Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Tags: androgyne, cis, cisgender, custom gender, facebook, gender definitions, genderqueer, intersex, lgbt, lgbtq, neutrois, pangender, progressive social media, transgender, transsexual, well played zuckerberg
So, Facebook just did an awesome thing: they added a “Custom” option to the Gender options for your profile. To change yours, go to About, then click Edit under Basic Information and select Custom, then type in one of the below choices (or anything else under the sun)!
I’ve compiled a list of all the options that pop up when you start typing a letter and will give an explanation of each one. Maybe one day we’ll live in a world where “Male” or “Female” isn’t even an option any more, but until then, we’ve got awesome platforms like Facebook. Keep up the good work, you creepily invasive social network you!
Many definitions derived or directly lifted from Wikipedia or the Gender Wiki.
Agender – Without gender.
Androgyne – Noun referring to people with a non-binary gender identity.
Androgynous – Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ (anér, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman) that can refer to either of two related concepts about gender: the mixing of masculine and feminine characteristics, as in fashion statements; or the balance of “anima and animus” in psychoanalytic theory. Androgyny is also the state of being an androgyne.
Bigender – Identifying with male and female genders simultaneously, or fluidly switching between the two, or identifying different facets of one’s identity with either. (Note: There is probably room for a term like “trigender” or “multigender” here.)
Cis – A prefix, shortened form of, or non-gendered version of a term referring to someone whose gender identity matches the behavior or role considered appropriate for one’s sex. So if you used to be classified as simply “Male” or “Female” and were comfortable with that, maybe consider changing it to one of the below, hm?
Cis Female – Born as and comfortable as a woman (shortened, more sciencey-sounding).
Cis Male – Born as and comfortable as a man (shortened, more sciencey-sounding)..
Cis Man – Born as and comfortable as a man (shortened).
Cis Woman – Born as and comfortable as a woman (shortened).
Cisgender – Being comfortable with the gender with which one was born.
Cisgender Female – Born as and comfortable as a woman.
Cisgender Male – Born as and comfortable as a man.
Cisgender Man – Born as and comfortable as a man.
Cisgender Woman – Born as and comfortable as a woman.
Female to Male – A trans man is assigned female at birth, but identifies as male. The label of transgender male is not interchangeable with that of transsexual male although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender males identify with the male gender identity, transsexual males may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender male is someone whose gender identity is male, but who does not necessarily change himself physically.
FTM – Short for “Female to Male” (see above).
Gender Fluid – A dynamic mix of male and female identity, separate from sexual orientation.
Gender Nonconforming – A nonspecific identity in which one’s behavior and/or appearance is atypical from social expectations (related to gender variant).
Gender Questioning – A state of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and/or are concerned about applying a social label to themselves.
Gender Variant – Behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female (related to gender nonconforming).
Genderqueer – A catch-all category for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity.
Intersex – A variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Such variation may involve genital ambiguity and/or combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.
Male to Female – A trans woman is assigned male at birth, but identifies as female. The label of transgender female is not interchangeable with that of transsexual female although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender females identify with the female gender identity, transsexual females may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender female is someone whose gender identity is female, but who does not necessarily change herself physically.
MTF – Short for “Male to Female” (see above).
Neither – Not one nor the other.
Neutrois – Pronounced as it would be in French. A non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas. Neutrois typically experience a sense of gender dysphoria, and often have a strong desire to reflect their internal gender. Dysphoria can be physical, such as feeling in the “wrong” body; or social, from being seen, categorized, labeled and treated as a man or woman when neither of these fit. Go down the rabbit hole of this purposefully ambiguous, relatively new and fascinating term at Neutrois.com.
Non-binary – Any identity that doesn’t fit within the accepted binary of male and female. People can feel they are both, neither, or some mixture thereof.
Other – A person or thing that is different or distinct from one or a group already mentioned or known about.
Pangender – A term for people who feel that they cannot be labeled as male or female in gender. Pangendered people feel that they do not fit into binary genders, instead identifying as mixed gender (both male and female) or as a third gender. The term is sometimes used by some in the LGBTQ community to be one that is inclusive, meaning “all genders”.
Trans – Short for transgender. The state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). Transgender is independent of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them.
