Flip the Beat: An Introduction
The intimate yet oft-forgotten history of U.S.-Philippine relations—one of war, empire, and neocolonialism—has produced two paradoxical situations. The first, a cultural one in which Filipinos are figured as innately musical people and, yet, possess no unique musical traditions. The second, a racialized one whereby Filipinos are hypervisible and invisible, “everywhere and nowhere,” perceptually absent and, therefore, ambiguous, within a U.S. popular imaginary. Chapter 1 discusses how these paradoxes congealed into naturalized tropes of Filipinos and music—cultural givens figured within the early colonial record and further propagated by discourses of Philippine nationalism and popular music, U.S.-based racial in/visibility politics, and racial/gendered authenticity. Listening against, or disobediently listening to, these records and discourses, this chapter parses out tropical renditions, Filipino/Filipino American musical performances that turn our attention to what is produced by these performances, the burdens of representation under which they take place, and the translocal scenes that they foreground and create.