UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

The Five Spot

072110FiveSpot_DaynesDr. Sarah Daynes, assistant professor of sociology, likes just about all kinds of music. That’ll come in handy when she teaches a new sociology course in the spring, Sociology of Popular Music. Jazz and the blues are her favorites, Count Basie being one artist she cites. “No heavy metal!” she adds. She grew up in Bordeaux, France – “where we make wine.” Wine, she explains, was a big part of the culture. She, in fact, plans to make wine her next research area. She’s interested in looking at Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Monticello (Va.) and the Yadkin Valley. The sociology that surrounds, for example, wine tastings interests her, and relatively few American sociologists do research related to wine. She says she tried muscadine wine (from North Carolina white muscadine grapes) for the first time this month – she liked it. But at the moment there’s her new book, “Time and Memory in Reggae Music,” published this summer. It grew partly out of her dissertation research when she was a student at Paris’ Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. She did fieldwork in the Caribbean, looking at the music and the religious Rastafarian underpinnings, the politics, the traditions, the breaks in culture, etc. “I never planned to come to the U.S.,” Daynes says. She came for a post-doc at Columbia, then remained in New York as a visiting faculty member at the New School. She arrived in Manhattan in the summer of 2001, and experienced 9/11 and the post-9/11 New York with her neighbors and colleagues. But even when the Congressional cafeteria had renamed French fries “freedom fries, “No one [in New York] ever commented that I was French.” She joined UNCG in 2008, and her third book has just been published – the first having anything to do with reggae. Is she tired of listening to reggae now, after years of intense research? “Music can lose its magic,” she says. But when she was scanning stations in her car recently, she came across a reggae show on WNAA – 90.1. She paused. “I still listen to it some.”

Most interesting reggae artists

  1. Bob Marley There is some marketing [with big stars], but in this case, he truly was the most important reggae artist ever. Why so great? The right place at the right time, but more than that: The texts are very poetic – they can be interpreted in different ways. People can [therefore] make the words their own. … And he had an excellent band.
  2. Steel Pulse Very important in the U.S., but not so important in the Caribbean. They’re a British band.
  3. Buju Banton A very important artist. In 1998, I was doing fieldwork in the Caribbean, and he was everywhere. In minibuses, he was always playing. He was the soundtrack. His “Inna Heights” record was a milestone. He was called “the new Bob Marley.” He would say “I’m so fed up being called the new Bob Marley.”
  4. Dennis Brown A singer [he never had a band, as opposed to Bob Marley]. The best voice in reggae music. He was backed up by different bands. He was well-loved in Jamaica. He was an early artist who kept on with hits through the ’80s and ’90s, but began singing in the late ’60s.
  5. U-Roy He is nicknamed “The Originator.” He is one of the most famous dee-jays, and has been so from the late ’60s onwards.

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