We welcome Kimberly Mack to discuss Living Colour's Time's Up (33 1/3) with U of M Professor Scott Poulson-Bryant.
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About the book: The iconic Black rock band Living Colour's Time's Up, released in 1990, was recorded in the aftermath of the spectacular critical and commercial success of their debut record Vivid. Time's Up is a musical and lyrical triumph, incorporating distinct forms and styles of music and featuring inspired collaborations with artists as varied as Little Richard, Queen Latifah, Maceo Parker, and Mick Jagger. The clash of sounds and styles don't immediately fit. The confrontational hardcore-thrash metal - complete with Glover's apocalyptic wail - in the title track is not a natural companion with Doug E. Fresh's human beat box on "Tag Team Partners," but it's precisely this bold and brilliant collision that creates the barely-controlled chaos. And isn't rock & roll about chaos?
Living Colour's sophomore effort holds great relevance in light of its forward-thinking politics and lyrical engagement with racism, classism, police brutality, and other social and political issues of great importance. Through interviews with members of Living Colour, and others involved in the making of Time's Up, Kimberly Mack explores the creation and reception of this artistically challenging album, while examining the legacy of this culturally important and groundbreaking American rock band.
Kimberly Mack is Associate Professor of African American literature and culture at the University of Toledo. Her book, Living Colour’s Time’s Up, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 book series, is forthcoming in May 2023. She is also the author of Fictional Blues: Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020), which won the 2021 College English Association of Ohio’s Nancy Dasher Award. Kimberly is writing another book, tentatively titled The Untold History of American Rock Criticism, about the BIPoC and White women writers who helped develop American rock criticism and journalism during the 1960s and 1970s. Kimberly holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she has received fellowships and scholarships to attend writing residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Kimberly is a memoirist and music writer, and her scholarly and public-facing articles and essays have appeared in African American Review, Popular Music and Society, Journal of Popular Music Studies, AMP: American Music Perspectives, Longreads, No Depression, and elsewhere.
Scott Poulson-Bryant is a cultural historian and critic. His main areas of specialization are African American popular culture and Performance Studies, with teaching and research focuses on Hollywood film, black popular music, 20th and 21st century U.S. drama, genre fiction, gender and sexuality studies, and creative nonfiction writing. He received his B.A. in American Civilization from Brown University and his M.A in English and Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard, where he also taught in the Program in History and Literature and received numerous certificates of distinction in teaching. His research has appeared in The Journal of Popular Music Studies, American Studies, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, and Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, and he is currently finishing his monograph Everybody is a Star: Race, Glamour, and Citizenship in 1970s US Popular Culture. Prior to academia, he worked as a journalist, publishing several articles in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Village Voice, among other publications, and he was one of the founding editors of VIBE Magazine. His books include HUNG: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America (Doubleday) and The VIPs: A Novel (Broadway/Random House).