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Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter There’s a wordless documentary film about august Dutch drummer and visual artist Han Bennink and one scene from it has stuck in my mind since I first saw it: we see a close-up of a needle dropped on a record, and as the well-worn grooves play Tommy Flanagan’s introduction to the Charlie Parker song …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Within his autobiography, called Take Me to the River, published in 2000, Al Green reminisced about one cold morning in a rural Michigan hotel room while on tour, approaching the window, which looked out “across the empty highway to the frozen fields on the other side”: “As I watched while the sun s…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter The first judge to be recalled and replaced in the state of Wisconsin was Archie Simonson of Dane County. It was 1977, but the circumstances surrounding his recall remain all too familiar today: faced with three teenaged boys who had pleaded no-contest to the gang rape of a girl in a high school sta…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter It was early spring of 2012 and two friends and I were winding through Williamsburg toward the East River, working our way toward the apartment of a stranger. The building was one of those swanky, newly constructed shiny high-rises that had been and continue to pop up and penetrate the Brooklyn skyl…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter By late September of this year, the number of homicides in the city of Chicago was already climbing beyond 500, which, as the New York Times reported, is “more than in Los Angeles and New York combined.” August alone saw the killing of 90 people there, making it the deadliest month the city has seen…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter There's a great video of Dolly Parton performing her song "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" in 1977 on the West German television show Der Musikladen. Accompanying herself on guitar, she sings a cool and bouncy version, backed up in close harmony by the boys in her band. At the song’s conclusion, she adm…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In December 1968, a children’s opera premiered in Hamburg, Germany called Help, Help, The Globolinks! In it, the composer and lyricist, Gian Carlo Menotti allegorizes his get-off-my-lawn-you-kids-with-your-rock-’n’-roll-and-hula-hoops anxieties about the shrouding of melodic, old-fashioned music by …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Years ago I saw an old episode of the 1983 BBC television series called Fun to Imagine in which theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, sitting in a wing chair in his California home, takes a crack at explaining how fire works to a lay audience. He describes, in his thick Queens, New York accent, how…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter “Have you ever been embarrassed / when you’re in a smart café / when they play that Latin tempo / is your dancing quite passé?” Sure, we’ve all been there. It’s the worst. Luckily, while Madam La Zonga’s Main Street dance studio has surely long since been converted into luxury apartments, we have th…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter James Blood Ulmer’s 2005 solo release, Birthright, is an album best listened to alone in the dark, preferably at night. It is an exploratory pawing about in the world of the blues, using, to loosen the stone, the harmolodic tools forged by saxophonist Ornette Coleman, with whom Ulmer spent the major…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter “I guess I was trying to figure out how a man could do something as crazy as that,” Willie Nelson said in a 1992 interview. The “that” Nelson is referring to is the killing of a woman for reaching out to touch—supposedly with the intention to steal—a man’s horse. The song in which these events are r…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter By the time we reach the end of the first track of Jacob Collier’s debut solo record, In My Room, we’re left a bit dizzied. In the four and a half minute track, called “Woke Up Today,” we hear playfully punchy and tight synth hits—shades of bands like KNOWER and Dirty Loops abound—singable melodies …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Abbey Road Studios—the summer of 1967. The Beatles had, just about a month earlier, wrapped up their ground-breaking sessions that would become their eight studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In walk another set of loveable English lads—The Zombies—well-dressed, well-rehearsed and r…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter It was June 2015, and Frank Fairfield was calling it quits. At long last, the anachronistic singer, guitarist, banjoist, and fiddler was officially done with the music racket. “I don’t feel I have a thing to offer,” he wrote in a Facebook post, of all places. “There are a few scattered dates already…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In a 2013 lecture–interview for Red Bull Music Academy, Roots drummer and Tonight Show bandleader, Questlove, reminisced about his mid-'90s conscious unraveling of the metronomic precision he’d long strove for, sparked by producer Jay Dee’s work on The Pharcyde’s second record, Labcabincalifornia. T…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In the 2013 