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Local Music Notebook: Another "16 Shots"

"(Sunday) night, Creed director Ryan Coogler and Selma director Ava Duvernay held their Justice For Flint Event in Flint, Michigan. The benefit was held to help bring attention to the ongoing water crisis that has affected the predominately African-American city," HipHopDX reports.

"Vic Mensa started off his performance with the special Flint edition of his single 'U Mad,' then debuted a new track entitled '16 Shots' about the murder of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year old black teen who was shot by Chicago police."

Here it is (at least the beginning):


Just for the record, we featured Sherm n Demand's "16 Shots" last November.


Frequency Festival
"The state of the new music scene here is strong, if last weekend is anything to go by," David Allen writes for the New York Times.

"It was the climax of the first Frequency Festival, conceived by the writer Peter Margasak as an expansion of his Frequency Series, a Sunday-night feature heard regularly at the drink-and-listen space Constellation. Orbiting around Constellation but also taking in other spots around the city last week, the festival presented mostly local performers (some nationally prominent, others headed that way) in seven concerts, of which I caught three.

"All were formidable, none more so than the Spektral Quartet's free Sunday afternoon show at Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago. The foursome of Austin Wulliman, Clara Lyon, Doyle Armbrust and Russell Rolen focuses on new music, but isn't beholden to it. Their latest, chirpy release on the Sono Luminus label, 'Serious Business,' quizzically looks at musical humor through three works from the last two years, and a fourth by an up-and-comer named Franz Josef Haydn."

This was the teaser video for the Spektral Quartet peformance:


Also from the festival, Chris Wild:


I've Got To Have More Bagpipe
"Students planning to go the scholarship route for college typically rely on grades or sports, but one East Peoria youth is relying on his ability to play the bagpipes," the Peoria JournalStar reports.

"Egan Dickerson, 15, who attends Peoria Christian High School, said his cousins drew his attention to the bagpipes.

"They went to Monmouth College, and they told me if I wanted to go along with what they are doing and go to college for free instead of having student loans, to learn the bagpipes while I was young," Egan said. "Their system there is if you can play the bagpipes at a sufficient level then you're able to go there with a full ride."



And here they are:


Bonus: The greatest bagpipe song ever:


The Awesome '80s
Score sports talker Dan Bernstein this week argued that the '70s and '90s were super important decades for music, but that the '80s were essentially meaningless, music-wise.

That's something a hardcore music fan would never say; it would be like arguing that the '80s were a meaningless decade for sports. It betrays an ignorance that would be acceptable if not stated with such confidence.

A caller who read a list of significant bands from the '80s was dismissed mostly because, it seemed, Bernstein hadn't heard of most of the bands. That's fine, again, if one understands what one doesn't know about. But you can hardly argue the '90s were seminal because of grunge, for example, without understanding that grunge/alternative would have never happened if not for the seminal independent rock scene of the '80s that lurked under the surface and left of the dial, where Bernstein likely was not to be found. The caller rightly identified the influential bands that came out of the Athens, Georgia, scene (beyond REM) such as Pylon, Minneapolis bands such as the Replacements and Husker Du, and one of Kurt Cobain's all-time favorites, the Pixies, as bands that changed the course of rock 'n' roll and laid the groundwork for the alternative movement of the '90s. (And, of course, the '80s brought us the flowering of hip-hop in powerhouses such as Public Enemy, which Bernstein acknowledged, but then seemed to brush off. We are still living in hip-hop's immense shadow today, though, perhaps even more so than that of punk.)

The '70s had its value too - again, mostly lurking beneath the surface in the Velvet Underground, Big Star, and the CBGB scene. Every decade is important in music. Obviously rock 'n' roll broke in the '50s, and in the '60s the bands we now know as classic laid down the original templates for successive bands to emulate or break. The history-making continued in the '00s, and continues today. It was a silly argument - and an argument inevitably ignorant if based on radio and the charts. That's rarely where history is made.


Comments welcome.


Posted on March 3, 2016

MUSIC - At Home Chicago Blues.
TV - Chicago Smash Sets Ratings Record.
POLITICS - The Remote Learning Divide.
SPORTS - A Fall Without College Sports.

BOOKS - How The South Won The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Speak At Your Own Funeral.

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