Tag Archives: music

Leviathan Jams, the Inventory Cut: a DJ mix & fair dealing field-test for ACCUTE 2022’s soundtable

Stream the mix at the link above. Access a transcript at https://academicalism.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/mccutcheon_leviathanjamsinventorycut-djmix-transcriptaccute2022soundtable.pdf — and for the hearing impaired, loud playback or wearing a device like SubPac is recommended. Access a downloadable mp3 of the mix at https://drive.google.com/file/d/16EMfdi7blsSjq1ORhuQoSMLhnDsbWYbA/view?usp=sharing

Leviathan Jams mixes music used in James S.A.Corey’s #TheExpanse and Dionne Brand’s Inventory; field-tests a countermeasure against copyright bot overreach; and exercises #fairdealing in #openaccess research. The track list and abstract follow below.

Track List

00:00 The Carpenters, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” (A&M, 1977; cover of Klaatu’s 1976 record)

* 00:03 Deep Purple, “Highway Star” (Purple, 1972)

00:04 CC radio static sample

00:05 Rush, “Cygnus X1 Book I: The Voyage” (Anthem, 1977)

00:11 CC radio dial tuning sample

00:12 sample of dialogue from “Flu Season,” Season 3 Episode 2 of Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2011) by Tom Haverford (perf. Aziz Ansari)

* 00:18 sample of dialogue from “Intransigence,” Season 3 Episode 9 of The Expanse (SyFy, 2015) by Drummer (perf. Cara Gee)

00:19 sample of The Beatles, “Revolution 9” (Apple, 1968)

00:21 Marvin Gaye, “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” (1971)

00:29 Deadmau5, “Do It Again” (2006; samples Sneaker Pimps, “Spin Spin Sugar [Armand’s Dark Garage mix]” [Clean Up/Virgin, 1996])

* 00:37 [Cheb] Khaled, “Didi” (Barclay, 1992)

01:10 CT Burners and Jubilee, “Kick It (The Squire of Gothos remix)” (Nightshifters, 2009)

* 04:46 Joey Cramsey, “Radio Free Eros (OPA Fan remix)” (no label, 2017; fan-made song sampling dialogue and music from “Static,” Season 2 Episode 3 of The Expanse [SyFy, 2017]) https://soundcloud.com/user-444579259/the-expanse-whispers-of-eros

04:46 Crisp Biscuit, “Wink1” (no label, 2002; remix of Josh Wink’s “Higher state of consciousness” [Strictly Rhythm, 1995] sampling Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache” [Pride, 1973])

* 08:29 Gatekeeper, “Tense Past” (Punch Drunk, 2007; used in “Rock Bottom,” Season 1 Episode 6 of The Expanse [SyFy, 2015])

08:41 Lou Reed, “Romeo Had Juliette” (Sire, 1989)

08:45 Fader Gladiator, “Battle of the Planets” (Kickin, 1997; samples John Williams’ “Imperial March” [RSO, 1980])

09:12 The Beatles, “Revolution 1” (Apple, 1968)

* 09:30 Tigerstyle feat. Kaur-B, “Zulfaan De Naag (Monstaboy remix)” (AK Music, 2013; used in “Remember the Cant,” Season 1 Episode 3 of The Expanse [SyFy, 2015])

13:19 CC radio static sample * 13:19 sample of dialogue from “Pyre,” Season 2 Episode 8 of The Expanse (SyFy, 2017) by Anderson Daws (perf. Richard Harris)

About “Leviathan Jams”

You can seldom criticize [intellectual property] law by breaking it and yet expect the law to forgive your infraction as criticism. (Saint-Amour 19)

My ACCUTE soundtable contribution is a music mix, “Leviathan Jams,” designed to field-test a particular DJ mixing technique—the sustained synchronization of two to four tracks—in social media platforms surveilled by automated copyright enforcement mechanisms (copyright bots). This mix field-tests the hypothesis that a sufficiently complex music mix can jam the signals copyright bots use to suppress the unlicensed reproduction of copyrighted music on Internet social platforms, where users’ rights (e.g. fair dealing) supposedly apply but copyright bots routinely override them.

My mixing methodology is based on the approaches of DJs like Jeff Mills, Z-Trip, and Grandmaster Flash; on the “CV Dazzle” makeup strategy developed by artist Adam Harvey to resist facial recognition technology; and on arguments for appropriative forms as creative expression (see Amani, Coombe et al, Shields). This music-mixing methodology’s basis in playback and repetition also engages with critical theories of slowness (see Berg and Seeber, Bureau).

