Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'music'

The Khan Abides

May 14th, 2013 · 3 Comments

Granted, I haven’t posted in a whopping eleven days—the longest dry spell in Microkhan history. But rest assured, I have not abandoned this endeavor after a measly 1,559 entries. I have just been so engulfed with the pregame for The Skies Belong to Us, as well as a pair of absorbing Wired projects, that I’ve […]

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Filipino Brass

March 8th, 2013 · No Comments

The annual Musikahan sa Tagum, which just wrapped up its 2013 edition, touts itself as the premier music festival in the entire Philippines. I don’t know enough about that nation’s arts scene to judge the validity of that claim, but I certainly can’t stop watching videos of the Musikahan’s marching-band competition. (The one above, for […]

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So Far from the Zenith

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments

It is tough not to be saddened by the unraveling of English soccer hero Paul Gascoigne, who is currently drying out at an American rehabilitation facility after a very long, very public battle with a virulent strain of alcoholism. Like so many celebrities who we adore for their bad behavior, Gazza became trapped in a […]

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Another 365

December 31st, 2012 · No Comments

I usually spend the day before New Year’s reflecting on the various triumphs and numerous failures of the preceding twelve months. To my chagrin, however, that just isn’t possible this year—the pace of dealing with two kids is more relentless than I had dared imagine prior to the Grand Emprette’s birth. I’ll have to settle […]

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“They Think Drums Are Not for Women”

November 14th, 2012 · No Comments

I first became aware of Tajikistan’s tiny rock scene this past summer, when I read this dispatch about the straight-edge, black-metal band Al-Azif. I am always drawn to stories about artists who create despite hardship, and so I was naturally intrigued by the band’s zeal for playing Western music in such an oppressively conservative country. […]

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Layer by Layer

October 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Out and about today, corralling some killer photos for the next book. Back on Monday with a lengthy exploration of turtle riding.

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Dedication to Minutiae

October 5th, 2012 · No Comments

Back to endnoting the book today. The whole agonizing process has made me regret my lack of organization while writing—at some point, I just got tired of affixing Post-It notes to each and every primary-source document. I’m paying the price now, and I guess so are y’all—I’m too slammed to post anything richer than the […]

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The Turkmen Neil Peart

September 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Here at Microkhan, we spend an awful lot of time highlighting all that is wretched about Turkmenistan’s political culture. Heartless autocracy can never fully squelch creativity, however, as the raucous drumming of Rishad Shafi so ably demonstrates. His prog-fusion band Gunesh started out as a mainstay of state-run Turkmen television, but later involved into something […]

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Hazerunner

September 17th, 2012 · No Comments

On deadline for my Wired column today, so I must ask that you content yourselves with some Polish rock. A full discography of the band in question, Breakout, can be glimpsed here.

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The Mystery of Throatboxing

September 10th, 2012 · No Comments

Throat singing is considered something of a female pursuit in Inuit culture, but Nelson Tagoona has no qualms about incorporating the artform’s esophagus-expanding techniques into his beatboxing. Check out the above clip, then move onto this related performance, which took place this summer in front of one of Microkhan’s favorite architectural curiosities.

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The First Touch of Pressure

July 11th, 2012 · No Comments

Sorry for the radio silence today. Working on the publicity questionnaire for my long-discussed next book, which means the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a notch brighter. Back tomorrow with deep, deep thoughts on self-destructive celebrities.

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The Birdman of Puschino-on-Oka

June 29th, 2012 · 1 Comment

A quick backgrounder on a man whose intense dedication to an arcane pursuit I truly admire, though I can by no means claim to understand it: A cryogenics and nerve cells specialist, Russian biophysicist Boris Nikolayevich Veprintsev (1928-1990) started recording Soviet birds on homemade equipment in 1957 while studying at Moscow University, undertaking annual birding […]

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Going to the Mattresses

June 25th, 2012 · No Comments

By the time you read these words, I’m gonna be in on an island off the coast of Maine, hunkering down to revamp the book and spend some last moments with the royal trio before it becomes a quartet. Just a sporadic few things this week—back to solid land on July 2nd.

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Wading Back In

June 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Taking a full day to get cracking on the book’s second draft. I can only hope the end product is as lyrical as the Eritrean revolutionary poetry above.

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To Scatter an Area

June 5th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I am no great authority on Igbo music, but I think it’s safe to say that Area Scatter was one of the genre’s very few transvestite thumb pianists. The gender-bending was integral to his rock-star mythology, as detailed in Beats of the Heart: His home was filled with bones and skulls and paintings of the […]

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Hail to the Chief

May 30th, 2012 · No Comments

Late jump on the day, so must leave you with a classic from the late Chief Oliver de Coque, who guitar arsenal included this innovative number. Back tomorrow with some thoughts on Mongolia’s skyrocketing rate of alcoholism.

