Deciphering Culture

Cultural Analysis

My writing on popular culture and music has appeared in a variety of popular and scholarly publications. For me, music and popular culture are lens through which to examine and address significant issues, such as politics & social change, tradition & community, aesthetic change, and artistic experience. I wrote the “Moroccan Roll” column on North African music for THE BEAT from April 2008 until the magazine’s demise in December 2009 and regularly contribute reviews and to to publications such as, SF Weekly, East Bay Express, and PopMatters. I also wrote daily entries as the SF International Music Examiner for from March 2009 to September 2009.

For samples of my work, click the following links:









For an almost complete list of my publications: List of Publications (March 24, 2011).


  • CC Smith (Editor/Publisher of The Beat Magazine):

Thanks Jeff — very nice job! you write very well, and I learned more from your one column than I did in 5 years of….

  • Jack Bishop (Editor for Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology)

I am pleased to recommend Jeffrey for those needing an intelligent, creative, writer who diligently pursues the story across the planet if need be. His work is exemplary, well-researched and thoughtfully completed. I offer my highest recommendations without hesitation for Jeffrey.

Jeff Callen has written some impressive features for the site I edit,  We at Afropop pride ourselves on keeping up with trends, but Jeff definitely turned us onto some sounds we were missing, particularly new hip-hop music emerging from Morocco.  His work clearly reveals him as a man willing to roll up his sleeves and dive in deep to get a good story.  In short, one of us!

I just read your story about Tim (Eriksen) in the online edition of EBE (East Bay Express). It’s the best and most insightful piece anyone has written about him in years. Thank you so much for doing it.


Written by Jeffrey Callen

December 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

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