“Leviathan Jams” imagines a dialectical dialogue between two improbably paired literary works—Dionne Brand’s 2006 long poem Inventory and James S.A. Corey’s roman fleuve, The Expanse (2011-21)—by combining music cited in Inventory (listed above in bold) with music cited in The Expanse, (listed with asterisk *). Both Brand’s and Corey’s works share practices of quoting music, the exercise of fair dealing and fair use (the unauthorized use of copyrighted works for specific purposes like research), articulations of labour solidarity, and dialectical elements of form. Inventory quotes music by major artists like the Beatles, whose song lyrics command astronomical licensing fees (see Orr); complementarily, The Expanse often mentions poetry (e.g. Corey, Leviathan Wakes, p. 520), and the series’ plots involve intellectual property, open access, piracy, and audio remixing (Babylon’s Ashes, p. 245-6, 248; Leviathan Wakes, p. 445; Nemesis Games, p. 454), while self-reflexively acknowledging their own contradictory status as openly derivative (Leviathan Wakes, p. x) intellectual property (Leviathan Wakes, pp. 211, 343; Babylon’s 222). Both works also share a specific anti-colonial trope. In Inventory, Brand writes: “does she care about “the human species / spreading out across the cosmos” / no, God forbid, stop them, and forgive her this one / imprecation to a deity” (p. 48). In the first Expanse novel, the detective Miller (whose investigation of Juliet Mao’s case informs my renaming Lou Reed’s titular “Juliette” with the Beatles’ line in “Revolution 1” about “Mao”), reflecting: “‘Stars are better off without us,’ he said, but too softly for anyone but Julie to hear” (Corey, Leviathan Wakes, p. 465). In the subsequent third novel another character, referring to “the stars,” “wonder[s] if we should have them” (Abaddon’s Gate, p. 539). “Leviathan Jams” echoes this anti-colonial trope in a song Inventory quotes, Marvin Gaye’s 1971 “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”: “rockets / moonshots / spend it on / the have-nots.” Gaye’s track mixes with “Didi” by the raï musician Cheb Khaled, the only real-world pop star named in the Expanse books (Babylon’s Ashes, p. 168), which refer often to raï music (e.g. Memory’s Legion, pp. 6, 76, 144; Nemesis Games, p. 433). As this shared anti-colonial trope thematizes deterritorialization, so does the mix’s form practice depropertization.

By synchronizing and juxtaposing samples of music cited by Inventory and the Expanse franchise “Leviathan Jams” field-tests copyright bots’ capacity to identify discrete songs. (That listening to the mix resonates with a major plot point in the last Expanse novel, Leviathan Falls, is a happy, uncanny coincidence.) “Leviathan Jams,” then, both prototypes a “jamming” device (Corey, Leviathan Falls, pp. 266, 442) and models fair dealing. Notice or takedown of the mix would prove my hypothesis wrong. The mix was recorded using DJay for iPad (fig. 1), edited using Audacity (fig. 2), and saved as mp3 for sharing; the file is available on request, and a transcript is forthcoming.

Works cited and consulted

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything. Prod. and dir. Asif Kapadia et al, Apple TV+, 2021.

Amani, Bita. “Copyright and Freedom of Expression: Fair Dealing between Work and Play.” Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online, edited by Rosemary J. Coombe et al, U of Toronto P, 2014, pp. 43-55.

Berg, Maggie and Barbara K. Seeber. The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. U of Toronto P, 2016.

Brand, Dionne. Inventory. McClelland & Stewart, 2006.

The Bureau of Noncompetitive Research [Victoria Stanton and Stacey Cann]. Slowness and the Institution: Doing Research Differently [webinar series]. 29 Sept.-24 Nov. 2021.

Corey, James S.A. Abaddon’s Gate (2013). Orbit, 2014.

—. Leviathan Falls. Orbit, 2021.

—. Leviathan Wakes (2011). Tenth anniversary ed. Orbit, 2021.

—. Memory’s Legion. Orbit, 2022.

—. Nemesis Games (2015). Orbit, 2016.

—. Babylon’s Ashes (2016). Orbit, 2017.

Eshun, Kodwo. More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction. Serpent’s Tail, 1998.

Guertin, Carolyn. Digital Prohibition: Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art. Continuum, 2012.

Harvey, Adam. “Computer Vision Dazzle Camouflage.” https://cvdazzle.com/, 2020.

Jameson, Frederic. Marxism and Form: 20th-Century Dialectical Theories of Literature. Princeton UP, 1974.

Katz, Ariel. “Fair Use 2.0: The Rebirth of Fair Dealing in Canada.” The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook 20 the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law, edited by Michael Geist. U of Ottawa P, 2013, pp. 93-156.  