documentary Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker—a film that only very recently was made available on streaming services—there is a full minute of footage containing people who knew pianist and singer James Booker telling the multifarious stories they had heard about how Bo…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter After a brief and goofy introductory nose-trumpet fanfare, DADO v. The Universe begins. The album’s seemingly lofty title—a title which alludes to the many personal and practical hurdles that Raphael Peterson, a.k.a. SHAPE KING, faced in bringing this project into existence—is immediately and hilari…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Taste and judgement: the two needn’t align. In fact, as W. H. Auden once wrote, “As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don't like.” He …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Bill Graham barrels through his intro. In one long breath save the final word, Graham says, “For all of us here at Fillmore West this is a long-awaited privilege and a great pleasure to bring on the number-one lady, Ms Aretha… Franklin.” Pulling no punches from the start, the band, led by King Curti…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In the 1995 book Plunderphonics, ‘Pataphysics & Pop Mechanics, guitarist Eric Rosensveig of the improvising trio called Fat, compares one of their projects to Kip Hanrahan’s projects, saying, “Players from a lot of different styles or schools, trying to create a music that doesn’t exist but nonethel…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter "He's good; you gotta give him that… He was good, but let it go… I love Bach, but come on you guys." So says Dan Reeder, the Nuremberg-based, Louisiana-born and Southern California-bred painter, instrument builder, and musician, explaining the source frustration of his gently reactionary song, “Bach…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter The trees are coming into leaf / Like something almost being said / The recent buds relax and spread / Their greenness is a kind of grief So begins Philip Larkin’s 1967 poem “The Trees,” which digs deep into the nature of cycles. Following four years on the heels of their first release, entitled Boy…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Harry Nilsson was really something else. He basked in late '60s tropes, but with the subtlety and control of one ahead of his time, or at least, not tied down to the style. The style both worked for him, and worked for him. His second release, 1967’s Pandemonium Shadow Show, was originally intended …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter “Peace and tranquility is now resumed under a DAISY like condition! De La Soul has now entered your MIND, BODY, and SOUL. Sit back, take a luuden, and everything will be Dan Stuckie. For this is a DAISY AGE.” So concludes the comic adventures of De La Soul within the liner notes of their 1989 landma…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter All right, who wants to dance to the "Bebop Tango"? Rick, Jane, Carl? Lana? Brenda? Step right up. Oh this here? This is bebop, even though you think it doesn’t sound like that. Link your mind with the mind of George Duke. When he plays those funny fast little notes, twitch around and have a good ti…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter “Background singers: Ask for them by name.” The joke, attributed to David Letterman points to the fact that backup singers are functional, serving at the pleasure of the lead voice, almost by definition, nameless. So it’s not every day that back-up singers make their way upstage those “twenty feet” …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter When Nina Simone introduced her tune “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” to the packed house at the Philharmonic Hall in 1969, she said: “It is not addressed to white people primarily. Though it does not put you down in any way—it simply ignores you. For my people need all the inspiration and love that …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter "What is tradition?" Max Frisch asked within his 1954 book, I'm Not Stiller. "I thought it meant tackling the problems of one's own day with the same courage one's forefathers brought to bear on theirs." Chris Thile and Michael Daves—singing pickers both—who met in 2005 at a jam session, and whose 2…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Nick Drake was 26 years old when, in 1974, after having suffered for years with depression, his mother found him dead in his room—a self-administered overdose of the antidepressant he had been taking being the cause. His mother would later heartbreakingly comment that the first thing she saw was “hi…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter W H O K I L L, the second album from Merrill Garbus as tUnE-yArDs, begins with a brief recording of her grandmother introducing her as a performer when she was a toddler—a moment, for a child, in which all attention is on them, and the ways of the world, revolving though they may be around her tiny …
