To listen to Pharmakon is to stare the beast straight in the mouth. Margaret Chardiet’s latest album starts with heavy breathing, panting and a buzzing synth that sounds more like an electroshock therapy machine. “Intent or Instinct” builds deliberately with an atonal loop gathering strength until she unleashes a nasty banshee wail. Free of too much digitized effect, it sounds truly bloodcurdling. It’s also immensely cathartic. And “Body Betrays Itself” feels like it takes over your very being, her most powerful musical statement to date. Not everything in such harsh surroundings works—“Primitive Struggle” is about as inviting as it sounds, full of coughing, spitting and heaving along to a digital heartbeat. But Chardiet can really surprise you, too. “Autoimmune” actually nudges closer to something resembling pop, like the dirtiest Trent Reznor would ever let his hands get. And in the incantation of the title track, Chardiet’s actual, human voice can be heard, albeit echoed out into infinity, and the result is quite affecting, given how she shreds her voice across the rest of the record. So Bestial Burden isn’t for the faint of heart. Dismiss it and you might even get a laugh out of its relentless brutality. But give it your full attention, and it just might change you. So don’t be afraid. Dive in and let Bestial Burden swallow you whole. Note: If you like her records, you should probably see her live.
The talented, unique, and often provocative NY hip-hop artist Mykki Blanco transcends simple definition and is a lot more than an emcee or "a gay rapper" as Blanco is so often labeled. More descriptively accurate is the artist's own self-definition of being a musician, an activist, a performance artist, and experimentalist. Hence why the artist's forthcoming new 14 track project Gay Dog Food (to arrive in Amoeba on Oct. 28 via UNO NYC - his third release for the label) encompasses all aspects of the multifaceted individual that is Mykki Blanco. Gay Dog Food, which precedes Blanco's anticipated official debut album Michael by several months (slated for a Spring 2015 release), is an ambitious project that was recorded in studios in Eastern Russia, London, Berlin, and New York City and is a most diverse recording that goes way beyond the restrains of hip-hop to encompass such other genres as punk, noise, experimental, industrial, and Riot Grrrl.
Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna, whom Blanco counts as a major musical influence, collaborates on the album track "A Moment With Kathleen" for a spoken word collage. Other project collaborators include Chicago MC Katie Got Bandz, and Cities Aviv while producers include Sasha DZA, and Supreme Cuts. "You can choose to call me a gay rapper," said Mykki Blanco of himself in a prepared statement sent out today to announce the new release and who he is an (often misunderstood) artist. "I'm a punk, a creative punk and I'm going to continue to create and entertain without boundaries. Gay Dog Food is just the start of where I hope to go creatively and commercially, this moment now is really the beginning." Look for Gay Dog Food in Amoeba on October 28th. Meantime peep a preview of the album track Mykki Blanco "Moshin' In The Front (feat. Cities Aviv)" via Soundcloud. Below is the video for Blanco's 2012 track "Wavvy."
I will not make the argument that Columbus's arrival in the New World was insignificant merely because he was an absolutely awful person or because he didn't actually discover anything (which he himself maintained, claiming until his death that he'd merely found a different route to Asia). But think about this before you dismiss -- before Columbus, avocado, bell peppers, blueberries, cashews, cassava root, chili peppers, chocolate, cocaine, gourds, maize, peanuts, pecans pineapples, pumpkins, squash, tobacco, tomatoes, and vanilla were all unknown in the Old World and alcohol, apples, bananas, barley, cheese, coffee, mango, onions, rice, tea, and turnips, and wheat were unknown in the Americas. Imagine an existence without any of those and you can hopefully begin to get a taste of the importance of the Columbian Exchange. Imagine Italian cuisine without tomato sauce or gnocchi and you can't help but wonder if this is why Columbus is so dear to many Italians. Imagine, on the other hand, genocide, slavery, and old world diseases and you'll understand why he's even more hated by many others.
Join Amoeba Music and Book Passage in welcoming David J. Haskins to Book Passage in Corte Madera on November 7th at 7pm for a signing of his new book Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction!
David J (bassist for the legendary groups Bauhaus and Love and Rockets) begins with the creation of Bauhaus’s seminal debut hit "Bela Lugosi’s Dead," and offers a no-holds-barred account of his band’s rapid rise to fame and glory in the late '70s, their sudden dissolution in the '80s, and their subsequent — and often strained — reunions. In between, he explores his work as a solo performer and with acclaimed trio Love And Rockets — culminating in the devastating fire that ripped through the sessions for their 1996 album Sweet F.A. He also delves deep into his exploration of the occult, drawing together a diverse cast of supporting characters, including William S. Burroughs, Alan Moore, Genesis P. Orridge, and Rick Rubin. Bristling with power and passion, music and magic, Who Killed Mister Moonlight? is a rock & roll memoir like no other.
Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present The Toure-Raichel Collective on Saturday, November 8th at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
Israeli superstar Idan Raichel and Malian guitar virtuoso Vieux Farka Toure first met at an airport in Germany in 2008 while both were on tour. From this chance encounter an artistic kinship was born, culminating in an unscripted recording session that took place one afternoon in November of 2010 in a small Tel Aviv studio. Joined by Israeli bassist Yossi Fine and Malian calabash player Souleymane Kane, Idan and Vieux improvised a masterful selection of songs that capture the unbridled creativity and inspired collaboration of these four brilliant musicians. The Toure-Raichel Collective was formed and the songs they recorded are the foundation of the album The Tel Aviv Session.
Toure and Raichel's live performances reflect the natural spontaneity and free-form creativity of that fateful recording session in Tel Aviv, allowing audiences to experience firsthand the invention of sublime and transcendent music that crosses boundaries of country, culture and tradition. Also check out their latest recording, The Paris Session.