Dave Tompkins | Quail Ridge Books | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week

Page: Readings & Signings

Dave Tompkins

When: Sat., June 19, 3 p.m. 2010

He wrote a book about it, so will he read from that book through a vocoder? With Dave Tompkins, hip-hop critic and Indy alumnus, you never know. Tompkins' book, How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks, starts with the secretive work of Bell Labs and the military as they used voice scrambling to hide radio conversations, before heading on a trip through the invention's commercial and musical uses. Kraftwerk had them built, as did freaks from sci-fi-in-sunglasses electro, tweaked pop and so on, from "Pack Jam" to Trans Am. Tompkins' writing voice percolates with bubbly anecdotes and sideways references, mirroring the best of the music he so dearly loves. —Chris Toenes

Price: Free

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