This Saturday, March 14, we are bringing the Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner to Pittsburgh! The event is being presented by the Warhol Museum, and will be held at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Tickets/info. A few years ago I DJed a party at the Warhol with Questlove; it’s great to return. Also I am a huge Andy Warhol fan, he made so many things possible, giant American genius with a great wig. (Reminding myself: I should reread The Philosophy of Warhol by Andy Warhol.) To top things off, it is the birthday of JEMD vocalist Arooj Aftab. So, come on out! Here’s a nice preview article from Pittsburgh Tribute-Review.
By the way, Arooj recently released her debut album, Bird Under Water. You can listen and buy over at Bandcamp. She wrote and produced the disc, which steps inside South Asian / Sufi / classical traditions with rare grace and confidence. A moving piece of work! It’s 3AM and I’m listening to the first song, “man kunto mala,” and it is perfect right now.
The March Mudd Up Book Clubb selection is Pamela Lu’s Ambient Parking Lot. A first-person plural novel (“part fiction, part earnest mockumentary”) about an ambient band! In other words, we are clearly the target audience for this under-appreciated gem from 2011. It is loopy and sweet and funny and ostensibly less crazy than Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy. Word on the street is that after Lu’s debut novel (Pamela: A Novel), she dropped out of the Bay Area literary scene and began working for software companies. Rumor? Truth? Disinformation? Seems harmonious with Ambient Parking Lot. We will meet on Sunday March 29th to discuss this book, which you can pick up here.
Also: a car-themed ambient piano jam for your enjoyment: [audio:https://negrophonic.com/mp3/BabeRainbow-CarAmbient3.mp3] Babe Rainbow – Car Ambient # 3.mp3
I’m excited to announce that on Thursday February 26, Bang On A Can All-Stars will premiere a new composition of mine here in NYC, as part of their People’s Commissioning Fund concert. I’ll be joining them on-stage. WNYC’s John Schaefer will host the event, which will live-stream on Q2.
The All-Stars will also perform new work by Ben Frost, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), and more. Really looking forward to this night. Tickets/info.
It’s part of the excellent Ecstatic Music Festival.
As a little warm-up, we put together a free Bandcamp download of work from all the composers. Continue reading NEW WORK FOR BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS
Socialist slow jams and commie techno in a room full of people who love lefty books: not to be missed! On Saturday February 14th I’m DJing the RED PARTY at Verso Books in DUMBO. Hope to see you there.
Join us for Verso’s inaugural celebration of Red Day.
With Special Guest Tariq Ali
Music by DJ Rupture
Saturday, February 14
8:30pm – 2:00am
Verso Brooklyn: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010
Beer, wine and commie books will be available to all attendees. 50% off everything for guests wearing red.
All revenue goes to the Can’t Touch This NYC Anti-Repression Committee.
I miss doing radio & would like to brainstorm ways to engage with it again. The medium has been in my blood ever since Boston-area college stations opened my ears back in middle school. 5 years of hosting a weekly program on WFMU were incredible–but a huge labor of love. WFMU DJs volunteer their time, and I logged at least 30 hours a month on my show…
If I were to create a new program what sort of things would you like to see? On what sort of platform should it exist? It could be a podcast, a live show happening at some venue, another FM endeavor, or something else entirely… The only stipulation is: it needs to earn money. It requires so much time & prep that I can’t imagine doing it with out a little help. I’ve got mountains of new & old music to share, dozens of interview ideas, and some new things in mind — and would love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like to experience and how it might work.
You can chime in in the comments, @ me on Twitter, or drop an e-mail. I’m especially interested in hearing from the Mudd Up! listeners over the years.
this weekend Brett Kashmere’s beautifully done documentary about basketball & hiphop makes its New York City debut. I had the pleasure of doing music direction for this film, and will be in a Q&A conversation with Brett after Saturday’s screening. Union Docs is a wonderful warm spot, so please join us! Buying tickets in advance is a good idea.
FSG asked me to name the best, most original book(s) I read in 2014. You can check them out here alongside recommendations from a lot of great authors. Or simply look below: Continue reading 2014 BOOK BURNERS
Black Power isn’t just a way of life that involves the daily fight for dignity and some semblance of justice, it’s also a romantic cumbia boy band from Puebla, Mexico. Here is one of their love / holiday songs:
[audio:https://negrophonic.com/mp3/Black Power – Un poco de amor .mp3]
Black Power – Un Poco de Amor
a little love / a little peace / new year’s eve, the new year, and christmas are all coming close / …a soldier returns / he won’t leave tomorrow / a father suffers / a mother cries / a child comes back / let’s toast to that
This is one of five hundred songs I bought last week. Out in Brooklyn, 500 cumbia MP3s cost $20. Value such a slippery thing.
If you haven’t listened to Azealia Banks’s album Broke With Expensive Taste, I highly recommend it. It’s a tremendous piece of work, sonically challenging, incredibly focused even as Banks unleashes a wealth of singing and rapping styles. I’m shocked that more people aren’t talking about it. BWET would have been excellent even if Banks wasn’t busy doing stuff like discussing the relationship between capitalism’s slavery roots and identity politics on Hot97.
But that album. Few DJ mixes–much less actual albums!–achieve this level of direction-across-variation; as manifestation of a musical persona the parameters Azealia Banks establishes on BWET are wide, wide, wide.
Music remains a charged space to explore not just ideas of freedom but the inevitable, contagious beauty of its realization.
The Mudd Up Book Clubb rolls into 2015 with a Chinese communist crime novel about a poet-cop!
We’ll meet on Sunday January 25 to discuss Qiu Xiaolong’s Death of a Red Heroine.
Set in early 1990s Shanghai, the novel uses the form of a police procedural to portray Chinese society in transition, old Maoists and new money, with lots of Tang dynasty poetry quotations and T.S. Eliot allusions thrown in for good measure. There’s a healthy attention to food, too. Central character Inspector Chen is a Modernist poet and translator, not unlike the author…
Qiu Xiaolong was the first person to translate Eliot into Chinese. He was in the US working on an Eliot book when Tiananmen Sq broke out, prompting him to stay on to remain out of trouble… He still lives in St.Louis. As explained in this interview, Qiu writes his books in English, despite the difficulty–and censors scrub politically sensitive phrases and all specific place references from the Chinese translations!
Death of a Red Heroine. Go here to buy it from local publishers Soho.
Last selection of the year: Hungarian writer Ágota Kristóf’s hypnotic, powerful (and short) debut novel The Notebook. Published in 1986 it is a bracing language bath, narrated in first-person plural by limpid & disturbing young twins in the midst of wartime scarcity. First part of a trilogy (whole trilogy is great). Kristóf’s stark minimalism reads simply (the stylistic opposite of fellow Hungarian Krasznahorkai’s baroque apocalyptics) but after a few paragraphs the awe piles up and, subsumed in her grip, you realize how deep it all goes.
A stone cold classic (that’s impossible to discuss at a holiday party without alienating your peers)! So–
We’ll meet on Sunday December 21 to talk Notebook. Mudd Up Book Clubb.