Activated by the Geko Jones-led call for a December 15th day of #YoutubeDivas, here’s a selection of incredibly talented vocalists who stretch & confuse the boundaries of voice, body, song.

If a “diva” is someone who uses the inherent performativity of gender to radiate brilliance, then here are some stars in my galaxy. These five women are particularly important to me for their brave, exquisitely articulated visions of what music itself can be.

And if this post has a reading list, it’s:

Pamela Zoline – The Heat Death of the Universe

Joanna Russ – The Female Man

James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon – The Girl Who Was Plugged In

now for the #Youtubedivas:

MAJA RATKE — I have a Maja Ratke dublate, for real! Got it cut in Bristol. At some level, being a ‘good’ singer is easy — you play the game by external rules, you sing on-key, you behave the way good singers behave. Creating outside of the drab-but-heavy gravity of normalcy ain’t easy. Maja, like Meredith before her, makes the difficult look at once difficult and effortlessly elemental.

MEREDITH MONK — From 1979. A lot of people learned a lot of lessons from Meredith Monk… If her name is new then you have homework to do. Bonus: our favorite semi-forgotten NYC black queer pop minimalist Julius Eastman accompanying her on vocals!

CAROLINE BERGVALL — Caroline and I have worked together, she is one of the great poet/voices of our time! Brilliant, hypnotic, smart, visceral. The 1st video is Caroline reading — so rhythmic, her flow. If this video doesn’t have more than 75 plays by the end of today, something is very wrong. The 2nd is me in Knoxville. I was opening for the Dirty Projectors in this beautiful old theater and decided to begin my set with a piece-in-progress by Caroline.

CHRISTINE SEHNAOUI is my favorite saxophone player. Not into the jazz dudes. Love Christine sounding like anything but a horn. Have you ever heard brass speak like this? Three years back I profiled her for The National:

During the last few weeks, my friends and family have mistaken the work of Christine Abdelnour Sehnaoui for both a broken air conditioner and a car dying outside my window. I can’t say that I blame them. Her recordings call to mind unoiled hinges, deflating balloons, asthma attacks. This Parisian alto-saxophonist, born 31 years ago to Lebanese émigré parents, plays like music does not exist.

Lastly, here’s a diva in the traditional sense — Violinist/vocalist Daoudia, a massive chaabi star from Casablanca. If you’ve spent time in Morocco, then you’ve heard her. Friends in Casa who’ve dealt with Daoudia report that the chaabi matriarch is humble and down-to-earth, too.

Join us today, December 5th, at Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater (124 South 3rd. btwn Bedford + Berry) for a live WFMU radio broadcast followed by a screening of Ahmed El Maanouni’s gripping and poetic Nass El Ghiwane documentary film, TRANSES (1981). Nass El Ghiwane, a group of working class musicians from Casablanca, revolutionized Maghrebi music in the 1970s and remain Morocco’s most important band. TRANSES captures them at the height of their power. The radio show will be built from a YouTube selection of some of my favorite Moroccan tracks and Nass el Ghiwane cover versions.

Jace Rupture’s Mudd Up live broadcast and film screening @ Spectacle Theater. 7:30pm. $5

Thanks to the volunteers at WFMU, Spectacle, and Ethnographic Vid WWWorld for making another special evening of live radio possible!


[Nass El Ghiwane]

And a quick re-post from my blog:

Here is an oft-compiled Nass El Ghiwane track, Mahmouma. This version comes from Stern’s epic 18-CD “Africa 50 years” box set (“The most comprehensive compilation of African music ever achieved. . . 183 classic recordings by 183 important artists from 38 countries in North, South, East and West Africa.”)

Sterns cut Mahmouma down to half its length, but the mastering is good:


Nass El Ghiwane – Mahmouma

johnfpeters bdmoroc 5828

[John Francis Peters – Meryem by the sea in Casablanca]

And last but not least, head to Time Magazine’s Lightbox to see “Insha’Allah”, a photoessay by John Francis Peters, taken in Morocco as part of our Beyond Digital project.

in which the ladies of Super Tight get incarcerated for copyright infringement (showing my 90210 clip); face potentially catastrophic replacement by the men of Bronx Juice; receive a curious video message from the M.E.D.E.A Housewives Terrorist Group; learn Jonny Oso’s background in law; and hear a prison guard wax — interruptedly — on generic narrative conventions, among many other developments, plus puppets and some extra meta. “What is a puppet?”

I started teaching at Dubspot in August, thanks to Matt Shadetek. Before I began teaching I was a teacher assistant for DJ Kiva for about a month, and it was during this period that Kiva gave our class a sneak peek of his project 1000 Sunrises, which he finally put out last week.  It always awesome to hear a project during its earlier stages, and then hearing it completed.  Definitely worth checking out.

DJ Kiva will be dropping this freshness November 10th at Le Poisson Roug with Africa Hitech, and he will be rocking Webster Hall with Matt Shadetek November 12th.

The following material was pulled from the Dubspot blog, which Lamin wrote:

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist producer and musician DJ KIVA returns with a superb new solo album 1000 Sunrises out October 18 on his  Adios Babylon imprint via Destroy All Concepts.

Navigating beauty and pain with deep, mesmeric, off-centered beats, soulful, dub-wise electronic impressions, twirling synthlines, and reinforced sub-bass, 1000 Sunrises is a perfectly balanced album. The six tracks presented here are meticulously and lovingly put together, and they move with an unhurried, reassuring pace. From the opening “Feel It,” with its extra-bouncy thump and unrelenting, catchy synthline to the meditative “Tayyib,” which maintains a solemn and contemplative mood with eerie voices but holds a propulsive groove, and the staggeringly beautiful, mind-expanding title track “1000 Sunrises,” DJ Kiva remains remarkably self-reliant and uncompromising in aesthetic throughout the entire album. Album closer “City Of The Dawn” is the uplifting, post-future, and soulful electronic music you can only get from an experienced and self-assured electronic music producer, whose style and range go far beyond arbitrary and trendy sub-genres. Electronics, melody, dub, and soul come together – same as it never was.

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Angola meets meets Atlanta in this mix by DJ Eridson. One for the Fruityloops Hall of Fame indeed. This track is 3 years old but Eridson has new music up on soundcloud, including this Coupé-Décalé track he upped yesterday:

D.D 179 Gina Hot [2012] Dj Eridson, Dj Dorivaldo, M.Pondu, Dj Havaiana, Jacobe e Dr.Tchubi (remix) by djeridson

Bonus Tarracha:



10PM – 4AM
CAFE NUNEZ – 240 W. 35th St. (Between 7 & 8th Ave.) NEW YORK, NY
Cover $10
Special $5 well drink till 12
Complimentary cocktails for 1st 20 ladies…
couPe decAle zouK house hipHop r&B danceHall Raï kwaiTo zouGlou kaPouka genGe maRRabenta kiZomba KuDuro pandZa soUKous nDombolo hipLife mBalaX salSa… cot damn! whatevEr uLTra afriKaNess pluS pluS!

& bug out to this!

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We’ve moved location and day

Now Made in Africa is every 1st Friday of the month at Bazaar Bistro North African Restaurant in the Union Square area.

And we’re every first FRIDAY Night of the month! So if you couldn’t make it before because it was on a weekday, now’s your chance.

$5 Well Drinks until midnight

Again Birthday Celebrations, contact us for special deals details!…

$10 Cover

And Hookah/Sheesha available

Facebook event page here.

& here’s a video for all the gyals + man dem who like to see man wine! dance competition in cote d’ivoire –

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