It's been a while since I recommended a book, so here's one that I think is pretty awesome: Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person From Harper's Magazine
You get Jeff Sharlet on secret theocrats
, Charles Bowden writing on a longtime DEA informant's funeral, Ken Silverstein on lobbyists for third-world regimes, William Vollmann on tunnels under the Mexican border, Barbara Ehrenreich on breast-cancer kitsch
(her word, not mine), Jake Silverstein on poetry-contest scams and quite a few other excellent pieces. I caught some of this stuff the first time around, and anthologies are by their nature hit-or-miss, but this one mostly hits.
Ooh, and here's an .mp3. From the 10th-anniversary Oxford American
music issue (it also appears on the Complete Stax-Volt Singles
box, and probably on a few breaks compilations), Wendy Rene's 'After Laughter
.' Among other things, you might recognize it from the sample on the Wu-Tang Clan's 'Tearz
.' A few years ago, I was at a hip-hop show at Vino's
, and Red Eye Jedi
) dropped this, and the crowd pretty much shit its collective pants.
A poll: Gorilla, bee or lobster?
Reply via comments, please.
The right house is the house that's for sale. The right person is anyone.
Here are ten of my favorite albums from 2008. No particular order, subject to change, tastes are subjective, etc., etc., you know how it is.
Peter Brotzmann and Peeter Uuskyla - Born Broke
Anthony Braxton - Beyond Quantum
William Parker Quartet - Petit Oiseau
Lafayette Gilchrist - Soul Progressin'
Fight the Big Bull - Dying Will Be Easy
Karl Hector & Malcouns - Sahara Swing
Nomo - Ghost Rock
Tussle - Cream Cuts
Matmos - Supreme Balloon
Minusbaby - Saudade for Beginners
It was quite a year for compilations and reissues, too, and not just in African music. Here are ten that I greatly enjoyed:
African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro SoundsNigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-sounds and Nigerian BluesNigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s NigeriaNigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-1979
Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump
Jump Back: Imitations, Interpolations and the Inspiration of James Brown
Cooper-Moore - The Cedar Box Recordings
Lowell Davidson - Trio
Steinski - What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective
Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison Legacy Edition
More more more. Runners-up, worth a mention, stuff like that:Grand Theft Auto IV
soundtrackThe Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton
The Alps - III
Lizz Wright - The Orchard
Cassandra Wilson - Loverly
Portishead - Third
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist - The Hard Sell
Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
Never Enough Hope - The Gift Economy
Charles Lloyd - Rabo de Nube
Bill Dixon - 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
Peter Brotzmann & Fred Lonberg-Holm - The Brain of the Dog in Section
Peter Brotzmann/Michiko Yagi/Paal Nilssen-Love - Head On
William Parker - Double Sunrise Over Neptune
William Parker - The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield Live in Rome
Matthew Shipp Quartet - Cosmic Suite
Cecil Taylor - CT: The Dance Project
Kasai All-Stars - In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy By Magic
Tony Allen - Lagos Shake: A Tony Allen Chop-Up
The Lions - Jungle Struttin'
Minusbaby - Live at Blip Festival
Not remembered the first time around:
Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins - Beautiful Mindz
Erykah Badu - New Amerykah, Part I
Crystal Castles - Crystal CastlesSeun Kuti & Egypt 80
Femi Kuti - Day By Day
Victor Uwaifo - Guitar Boy Superstar: 1970-1976
Arp - In Light
The Mighty Underdogs - Droppin' Science Fiction