Amoeblog

November is Native American Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 5, 2008 07:19pm | Post a Comment
Native Americans from across the Americas

NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Back in 1990, President George H.W. Bush named November National American Indian Heritage Month. The purpose of the observance is to highlight the roles America's aboriginal peoples have played in the country's history. It's kind of interesting. I'd say that the main role Natives have played in regard to American history was armed resistance and reluctant subjugation. It's kind of like Israel having a National Palestinian Heritage Month, Turkey having an Armenian History Month or Sudan having a Darfur Day.

I suppose, somewhat begrudgingly, that most Natives today have come to accept the fact that America is here to stay ...at least until 2012. Furthermore, Natives have, in many cases, actually been supportive of America and contributed to her history, to be sure. For example, not only did many Native nations align themselves with the US and its colonial antecedents at various times, but they also served as really good trackers and proved to be natural ecologists who demonstrated their intrinsically environmentalist natures by using every part of the bison and coming up with 30 different names for snow.

WELCOME TO GENERATION BARACK HIP-HOP

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2008 07:00am | Post a Comment
barack obama hope
Like the majority of people in America last night experiencing that combined feeling of joy and relief as the final results in the presidential election became clear, I was really moved when Barack Obama finally got to give his acceptance speech. Not only was it an incredibly inspiring and intelligent speech, but it was also just pitch perfect, like a great symphony or the best pop song. The rhythm of his oration style, especially as he built up to the finale, systematically interspersing in his talk those three words (Yes We Can) right on rhythm, was purely musical in its delivery.

Watching and listening to Barack in Chicago last night all I could think of (besides "Thank God the Republicans are finally out") was, Wow! This speech is not just historic but it is so made for matching over beats that we are going to be hearing this particular Obama speech replayed and sampled over hip-hop instrumentals for a long long time to come. Like JFK and MLK before him, Obama's equally great oratory style is made for playing back over beats.  Already he has been sampled to death in hip-hop songs, but now that he is finally elected to the top position this first hip-hop generation president will be an integral part of the genre for quite sometime to come.

While relatively young for such a high ranking job, 47 year old Barack Obama is not actually the youngest elected president of the United States of America (both Ulysses Grant & Bill Clinton were a year younger, while JFK was just 43 years old and Theodore Roosevelt was only 42 when elected to presidency), but he is the first bona fide elected US president of the hip-hop generation. In fact, he is even younger than many contemporary hip-hop figures, including Grandmaster Flash who, at age 50, is three years Barack's senior.

The Employee Interview XXI: Scott Walker

Posted by Miss Ess, November 4, 2008 05:52pm | Post a Comment
Scott Walker
Years of Employment: "Since the turn of the century."
Jazz floor dude


Miss Ess: What initially got you into jazz?

SW: A horrible answer: I donthelonious monk't remember. Most probably, like many people, it was a mid-era Miles Davis [record]. Pinpointing which one, twenty something years down the road, I would only be guessing.

ME: What album do you consider to be the pinnacle of the form?

SW: To me, there are different forms: Free/Avant, Bop, Trad, so I am tempted to answer one example for each, but won't at risk of boring/alienating readers. I would say an early [Thelonious] Monk recording: one of the late 40s sessions.

ME: What present-day jazz artists do you enjoy?

SW: Seeing Marilyn Crispell last week was pretty heavy: solo piano. I like solo piano stuff a lot, it's kind of like listening to a demo of a song -- it's distilled down to an essence, whether it's Fats Waller, Monk, or Sun Ra. It's hard, because like blues, jazz is so much about re-releases and focusing on history, standards, and regurgitation.

Is there a jazz record you love that crept up on you-- maybe one you didn't love it at first but grew to adore?

I didn't like electric Miles Davis when I first heard it. It was probably parallel to when people first hear electric Dylan: "Is he really serious/allowed to do this?" Now I listen to the electric stuff more often than the acoustic.

November 4, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, November 4, 2008 04:19pm | Post a Comment
Splinter movie ticket stub Mann Chinese 6
Splinter movie Mann Chinese 6 marquee

Splinter movie poster Mann Chinese 6

Splinter movie Mann Chinese 6 empty auditorium

Splinter movie Mann Chinese 6 empty auditorium

Jeff Mangum Lives!

Posted by Miss Ess, November 4, 2008 01:19pm | Post a Comment
If anything can give us some kind of hope on this Election Day, maybe this can: Perhaps you caught some of this on Pitchfork last week, but Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel has been jeff mangum of neutral milk hotelcoaxed out of his 10ish years of hiding at last this past October! He's been spotted on the road with his Elephant 6 buddies on their Holiday Surprise Tour, where he ended each show with his NMH B-side "Engine." A surprise tour indeed!

This is the best video I could find of one of his performances right here -- you can actually see Jeff through the whole thing, despite the dimmed lights (apparently Jeff's still feeling a little shy). First up, he performs "The Fool," and then "Engine" begins at about the 3:00 mark. The whole room ends the video by singing "Happy Birthday" to Jeff:


He looks happy and healthy and sounds great. This is a huge deal because Jeff virtually disappeared from the world years ago, soon after releasing one of the greatest albums this music fan has ever encountered, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. To read an earlier post I made on the subject, click here.
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