Germantown’s biggest jazz star has been getting major props in Philadelphia this year. The Sun Ra centennial has brought its fair share of creative homages around the city. In both Philly and Chicago (where Ra has roots) the DJ and arts entrepreneur King Britt has thrown a couple of bashes to celebrate Sunny’s 100th Earthday. He calls his ever-shifting homage “The Beautiful Noise.”
Tonight Britt brings his supersonic audio-visual scene to the angels and demons at play in Brooklyn. In the exploratory spirit of The Magic City and Disco 3000 the 2014 edition of the AFROPUNK Festival drops an “after dark” showcase to keep the music going at Littlefield (Planet Gowanus). Britt shares the stage with keybster Damon Bennett, bassist Anthony Tidd and special guests. It looks to be the kind of sensual sprawl that Mr. Blount himself used to generate with the Arkestra on a regular basis.
In the mood for some interstellar low-ways? Feel like splashing around in stardust from tomorrow? Ready to dance with the cosmo aliens? You can take a monorail or satellite to get there. Step right up.
Pharrell Williams – “Come Get It Bae”
Jason Moran – All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller (Blue Note)
Stefano Bollani Trio – Joy In Spite of Everything (ECM)
The Bats – “The Old Ones”
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (Capital)
Mahmoud Ahmed – Ere Mela Mela – Modern Music from Ethiopia (Master Classics)
La Roux – Trouble In Paradise (Interscope)
Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Red Hot (Hot Cup)
James Brown – In The Jungle Groove (Polydor)
The Chills – “I Love My Leather Jacket”
John Zorn’s The Dreamers – Ipos: Book of Angels, Vol 14 (Tzadik)
Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All The Way Down”
Sales figures don’t determine a song’s popularity at our house. It’s all about usefulness ’round here. Can the track provide a fun background for various parts of the day? In other words, is it versatile? There’s no question about this summer’s numero uno: LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was the consensus choice because it worked in myriad situations. Chopping onions for backyard burgers, taking a shower before date night, bumping and grinding during date night, morning clean-up, evening dance bash – I even caught my kid vacuuming to the damn thing.
The season’s most ubiquitous track has generated several spin-offs as well. Tired of the original? How about a few remixes to mess with your head? Everyday I’m (re)shuffling…
What, you say the “Anthem” isn’t the song of the summer? Well, go ahead, tell everyone which track you chopped your backyard onions to!
More than a few allusions to Michael on last night’s VMAs, so let’s roll through a micro history. And never, never leave “Dancing Machine” off of your playlist.
Need a sharp cultural overview of MJ’s impact? Greg Tate summarized it well in the Village Voice a week after he passed.
“Motown saved Michael from Gary, Indiana: no small feat. Michael and his family remain among the few Negroes of note to escape from the now century-old city, which today has a Black American population of 84 percent. These numbers would mean nothing if we were talking about a small Caribbean nation, but they tend to represent a sign of the apocalypse where urban America is concerned. The Gary of 2009 is considered the 17th most dangerous city in America, which may be an improvement. The real question of the hour is, How many other Black American men born in Gary in 1958 lived to see their 24th birthday in 1982, the year Thriller broke the world open louder than a cobalt bomb and remade Black American success in Michael’s before-and-after image? Where Black modernity is concerned, Michael is the real missing link: the “bridge of sighs” between the Way We Were and What We’ve Become in what Nelson George has astutely dubbed the “Post-Soul Era”—the only race-coded “post” neologism grounded in actual history and not puffery. “