Trans Female – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person, more sciencey-sounding.
Trans Male – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person, more sciencey-sounding.
Trans Man – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person.
Trans Person – Gender neutral term for transitioning person or non-binary transgendered person.
Trans Woman – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person.
Trans* – An umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. Trans (sans asterisk) is best applied to transgendered men and women, while the asterisk is taken to include all non-cisgender identities, including but not limited to: transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, intersex, cross-dresser, transvestite, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, trans man and trans woman.
Trans* Female – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as female, more sciencey.
Trans* Male – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as male, more sciencey.
Trans* Man – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as male.
Trans* Person – All inclusive non-binary term for non-cisgender person.
Trans* Woman – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as male.
Transgender Female – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person, more sciencey-sounding.
Transgender Male – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person, more sciencey-sounding.
Transgender Man – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person.
Transgender Person – Gender neutral term for transitioning person or non-binary transgendered person.
Transgender Woman – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person.
Transfeminine – Having a feminine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned female at birth. Those who identify as transfeminine, as opposed to simply as MtF or a woman, trans or otherwise, identify more closely with femaleness than maleness, and generally desire a physical appearance that reflects this identification, but do not identify as wholly female or as a woman.
Transmasculine – Having a masculine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned male at birth. Those who identify as transmasculine, as opposed to simply as FtM or a man, trans or otherwise, identify more closely with maleness than femaleness, and generally desire a physical appearance that reflects this identification, but do not identify as wholly male or as a man.
Transsexual – The condition in which an individual identifies with a gender inconsistent or not culturally associated with their assigned sex, i.e. in which a person’s assigned sex at birth conflicts with their psychological gender. All transsexuals are transgender, but not all transgender are transsexuals. A good rule of thumb is that transsexuals are far more likely to have undergone or strongly desire sexual reassignment surgery. Here’s a handy comparison chart between Transgender and Transsexual.
Transsexual Female – Male to Female transgendered person with gender dysphoria, more sciencey.
Transsexual Male – Female to Male transgendered person with gender dysphoria, more sciencey.
Transsexual Man – Female to Male transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Transsexual Person – Non-binary term for a transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Transsexual Woman – Male to Female transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Two-spirit – The history of two-spirits among Indigenous American culture dates back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and has been documented in 150 North American tribes. Throughout history, a person who was recognized as two-spirit was someone who identified with both male and female gender roles, and so two-spirit is essentially a third gender recognized in Indigenous cultures. The perspective among Indigenous Americans was that having this third gender was a strength their society benefited from. In the Zuni culture a person’s gender was not assigned at birth, but was grown into at 3 or 4 years of age.
Posted: October 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Tags: experimental sound practices, iran, persian, random acts of politics, saba alizadeh, seyhoun gallery
Multi-faceted artist Saba Alizadeh has created a piece that combines his unique visual aesthetic with sound and theater, and the result is a stunning, politically charged work with heart-wrenching subtlety.
I am a half-Arab who looks American. Saba is an Iranian who looks Arab. And in this experience, I am struck by the powerful marriage of visuals and experimental sound to arrive at the piece’s central theme. He sits in full protective gear, complete with surgical mask and safety goggles, and gets to work. As the piece progresses, the lights turn off and a wonderful dance of light and sound commences. We watched him build the thing ourselves, but still the context is inescapable. He hugs a lamp to his chest, using light sensors in his circuit to tune it to the drone, and makes it sing.
Don’t think here about modes, harmony, pitch, or meter. Do think about structure. Think about an Iranian holding a bright light to his heart, and what it means when we realize that the context of that performance, simply because he is an Iranian on U.S. soil, is… different. And art exists to point out differences in a way that makes them not.
The piece ends with darkness and the familiar Morse code plea for help. Some people might hear a bunch of squeaks and bleeps and might even scoff at calling this music. But, as for this reviewer, I nearly cried.
Saba will be performing at Seyhoun Gallery in West Hollywood on Wednesday, October 30th at 8 p.m.
