This week I propose a different sort of discussion board.
Imagine you are the music director for the documentary film version of Professor Campbell’s Drug War Zone: Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez. As music director, you are charged with choosing the title song for the documentary of the book.
What title song would you choose for the documentary, Drug War Zone?
Here are the questions/instructions you need to respond to:
1. The name of the song, and who sings it or who plays on it. Why are they the artist you have chosen?
2. Provide a link to a Youtube video or Vimeo video (or any video or MP3 or MP4 file that is freely available (in other words, not behind a paywall or firewall)).
3. No more than three sentences (think of it as the length of a Tweet) explaining why you chose that particular song for the film version of Drug War Zone. The idea is to relate the song to the book, Drug War Zone. So answers that run in the vein of, “I chose this song because I like it,” aren’t going to do very well. In fact, I think that may be a good way to fail this test.
4. Engage other students in their choice of music and yours.
The other way to fail this test is to use any song or piece of music that has appeared in any of the seasons of Narcos, or, any of the music used in Sicario or the sequel to Sicario. The requirement is to be original not derivative. If you use any of the theme or title music to Jack Nicholson’s The Border, I’ll be supremely disappointed, too.
Beware, too: we aren’t talking about a song which brings to mind Juárez or El Paso but Juárez and El Paso. This is a very important conceptual point and is very important in how Professor Campbell structured his book. So… if you think you can use some banda from Sinaloa and squeak it past me then you are most certainly barking up the wrong tree. (By the by, I know my narcocultura from Sinaloa. I was a translator for slain Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas — but that’s another story and it’s not really one that I like to talk about, save to say, I know Sinaloa…)
Dig into your prodigious knowledge of contemporary or classical music, folks.