McRobbie, Angela. “Thinking With Music.” Stars Don’t Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth, edited by Karen Kelly and Evelyn McDonell, New York UP, 1999, pp. 37-49.

Murray, Laura J., and Samuel E. Trosow. Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide. 2nd ed., Between the Lines, 2013.

Nair, Meera. “How Canadian Education Really Hurts Creators.” Fair Duty, 16 Oct. 2017, https://fairduty.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/how-canadian-education-really-hurts-creators/.

Orr, David. “When Quoting Verse, One Must Be Terse.” New York Times, 8 Sept. 2011, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/opinion/when-quoting-verse-one-must-be- terse.html.

Reynolds, Simon. Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno & Rave Culture. Little, Brown & Co., 1998.

Richardson, Tasman. “Jawa Manifesto” (1997), ed. Elenore Chesnutt, Incite!, 2008, https://incite-online.net/richardson2.html

Saint-Amour, Paul K. The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination. Cornell UP, 2003. Shields, David, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (2010). Vintage, 2011.

“This Machine Chills Copyright Bots”: a #DJmix coda to #FairDealingWeek

A mad mash of Billie Eilish, Deadmau5, Lil Jon, Carly Rae Jepsen, Armand Van Helden, Public Enemy, Young Galaxy et al:

The general idea here’s a thick mix–2-4 tracks playing at most times* (all in the key of Gm/Bb)–seeking to scramble copyright bots’ capacity to discern properties; and in the process to share a genre-bent (#twotone) music mix for use in your socials that hopefully won’t get taken down by copyright bots. Which are just the worst judges of #fairuse and #fairdealing. (If you do use this mix but find your socials take it down, I’d welcome a comment about it.)
What CV Dazzle is to face recognition tech, a mix like this wants to be to automated copyright enforcement. And a coda to #fairdealingweek.
(* except the intermezzo with Sasha’s “Xpander”)

This mix, btw, began as an improvised #ValentinesDay jam for my basement #rollerskating fam…which I add to reflect how critique proceeds as a labour of love.

Downloadable-file version: TBA. Here’s the full track list:

A Shoegaze Abecedarius: new music mix & tracklist

An A-to-Z of my shoegaze faves, from Asobi Seksu to Zoon.
Because shoegaze is an August 2020 mood.
Complete tracklist below.


Shelter in Bass More: Drum & Bass May 2020

An hour and a half of drum & bass–crepuscular, reticulated, dread-fraught–with special appearances by Dr Dre, Pat Benatar and Ezra Furman. Stay at home and play it loud.

Downloadable version

Track list:



House In The Country: an April Fools mix

So here’s a hot messy miscellaneous mix: hits by everyone from the Dixie Chicks to the Tragically Hip, all banged up with house and techno beats by the likes of 2 Bad Mice and Armand van Helden. (It’s also got “April Skies” for April Fools Day and “Poets” for National Poetry Month.) Play it loud! Dance at home! If you never hear these songs the same way again, you’re welcome.

Downloadable version

New book: Shape Your Eyes By Shutting Them

It’s a delight to announce the publication of my debut book of poems, Shape Your Eyes By Shutting Them, from Athabasca University Press. At the link you can buy a print copy or download a free, open-access PDF copy. I’m a firm believer that open access doesn’t mean losing sales, it means gaining audience, and the audience for poetry (which has grown significantly of late) can always use broadening. Open access publishing with AU Press lets me extend a web-wide invitation to #OpenPoetry.

I’m surprised and honoured by the early praise given the book by two major Canadian writers. Di Brandt (author of Glitter & Fall) calls the book “a brilliant, crazy, deliciously carnivalesque romp through the surreal landscape of our times”; and Douglas Barbour (author of Listen. If) calls it “a wild mixtape of literary forms.” I’m inexpressibly grateful for these authors’ kind, generous words.

The book uses Surrealist techniques, like cut-up, juxtaposition, and détournement, in a fugue of poetic forms (centos, science fiction, sonnets, etc.) to tackle subjects ranging from love and work to anxiety disorders and ecological crisis. Moving from eroticism to the macabre and from transformative quotation to the individual idiom, the book enacts Northrop Frye’s claim that “poems can only be made from other poems,” and shows how citation is integral to creativity; authors need fair dealing too.

