out tomorrow (May 28)
out tomorrow (May 28)
Reviewed by Brandon M. Terry
The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
by Peniel E. Joseph
Basic Books, 384 pp., $18.99
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X met only once, at the US Capitol during the Senate debate over the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That chance encounter was immortalized in a photograph that shows the two men shaking hands and smiling but reveals little trace of the public feud that has linked them in our historical imagination. Their conflict has cast arguably the longest shadow over African-American politics and the struggle for racial justice of any contretemps since the one between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington at the turn of the twentieth century. [Read more…]
The music of The Doors seems to find its place in every era since the band’s stirring debut first appeared fifty years ago. Spawned in the era of Vietnam, revolution and technological innovation, The Doors dived into a dark, literary well that is timeless and always relevant. Jim Morrison alone introduced a manic onstage persona that has influenced every rock genre to emerge since the 60s. He was Dionysus meets Rimbaud, hedonistic jester meets feverish wordsmith. Because the band was fronted by a figure who viewed himself foremost as a poet — the rare rock star who even wrote fan letters to literary scholars — their music endures much the same way the edgiest of classical literature still finds devotees. [Read more…]
from their recent self-titled release, The Devonns
on Record Kicks
From the just-released Untitled (Black Is)
on Forever Living Originals
Reviewed by Robert Sullivan
Blood Quantum is an old-school zombie film, as opposed to the recent onslaught of AMC Walking Dead wannabes. Like George Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead—which ends when a Black man emerges unscathed after a night fighting off the undead, only to be shot by an all-white militia—the blood and guts add up to a social critique. What makes Blood Quantum a credit to its genre is the way it honors indigenous filmmaking, in particular the work of Alanis Obomsawin, the renowned eighty-eight-year-old Abenaki filmmaker who has, in more than fifty films, chronicled the modern liberal governments of the US and Canada laying siege to North American indigenous communities. [Read more…]
Pharmakon’s “Body Betrays Itself”
From Bestial Burden
on Sacred Bones
on Impulse! Records
Reviewed by Henry Cherry
Shabaka Hutchings, the London based musician behind The Comet is Coming and Sons of Kemet, had just released a second recording with his South African based project, Shabaka & the Ancestors when Covid-19 canceled the promotional tour along with everything else in the world. Hutchings spoke with NPR about the illness, its impact on touring musicians and the financial hit the quarantine has put on those musicians. “Literally, all my gigs in the next two months have been canceled. And everyone I know is in the same boat.” Questions surround the entire world as markets crash, people lose jobs across every sector, and the illness continues to mount. Hutchings isn’t a doomsayer. “We have to make the best of the situation, or the situation will just be tragic. And all situations have the potential to be tragic, or the potential to be tragic and transformative.” [Read more…]
Elric, Brian, Phil and Jules are joined remotely by Quentin Tarantino himself for an epic discussion about a great feature on the New Beverly website called “Tarantino’s Reviews” where QT has been writing his own articles on movies and TV episodes. He also offers five of his own picks in response to our “Ripoffs” from way back in 2017.
From Blue Dawn – Blue Nights, released just months ago . . .
on HighNote Records
An always-welcomed dose of Cornel West, who is the focus of Arturo O’Farrill’s The Cornel West Concerto, a timely recording to be released this week. O’Farrill is onstage tonight with Jacques Lesure and His Soulful Cohorts here in Los Angeles, at Los Balcones, 9pm. Meantime, below is the Professor’s speech that inspired O’Farrill’s composition, which saw its debut at the Apollo Theater with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Dr. West and his “Black Prophetic Fire” speech, at Town Hall Seattle:
on XL Recordings/Matador Records
Reviewed by Henry Cherry
Archy Ivan Marshall is a 25-year-old musician who performs under the nom de guerre King Krule. As Krule, he has delivered a stunning portrait of demonic exorcism across three full length releases and as many extended plays. As Archy Marshall, he’s added a book and another album, both featuring his brother, Jack.
In a universe devoid of the weary and multitudinous musical classification system, people would immediately recognize the emotional content of the Krule/Marshall output and stamp it as such. Within the varied categorization that has been embraced by those seeking to brand themselves with the musical ideologies of others as a lifestyle choice, defining King Krule as Emo is still a contextual misstep. His is the sound of an ambling internal, but revolutionary discord. [Read more…]
from the Take Control EP
newly released on Pretty Face Recordings
Hanni El Khatib
from the forthcoming Flight (out May 15)
on Innovative Leisure
McCoy Tyner’s death was announced on his Facebook page earlier today. Tyner, most famously linked to John Coltrane, was a gale force of rhythmic complexity and ingenuity on the piano. Joining with Coltrane while still a teen, his double-barreled approach to the aural intricacies of modern jazz cannot be fully appreciated. The genius of Tyner’s musicality is still being deciphered. [Read more…]
from Man Alive!
on now XL Recordings/Matador Records