Good Music We Can Know

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room! Earth is Hell, Apocalypse is Now: Revelations, Revolution, and Disorder in a Funky Eschatology


Tonight's Explorers Room will explore themes, as they appear in funk and jazz, of eschaton, apocalypse, and final judgment in terms of both Revelations and revolution; as well as the world being "disordered," gone wrong, an inferior or incomplete creation of a lesser god, or a manifestation of hell.  These themes, particularly common to eschatological and Gnostic art and theology, are perhaps best exemplified in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, who employed vernacular visual language and grotesque, esoteric imagery to pursue  polemics of discontent against the hypocrisies of the social order and the corruption of the material world itself.

Such themes and methods also appear in abundance in revolutionary and counter-culture music of the 1960's and 70's, nowhere more saliently than in Black Power and black empowerment musical circles, where visions of Earth/America as a hallucinatory madhouse – cruel, depraved, and spiritually unstable – transform into incendiary poetic allegory for the experience of the oppressed, living in a world designed to exploit and alienate them.  The dead will rise and be judged according to what they've done. Will be funky.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Explorations of Egypt in Jazz


Tonight in the Room we'll be immersing ourselves in jazz selections with Egyptian themes, with all the exoticism, Orientalism, Afrocentrism, and Afrofuturism that implies. And with no small amount of selections from Sun Ra (and his cohort), for whom Egyptological themes were an absolutely essential aspect of the cosmology.  Prepare for an extremely spiritual night of jazzy magic as we travel both forward and backward in time (simultaneously) to an Egypt unconquerable by Napoleons, where the mummies were never unwrapped. Tonight, 7-10.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Lotus Lands and Oriental Mambos


Tonight we sojourn once again into total exotica.  Percussion, Orientalism, bird calls, mambo/rhumba/cha-cha-cha, Hawaiian lounge acts, etc. etc. etc. The good stuff.  May dip back in time a bit to some 78rpm-era exoticism.  I really can't wait to fill the Room with these tunes.  In the meantime, fix yourself a drink; I've been really swinging on this older, rather minimalist Planter's Punch recipe that's basically just equal parts rum, white cane sugar syrup, and fresh lime juice in crushed ice.  Extremely plantocratic stuff, elementally Caribbean, a perfect complement to the paradise humidity of this forthcoming lotus land of exotic sound.

See you there? 7-10.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (funk, jazz, children's delights)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll have a thrilling assortment of funk, jazz, and children's music.  No grand theme to unite this particular evening, just a vague sensibility in search of a really, really enjoyable night of music.  Possible profundities may seep through the cracks if you meet me halfway.