Ornette Coleman’s live albums Ornette at 12 and Crisis, both featuring his pubescent son Denardo on drums, receive their first-ever CD editions.
Michael Rakowitz’s family recipes are bringing Iraqis and Americans together for free meals in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
As a founding member of the aggressively off-kilter rock band Oneida, in which he is known as Kid Millions, John Colpitts has a history of beating the drums with unhinged abandon. Under the guise of Man Forever he dons a composer’s hat to explore a widening variety of art music driven by related strains of […]
In his liner note essay for Convulsive Threshold (Editions Mego), Yasunao Tone’s 2013 collaborative album with Russell Haswell, Tony Myatt explains that the veteran Japanese sound artist rejects the notion of abusing or inducing errors into his work with digital sound technology. He prefers the term deviation: creating situations where the technology can take a […]
Drummer Mark Guiliana has previously worked mostly in electronic-friendly contexts, playing hard-hitting fusion with saxophonist Donny McCaslin and a hybrid of jazz and techno with trumpeter Dave Douglas’s High Risk project, and contributing to David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. On Jersey (Motema), his second consecutive album as a bandleader, he embraces an acoustic sound that […]
During the 80s, Austin-based songwriter Daniel Johnston began recording fractured, innocent, childlike pop genius onto a boombox. As he passed the tapes around, he caught the attention of alternative acts like Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana—Kurt Cobain famously introduced the mainstream to Johnston’s music by wearing a T-shirt with the cover art for […]
Willie Watson makes no bones about his allegiance to tradition on his new album, Folksinger Vol. 2 (Acony). In his liner notes he writes about his favorite versions of some of the tunes he performs: it takes a certain amount of guts to inform listeners about the Bascom Lamar Lunsford version of “Dry Bones” or […]
Nicole Mitchell may have moved from Chicago to teach at University of California, Irvine, in 2011, but she performs in town so often that she might as well still live here. In June she and operatic vocalist Lisa E. Harris debuted the suite EarthSeed at the MCA, and last month the Hyde Park Jazz Festival […]
Local electronic production duo Flosstradamus, aka Curt “Autobot” Cameruci and Josh “J2K” Young, rose to fame in the late aughties by forging EDM’s propulsive power with trap rap’s percussive ingenuity. In 2013 Young reminisced with former Reader music writer Miles Raymer about the creative freedom he found during the group’s nadir: “No one was watching. […]
The pianist Paul Giallorenzo is an under-the-radar presence within Chicago’s deep improvised music scene, but over the years he’s become a significant force both on and off the bandstand. He’s a crucial figure behind Elastic Arts, the invaluable, diverse performing arts space at the northern end of Logan Square, as he was for its Humboldt […]
Over the past decade, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock has increasingly used composition to provoke and organize adventurous improvisation. She made a major leap on the knotty 2016 album Serpentines (Intakt). The musical personalities she’s assembled, and the unusual timbres they contribute, represent compositional decisions just as profound as anything she’s put down on the page. The […]
Big Thief’s gentle, gorgeous folk rock belies its gloomiest themes. As Adrianne Lenker, the guitarist and vocalist of the Brooklyn indie band, told Uproxx in June, the combination of mellifluous music and unnerving, painful themes on the group’s recent sophomore album, Capacity (Saddle Creek), comes less by intention than by simply letting the pieces of […]
This year only six rock albums have topped the Billboard 200 (as of press time, anyway). Two were by aging alt-rock titans (Foo Fighters and Linkin Park) and three were by aging aughties “indie-rockers” working with major-label budgets (LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, and the Killers). The sixth album was the recently released Science Fiction by […]
By now it’s common knowledge that Randy Newman’s sweet, Pixar-accompanying musical style is a facade for lyrics infused with sardonic, acerbic social commentary—much in the same way that Steely Dan’s gleaming jazz-rock is a veneer for profiles of losers, outcasts, and hucksters. In fact, in his use of American tropes for populist purposes that both […]