Julius&Nemo1

[Julius Eastman (left) and Nemo]

The Performa Biennial has descended upon New York, and I’m pleased to announce that I’m writing a new radio play which will debut on Saturday, Nov. 12.

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.

Performa Radio goes down at WNYC’s Greene Space. Other participants – radioplaywrights? wireless dramatists? – include Tom McCarthy (“but now I want you to do nothing even slower” ), Marianne Vitale, and Hari Kunzru.

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.”

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[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!

Fellow native new yorker (Bronx stand up!) and expert cutter-through-of-smoke-mirrors Noam Chomsky gave this talk in April 2011 while the currently flourishing #occupy movements were just a gnawing sense of horrific injustice in the occupiers bellies.

In it he breaks down such popular topics as:

1) Why economic power = political power

2) How financial regulations were systematically demolished in this country to benefit the 1% ending a ‘golden era’ of egalitarian prosperity

3) How Obama was bought by Wall Street and how he repaid them

He forgot his notes at the hotel and so it’s light on statistics and heaaaavy on truthy goodness.  Need to explain to your friends why the Occupy Wall St movement matters at your next cocktail party?  Start here.

 

Big shout out to PDX Justice for filming and posting this on Vimeo, along with The Collins Distinguished Speaker Series and the Department of English of the University of Oregon at Eugene for holding the event.  If I get a free hour I’d like to rip the audio for this and encode it as a podcast.  If anyone else is motivated to do it first we’ll happily host and promote it here.  The fact that this thing is so relevant to the current conversation and only had 636 views when I found it is terrible.

 

[originally posted at Mudd Up!]

Times square red times square blue

The Mudd Up Book Clubb marches to Manhattan with a tender, challenging work by one of the most important authors around: Samuel R. Delany’s Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. The book takes Delany’s 30+ years in the porn theaters and gay bars of Times Sq. on the eve of its mid-1990s Disneyification as a grounding point for an extended examination of public space, interclass contact, polymorphous intimate pleasures, the regulation of bodies and behavior, and lots more. Sex & urbanism in Delany’s hands — you can’t go wrong!

The humanity that animates his intelligence is inspiring, as is the deft ease with which Delany flows from frank, considered anecdotes about former lovers & friends to more sociologically-minded writing. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue is built from two long essays, which are themselves quite different: the longer one more personal, the 2nd one more theoretical — it includes a powerful section on contact vs networking that is more relevant now than ever, and uses a two-column layout to play with marginality in a direct way and further shake things up.

This is the Clubb’s first nonfiction selection (not to mention our first selection by a black author), and it will give you a lot to think about. The New York Public Library stocks a handful of copies, including a nonlending one up at the Schomburg. The Manhattan location for this Clubb edition is secret, but suffice to say it’s awesome and will be familiar to those who’ve seen Delany doc The Polymath. The tentative date is November 15th. If you are interested, please join the mailing list.

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If you only know Delany from his sci-fi or fantasy, then you are in for a real treat! If you don’t know Delany at all, then perhaps short story collection Aye, and Gomorrah or its earlier incarnation, Driftglass, is a good place to start – “The Star Pit” is one of those rare stories that haunts me to no end. (I wouldn’t recommend starting with Dhalgren, only because I know a handful of people who couldn’t get into it and then didn’t investigate Delany any further.)

But Samuel R. Delany’s work has many, many entrances…

OK. Let’s keep those pages turning! For more online reading about this selection, Steve Shaviro wrote an excellent review of Times Square Red, Times Square Blue — indeed, all Steve’s Delany writings are great.

Stay muddy.

Goldman Sachs presents:

* Genre-Specific Xperience * 15$ for non museum members

New Museum, Friday Oct. 21st from 7pm – 9pm.

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Five videos (in collaborations with artists Kamau Patton, Tabor Robak, Leilah Weinraub, Sophia Al-Maria, Ryan Trecartin and Rhett LaRue)

from the new EP, Genre-Specific Xperience, will be screened followed by a Q&A between Fatima Al Qadiri and artist Kamau Patton.

This trill cannot be duplicated says Venus X — and Drake retweets! — but it can be streamed. Last Monday’s radio show with special guest Venus X had the future turned up real high, just the way we like it. She did two fantastic, imaginative, busy-on-the-decks sets that put y’all lazy/conservative/chase-the-genre-of-the-minute DJs to shame. During the interview section we learned all about the American Gothic, Venus’s DJ roots,and lots more.

Check it out:


WFMU — independent, listener-supported, FM radio with incredible live internet streams and endless archives — is in the middle of our first silent fundraiser. If you like Mudd Up! radio and feel like sharing the love, please consider a donation – all the on-air DJs volunteer their time (as do our amazing guests). All funds raised go to keeping WFMU afloat and free.