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter “My songs are written to be performed, mostly,” explains Loudon Wainwright III in a 2014 interview. “I mean, I do make records from time to time, but I'm always thinking about if something is gonna work in a show.” His catalogue is bursting with great songs and his lyrics come to my mind often. It's…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Where we perceive a chain of events, Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History sees “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.” The past may be dead, but it’s far from gone, and from the dusty shelves and cement floors of thrift shops and garage sal…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter It's true, Bonnie Raitt has written and recorded her own songs, but her strength lies more in the her work as an interpreter and a guitarist. On her third solo record, Takin’ My Time, released in 1973, we are treated to a diverse collection of covers, each included, she says, because they say exactl…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Face Value, Phil Collins’ 1981 debut solo album, opens, improbably, with an epic, five minute and thirty-six second “In the Air Tonight.” You wait patiently, to the point where most pop songs would already have ended, for a “drop,” as it were. At three minutes in, you are briefly smacked over the he…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter There are moments of resonance that you sense listening to Vulfpeck. Feelings of familiarity that invite you to relax, knowing you're in good hands. To call them cliches might be misleading, yet there’s a reason that cliches are cliches. Sometimes they just sound so damn satisfying, you're best to l…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In May of this year, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts announced it had acquired the archives of Arthur Russell, that shy but insistent and ever-prolific composer-singer-cellist-producer who helped shape the New York downtown scene in the 1970s, in part through his work as the Musi…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Curtis Mayfield's 1975 album, There’s No Place Like America Today, opens with “Billy Jack,” a song depressingly au courant in its subject matter, detailing as it does the almost matter-of-fact gunning down of a black man. "Don't get me wrong, the man is gone," we hear Mayfield sing plaintively, "but…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter There’s something about the directness of Irish folk songs that appeals to me—not just the straightforward, vibrato-less vocal tone, but the matter-of-fact and deadpan presentation with which you might hear someone sing about, say, a man about to be hanged, or threats to break legs or cut off heads.…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter The 1965 Newport Folk Festival was the site of Bob Dylan’s fabled performance that ruptured the folk scene—so the story goes—with his newfangled electric guitars and such. But there was another performer playing the festival that selfsame summer day who, uncontroversially and drawing no ire—just doi…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter It’s 1971 at the Fort Dix army base. The impassioned crowd has grown impatient, and who could blame them? “We want Nina! We want Nina!,” they chant. “Nobody has taught us any patience,” Nina Simone laments in song, 6 minutes and 45 seconds into her nearly 19-minute cover version of George Harrison's…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter In the early 1970s, James Taylor introduced his song “Steamroller Blues” by invoking “so-called blues groups making a lot of noise” around Greenwich Village in the late ’60s. “They weren’t very good,” he recalled in one television performance, all the while looking down at his feet but grinning. “Th…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Viewed casually, the musical and lyrical content of Deerhoof’s 2003 record, Apple O’, appears as so many discrete scraps of ideas laid abreast—a couple turns of a musical cell, then on to the next; cloned trees and humans here, exploding bombs and candlelight there. But take time to sit with it, and…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Face Value, Phil Collins’ 1981 debut solo album, opens, improbably, with an epic, five minute and thirty-six second “In the Air Tonight.” You wait patiently, to the point where most pop songs would already have ended, for a “drop,” as it were. At three minutes in, you are briefly smacked over the he…
 
Subscribe via iTunes, PlayerFM, Facebook, Twitter Stereotypically awkward, first-drafty, and best-kept-to-oneself, experiments in one's bedroom can, under the right conditions, lead to a kind of magic that mightn't have been achieved under harsher fluorescents or wider confines—a quiet crucible. Rob Lee, the man behind Gym, Deer, is a case of one w…
 
That's it! Five years and 230-some-odd shows later, this is the final episode. We picked some good folks to help us close it out: Bobby Purcell joins us in the first segment to discuss the Wolfpack Club and his involvement with the Pigskin Preview, then two familiar faces--Chuck Amato and Austin Johnson--rejoin Matt and I one last time to help clos…
 
NC State basketball SID Josh Rattray joins us to discuss how he came to NC State, the past basketball season and the prognosis for State basketball moving forward. Plus, we sneak in a little baseball talk at the end.โดย jamescurle
 
Two first-time guests and a familiar face reunite on this week's show. Ernie Myers is joined by Cozell McQueen and Max Perry of the 83 team to recount their visit to the White House this past week, as well as help Matt and I discuss the commitment of Omer Yurtseven.โดย jamescurle
 
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