Posted: August 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Tags: apparat, budakhan mindphone, butoh, chemical brothers, claude debussy, contemporary dance, dj shadow, earworm, endtroducing, four tet, glitch mob, groove music, Happy Birthday, idm, jackson and his computer band, kanye, nalepa, plaid, pretty lights, radiohead, rjd2, soothing beats, squarepusher, trip hop, ulrich schnauss, youtube playlist
As it is Claude Debussy’s birthday, I thought I’d share some music I find soothing, in my own way. What you have to understand, though, is that people are just born with differently wired nervous systems. When they want to wind down or reenergize, different people will go to classical, or coffeehouse, or chill lounge, or even Coldplay. I just happen to be soothed by loud music with a groove. It seems to help if there are metallophones involved. Cut up vocal samples, too. If you notice any particular trend, seriously, let me know. But for whatever reason, these songs all occupy the same musical space in my soul. When I need it, these are examples of what get me and my particularly atypical nervous system when I need them to.
I’ve linked each video with a little description, and at the bottom of this post is an embedded YouTube playlist that will play them in the basically arbitrary order in which I thought of them. So come back to this post whenever you need it, weary traveler. Make a cup of hot tea and rest your feet by fire. Then jam the hell out. Enjoy.
1. Jackson and His Computer Band – Utopia (2005)
Jackson Fourgeaud is a French electronic musician, and this is the song that got him signed to Warp Records. It features vocal samples from his mother, a folk and blues musician who goes by birdpaula.
2. Squarepusher – Iambic 5 Poetry (1999)
From Budakhan Mindphone, one of Squarepusher’s most unique albums, which is saying something. Nothing on this list hits me quite like this. I love most Squarepusher songs, and this might be my number one.
3. DJ Shadow – Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt (1996)
DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing….. was a gamechanger on so many levels. It changed hip hop forever, being the first album ever created entirely by samples, thus paving the way for masterpieces like J Dilla’s donuts and countless others. It is soulful, humble, and beautiful, and this is one of my favorite tracks from it.
4. Plaid – Rakimou feat. Mara Carlyle (1997)
Plaid’s Not For Threes a quiet little album, often overlooked by those who want to go back to the 90s for some groundbreaking electronica. This song always stuck out to me for the folky simplicity with which it integrates the practically unmanipulated Greek lyrics lilting across music. Translated to English, they are, “I love you, because you are beautiful / I love you, because it’s you.”
5. Banks – Before I Ever Met You (2013)
Despite just having written about Banks, I continue to be enamored of each new track she releases and can’t wait for the release of her upcoming, totally mysterious album.
6. RJD2 – Here’s What’s Left (2002)
The hidden track off of RJD2′s Deadringer, one of my favorite albums of all time. An extension of the non-hidden track “Work”, it features the vocals of Sam Brown’s triumphant return to the Intruders from 1973, reimagining them in a way only this DJ can. I once saw RJD2 play a set live, and Aceyalone rapped over it. It was incredible.
7. Apparat – Limelight (2007)
Walls was a big change for Apparat, and pretty much everyone agrees it was for the better. Now paired with Moderat in a collaboration that I really will get around to writing about here any day now, he has absolutely blown up. I would say about half his tracks really don’t jive with me, but this thoughtful beat and cutup vocal sampling hits me in the very best way.
8. Nalepa – Monday (Glitch Mob Remix) (2008)
Like most people, I heard the remix first. Steve Nalepa is a known-within-circles type of producer and does not generally make big beat stuff, but even then I was surprised to find how incredibly different the original sounded. It’s sort of awesome. As is whoever that vocal sample is from. I mean, damn.
9. Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them (2001)
Though this debuted in Europe in 2001, it wasn’t released in the States until four years later. American record labels didn’t think it was unique enough to sell here, but Ulrich’s subtle yet masterful attention to sound palette eventually won out. Though the music might seem simple, it is anything but, and that kind of nuance and detail is like a warm blanket to my brain.
10. DJ Earworm – Reckoner Lockdown (Radiohead vs. Kanye) (2008)
I love Kanye West. And of course I love Radiohead (Street Spirit almost made it to this list) and have since the Bends. DJ Earworm is the undisputed champion of mashups, and I unironically, unequivocally love this track at least as much as either of the originals.
11. Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel (1997)
Dig Your Own Hole was another gamechanger, a crossover album that, along with You’ve Come A Long Way Baby and Fat of the Land, paved the way for popular electronic music as it slowly crept onto the American radio waves. This track is one of the lesser known, but because of the astounding, incredibly, completely wicked clarinet solo this is the one I always go back to. Especially if it’s raining.
12. Pretty Lights – Finally Moving (2006)
The most popular track from the Colorado producer’s first release and still one of my favorites, featuring actual record scratching alongside a lovely Etta James sample. Derek releases all his music as pay-what-you-want downloads at Pretty Lights Music. I can’t recommend doing this enough. His most recent release A Color Map of the Sun includes session outtakes from the studio which are pretty amazing in their own right.
13. Four Tet – Parks (2001)
A common choice for me when ending sets, Four Tet a.k.a. Kieran Hebden is a very special sort of producer whose soulful collaborations with Burial and Thom Yorke are some of the finest tracks every produced. This particular one from his album Pause features samples from jazz clarinetist Tony Scott and field recordings from, well, I’m pretty sure they’re parks.
As a bonus, I’d like to include one of my own collaborations with Cesilie Kverneland, a Norwegian choreographer I worked with at CalArts before she went back to Europe to conquer the world. It is not part of the above playlist, so here is the video below.
Above It All from Paul Matthis on Vimeo.
This track is available for free at my label’s Bandcamp page.
This was a very personal and reminiscent playlist for me. Thanks for listening and happy birthday, Claude.
Posted: August 15, 2013 at 12:12 am | Tags: bubbeleh, cumbia, el cid, indiegogo, klezmer, metal, okestar meze, orange tulip consipiracy, punk, zappa
Bubbeleh is a Klezmer band comprising some incredible musicians and personal friends of mine. Some are of Jewish descent, like the always entertaining Phil Rankin and Max Kutner (who just finished touring with Frank Zappa’s old band!), and some are not, but all seem to get that Klezmer music is some of the most fun music to perform in existence. The players hail from all walks of musical life such as jazz, latin, metal, punk, classical, plus all sorts of obscure genres I’ve probably never heard of. That sense of fun comes through in every track and live performance, which is what makes them stand out to me as a multi-genre ensemble.
I was lucky enough to see them play at El Cid last week, and while I’ve seen their show before, that night held a particular sort of magic. In the company of the wildly original Orange Tulip Conspiracy and Balkan powerhouse Orkestar MÉZÉ, Bubbeleh held their own and more. Hip teens and twenty-somethings danced their asses off to this music, which we still characterize as “exotic” in this context, but mark my words: not for long! As the mixmashing of music genres intensifies thanks to no-lag communication speeds across the world, musicians are going to need to step up their game in terms of what other-culture flavors they bring to their music. Applying pop, jazz, and what-have-you sensibilities to their upbringing in Jewish music, Phil, Max, and their host of uber-talented compadres have landed on a formula that works, and works well.
Bubbeleh has just over 24 hours left on their Indiegogo campaign to fund their first full-length album, and I’m sure would be most appreciative if you donated anything you can! Or, if not, spread the word by sharing this post or their Indiegogo web address: http://igg.me/at/bubbeleh
Posted: July 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Tags: amir oosman, brian foreman, calarts alums rule the world, conch shell, dan ogrodnik, frame drum, hands on'semble, joshua carro, rhein percussion, tabla, world beat, world music, world percussion
In grad school, at least in my grad school, they did their best to, as politely as they could, shove world music down your throat. This has interesting consequences. As hard to believe as this is, not all world music is good. In fact, most of it is bad. Because the phrase “world music” covers, like, 90% of music. It would be really weird if all of it was good.
Maybe because I grew up listening mostly to some strange combination of jazz, Arabic music, and my school bus driver’s favorite R&B top 40, I don’t tend to go nuts for music just because it has a world beat. Great, this uses maksum, how awesome. It’s still just another bad rap track. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the very first time I heard Big Pimpin I flipped out, but a young half-Syrian kid can only handle so much.
