Letter from Ian Nagoski

black-mirror-cover

Hi, folks.

It’s been a while. I’m lousy at being in touch.I try to put myself out there on the Social Nutworking, but it only goes so far. Sometimes you have to write a 1999-style mass email. Think of it as an Easter letter.

The big news is that I’m developing, along with two producers at WYPR, Lawrence Lanahan and Bruce Wallace, a radio show called Fonotopia.

http://www.fonotopiaradio.wordpress.com

The format is me talking and playing 78rpm-era records. Each show is themed—an era, a location or a general concept. We have four episodes finished (I think the fourth, titled “A Short Life of Trouble,” will be posted Friday April 2). We have serious hopes that it will be picked up by our local National Public Radio affiliate and by other radio stations. It’s new terrain.

My imprint, Canary Records (manufactured and distributed by Mississippi Records in Portland, OR) got two records out in the second half of last year, and they did as well as we hoped. There are three more releases currently being mastered and designed. They are:

Marika Papagika – The Further the Flame, The Worse It Burns Me: Greek
Folk Music in New York 1919-28
(that one will be out within the next eight weeks; as you may know, I’ve been working on it steadily for three years now. The notes will be a chapbook – some 4000 words.)

v/a – To What Strange Place: Armenians & Syrians in America, 1912-27

and its companion

v/a – The Luminous Interval: Greeks in America, 1916-32

which together with the Marika disc finally bring together my work on the Ottoman diaspora in the U.S.

And soon to follow, further LPs of rural Balkan performances, Javanese and Sundanese classical music and Indian classical vocal masterpieces are “in the works.” And there are negotiations on some ace Turkish stuff. Just you wait!

As all of this has been happening, I have been neglecting to leave the house for days on end and my social life is rapidly approaching nil. I hope to rectify this by doing some live shows. In that department, I’ll be giving at talk at a Sound Art festival here in Balto in mid-May on the cheery subject of “recordings of vocal music responses to grief.”

And then, in early July I’ll celebrate the release of the Ottoman-American LPs on Canary with a show at 2640.

And I’m hoping to make it out to the SF/Portland/Seattle area in the Summer. If you know anyone who wants to book an enthusiastic music nut at their venue or festival… I’ve already asked a lot, haven’t I?

More good news: Black Mirror is supposed to be coming out of vinyl later this year, says Lance at Dust-to-Digital, and it continues to get nice plugs including this one on BoingBoing.net last week (which resulted in the Papagika video being watched seven thousand times in 24 hours!):
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/24/-i-first-heard-this.html

be well.
keep on truckin,
Ian

THIS SAT., Feb. 13, Philly: A Record Release Party and Memorial Concert for JACK ROSE

luckinthevalleyflyer

Jack Rose passed away suddenly at home in Philadelphia on December 5, 2009. He was widely regarded as the most profound exponent of acoustic guitar playing of his generation. Jack grew to be loved and admired by a great many people through his live performances, electric personality, [serious] cooking skills and a general mastery in the art of friendship. This concert is a release party for his new album Luck In The Valley and an occasion to celebrate and remember the good Dr. Ragtime. The artists performing were all dear friends of Jack’s and admired by him musically.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 – 7:00 PM
Latvian Society of Philadelphia – 531 N. 7th Street

Tickets: $18
Available now: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/4067

Performers:
D. Charles Speer & The Helix
Thurston Moore | Paul Flaherty | Chris Corsano
Michael Chapman
Pelt
The Black Twig Pickers
Glenn Jones
Byron Coley
Meg Baird | Chris Forsyth
Megajam Booze Band
DJ Ian Nagoski
Video clips curated by Tara Young

Newspaper articles previewing this event:

“Blues for Jack Rose: Friends and fans pay tribute to Philadelphia’s lost guitar genius” by A.D. Amorosi (Philadelphia City Paper, Feb 9, 2010)

Remembering an acoustic artist: Philly guitarist Jack Rose seemed poised to reach a new stage in his career before a fatal heart attack in December. Two concerts this weekend will pay tribute to him.” by Joel Rose (no relation) (Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 9, 2010)

Here is a new song from Jack Rose from Luck of the Valley, out next week, courtesy Thrill Jockey Records:

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Jack_Rose-Woodpiles.mp3%5D

Download: Jack Rose — “Woodpiles on the Side of the Road” (mp3)

"Fire In My Bones" preview No. 2 of 3: "Don't Let Him Ride" by the Mississippi Nightingales (1971)

Mississippi_Nightingales

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/02-Dont-Let-Him-Ride.mp3%5D

Download: “Don’t Let Him Ride” – Mississippi Nightingales (1971) (mp3)

Here is the second of three songs we’re presenting this week from the forthcoming, eagerly awaited Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel, 1944-2007, a stunning 80-song, triple-CD set compiled by Mike McGonigal of Yeti Magazine fame. Most of the songs on Fire are sourced from independent regional labels, and almost none have ever been widely available. These are some genuine lost treasures of American devotional music, folks. Mike has done some serious collecting, culling, and sequencing on this set, and we’re all the lucky beneficiaries.