To give a sense of my work’s debts to others, I’ve created a mixtape of the songs that the book quotes, alludes to, or otherwise references. This mix sequences songs in the order in which their excerpts appear in the book. (Some poems quote no music, and some poems quote more than one song.) The mix includes all songs listed in the book’s Acknowledgments, and other songs from which the book uses short excerpts like titles or very short phrases. More than just further acknowledgment, this mix also means remuneration: Mixcloud pays royalties (to labels at least, and hopefully to artists too). And many artists featured in this mix are Canadian. (Support Can con!)

Whether you #OpenPoetry in print or digitally, I hope you like what you find. Thanks for reading.

Track list

00:00 Peter Gabriel, “Gethsemane”
01:36 Karyn Levitt, “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life”
03:28 Heart, “These Dreams”
07:46 The Bee Gees, “More Than a Woman”
11:03 Shania Twain, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman”
14:51 The Zombies, “She’s Not There”
17:25 Wu-Tang Clan, “Da Mystery of Chessboxin'”
22:08 R.E.M., “So. Central Rain”
25:34 R.E.M., “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”
29:12 The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans is Sinking”
33:13 Paul Robeson, “Ol’ Man River”
37:50 Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
43:47 The Jesus and Mary Chain, “April Skies”
47:44 Bob Geldof, “Thinking Voyager 2 Type Things”
55:54 Stevie Wonder, “Heaven Help Us All”
59:24 The Muppet Show cast, “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
1:01:35 The Boys Next Door, “Shivers”
1:06:20 Brewer and Shipley, “One Toke Over the Line”
1:09:43 The Velvet Underground, “Sister Ray”
1:27:05 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Breathless”
1:30:11 Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights”
1:34:48 Erasure, “Blue Savannah”
1:38:59 Sarah McLachlan, “O Canada”
1:40:39 Louis Armstrong, “I Guess I’ll Get The Papers and Go Home”
1:43:08 Tori Amos, “Tear In Your Hand”
1:48:06 The English Beat, “Mirror In the Bathroom”
1:50:55 Aphrodite, “Tower Bass”
1:56:24 The Spoons, “Romantic Traffic”
1:59:50 Enigma, “Mea Culpa”
2:04:21 Cowboy Junkies, “‘Cause Cheap is How I Feel”

Link & track list for Dr Teeth’s live DJ set for #ACCUTE2019 @ UBC’s encore #CongreSSH

ICYMI, here you can stream the DJ set I played at #ACCUTE2019 (or DM me if you want a DL version).

Track list:

00:00 Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, “Under your always light”
04:20 Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, “Under your always light (Teequa remix)”
05:42 Underworld, “Born slippy” [sampled 05:42-06:29]
07:42 Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq, “You got to run (Spirit of the wind)”
08:06 Fatboy Slim, “Going out of my head” [sampled 08:06-11:20]
10:52 A Tribe Called Red featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie, “Working for the government” (2015 mix)
14:46 Lizzo, “Good as hell (BNDR remix)”
17:58 Taylor Swift, “Blank space (Jump Smokers remix)” [19:22-19:42: i turnt down the tunes to rock the mic with welcome & inviting of requests]
22:22 Armand van Helden featuring Duane Harden, “You don’t know me”
26:12 Walk the Moon, “Shut up and dance”
29:20 Operators, “Cold light”
32:14 The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Head on”
36:28 The Cult, “Sanctuary”
40:34 Michael Jackson, “Wanna be startin’ somethin'”
45:57 Erasure, “Blue Savannah”
50:16 Tom Haverford aka Aziz Ansari, Sample from “Banger Test” Parks & Recreation S6E18
50:23 Scissor Sisters, “I don’t feel like dancin'”
54:11 Jimmy Cliff, “Wonderful world, beautiful people” [sample]
55:03 Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, “Hips don’t lie”
58:13 Daddy Yankee featuring Snow, “Con calma”
1:00:54 Rascalz featuring Checkmate, Kardinal Offishal, Thrust & Choclair, “Northern Touch (A Tribe Called Red remix featuring Black Bear)”
1:04:34 Warren G featuring Nate Dogg, “Regulate”
1:08:23 Harry Nilsson, “Gotta get up”
1:10:50 Taylor Swift feat. Brendon Urie, “ME!”
1:12:08-:56 John Holt, “Police in helicopter (Benny L remix)” [sample]
1:13:44 Robyn, “Dancing on my own”
1:18:06 Whitney Houston, “How will I know”
1:22:26 Prince, “Raspberry beret (12″ extended mix)”
1:27:44 Arcade Fire, “Everything now”
1:32:27 New Order, “Bizarre love triangle”
1:38:54 Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Come on Eileen”
1:42:50 Men Without Hats, “Safety dance”
1:45:18 Redbone, “Come and get your love”
1:49:20 The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans is sinking”
1:53:31 The Smiths, “Bigmouth strikes again”
1:56:37 Mariah Carey, “Fantasy”
2:00:49 Lizzo, “Truth hurts”
2:03:12 Drake, “Nice for what”
2:06:20 Blackstreet featuring Dr Dree & Queen Pen, “No diggity”
2:10:23 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, “Thrift shop”
2:14:00 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
2:16:35 ABBA, “Dancing queen”
2:18:44 Eric B & Rakim, “Paid in full (Coldcut remix)” [sample]
2:20:06 The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ alive”
2:24:44 Roxette, “The look”
2:28:00 Boney M, “Rasputin”
2:32:23 Rihanna, “Don’t stop the music”
2:35:31 Pulp, “Common people”
2:41:12 The Clash, “Rock the Casbah”
2:44:41 AC/DC, “You shook me all night long”
2:47:53 Lady Gaga, “Born this way”
2:51:20 Harry Belafonte, “Jump In the Line (Shake Shake Senora)”
2:54:56 Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
2:59:32 Queen featuring David Bowie, “Under pressure”
3:03:07 Madonna, “Vogue”
3:07:44 Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
3:11:19 Deadmau5 & Leonard Cohen, “Complications want it darker (Dr Teeth mashup)”
3:15:02 Salt-N-Pepa, “Push it”
3:19:27 Marvin Gaye, “Got to give it up”
3:23:14 Prince, “Baltimore”
3:27:27 Donna Summer, “Last dance”

