Sunday Morning Coming Down #Three


• "In fringed bra and muted red tutu over the aforementioned bare bottom, Ms. Muz makes a clever and mercurial Ma Ubu. Lady Macbeth-style, she uses sex and flattery to goad her “big buffoon” toward murder, power and riches." Pere Ubu scores Ubu Roi (finally), read about it at NYT.

• "Suppose I were to tell you that Ray Charles is not the father of soul music and the Drifters are not the greatest vocal group in the history of rock ‘n’ roll? According to R&B conventional wisdom, that would be akin to claiming that grits ain’t groceries, eggs ain’t poultry and Mona Lisa was a man. But conventional wisdom overlooked the “5″ Royales." John Morthland preaches the "5" Royales gospel for Wondering Sound.

• “It speaks to how limited musically the Shoals was,” Reali said, adding, “If someone doesn’t play the flute and doesn’t double on the flute and some other instrument, who do they know? If you don’t know anyone in the classical music world, who are you going to call up? There was no symphony. … So they have to call the local high school.” The genius behind the famous flute solo on the Tam's "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?" is revealed by the Raleigh News & Observer

• "So what if hip-hop, which was once a form of upstart black-folk music, came to dominate the modern world? Isn’t that a good thing? It seems strange for an artist working in the genre to be complaining, and maybe I’m not exactly complaining. Maybe I’m taking a measure of my good fortune. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a little more complicated than that. Maybe domination isn’t quite a victory. Maybe everpresence isn’t quite a virtue." Natural-born cultural critic and sometimes drummer Questlove Jenkins on how hip-hip has failed black America. First in a six piece series at Vulture; do not miss it.

• "Impulse's reactivation reflects a larger turnaround for major-label jazz divisions, most of which had struggled or been shuttered within the past decade or so. OKeh Records, another historically significant jazz label, was revived last year under the umbrella of Sony Masterworks, and has released albums by artists both emerging and established. Blue Note Records, which endured a few shaky seasons under EMI, is on stronger footing as it celebrates its 75th anniversary — and is now a property of the Universal Music Group, as is Verve. If you also factor in Nonesuch, ECM and Concord Jazz, which operate as independents with major backing, you get a picture more robust than anyone would have dared to imagine just a few years ago." Nate Chinen outlines the return of Impulse! for the New York Times.

• "It’s not that I don't know from weird singer-hate: Billy Joel, Boy George, and Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray all have voices that used to make me inwardly spasm with misanthropic disgust for seconds at least. But apparently Céline-haters don't spasm in silence or for seconds—they scream and froth at the mouth at length: “ ... the most wholly repellent woman ever to sing songs of love,” spewed Cintra Wilson, “I think most people would rather be processed through the digestive tract of an anaconda than be Céline Dion for a day.” Bitch, excuse me? We're not talking about Bernie Madoff or the Abu Ghraib torture team—this is a pop singer who annoys Your Excellency." Mary Gaitskill considers Celine Dion at Slate.

 "I find Chicago very different from the coasts, in the sense that this is a place where you can get things done, get work done, and not necessarily get hung up on whether it's successful." Jon Langford talks about Wales, art, and Chicago for WTTW.

• "So we went down there, and they started us off with a beautiful salad, nice, leafy green lettuce, and Johnny (Ramone) said, What the fuck is this? He wanted iceberg lettuce. He would hate kale." Chris and Tina Talkinghead provide an oral history of the CBGB's scene at Vulture.

• A video of Wussy covering New Order's "Ceremony" because they can.