue it! But i would still like to learn as much about the people and cultural specifics involved as possible. I’m still kinda playing it by ear in terms of ideas, the more i research i may want to go down a more ethnographical route, so i’d definitely be interested in doing this as a joint project or something, especially if i can get back to NOLA sometime next year. Yeah sure just email whenever you can that’d be great, i’ll see if i can get hold of alison, she doesn’t seem to have a website or email address i can find other than social network sites?

    Tdc.

  5. I have been reading your posts for the last couple of hours, and it all has been very informative and nicely written. I did want to let you understand that for some reason this post doesn’t seem to work in Internet Explorer. On a side note, I had been wondering if you wanted to swap blogroll links? I hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Just seeing this, Andrew! Thanks for stopping in, and letting me know about IE. I’m a mac girl, so it makes sense. Would love to..

  6. Dear D.A., thank you very much for your comment on my blog. I appreciate it more than I can adequately convey in this small comment box. I will definitely keep in mind your take on the academic world and ethnomusicology in general. Just out of curiosity, which ethnomusicologists do you know who have performing careers? If you have some time and could point me in their direction, it would help me out a lot.

    I look forward to following your blog. Thanks again!

    >>gbera

  7. Hi, Great Blog. Just curious what your name is and where you are studying ethnomusicology. I am involved in putting together a collection of articles on queer ethnomusicology. Have you published anything? Please write to me at my email.
    Best,
    Zoe Sherinian
    Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology
    University of Oklahoma

  8. Hi, maybe im being a slightly off topic here, but I was browsing your site and it looks stimulating. Im authoring a blog and trying to make it look neat, but everytime I touch it I mess something up. Did you design the blog yourself? Could someone with little experience do it, and add updates without messing it up? Anyways, good information on here, very informative.

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