Full Tracklist for _DJ practice outtakes (warmups for ACCUTE at #CongreSSH 2019) Vol 2_

“working out an inter-ACCUTE thought exercise” music mix

[In my post-#congreSSH post about this year’s ACCUTE dance party, I’d said I’d be following up with a post reflecting further on that event. Voilà: further thoughts, related to other current concerns, in the form of a DJ mix. What can I say? I have a phonographic memory.]


Link & track list for ACCUTE Dance Party 2018 recording

Here’s the at-a-glance track list for the recording of the set I DJed at ACCUTE’s 2018 dance party. (Mixcloud only reveals the full track list during real-time playback.) This isn’t a recording of the whole set, but it’s a generous sample.
I’ll be sharing further reflections on the event in a forthcoming post.

00:00:00 Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean, “Hips don’t lie”
00:03:19 N.O.R.E. feat. Nina Sky, “Oye mi canto”
00:06:36 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
00:09:02 Sia feat. Sean Paul, “Cheap thrills”
00:12:05 Rihanna, “Pon de replay”
00:15:27 Mr Vegas, “Heads high”
00:18:20 Panjabi MC, “Beware of the boys (Mundian to bach ke)”
00:22:16 Lady Gaga, “Born this way (Bollywood remix)”
00:26:12 Boney M, “Rasputin”
00:30:26 Dead or Alive, “You spin me round (like a record)”
00:34:43 Depeche Mode, “I just can’t get enough”
00:38:15 Madonna, “Ray of light”
00:42:52 Cornershop, “Brimful of Asha (Fatboy Slim remix)”
00:46:45 Olivia Newton-John & E.L.O., “Xanadu”
00:50:00 Earth Wind & Fire, “September”
00:53:22 Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
00:56:09 Meatloaf, “Paradise by the dashboard lights”
01:04:23 Kenny Loggins, “Footloose”
01:08:10 Beyoncé, “Drunk in love”
01:13:02 Abhijeet & Anuranda Shriram, “Chunari chunari”
01:16:45 New Order, “Bizarre love triangle”
01:23:03 Drake, “Nice for what”
01:26:07 Nine Inch Nails, “Closer”
01:31:33 Tanya Stephens, “Good ride”
01:35:10 Missy Elliott, “Get ur freak on”
01:38:29 Soft Cell, “Tainted love”
01:41:05 Nena, “99 Luftballoons”
01:44:43 Lil Jon feat. Usher & Ludacris, “Yeah!”
01:48:52 Backstreet Boys, “Everybody” (+ samples of Lil Jon, “Outta your mind”)
01:53:24 Rihanna feat. Drake, “Work”
01:56:53 Ciara feat. Missy Elliott, “One two step”
01:59:55 Sean Paul, “We be burnin'”
2:03:20 Robyn, “Dancing on my own”
02:07:34 Groove Armada, “If everybody looked the same”
02:10:57 Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay, “212”
02:14:18 Capoeira Twins, “4 x 3”
02:18:40 Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock, “It takes two”
02:23:20 Major Lazer feat. VYNZ Kartel, “Pon de floor”
02:26:52 Beyoncé, “Run the world (Girls)”