Tag Geography

Mix CD | Wisconsionable!

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 055.1A10-1

From the 50 States! series of CDs, commissioned for three friends with Wisconsin connections. Challenges for this mix included keeping the dairy references to a minimum, and figuring out how to make Liberace, arguably the most important pop artist to come out of the state, play nice with everyone else.

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Mix CD | NY/ROBI

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 054.1A10-1

This past October I attended the Manhattan wedding of pair of wonderful Kenyan-based friends. This CD came together as part of my preparations for my journey east from Portland. Though it almost qualifies as a member of the 50 States! series, in the end I tried to focus on the tensions and the connections between Africa and New York. The mix revolves around two versions of the Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji’s “Akiwowo,” which was covered by French pop icon/iconoclast Serge Gainsbourg as “New York USA,” wherein he replaces the original lyrics with what seems to be a list of random important buildings in 1960s Manhattan. Part of the irony is that “Akiwowo” itself was written in Manhattan, and is Olatunji’s nostalgic recollection of a train-driver he had known during his childhood.

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Mix CD | Washingtonic!

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 049.1A09-1

From the 50 States! series of CDs, commissioned for a friend who works in the Skagit Valley, north of Seattle. This mix is notable both for including references to parts of the state far from Puget Sound (Spokane, Pullman), and for including exactly zero grunge tracks, no small feat.

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Mix CD | Marylanderful!

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 049.1A09-1

From the 50 States! series of CDs, commissioned to celebrate a good friend’s sitting for the Maryland bar exam. Fun fact: there are a lot of great songs about Baltimore, but they tend to be kind of negative about the city. Design-wise, I worked to make the pattern more complex, adding an assortment of black-eyed susans (state flower) over a background inspired by the decor of the funeral parlor hideout in the later seasons of The Wire.

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A graphical analysis of national anthem lyrics

With attention to religious expression, Olympic performance,
and general bloodthirstiness

One of my 2010 New Year’s resolutions was simple: I wanted to learn the words to the French national anthem. My reasons for memorizing “La Marseillaise” were twofold: first, I’d always wanted to sing along with that climactic scene in Casablanca where Bogart, Bergman, and the whole gang at Rick’s Café Américain join together to drown out an annoying chorus of Nazi officers. And second, for the past few years I’ve undertaken an unsuccessful effort to teach myself the language of Voltaire and Hulot, largely by watching Le 20 Heures, the French national broadcaster’s nightly newscast.

Mix CD | District of Columbulous!

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 049.1A09-1

From the 50 States! series of CDs, created after the subjects of Connexcellent! mix moved south to the national Capital. The background pattern for the cover is probably the least visually striking of the series, but it is a faithful reproduction of the striped upholstered armchairs in the Bush/early Obama-era Oval Office.

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Mix CD | Nuevo manuel de la música cubana y africana

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 037.1A07-1

I put together this mix after reading Helio Ovorio’s excellent guidebook Cuban Music from A to Z. It’s by no means as encyclopedic, but it does thread together compositions from more than a century’s worth of rumba and son.

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Mix CD | Georgious!

Catalog No. 036.1B07-1

One of the inaugural mixes of the 50 States! series of CDs, created in honor of my friend Elizabeth, who moved to Atlanta in 2007 to begin work at the CDC. Selecting music for Georgia was an embarrassment of riches—Ray Charles, REM, the B-52s, Outkast, and on and on.

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Mix CD | Connexcellent!

Catalog No. 036.1C07-1

One of the inaugural mixes of the 50 States! series of CDs, created in honor of my friends Doug and Dafna, who moved to New Haven in 2007. The mix features artists (Liz Phair, Spigga) and songs with a Connecticut connection, from Macy Gray’s unintended salute to the Nutmeg State to a Cuban-Congolese play on the word Haven/Havana, to Bing Crosby singing about the virtues of Yale men.

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Mix CD | Kansastic!

Catalog No. 036.1A07-1

One of the inaugural mixes of the 50 States! series of CDs, created in honor of my friends Jonathan and Robyn, who moved to western Kansas in 2007.

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