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13 Feb

New South African Superhero Comic “Kwezi” by Artist Loyiso Mkize

by Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK [I love that the sister isn't half naked; I'm a fan already.] Check out 'Kwezi', the new comic book series which is getting rave reviews over in South Africa and and now world wide. Created by acclaimed artist Loyiso Mkize, the series is centered on 19 year old Kwezi, a typical South African youngster - immersed in popular youth culture - who develops a connection with his traditional roots,. Mkize says, “It is the journey of a young man. He starts...
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13 Feb

Hassan Hajjaj’s ‘My Rock Stars Experimental’ @ The Newark Museum 2/25 – 9/2015

Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars presents a video installation by Moroccan-born, UK-based artist Hassan Hajjaj, along with a related series of photographs, in a salon installation designed expressly for the exhibition. The video, My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume I (2012), recently acquired by the Newark Museum, pays tribute to individuals who—though they may not all be famous—have inspired the artist personally.  The video features nine separately filmed performances by an international group of musicians and singers whose influences include hip-hop, jazz, as well...
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13 Feb

Blast Off! (I MUST find this book)

by Maria Popova Brain Pickings Visionary Vintage Children’s Book Celebrates Gender Equality, Ethnic Diversity, and Space Exploration “The blackness of space was dotted with stars.” For all their immeasurable delight, children’s books also have a serious cultural responsibility — they capture young minds and plant in them the seeds that blossom into beliefs about what is socially acceptable, what is right and wrong, and what is possible. This weight of possibility is both a blessing and a burden, given the terrible track record children’s books...
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12 Feb

London’s Pirate Radio Pioneers

by amfmLondon amfm.org.uk Tracing the history of London's original dance music stations through clips, music and contemporary news reports and interviews. The beginning It seems crazy now, but in 1980 there were just three stations playing popular music in London: Capital Radio, Radio One and BBC Radio London. Even worse, the music licensing agencies restricted them to playing records for 12 hours a day or less. On Sunday evenings Radio One closed down at 7pm and Capital Radio had classical music followed by...
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11 Feb

Jah9, Princess of the new wave of conscious reggae has a LOT to say.

by Andrea Sister From Another Planet There are certain artists who aren't really noted for their singing prowess. Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Mos Def, even music icons like Nina Simone, Bob Marley and Fela aren't what you'd call "singers' singers". But they are revered for their delivery, poignancy, prolific and often progressive and political lyrics, moving and inspiring millions of people. Janine Cunningham, known Jah9 is a new(er) artist I believe falls into this category. She started out as a spoken word artist in her native Jamaica, and like many before her evolved to...
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10 Feb

‘Dust & Grooves’ Book: The Secret Lives of Vinyl Hoarders

(Someone understands :: sob ::) by April Greene | Cuepoint Magazine Questlove and other obsessive record collectors are chronicled in Eilon Paz’s "Dust & Grooves", a photography and interview project Although I’ve known Dust & Grooves founder Eilon Paz since he moved to New York from Israel in 2008, and have been a follower, fan, and contributor to his documentary project about vinyl record collecting since nearly its beginning, I don’t know everything. I hadn’t known that he only got one of his choice interviews because the 2010...
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10 Feb

Black Like Basquiat: Jean-Michel & the Black Kids Downtown

(This is an intimate piece written by one of my many prolific and famously unknown friends, Jennifer Jazz, about some of our soon-to-be-very-famous friends. She really captures the spirit of that magic time.) by Jennifer Jazz | AFROPUNK People are always coming and going to Felice’s. There are writers Luc Sante and Darryl Pinckney and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. Felice Rosser is the Woman-in-the-scarf in Jim’s short film Permanent Vacation and obviously the inspiration behind the character Bargatta in Darryl Pinckney’s novel High Cotton. There’s...
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10 Feb

Alviniconcha Strummeri: Deep-Sea Snail Named After Joe Strummer

(Courtesy of Anders Waren / Swedish Museum of Natural History) 'Punk rock' snail named for the Clash's Joe Strummer by Deborah Netburn Los Angeles Times  Scientists have named a spiky shelled, deep-sea snail after Joe Strummer, the late lead vocalist and guitarist from the famed British punk band the Clash. The researchers say the name highlights the "hardcore" nature of the snail, now known as Alviniconcha strummeri, which lives in one of the hottest, most acidic environments on the planet -- right up against hydrothermal vents in...
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10 Feb

