Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grammy nonsense

Last year, NARAS significantly reduced the number of Grammy categories, with serious repercussions for the awards already terrible diversity in representation (not just in categories -- do we really agree that Eminem should have won a jaw-dropping 31.25% of the "Best Rap Album" awards through 2011?!?). The Latin Jazz, Hawaiian, Cajun, Zydeco, Native American, and Tejano categories were all removed.

Now we see the glorious fruits of this labor. Competing for one "Best Regional Roots Album" award:

47. Best Regional Roots Music Album

Can't Sit Down

C.J. Chenier
[World Village]

Wao Akua - The Forest Of The Gods

George Kahumoku, Jr.
[Daniel Ho Creations]

Rebirth Of New Orleans

Rebirth Brass Band
[Basin Street Records]

Grand Isle

Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
[Mamou Playboy Records]

Not Just Another Polka

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra
[Starr Record]

Beside the obvious question of how in the world these five albums are going to be judged against one another (two Cajun/Zydeco nominees, one Polka, one Hawaiian, and a N.O. Brass Band), the list is a reminder of the many other albums that were prevented from benefiting from a nomination in the cut categories. Depressing to say the least.

See for details on the lawsuit filed by Latin Jazz artists and the resolution passed by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All Scars: Introduction to Humanity

This out-of-print album is now available on WFMU's Free Music Archive! I'm on the "C" jams. Chuck is uploading stuff by the boatload, so stay tuned.

Or on the FMA website: All Scars - Introduction to Humanity

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free-assoch Battle Royale V : BHOP IS BACK




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Collide Quartet playing Henry Threadgill in Philadelphia

Exciting news! Collide Quartet will be performing Henry Threadgill's "Background" in Philadelphia on June 13. We are thrilled to be playing this modern master's piece, and to be working again with the Ars Nova Workshop (we had a fantastic experience playing for their Tim Berne composer portrait in December 2009). Ars Nova Workshop is currently presenting a number of concerts featuring AACM composers and performers, including Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Wadada Leo Smith.

Threadgill has long been one of my favorite players and composers. His creativity is endless, and I say without a shred of exaggeration that Air (Threadgill, Fred Hopkins, and Steve McCall) was one of the all-time greatest groups of the twentieth century. Here's one to listen to: G.v.E.

Also on the bill will be Jeff Parker and Mike Reed, two next-generation AACM exponents.

Details from the Ars Nova Workshop site

Monday, June 13, 2011, 8 pm
The Maas Building
1325 Randolph Street
Philadelphia, PA | Map
Price: TBA

Monday, May 16, 2011

Battle Royale ... IV!!!

Tyler, the Creator



Tough call ... my money's on the crafty veteran.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Battle Royale III

"Nice" Ice Cube


"Nice" Mike Tyson

1988 seems like so long ago...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Concert tonight! Cross-Cultural Improvisation ensemble

Come hear the good work my students have done this semester.

Cross-Cultural Improvisation:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lecture: "Bukharian Jewish Music in New York City," Center for Jewish History, Wednesday, April 11, 7 pm

I'll be discussing Bukharian Jewish music as part of the Center for Traditional Music ten-part lecture series: "Sounds of Immigrant New York."

From the CTMD website:

Wednesday, April 13: Sounds of Immigrant New York: Bukharian Jewish Music in New York City featuring ethnomusicologist Evan Rapport (Eugene Lang College at the New School). Sounds of Immigrant New York is a ten-part series of free public lectures by leading scholars on the continuity and development of diverse music and dance traditions in New York City's immigrant communities. Programmed in conjunction with CTMD's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture. At Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street in Manhattan. Admission free. (7:00PM)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011


sweating, n. 2. b. spec. (a) The practice of doing piece-work overtime; (b) the practice of exacting hard work from employees for low wages, esp. under a middleman by sub-contract. (See sweat v. 5c, 6b)


As you probably know, today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire, which happened just down the street from where I work. Unfortunately, those conditions are still with us...

new tune-yards video

Beginning part reminds me of that weird Renaldo and the Loaf video from back in the days. Go full screen...

tUnE-yArDs "Bizness"

SKI in the NY Times

Look what I found!

An article on debates over what it means to be pro-Israel featured this picture, taken in Sderot ... (by Rina Castelnuovo)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Elevator conversation

ER enters elevator, with cart full of recyclables. Two neighbors have already boarded.

NEIGHBOR ONE: Doing some recycling, huh.
ER: Yup.
NEIGHBOR TWO: So, you have four people living in that one-bedroom now, huh.
ER: You two are real detectives today.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rob Swift documentary premiere!

Friday, March 4, at the Jackson Heights Triplex!

DJ Rob Swift: Live! The Documented Movement debuts at the Queens World Film Festival

Premiere date: Tomorrow, March 4th. at 10:35pm

Location: Jackson Theater (Cinema #3) located at 40-31 82nd Street (off Roosevelt Avenue), Jackson Heights, NY 11379.

Directions: #7 Train to 82nd St./Jackson Heights

Admission fee: $6.00

Monday, February 28, 2011

More on ... let's not get carried away ...

Hey there. So, another awards show. Was not feeling Bale in The Fighter (or the movie at all, for the most part). Is it just me, or did his Dicky Ecklund kind of make it seem like crack addiction was no big deal? I mean, is it possible for a crack addict to jump off the couch after getting high and then run halfway across a small city to train a boxer?!? ("The Wire" this wasn't.) Maybe his character was kind of comic relief, with that keystone kops routine as he kept jumping into the dumpster?

Speaking of boxing, what has happened to the Ring's website?!? First Eric Raskin and Bill Dettloff's columns were cut (support them on the Ring Theory podcast, though) and now, as Raskin mentioned, we have to read about alphabet titles in headlines and as major angles in stories. Sorry, guys, no disrespect to Rios -- great performance the other night -- but the man did not "win a major title." JMM is the real lightweight champ, even according to the WBA (ugh, that hurt to even type), so let's not fan the flames.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Great Singers: In Praise Of Mavis

While everyone is going bonkers because a #1 Billboard album (some underdog) won album of the year, I think this speaks for itself: Mavis Staples, one of the greatest voices we've ever known, won her first grammy, while Eminem won his fifth "Best Rap Album" award. Let's not get carried away. What exactly does "best" mean according to the "academy"?!?

2011 marks the sixth decade that Mavis Staples has been singing professionally. With that, I bring you "I Had A Dream" (Vee-Jay, 1958), with Pops, Cleotha, and Pervis. Enjoy!

I Had A Dream

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years' Singles Party!

Here's what New Years' sounds like at our place. For at least ten years I break out my 45s and we have a dance party. Good times. Here's another perennial. Fatback, Sun, forget about it. I mean, when did musicians stop putting their Zodiac signs next to their names in liner notes?

"SOLAR NOMEN: Pax Amantis
STAR TONE: A (440 cycles per second)

I've gotta bring that back.

(Not New Years' Eve, New Years' Day ... this year New Years' Eve ended at 10 pm. Hell, what's so special about staying up until midnight drinking alcohol? Might as well hit the old hay.)

Oh, and this is what the rest of the year sounds like. I don't care what you think. Alphonso Johnson makes me happy.

BETTIS + RAPPORT DUO -- JAN. 6, 20100100101001011

Chuck Bettis - electronics & throat
Evan Rapport - reeds


Christian Pincock - trombone & electronics


C. Spencer Yeh - mouth & stuff
Brian Osborne - electronics


Grasshopper - trumpet & pedals


Silent Barn
915 Wyckoff Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385


L-Halsey or M-Myrtle/Wyckoff