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These seven early-twenty-somethings are part of the same South London scene that produced Black Midi, Squid, and yes, Dry Cleaning. It's virtually impossible to categorize their music, (other than avant-garde), as they mix such disparate elements as post punk, math rock, klezmer and free jazz among their influences. From their 2021 debut album For the First Time. I was gonna play "Black Sunglasses" --the first song of theirs I was introduced to--it's brilliant! Unfortunately, the lyrics to that one are decidedly NSFW. However, if you’re intrigued by “Opus”, you really need to check it out. As one witty You Tube commenter said of "singer"/guitarist Issac Wood, "I like my vocalists to sound like they're standing on a window sill yelling at a police negotiator." Perfect.
Weird music Monday, y'all.
(This is the second time we played this apparently (though not this version). Six (six!) people voted on it last time.)
Sophie Xeon passed away at 34 this weekend.
Max Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Eddie Kahn, bass; Clifford Jordan, tenor sax, Coleridge Perkinson, piano.
Live on Belgian television, possibly circa 1964. Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now Suite is a landmark jazz album and an artistic jewel of the Civil Right Movement.
We get two pieces of ”Tiptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” here. I’m not sure why the third was not included on the video, but it’s worth a listen to complete Roach’s thought. (Follow the link above.) He doesn’t simply “Peace” as a nirvana state. It’s jagged, weary, even incomplete.
”Tears for Johannesburg” was Roach’s artistic reckoning with the Sharpsville massacre, which I’d encourage you to read about — particularly right now.
Juneteenth marks the last arrival of the news of an emancipation formally proclaimed two and a half years earlier. By the time of its arrival in Galveston, the proclamation’s author had been reelected & assassinated. We should not forget that slavery continued in a couple Union states until the 6 December 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified and finally abolished the practice. Nor should we forget that last Union state to ratify that amendment was Kentucky — on 18 March 1976.
Johnson’s amnesty, Reconstruction’s failure, Jim Crow, the mass perpetuation Lost Cause myth, federal anti-immigrant laws, segregation, and redlining thwarted a national reckoning with the political, social, and moral devastation of slavery & racism for generations.
Juneteenth’s rightly a day of celebration. It’s also a reminder of how far we yet have to go as a country, how fragile progress can be. It is a call seeking a response, because the work of emancipation remains incomplete.
A WGOM debut. Mrs. Hayes & I saw the Sons of Kemet in the People’s Republic in October 2018. They were touring in support of their album, Your Queen is a Reptile, which was one of my favorite albums of 2018. Shabaka talks about the idea behind the name of the album & each track in a brief commentary at the end of the video.
Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73.
This album is still so intriguing to me.
Luka Dončić played us the song of his people yesterday, so we'll do the same.
My favorite song of the year. The recorded version from Aviary is nothing short of swoon-worthy. This live version ain't too bad, either.