Virtual ‘Realities’ in The Velvet Rope

Janet Jackson records image

Ayanna Dozier on Janet Jackson, cyber culture, and more. Technophilia and Technophobia were the rage in the late 1990s. As the approaching new millennia loomed on the horizon, society was facing a technological expansion hitherto experienced before. The internet transformed not only our communicative habits but our awareness of space and time itself, producing what scholar John B. Thompson writes as a space-time distanciation (Thompson 1995). This concept refers to how time, regardless of geographic location, now feels as if it operates on a global simultaneity; we feel like we…

Announcement: New 33 1/3 books + upcoming author take-over!

New 33 1/3 books image

Grab your headphones and your reading glasses and settle into your favorite cushy chair, because today marks the publication of 3 new 33 1/3 titles—Suicides’s Suicide, Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope, and Various Artists’ I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Playlist: Back-to-School in 2020

Back to school playlist cover image with album covers

Our own version of a 2020 playlist with a back-to-school twist! Whether you’re online or on campus, you’ll enjoy this mix of music while studying, planning or taking a well-deserved break. Follow our playlist on Spotify or check out this compiled list, and be sure to click the links below to learn more about each artist and order your own 33 1/3.

Video Vault: D’Angelo, “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”

Photo of D’Angelo from his music video Untitled

Inspired by our interview on D’Angelo’s Voodoo with Faith Pennick, it’s time to take a closer look at his infamous music video. The video’s featured song “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2001 and was named Rolling Stone’s fourth best single of 2000. There’s no denying the deep emotion that D’Angelo can’t contain when he croons this particular song, but I think we can all agree that it was the release of the music video that added new sexy, passionate, breathtaking layers and made his desire come alive.

A discussion on D‘Angelo’s Voodoo

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It’s here! The latest episode of the Bloomsbury Academic Podcast features Faith Pennick (@FaithPennick), author of D’Angelo’s Voodoo, discussing the legacy of the acclaimed 2000 album that skirts all definitive labels.  With not one song under four minutes in length, Voodoo takes its time. It is a leisurely paced work of art backed by a steady beat that does not waver, while lyrics like “And I hoped by chance I’d see you once again / I’d love to kiss your lips, baby, once again” (“One Mo’Gin”) and “I need someone to hold me / Bring me back to life before I’m dead” (“The Root”)…

Celebrating The Raincoats + New Podcast Episode!

The Raincoats’ The Raincoats album cover image

Last week marked the end of a particularly eventful Pride month, but that doesn’t mean the conversations, or celebrations, have to end. Today we are highlighting one of our favorite queer-rebellious-feminist-punk bands of all time: The Raincoats. That’s right, you can now listen to our newest episode of the Bloomsbury Academic Podcast, where we talk to 33 1/3 author Jenn Pelly about this spontaneous and captivating all-female group and the unapologetic music they created.

A Discussion on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents

Tom Petty’s Southern Accents Album cover

Check out the latest episode on the 33 1/3 podcast: Michael Washburn (@WhaleLines), author of Tom Petty’s Southern Accents, discusses Tom Petty’s attempt at a single-concept album on the American South. The 1985 album led to a fall from grace and a subsequent reinvention. Washburn’s book, and the case of Tom Petty, is an appealing study in celebrity, identity, and misrepresentation.   With the exception of the album’s opener “Rebels,” nothing about the album strikes as particularly southern. For reference, “Rebels” hits the listener over the head with a trite description of what it is to be a Rebel…

How we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Let It Be

The Beatles Let It Be album cover

Our first podcast episode on one of our 33 1/3 titles is now available!  Are you a Beatles fan? Do you know what this week is? No? May 8th, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Let It Be album—the recording sessions for which might be the most creative and chaotic of their career. And we’re having the ultimate celebration with author and journalist Steve Matteo as he gives us a behind-the-scenes look at its formation. Steve is a well-known music writer whose work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times and Rolling Stone. And after his many interviews with people close to the band, he’s here to give a full account of this dramatic music-making period, from…

Siouxsie and the Banshees Week: Day 3 – “Peek-A-Boo” Part 1

To celebrate the recent publication of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Peepshow, author Samantha Bennett will be guest-blogging all week. In today’s post, she focuses on Peepshow‘s lead single, “Peek-A-Boo,” and the role that Caligarisme played in the song’s music video. Take a look at the topsy-turvy, surrealist evidence below… Released in July 1988, ‘Peek-A-Boo’ was Peepshow‘s lead single, as well as one of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ most commercially successful and critically acclaimed song. The inclusion of Warren and Mercer’s ‘Jeepers Creepers’ quotation in the ‘Peek-A-Boo’ chorus is well documented. Less so is that of the…

Siouxsie and the Banshees Week: Day 1 – Why Peepshow?

To celebrate the recent publication of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Peepshow, author Samantha Bennett will be guest-blogging all week. In her first post, she discusses why she chose to write about this album, and how you should be reading it (hint: it should be a rainy day…) I was compelled to write about Peepshow for a number of reasons. Firstly, whilst I don’t think Peepshow is the best – or definitive – Siouxsie and the Banshees record, I believe it’s their most musically accomplished record. The addition of Martin McCarrick and…