The Female Engineer Behind Some of Pop’s Greatest Hits

Emily Lazar: setting the controls for the heart of the sun. Photograph: Becky Yee   Standing out as one of the only women in a male-dominated industry, Emily Lazar is the engineer behind the sound of everyone from Björk to the Killers. by Mona Lalwani |The Guardian  The walls of The Lodge studio are lined with classic platinum records and music memorabilia. A David Bowie poster hangs next to a guitar signed by Lou Reed and a classic jukebox sits by a vintage eight-track player....
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9 Feb

Fela Kuti’s Long-Lost Debut Recording From 1960

Fela Kuti with British jazz great Johnny Dankworth in 1962. Photograph: PR   by The Guardian 'Fela's Special', his debut from from 1960 is included in the compilation 'Highlife on the Move'. (I can really hear how Calypso came from Nigerian highlife music). Long before he became the king of Afrobeat, and one of the most inspirational figures in African culture, Fela Ransome-Kuti was already a recording musician. His early recordings were in the highlife style, the first modern popular music of Ghana and Nigeria. Fela’s Special,...
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9 Feb

‘My Body Full of Stars’: Afrofuturism Project Explores Black Mythocracy Through Essay & Music

by  Jennifer Sefa-Boakye | OkayAfrica Irish-Nigerian writer and sociologist Emma Dabiri recently reached out to us with a new project she’s been working on about Afrofuturism. The multi-media piece, My Body Full Of Stars, explores the use of Afrofuturist aesthetics in music as a tool for rewriting history and imagining the future. Consisting of an essay by Dabiri and an hour-long mixtape curated by music journalist and producer Ian McQuaid, the project presents a sonic framework that allows for Afrofuturist readings of music from the continent and across...
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9 Feb

At 50, a Hip-Hop Pioneer Still Has Stories to Tell

(Ricky Walters, better known as the rapper Slick Rick, with his wife, Mandy Aragones, in their Bronx home. In one corner stands a mannequin, decked out in the Slick Rick stage outfit.) by David Gonzalez/The New York Times When Mandy Aragones watches a movie or television show with her husband, Ricky Walters, she is ready for a running commentary. “Anything we watch, he always has another scenario,” she said. “He always finds an alternate ending.” In the 1980s, his ability to spin a tale earned...
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8 Feb

Devastating…

I had to really dig to find the source of this shoot.  Originally from the magazine A Perfect Guide, #23 S/S 2012: A Celebration of Pattern, shot by Matthew Brookes. The magazine was based in Stockholm and seems to have folded. Bask in their beauty.   © by A Perfect Guide / Photography Matthew Brookes / Styling Bill Mullen / Models: David Agbodji, Dominique Hollington, Henry Watkins                ...
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7 Feb

Imagining Indigenous Futurisms 6th Annual Sci-Fi Writing Contest

6th Annual Science Fiction Writing Contest $1,000 Award Deadline: November 1, 2015 Open to any emerging writer with an interest in exploring Indigenous issues through the medium of science fiction Submit: One paragraph personal statement with background and goals in sf A previously unpublished sf writing sample up to 4,000 words To: Professor Grace L. Dillon (Anishinaabe) dillong@pdx.edu Judged by acclaimed Blackfeet sf, experimental, and horror writer Stephen Graham Jones...
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6 Feb

Hey NYC! A Black Indies Feast (1968-1986) Feb/2015 @ Film Society of Lincoln Center

Still from "Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads" by Tambay Obenson IndieWire (Now Shadow & Act) Wow! This is an absolutely awesome-looking series that New Yorkers who love cinema would surely be interested in - the kind that, if I had the resources, I'd put together myself.I'll dig into specifics in future posts, highlighting individual films and filmmakers (most you'd already be familiar with, especially if you're a reader of this blog) leading up to the launch; But, for now, I'll just dump the lengthy press release...
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6 Feb

A Video Game That Teaches You to Write Poetry

by Bryan Lufkin WIRED Magazine   Videogames and poetry haven’t always gone hand in hand. We’re still a long way from Master Chief breaking into a Coleridge soliloquy. But game developers Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott have edged us a bit closer to that day with Elegy for a Dead World, a game they Kickstarted in October and released on Steam last month. Elegy lets players write prose and poetry as they explore distant planets and dead civilizations. The player faces 27 challenges in three worlds, each riffing on...
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