One of those recordings that reaches far beyond itself. The way Sister W B Grate sings each phrase says to me that nothing ever repeats itself – that every moment matters. In 1967, when this was recorded. In 2066. Now. From the 3-CD set Fire In My Bones, “a small peek at the incredible diversity and power of post-war black gospel.”
I am listening to this song which Lamin shared, some friends remixing another. It is filled with dusk-tones, close and fading, sunset a challenge to both darkness and light and at the same time I learn that a poet I’d read and knew in passing, has passed away. A friend who knew Akilah better sent some of us an excerpt of her speaking about grief.
And once again, we’re left with beautiful words and tones that linger but can never stay. In a sense, this is why we share it.
Grief is a complicated emotion but also an inadequate word in many ways. Maybe it isn’t so much that the term fails to encompass a range of emotional states, but I think also death itself, as an event, as a limit, as a field of investigation, is too many things at once.It’s solid and it’s slippery. For me what I’m doing in A Toast is using language to walk through that field to find out about love, the collapsible body, what it means to be human, all of that. Also, I think that I am trying to transcribe rapture. I mean that in the ecstatic sense of the word. . . . I am in a state of seeking. Grief is a part of that seeking, but so is redemption and anger, the forgivable and the unforgivable, this ecstasy of being in a kind of light, the simple astonishment of the impermanence of absence. This book is dedicated to my brother who died when I was very young, and he was very young, 28 years younger than I am now, so in some ways he has passed into myth for me, which is another kind of symbolic being-ness. It’s also dedicated to my son who died when he was 20, so there is that grappling with the loss of the body who has come through my body, a kind of intimacy that is almost indescribable. And it is also dedicated to my mother, who is still alive and kicking at 74, and the recognition of myself as the beloved body too, who has passed through another beloved. So there is this elegiac intent here as well. I am trying to trace the mystery of the bodylife, a term I’m borrowing from Cherríe Moraga. So there’s hope in these poems of course.
Holiday PATH train times aggravated an already-late start this Monday, so I missed the first few minutes of my radio show. Benjamen played a few rock tunes then I showed up, breathless, clutching a 99-cent Kassav LP and the mudd began. Hausa music, new Anne-James Chaton & Andy Moor, Illum Sphere, Jamie xx in various capacities, Palestinian ambient dabka, and the line that threads through it all. (Shouts to listener Shane, who wrote “Thanks to technology I know I’ve listened to “Time 2 Get Paid” by Beniton 18 times since I heard it on Mudd Up! 24 hrs ago.”)
I now turn things over to Columbia PhD student Amy, who has been thinking very hard about What It All Might Mean:
MUDD UP! LISTENER SURVEY
Dear listeners of Mudd Up! and all fans of DJ /Rupture, my name is Amy Zhang and I’m a PhD student at Columbia University doing research on DJ practices and their musical communities. I’ve been especially following DJ /Rupture’s work with Mudd Up! on WFMU.
Though geared specifically towards listeners of the show, fans and general supporters of DJ /Rupture can feel free to share their thoughts as well—fill out whatever is relevant to you on the survey, or email me at email@example.com.
On Saturday March 5th, Nettle will perform at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Info. Nettle, flexible and growing, is currently a 5-piece. We’ve even started using words and a guitar – although not too much of either.
Malian singer Khaira Arby will headline. The event is a benefit for ASSOCIATION OF THE SAHEL TO AIDE DECENTRALIZED DEVELOPMENT (ASSADDEC), a collection of 71 women’s groups in north Mali, supporting women’s small business enterprises, HIV/AIDS awareness and more. Which is awesome. Also performing: The Sway Machinery and DJ Israel Soulico.
Here’s a nice clip of Khaira and her band performing on KEXP — note, at least three of her musicians are rocking WFMU stickers! A wise band with excellent taste.
…Or maybe there were no jungle drugs involved, just the standard strong magic of a good cut & paste. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke does his “Lotus Flower” dance to the accompaniment of Peruvian cumbia classic, La Danza de Los Mirlos by Los Mirlos. Letting the private inner reveries out. #cumbia #psicodelica
I first mentioned the free compilation Music for Saharan Cellphones here. A month ago Chris Sahelsounds offered a second volume. Music collected on discarded cellphone memory cards & transfered via bluetooth is a very Beyond Digital thing…
Chris writes: “Again, all mp3s collected in the town of Kidal, the quintessential desert crossroad. Some of the track titles are lost to the id3 dustbin of history.”
Two excerpts below, gentle auto-tune and dream-soaked guitar. Grab the entire thing here.
Yussef Sheta Ya Helu Ya Asmar Egypt
Bayta Aicha Music From Saharan Cellphones, v. 2 SahelSounds
Forest Swords Glory Gongs Dagger Paths EP
James Blake Sparing The Horse Diplo Presents Blow Your Head Mad Decent
Stagga & Doshy Hornets unreleased unreleased
Ø Heijastuva Heijastuva Sähkö Recordings
Sepalcure Fleur Fleur EP Hot Flush
Deaf Center Time Spent Owl Splinters Type
Shaykh Ahmad Barrayan Layali Egypt Virgin France
Deaf Center Animal Sacrifice Owl Splinters Type
Seefeel Airless Seefeel Warp
Natural Snow Buildings Drift The Water Soul Waves Of The Random Sea Blackest Rainbow
Abdu Dagher Al Nil Al-Qadim Egypt Virgin France
you can subscribe to the Mudd Up! podcast for downloadable versions, issued a week after FM broadcast: , Mudd Up!RSS. Also useful: WFMU’s free iPhone app. We also have a version for Android (search for “WFMU” in the marketplace).
another free Nettle concert! This Thursday, Feb. 10th, at Williamsburg’s Zebulon. solo guitarist Piers Faccini has an early set (9pm) then my band of musicians and noisemakers takes over, with DJ Lamin Fofana providing bumps btwn Nettle’s two sets. Our cellist lands in JFK at 6pm and heads straight to the venue, making the Paris-Zebulon run just 4 u.
A nice review of our last Zebulon set wrote that: “Trails of bass would waft from Arnold’s cello, Cuff’s occasional vocals were wrapped in scifi textures, and unidentifiable sounds clung to the air around them.”