Listening Guide

A chapter-by-chapter selection of audio/video clips featuring the music referenced in Uproot, with endnotes and links to explore further!

  1. 1: Confessions of a DJ

    "The giants - the major labels, the indie labels backed by majors, the RIAA on their leash, and so on - took up a lot of resources. I don't want to haggle over how many micro-cents I get paid per stream or other token gestures towards compensation. I want the giants to fall even faster so we can see what weird flowers start blooming in the spaces left vacant" (p. 23) listen →

  2. 2: Auto-Tune Gives You a Better Me

    "With its cyborg effects, digital distribution, and near-instant worldwide reach, Auto-Tune became the first and most emblematic musical tool of the new millennium. As if to prove the point, the first people I heard to whole heartedly embrace Auto-Tune's uncanny technological effects weren't American R&B stars - they were Berber musicians from remote corners of North Africa." (p. 31) listen →

  3. 3: How Music Travels

    "For a while, when someone asked what my favorite type of music was, I'd say 128 Kbps MP3s. And it was true!" (p.61) listen →

  4. 4: World Music 2.0

    "After years spent in independent music circles, what could be more exotic than a roomful of people making money off music from countries they'll never visit, sung in languages they'll never learn?"(p. 96) listen →

  5. 5: Red Bull Gives You Wings

    "As I slurp my sixteen-ounce Mountain Dew Baja Blast at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, listening through Beats earbuds to an unskippable Toyota ad serviced by Vevo that runs before Sonic Youth's "Disintegrate" video on You-Tube, a subsidiary of Google, itself the lead subsidiary of holding company Alphabet Inc., I reflect on the situation." (p.132) listen →

  6. 6: Cut & Paste

    "Mixtape as flirtation device was one of the great uses of late twentieth-century recording technology." (p.141) listen →

  7. 7: Tools

    "Most music is doggish--it comes to you wagging its tail, unself-consciously hoping for you to like it." (p.173) listen →

  8. 8: Loops

    "While the mainstream media's narrative for Monterrey tells of a formerly safe city ravaged by encroaching drug wars, *tribal guarachero*'s potency and exuberance tells the other story: irrepressible youth culture sweating it out in a healthy scene so hype that they barely have time to realize what's being created." (p.207) listen →

  9. 9: How to Hold On?

    "Everything felt Euro-chic until my host pointed out the bullet-strafed facade of the apartment block in front of us." (p.224) listen →

  10. 10: Active Listening

    "My friend Andy Moor from The Ex said to me, 'You know when you're trying to sleep on someone's kitchen floor and the refrigerator hum is really loud?' I laughed. Because this sort of thing, to a certain type of musician, is common. You start in the dirt. That's where things grow." (p.266) listen →