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The CHIRP Blog

DJ Mick writesCritical Rotation: Naujawanan Baidar (S/T)

Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!

Naujawanan Baidar
Naujawanan Baidar
Cardinal Fuzz/Feeding Tube

The Afghanistan that we have come to know in the 21st century, through nightly news broadcasts on network TV and the op eds that flourish in “sensible” centrist online news spaces, is a caricature of a functional society and civil state.

Most of this reporting and editorializing assumes that the society that came into focus following the United States invasion on October 7, 2001, a backwards, medieval state in the grips of perpetual war and religious zealotry, was the country’s quintessence. A persistent state of affairs that had been in play for as long as the sun has risen over the hills of the Helmand Province.

The truth is that the Afghanistan we know today was never an inevitability. Throughout most of the 20th Century, the urban centers of Afghanistan were generally considered to be modern and hospitable, beckoning Western tourists to visit what was lauded by some to be the “Paris of the East,” namely Kabul.

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: naujawanan baidar

DJ Mick writesCritical Rotation: “Miles” by Blu & Exile

Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!

Blu & Exile
Miles
Dirty Science

Blu & Exile are the names of the LA hip-hop artists whose collaboration makes the uplifting, jazz-rap, throwback Miles possible, but the combination of their names could just as soon by a statement of purpose.

On the duo's first album since 2012's Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them reflects on the ways that life and death, living and not quite thriving, expectations and practicalities, projections and rebukes, and legacy and liberty intersect in the day to day life of a man of color in the United States.

All the while, using the many shades that the color blue as a symbolic filter for the ambivalence and triumph of being. Exile for his part constructs lush, living soundscapes of hybrid jazz and R'nB that sound both immediate and simultaneously distant, unmoored from time but steeped in history.

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: blu & exile

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Do the Right Thing

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the Spike Lee classic film Do the Right Thing (1989)

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.

Kevin:

"My people. My people. What can I say? Say what I can. I saw it but I didn't believe it. I didn't believe what I saw. Are we gonna live together? Together, are we gonna live?"

Those are the closing words of Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson), radio DJ and pseudo-narrator of Do the Right Thing -- Spike Lee's third feature film and the one that catapulted him to national prominence in 1989.

Do the Right Thing garnered Academy Award nominations for Lee (Best Original Screenplay) and Danny Aiello (Best Supporting Actor), though Lee felt particularly slighted at the Oscars next year. And understandably so: “When Driving Miss Motherf—-ing Daisy won Best Picture, that hurt." However, as he added years later, "no one’s talking about Driving Miss Daisy now.”

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Categorized: The Fourth Wall

DJ Mick writesCritical Rotation: “To Know Without Knowing” by Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience

Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!

Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience
To Know Without Knowing
Agogo

There are too few words in the English language to convey the serious and profound impact which Mulatu Astatke has had on the worlds of popular music and jazz.

Born in Ethiopia but trained musically in the far off lands of London and Boston, Astatke famously saw the commonalities and dovetailing sonic contours of American jazz, Latin rhythms, and traditional Ethiopian music and was able to translate his bold experiments into exciting, and popular, forms back in his home country.

He is widely credited as the father of Ethio-Jazz, a genre he guided and crafting it during its “Golden Era” of the early 1970s. Unfortunately, his mixing of western and African influences was repressed by the government soon after it emerged, causing his legacy and the legacy of similarly visionary artists like Mahmoud Ahmed to become uncertain to say the least.

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: mulatu astatke & black jesus experience

DJ Mick writesCritical Rotation: “Tour Beats Vol. 1” by Anteloper

Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!

Anteloper
Tour Beats Vol. 1
AInternational Anthem

Releases made exclusively for tours were at one point a novel concept, then a necessity, and now seemingly a quirk of the recent past. With no one touring we have seen a steady declassification of releases once only meant for archives and merch tables.

Most of these “exclusive albums” are underwhelming and were probably better left in the vault, but there are gems to be found amongst the raft of recent Bandcamp rough. One such notable is Tour Beats Vol.1 from Anteloper.

Tour Beats is the product of a month-long residency by the Red Hook native and trumpeter Jamie Branch at the studio of the Brooklyn-based community center, Pioneer Works back in 2018. Anteloper as a band began when Branch invited drummer Jason Nazary to join her in utilizing the recording space, a converted shipping container, to improvise a sound collage with her.

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: anteloper

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