Tonight, Monday November 7th, I’ll be hosting a live radio broadcast of my WFMU show at South Williamsburg’s Spectacle Theater, followed by a screening of excellent musical comedy 100% Arabica, starring Khaled and Cheb Mami. Music/youtubery begins at 7:30, film at 9pm, showing up early is a good idea, especially if you want the homemade mint tea and dates… Full info + flyer here.
And then next Monday November 14th, Mudd Up radio returns to the WFMU studios with special guest Brian Degraw of Gang Gang Dance!!
WE LIVE LISTEN IN EXCITING TIMES.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted MP3s on here. In honor of tonight’s live radio broadcast / rai special, here are 3 songs which may make there way into tonight’s setlist:
After Performa approached me about the radioplay I went off on long lines of investigation which crescendoed around the incredible, and, yes, tragic life of gay black NYC composer, Julius Eastman.
As Mary Leach writes about trying to gather his scattered work:
“Thus began an almost quixotic seven-year search for the music of Julius Eastman who died in 1990 and whose final years were a life spiraled out of control to the point where he was living in Tompkins Square Park. He’d been evicted from his apartment in the East Village—the sheriff having dumped his possessions onto the street. Julius made no effort to recover any of his music. . . One of the problems of writing about Julius is that it is difficult to state anything with certainty.”
How The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner fits into all this will (trust me) be a surprise. This I can say: it takes a village to stage a radio play before a live audience, so for The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, I’ve brought aboard several pianists and voice-actors, among them Emily Manzo and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts. Radio was central to my musical upbringing and remains something I’m committed to, so the opportunity to create new work expressly for the medium is fantastic.
They say: “For Performa 11, Performa Radio explores the literary legacy of the first mass medium, the radio broadcast. Just as early radio and sound recording influenced the modernist literature of Edgar Allan Poe, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Valéry, Jules Verne, and Antonin Artaud, what effects will digital radio have for the forms of literature and the development of the narrative play? Leading figures in the fields of literature, art, and music will be commissioned to write short plays, to be performed live at WNYC’s Greene Space and streamed on the Performa website.”
[another night at the laundromat]
In 2005 New World Records released a 3-CD set of Eastman’s music, which was generally associated with downtown minimalism. You can download the liner notes [PDF]. Below is a recording of “Evil Nigger” (1979) here played on four pianos with Eastman himself. One Two Three Four!
Mzien! Next Monday November 7th, live radio & a great, rarely-screened film at a special location in South Williamsburg.
Join us at Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater for a live broadcast of my WFMU radio show, “Mudd Up!” from 7:30-9pm, built around a YouTube selection, followed by a screening of the fantastic musical comedy, 100% Arabica. Set in the rough suburbs of Paris, this 1997 film by Algerian director Mahmoud Zemmouri stars raï kings Khaled and Cheb Mami. 100% Arabica uses satire and incredible live music scenes to tell the tale of an up-and-coming raï band that must deal with shady cops, cassette bootlegging kids, a conservative imam, and more.
Released just 2 years after Mathieu Kassovitz’s stark social drama Le Haine (Hate), 100% Arabica joyously offers alternatives to a narrow sociological exploration of urban tension by using the same location and same broad themes to celebrate Arab and African immigrant culture in Paris.
Homemade mint tea and dates will be served ’cause we’re nice like that.