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Let’s take things up a level. Let’s get glossy.

The November issue of WIRE magazine has Rupture on the cover lookin’ all grown and sexy.

Congrats! Go buy that shit! They say: “Peter Shapiro meets prolific producer Jace Clayton to hear about post-colonial Bass music, The Shining remade in Dubai and Sufi Plug-Ins.”

It’s hard not to be jealous that Dre Skull has pulled off such a fucking dope coup as getting “Kingston Story” completed and out today. And by jealous I mean so happy and excited for him, the mixpak crew, and Adi. Full page coverage in the times(remember you can just turn off Java to get over your monthly limit), Hot 97 rotation, an eloquent Rolling Stone interview, and the fader cover. All without any real PR budget. Talk about zeitgeist surfing. I already told you the album was dope when I heard most of it, mostly completed, at Big Yard between sessions with Dre. I went to Kingston feeling so Gully- but I left with a rain-check appointment with Styles to get Gaza across my neck. BUT NOW YOU CAN KNOW FOR YOURSELF. BUY THE THING.
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I’ve been traveling to Colombia at regular intervals to present a new sound fusing folkloric Afro-Colombian rhythms with modern day electronic music production techniques that harmonize into a synthetic club sound rooted in tradition. Via the internet, the birthplace of Cumbia has become a source of inspiration to a number producers worldwide. Recently, we invited some of the top names in the scene to a bandcamp in Colombia and a filmmaker to document it.  We want to provide an insider view of the impact this music is having on the local scene and how a small network of globally minded producers are defying conventional standards of Latin club music.

We have a couple weeks to get this production costs for completing this project funded. To hear more about how you can help please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/Pico-de-Gallos

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DJ Quik – “Fire And Brimstone” from The Book of David (2010 Mad Science)

Here’s what I was listening to, as I read Tally post about fresh and exciting new Dutty Artz gear; the opening track from that other legendary producer/rapper from Compton, California DJ Quik. Undoubtedly, one of the most underrated rappers/producers, Quik is without question one of the greatest producers. Super talented, adventurous, and unafraid to experiment with with bugged-out rhythms and structures. If you dig “Fire And Brimstone,” definitely don’t sleep on his new album The Book of David, or his last collaboration with Kurupt BlaQKout or Trauma or any of his early album. Get it how you live!

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Taliesin isn’t quite this angular and shadowed in real life, but how awesome it is to see him all up in the Huffington Gas?! Underneath the headline of his piece are eight gray boxes, labeled, respectively: Amazing, Inspiring, Funny, Scary, Hot, Crazy, Important, and Weird. The website is horrible.

But if you can ignore the screaming FB-friendly/SEO-desperate/clicktrail-slutty/headache-inducing clutter around Tally’s words, they’re nice. An excerpt:

So, you graduate from a small liberal arts school with five-figure debt and want to work in the arts? Start drafting those coffee-shop and restaurant resumes to keep you afloat while you put in long thankless, underutilized hours as an unpaid intern.

I graduated from Bard College last May and the only people I know from my graduating class with full-time paid jobs in the arts are the wealthy few whose parents bankrolled summers of full time unpaid work for them while we were still in school. Let’s not even get into the fact that most internships are technically illegal. The point is that the largess of the late ’90s that gave my generation our fantasies of success and airs of entitlement is long gone, and we are collectively struggling to face the reality of down-scaling our dreams in the midst of a sour economy.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. . . [read more]

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I think I lost my flipcam last week- or it got stolen. It doesn’t really matter since I cant edit the HD footage on my Acer + it just eats up memory with videos I can barely replay. My homie Justin has a nice camera though- and last week we did a test run for a hopefully vaguely ongoing, but maybe never again, video series looking at studios and producers in Kingston. Supposed to reach to Bigship next week, but time is sticky in Jamaica. Enjoy.

[originally posted at Mudd Up!]

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Shackleton – Deadman King Midas Sound Death Dub

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.

akilah-oliver

Akilah Oliver:

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.

THURSDAY JAN 27th !!!!!!

QUE BAJO?! is back!!

It’s the return of the intergalactic gauchitos better known as Uproot Andy and Geko Jones. After a brief winter recess moon-walking across the globe and cooking up hotter than habanero remixes the Que Bajo?! party is back like a zombie Danny Trejo
On January 27th we welcome the Dutch-Dominican wonderkid DJ Munchi all the way from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Moombahton stylee from one of the scenes top notch DJ’s.

We have a couple of special surprises to announce as we get closer to the date but I wanna go ahead and introduce VJ Miixxy who will be controlling visuals for the evening.

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DJ Munchi (Netherlands, Dominican)

Resident DJs Uproot Andy and Geko Jones

Visuals by VJ Miixxy

Hosted by Jean Bernabe and Amylulita

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