The August Organist features Hua Hsu on an ancient unsolved mystery of hip hop sampling; Sam McPheeters on shoplifting hardcore punk 7-inches in 1980s Manhattan; a French percussionist on how he began his career by stealing his grandmother's fondue pot; plus Dawn of Midi, Max Tundra, Edgar Oliver performing a tiny radio drama by Nick Antosca, and MORE!
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How to Be in Two Places at Once: The Firesign Theatre in the US and Vietnam As four comedians trained in poetry and psy-ops, Firesign Theatre created dense, album-length art-objects that could take multiple spins to understand. Their comedy took the form of inscrutable and often abrasive soundscapes that reviewers were as likely to call “frightening” as “funny.” This week, we explore how these albums were listened to collectively: in groups, teenage house parties, poet John Ashbery’s pot smoke-filled living room, and military bases in Vietnam.
Antigonick Antigone is one of the most widely performed plays in the world. Poet Anne Carson’s experimental translation of Sophocles’ tragedy incorporates 2,500 years of its performance and interpretation. The play’s emotional core persists even as we view Antigone through all of the ways she has been viewed and used throughout her history.
The Gospel of Ndegeocello Meshell Ndegeocello’s debut album kicked off the era of neo-soul, inspiring Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and D’Angelo. Twenty-three years later, Ndegeocello is still making art, but she’s expanded her medium with a new project that’s part theater, part church revival, with an unexpected saint at its center.
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