Digitopia Blues

Race, Technology, and the American Voice

By (author) John Sobol
Categories: History of music, Music, The Arts, Music reviews and criticism
Publisher: Banff Centre Press
Paperback : 9780920159897, 192 pages, May 2002


A lyrical analysis of the intersections between poetic speech and music, intertwined with the history of black/white relations in America. Digitopia Blues is a fluid narrative about orality and literacy — their individual histories, and their blended futures. Musician and poet John Sobol pinpoints the African American struggle to find a language of revolutionary power through orality and music, as well as the literate poet’s impulse to transcend the printed page. Then he locates literacy and orality in the new digital media, in rap, in rave and even in Napster. Sobol’s book is intertwined with the stories of the blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, the powerful world of the printed word and the potential dangers and advantages that digital communications technologies offer people of colour.


"Briskly paced and superbly written, Digitopia Blues provides a lucid account of the history of African-American music, a music that has become, for better or worse, the world's. His book begs to be read, and what's more, it begs to be discussed. " -Martin Turenne, Georgia Straight