Dirty Projectors: Little Bubble

David Longstreth
David Longstreth

Dirty Projectors’ latest single, “Little Bubble,” is accompanied by a captivating video. It finds David Longstreth navigating our imperiled ecosystem, eventually barricading himself in a bubble of flora and fauna in an attempt to stave off the elements of environmental catastrophe. Both the sentiment and the visual components could not be more timely, and the song has an attractively lush arrangement to boot (a bit of an ironic twist).

We don’t know when Dirty Projectors’ next LP is going to be out, but we do know it is likely to be awesome.

Marching Church: “2016”

This will likely resonate with many viewers – burning one’s 2016 calendar book in a vain attempt to undo the blighted year that was.

Marching Church is touring in support of its Sacred Bones LP “Telling it Like it Is” (dates below).

Marching Church Tour Dates:
Fri. Jan. 13 — Seattle, WA @ The Sunset #
Sat. Jan. 14 — Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios #
Mon. Jan. 16 – Santa Rosa, CA @ Arlene Francis Center #
Tue. Jan. 17 —San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop #
Thu. Jan. 19 — Los Angeles, CA @ Echo #
Fri. Jan. 20 — San Diego, CA @ Hideout #
Sat. Jan. 21 — Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge #
Sun. Jan. 22 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister #
Tue. Jan. 24 — Austin, TX @ The Mohawk #
Wed. Jan. 25 — San Antonio, TX @ The Monterey #
Thu. Jan. 26 – McAllen, TX @Yerberia Cultura #
Fri. Jan. 27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
Sat. Jan. 28 — New Orleans, LA@ Siberia #
Sun. Jan. 29 — Atlanta, GA @ The Earl #
Mon. Jan. 30 — Nashville, TN @ Third Man #
Tue. Jan. 31 — Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight #
Thu. Feb. 2 — Baltimore, MD @ Metro #
Fri. Feb. 3 — Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle #
Sat. Feb. 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Sunnyvale #
Wed. Feb. 15 – Aarhus, DK @ Tape
Thu. Feb. 16 – Aalborg, DK @ Studenterhuset
Fri. Feb. 17 – Copenhagen, DK @ Frost Festival

# = with Bernardino Femminielli

Low – “Some Hearts (At Christmastime)”

low-photo-zoran-orlic
Low. Photo: Zoran Orlic

 

A new Christmas song from our favorite slowcore Mormons:

 

 

“To friends who have moved away and friends who have passed on this year. To one and all, especially those who are alone, we wish you a Merry Christmas and new hope for the new year. May we all find ways to lift each other.

With love,

Mimi, Alan and Steve.”

____________

Low records for Sub Pop.

Happy Birthday Meredith Monk!

meredithmonk-onbehalf

Meredith Monk turns 74 today. An early birthday present came from ECM Records on November 4th: a recording of Monk’s On Behalf of Nature project. We do not have the benefit of language: the “text” consists of songs, chants, and syllabification in unknown tongues. And there is no narrative per se, but there are clues present in the piece’s sound world that readily suggest its environmental message: at times with clarion calls; at others, with poignant vulnerability.

Joined by a versatile troupe of vocalists (many of whom also play instruments on the recording), Monk sings with tremendous vigor and impressive range. The panoply of extended techniques on display, both vocal and instrumental, elicit a veritable catalog of sounds. Some are imitative of all manner of fauna: insects, birds, and mammals. Vocal play with “nonsense” syllables moves between jazz scat and primordial language. Likewise, the materials inhabited by the instrumental forces coexist between rustic primitivism, minimalist ostinatos, and sophisticated microtonality.

Monk is not afraid to make sounds that aren’t conventionally “pretty:” howls, chittering, and screaming among them. However, she often manages to evoke beauty even in the most raw and unconventional moments of On Behalf of Nature. It is as if we are being implored, by any means necessary, to attend more fully to the world around us. While we are deprived the visual and choreographic elements of its staging in this audio-only recording (one hopes ECM might consider producing a film of the work’s acclaimed stage incarnation), the music is amply impressive all by itself. It is Meredith Monk’s birthday, true, but her gifts are shared with us.

RIP Mose Allison (1927-2016)

Mose Allison, one of the great blues singer-songwriters, and a superlative piano player, has died. Allison mixed Beatnik wordplay, boogie-woogie, bebop, and a sardonic sense of current events to craft an amalgamated, distinctive style. His songs were covered often and were durable enough to withstand a variety of approaches. I saw him play at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts in the mid-nineties: his wit, sense of traditional styles (and how he could fit them all together), pacing, and syncopated rhythms were revelatory.