Published from 1923 until 1931, primarily as a bi-monthly publication with some interruption, The Vagabond featured the poetry, visual art, essays, criticism, short stories and humor which targeted not only Indiana University's undergraduates, but also its alumni and prominent members of the faculty. Often, articles were authored under humorous, though rather obvious pseudonyms, the most famous of which was William E. Moenkhaus who worked under the pen name Wolfgang Beethoven Bunkhaus.
I am sure you remember that Moenkhaus was the inventor of the Wheatena Test to which Bix responded simply with his famous "I Am A Swan."
There are poems by Moenkhaus, articles about him and articles by him under different pen names. There are other fascinating articles. Of the many, I highlight a two-part article titled "The Era of Sock" written by someone using appropriately the pseudonym of "Tempo."
Go to http://tinyurl.com/bwjxugd
Part 1 is found in pp 12-14 of the Feb 1924 issue.
Part 2 is found in pp 25-27 of the May/Jun 1924 issue.
To me the most astonishing fact about these two articles is that they fail to mention the Wolverine Orchestra and Bix. The Wolverines played in various places on the Indiana University campus from April 25, 1924 to May 23, 1924. I remind you that the Wolverines were billed in several ads as "exponents of sock time rhythm." Here is one add form the Jun 24, 1924 issue of the Indianapolis Star.
I note that Mr. Tempo defines sock time as "an accentuation of the off-beat of the measure."
Sue Fischer in http://www.starrgennett.org/stories/profiles/wolverines.htm defines it as "a fast, swinging rhythm they called sock time, accenting the first beat heavily and the third beat less so."
Bill Kirchner in the "Oxford Companion to Jazz" writes, "If they [the Wolverines] lacked the elegance of the Friars Inn band or the sheer firepower of Olivers men, they compensated with an engagingly upbeat four-to-the-bar their fans called sock time."
Sudhalter in his biography of Carmichael writes, "... sock time, a way of playing four equally weighted beats, that seemed lighter and smoother than what other bands were doing."
David Sager writes extensively about "sock time" in the booklet that accompanies the Off The Record CD "The Complete Wolverines: 1924-1928."
Sock Time A Secret Ingredient
The rhythmic veracity and momentum with which the Wolves performed is attributed to something called sock time, a style that is both easy to recognize and difficult to define. It is often characterized as an equal emphasis of all four beats of a measure by both rhythm section and front line. This oft-repeated explanation does not really describe the hypnotic effect achieved by the Wolverines.
Sudhalter gets closer by describing the effect as at once both tight and relaxed. It was exciting, but not in the frenetic way put forth a few years later by the young, white Chicagoans, like Frank Teschemacher, and Eddie Condon.
Sock time was a rhythmic interaction more intimate and cerebral than out-and-out hot playing. Notice particularly the first half of the final ensemble passages: Bix tamps down his volume and the other instrumental parts come through, exposing the moving parts of the bands machinery. Another defining aspect to consider is the use of a choked cymbal after beat that adds a socking sensation to the rhythm. And we shouldnt forget that the hi-hat cymbal (not yet in common use when these recordings were made)generally played on the after beatwas at one time known as a sock cymbal.