The seriously Pops Staples-inflected “Don’t Let Him Ride,” adapted from the O.V. Wright composition, is from the set’s opening disk, “The Wicked Shall Cease from Troubling.” From the liner notes: “This song was released on a 45 on the Home Boy’s label, which might have the best logo artwork this side of Mingering Mike. H-B was one of a handful of labels featuring production by Bishop Bobby King Cole of Memphis, TN.”

fireinmybones

Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel, 1944-2007 is being released on October 27, 2009 by the good people of Tompkins Square Records of New York City. You can pre-order now from Amazon.

Previously: “How Long” by Sister Ola Mae Terrell (1948)

"Fire In My Bones" preview No. 1 of 3: "How Long" by Sister Ola Mae Terrell (1948)

sisterterrell

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/01-How-Long.mp3%5D

Download: “How Long” – Sister Ola Mae Terrell (1948) (mp3)

Here is the first of three songs we’ll be presenting this week from the forthcoming, eagerly awaited Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel, 1944-2007, a stunning 80-song, triple-CD set compiled by Mike McGonigal of Yeti Magazine fame. Most of the songs on Fire are sourced from independent regional labels, and almost none have ever been widely available. These are some genuine lost treasures of American devotional music, folks. Mike has done some serious collecting, culling, and sequencing on this set, and we’re all the lucky beneficiaries.

“How Long” is from the set’s opening disk, “The Wicked Shall Cease from Troubling.” From the liner notes: “Sister O.M. Terrell recorded one 78 for the Playboy label in 1948, then cut six songs for Columbia five years later. Like many working within the ‘sanctified blues’ tradition, she was an itinerant evangelical singer with holiness affiliations (hers being with the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God).”

Sister Terrell died in 2006 at the age of 95.

Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel, 1944-2007 is being released on October 27, 2009 by the good people of Tompkins Square Records of New York City. You can pre-order now from Amazon.


fireinmybones

Tonight (Sat) 7:30pm, Philly: Peter Stampfel and the Ether Frolic Mob (featuring John Cohen), Brother JT, and deejay Ian Nagoski

Saturday, June 27

Arthur presents…

A special summer twilight show at Frankford Gardens

7:30pm

featuring two sets by

PETER STAMPFEL AND THE ETHER FROLIC MOB

plus

Just added! BROTHER JT

and

IAN NAGOSKI spinning vintage 78rpm music

2037 Frankford Avenue (enter around back on Sepviva Street)
Philadelphia 19125

suggested donation $5 * bring your own ether and other whatists

foul weather moves show indoors to the music parlor

peterstampfelpromo

This will be the Philadelphia debut of New York City’s PETER STAMPFEL AND THE ETHER FROLIC MOB who, Stampfel promises, will “stick our hands up the ass of American music, grab it by the throat, and pull it inside-out. It’s 21st century 19th century American music played in a vast variety of 20th century styles.” We’d expect nothing less—Mr. Stampfel is a founding member of the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, and Frolicker JOHN COHEN is a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers. (That’s them in the photo above.) Two sets from the Mobsters, who, tonight, will be:

* Peter Stampfel/ vocals, banjo, fiddle, guitar, ‘juke (steel strung National Steel Ukulele tuned like a banjo), assorted percussion
* Jeannie Scofield/ vocals, percussion
* John Cohen/ vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin
* Hubby Jenkens/ vocals, guitar, percussion, ‘juke, ukelele
* Eli Smith/ vocals, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, ukulele
* Jane Gilday/ vocals, banjo, harmonica, fiddle
* Walker Shepard/ vocals, banjo, guitar, fiddle, ‘juke
* Annabelle Lee/ vocals, guitar, percussion

Get a swig of the Mob via this live performance and interview from 2006 on the Down Home Radio Show

brotherfromanother

BROTHER JT (pictured above) will be playing a mix of psychedelic spirituals on acoustic guitar, accompanied by Steve Gigante (Dark Inside The Sun).

“For the past twenty years Brother JT has made records that exemplify the ‘freeness’ and dark-green/blood-red hazy warmth of true psychedelia. As a songwriter, he is so proficient that no one takes notice; as a guitar player, he subtly outshines any slinger around (besides the Cheaterslicks’ Dave Shannon) with riffs, leads and solos that are consistently bewildering; as a rock star…well, he was just born for the job, regardless if anyone ever figures it out. He writes one-liner bits of philosophy that are as memorable as those of Yogi Berra, H. L. Mencken, or Will Rogers. JT is, in short, the most hidden of greatest treasures.” —David Katznelson, Arthur No. 8 (available from Arthur store)

Baltimore’s IAN NAGOSKI (compiler of “Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics 1918-1954”) will play recordings from the 78 rpm era including pieces from his new collection of music from the first half of the 20th century, “A String of Pearls” (Canary/ Mississippi Records), including music from Constantinople, Milano, Bucharest, Uttar Pradesh, Armenia, Sunda, Thrace, Jamaica, Serbia, Cairo, Huilotita, Seville, Hue, Aleppo, Rajastan, the Carpathians, a Zuni reservation and much more.

Ian on Baltimore public radio, playing and discussing his 78rpm music finds from around world:
http://bit.ly/130m0w

Ian blogs on Arthurmag.com:
http://www.arthurmag.com/author/ian-nagoski/