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There is Hope for Us Yet

May 21st, 2012 · No Comments

Slammed this Monday on business-y stuff—primarily trying to find a new tenant for the old Harlem headquarters. (Anyone in the market for a two-bedroom in a historic neighborhood? Holler.) Back tomorrow with something thoughtful; in the meantime, revel in the fact that some great humor does, in fact, translate across disparate cultures. So heartwarming that […]

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Never Say Die

May 14th, 2012 · 1 Comment

On the road for much of today, so start your week off right with a little vintage King Kobra, the rare hair-metal band willing to sacrifice its hair for a worthy cause—in this case, the destruction of Commies. Louis Gossett Jr. kills it in this video, too.

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Black is White, Night is Day

May 8th, 2012 · No Comments

There is, of course, no reason to expect anything but prevarication from the government of Azerbaijan, an authoritarian kleptocracy with no compunctions about employing dirty tricks. Still, the regime’s insistence on spouting obvious falsehoods is a dark wonder to behold. With its turn as Eurovision host fast approaching, Azerbaijan is going to great lengths to […]

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So Close, So Far Away

May 3rd, 2012 · No Comments

Just about thirty hours to go ’til my book deadline. Furiously trimming adverbs and trying to inject much-needed moments of humor and profundity. Sit tight.

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The End in Sight

March 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Starting off the week by immersing myself in Chapter Sixteen of the book. Twenty-six days ’til my deadline and I’ve got another ten thousand or so words to go. It ain’t gonna be pretty, but I think I’ve got a shot at pulling this one out. While I focus on today’s chunk of the narrative, […]

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A Bald-Faced Lie in Turkmenistan

March 21st, 2012 · 3 Comments

Granted, you have to give (very minor) props to Turkmenistan’s president for his guitar chops (see above). But don’t be fooled into thinking he’s helming a nation any less repressive than the one he inherited from his infamous predecessor. The Turkmen government has zero patience for those who might dare question its absolute authority to […]

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Child Educator Plus Head Amputator

March 19th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Parent-teacher conference plus a gainfully employed Grand Empress equal Microkhan on full-time parenting duty today. Which is probably for the best, because a full weekend of writing has left my brain feeling like a desiccated sponge. Hoping to recharge by taking Microkhan Jr. for a trip on the Roosevelt Island tram.

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A Note of Gratitude

February 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Just wanted to offer a quick bayarlalaa to y’all for sticking with this project over the past few weeks. Been hectic times here at Microkhan global headquarters, what with the book deadline looming and both the health-insurance and education systems conspiring to make the fam miserable. Better days ahead, for sure.

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A Corner Turned

February 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

Back to the book today, after receiving some tragic news about one of the lead characters. Make do with some classic Joan Jett from the heyday of West German television. Back tomorrow about Indonesia’s raucous business climate.

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Word Association

February 6th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Just slammed today, with both reporting for my Wired column and preparations for tomorrow’s performance in Soho. Leaving you with some classic Europop and some salient thoughts on creativity from the great Sean Price: HipHopCanada: What starts your creative process? Sean Price: The beat. The beat’ll tell me what to do. And sometimes I have […]

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The Crunch Begins

February 1st, 2012 · No Comments

Gonna spend this unusually warm Queens day tackling the book, having finally surfaced after a ten-day stretch of Wired work. I have roughly 648 hours before the first three-quarters of the first draft is due, so I’m feeling the heat. Enjoy a track culled from the latest installment of Fresh Produce, and see you back […]

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The Pouring Forth of Words

January 13th, 2012 · 1 Comment

A moved-up book deadline has me scrambling over these next few days, so I’m just gonna ease you into the holiday weekend with some Uzbek pop. I don’t understand a word, of course, but my hunch is the ladies of Shahrizoda are preaching against the evils of materialism. The highlight is around the 1:08 mark, […]

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Hazardous Duty in Thule

January 10th, 2012 · 1 Comment

This memoir by the former bassist for Barbara Allen and the Tennessee Hot Pants includes a great vignette about playing Greenland’s Thule Air Force Base, where young men once scanned the skies for incoming Soviet ICBMs. Deprived of female companionship for months at a time, and surrounded by little but shiny white nothingness for most […]

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Make No Small Plans

December 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Thanks to all who patronized Microkhan this year, and hope you’ll stick around for the next 366 days (at least). Big plans for the forthcoming year, including some special longform projects, the revival of our long-lost “Bulletproof” series, and, of course, an increasing amount of clues and extras related to the next book. Stay with […]

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