What I’m saying is that it’s easy to write off world music as something kitschy, or some kind of gimmick, and sometimes you’d be right. This happens even in the world of academic chamber music… but not even remotely in the case of Rhein Percussion. Rhein means “to flow”, and they seriously do. This album grooves, regardless of how uneven the meter might look on paper, and it does so in a natural, authentic-but-super-fresh manner. They flow seamlessly between improvisation, complex tala and electronics, sometimes combining all three at once.
These guys played on my recital, and many have since said their performance was a highlight. Rhein Percussion consists of a core group of CalArts drummers, with a rotating cast of collaborators. The tracks on their self-titled debut are all composed, mixed, and recorded by ensemble members and friends. Their signature sound combines world rhythms and instrumentation with drum set, and some truly profound soundscapes emerge. Amir Oosman, as I’ve said before on this blog, is a master kit player. Dan Ogrodnik’s knowledge of hand drumming styles knows no bounds. Josh Carro, it’s been rumored, must now carry around an extra set of tablas because the ones he’s playing sometimes spontaneously burst into flames of ecstasy.
On two tracks, Brian Foreman‘s unique brand of electronics and live processing casts the group’s already modern sound into a deep, dark future filled with buzzy beats and rhythmic surprises that modern live electronic production so often lacks. Other collaborators who should blow your mind just by seeing them all on one album: Matthew Clough-Hunter on gamelan, drummers Sean Fitzpatrick and Etienne Rivera, and Ryan Bancroft, Rusty Kennedy, and Andrew Rowan on conch shell. How cool is that?
When the electronics fade, this excellent album rounds out with a couple live performances. The ensemble has already started performing around Los Angeles, just recently at the awesome Blue Whale with the world famous Hands On’Semble, and they were even featured a coveted slot on the 2013 CalArts Jazz CD. Take a listen below, follow them on Facebook, and name your price for their album on Bandcamp.
Posted: July 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Tags: 3d audio, hue, jason guthrie, liew niyomkarn, live electronic music, supercollider, tabla and electronics
I am currently listening to Niyomkarn’s new headphones album, Hue. It was produced on the open source program SuperCollider and is entirely in 3D audio (hence the requirement for headphones). I’m now about halfway through the third track, 28 [FISH], and suddenly we’ve gone from the sound of oily fingers on alien glass to a softly rising sun with TV static, then back to the alien glass except now there’s bugs on it.
There are parts of this album that make my ears and brain very uncomfortable in the most pleasant of ways. Other moments are so delicately constructed, especially in terms of panning, that I had to lie down and close my eyes. Between the chaotically rhythmic blips, beeps, drones, noise, static and sirens is an introspective silence from Niyomkarn, an insistent, calm little plea to listen closely. This is my favorite kind of message in music, and some would say it’s the only message.
Too often, composers compose for a purpose. I know I am very guilty of this, if “guilty” is the right word. But some music adamantly exists merely to point out that sound is awesome. That’s what Hue is. An electronic painting of nothing the eyes can see. It’s full of surprises in a genre that often encounters the problem of being so unpredictable, everything is predictable. Maybe in Hue’s case, this is achieved with the three-dimensional mix. The sounds will parade about inside your head, like a fairy circle if the fairies were surrounded by totally rad forcefields and constantly zapping between superpositions.
I’m now on If and Only If, the center track. Two soundscapes faded back and forth, as if vying for attention, giving way to a massively dead center full-spectrum pulse tone called Drops. This drops into (it’s an accurate title) an Indian Rag-esque tabla jam, and it works so well here. Maybe going to CalArts prepares you to be ready for itinerant rag-esque tabla jams popping out at you from every direction. But Jason Guthrie’s drums are soaked in electronics. They feel utterly appropriate. The live performance of this music is really apparent here.
On the other side of If and Only If, we are faced with music that has discovered sampling, harmony and rhythm, but it has unearthed these strange objects on its own and so come to us as hints and dream-thoughts. The effect is palpable. Theory II is a paramecium rave, leading then into lush swaths of harmonic and vocal sampling in Hers.
And this ending. This ending right here. I won’t spoil it, but I can safely say Hue is a journey I’m glad I took. Though the music may scare you at first, I’m here to tell you that music is supposed to do that. It’s supposed too make you uncomfortable in a way that refuses to let you go.
Find Niyomkarn’s album on Bandcamp. Listen there or via the player below.