Angel Bat Dawid.
(Terrence Antonio James/International Anthem)
Angel Bat Dawid.
(Terrence Antonio James/International Anthem)
Liturgical Black Metal, A Requiem for Jazz, Rapping About Cash App, 100 Gecs, Nick Cave...
Matty Karas, curator March 24, 2023
quote of the day
Music is the thing that makes everything make sense for me. 'Cause this world doesn't really make sense to me.
rant n' rave

It’s (Almost) the Sabbath

And led by a deep-thinking Christian iconoclast who believes in heaven but not hell, is obsessed with angels and is equally drawn to orchestral music, improvisation and what she calls burst beats, Brooklyn’s LITURGY is a black metal band unlike any other. Liturgy’s sixth album, 93696, out today, features ocarina, toy piano, glockenspiel, a youth choir, electronics and “shimmering keys” amid the guitars, burst beats and ecstatic metal screams of bandleader Ravenna Hunt-Hendrix, whose words and music challenge the orthodoxies of her chosen genre and her chosen religion. But not every orthodoxy. “It was like, we have these two 15 minute closers. Which one should go on,” Hunt-Hendrix told the Fader about the 80-plus-minute theological concept album. “Well, let’s just have two 15 minute closers, and that’s how epic this album will be.’” Most metal decision ever...

ANGEL BAT DAWID’s REQUIEM FOR JAZZ is “mournful and euphoric” and “a remarkable document of what jazz is capable of,” critic Glenn Francis Griffith says. Feel free to file it, though, under gospel/spiritual, contemporary composers, jazz or maybe even hip-hop if you dare. “Hip-hop has the same structure as jazz,” Dawid said a few years back. “You have a repetitive loop and you improvise on top. That repetitive loop—we’re stuck in the loop of suffering. We have to improvise our lives within this loop.” The album is a 12-part suite based on themes raised in Edward Bland’s sociopolitical 1959 film “The Cry of Jazz” and was initially recorded with 15 musicians, four singers, dancers and visual artists at Chicago's Hyde Park Jazz Festival in 2019. Dawid added new parts and interludes in post-production, and topped it off with guest performances by the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott, whose late bandleader scored Bland’s film. There is joy and suffering within, and so much more...

The Country Music Association’s reigning Entertainer of the Year, LUKE COMBS, follows up his 2022 album, GROWIN’ UP, a mere nine months later with GETTIN’ OLD, which raises the question of what exactly he was doing in those nine months and where did that time go. Or maybe the leading figure in country’s post bro generation is simply putting the “post” in “post bro.” “I'm still bendin’ rules, but thinkin' 'fore I break 'em,” Combs sings in the album’s terrific opening track. And instead of driving a fast car (or truck), he’s covering that song about one—from the point of view of its writer and original performer, Tracy Chapman, without changing a single word. You’ve got the fast car. He’s got a job as a checkout girl. And he’s ready, at the very least, to be grown up...

Over the past decade, MYKE TOWERS has slowly and carefully grown his way up from SoundCloud rapper to Puerto Rican underground trap star to in-demand reggaeton collaborator to his own nascent pop stardom. On LA VIDA ES UNA, whose 23 tracks (edited down from more than 50) feature collaborations with Daddy Yankee, Ozuna and J Balvin, he finally “stakes his claim to a seat at their table,” Suzy Exposito writes in the LA Times. The album’s vibe is “streetwise Spanish flow, cribbed directly from New York rappers like the Notorious B.I.G. and 50 Cent” mixed with “a little sugar, and a simmering dembow beat"...

Also today: New music from Hit-Boy, Lana Del Rey, 03 Greedo (his first full-length since his release from prison in January), 6lack, Jimin (of BTS; a six-song EP), Rosalía & Rauw Alejandro (the Latin music power couple announce their engagement in the first video from their three-song EP), Depeche Mode, Arooj Aftab/Vijay Iyer/Shahzad Ismaily, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Lizzie Thomas, Yaya Bey, Jpegmafia & Danny Brown, Kool Keith & Real Bad Man, Icecoldbishop, Navy Blue, Debby Friday, Fall Out Boy, Babymetal, the HIRS Collective, the Blood of Heroes, August Burns Red, Dawn Ray’d, Ben Sloan, Benny Sings, Lucinda Chua, Caroline Rose, Dom Flemons, Nickel Creek, Alana Springsteen, Amy Grant, Matt Corby, Katie Melua, Logan Staats, Lanku, YoshimiOizumikiYoshiduO (YoshimiO from the Boredoms with electronic musician/producer IzumikiYoshi), Andrea, Purling Hiss, Connections, Kele Okereke, Jenny Conlee (of the Decemberists), Ally Venable, Eric Bibb, Meg Myers, Noble Rot, the Reds Pinks & Purples, Yours Are the Only Ears, Bouncing Souls, Codefendants... and a 50th anniversary box set version of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Etc Etc Etc

WET LEG, ALLISON RUSSELL AND SOUL GLO are among the top nominees for A2IM’s LIBERA AWARDS, to be presented in June in New York... PUSSY RIOT will receive the 2023 WOODY GUTHRIE PRIZE in May in Tulsa, Okla. The prize is awarded annually to an artist who “best exemplifies Woody Guthrie's spirit and work by speaking for the less fortunate through music, film, literature, dance or other art forms”... The musical comedy series UP HERE, featuring songs by FROZEN’s ROBERT LOPEZ and KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ, debuts today on HULU... The last two episodes of DAISY JONES AND THE SIX drop today on AMAZON... “CEO JACK DORSEY has publicly touted how CASH APP is mentioned in hundreds of hip hop songs as evidence of its mainstream appeal. A review of those songs show that the artists are not generally rapping about Cash App’s smooth user interface."

Rest in Peace

Longtime Saliva lead guitarist WAYNE SWINNY, who suffered a brain hemorrhage Tuesday, while he was on tour with the band. His last show was Monday night in Nashville... British techno DJ/producer LEE PURKIS, aka IN SYNC, who was also a co-founder of the labels FatCat and 10th Planet... JEFFREY "JV" VANDERGRIFT, DJ on San Francisco's Wild 94.9.

Matty Karas, curator

March 24, 2023