Month: July 2022

Banging the Can

By Rob Rushin-Knopf, Culture Warrior
(Photo of Shara Nova by Peter Sterling, 2022, courtesy of Long Play Festival)

On May Day (workers unite!) I attended the final day of Bang on a Can’s inaugural Long Play Festival. Scheduled to debut in 2020 (but, well, ya know…), the festival delivered three full days of music, with roughly 60 acts across eight venues mostly within a roughly four block radius; two stages were less than a mile distant. On my way to collect my festival pass, I considered the times I had seen BOAC perform, all of them at the Big Ears Festival. I mentioned this to BOAC’s Director of Development Tim Thomas and noted that the Long Play setup – multiple sets run simultaneously among easily-walked locations – was similar to the Knoxville vibe. read more

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Forever Momentary Space

My final installment of my Big Ears coverage focuses on the musical ambassadorship of Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble during their time in Knoxville. This is a super-condensed introduction to their music.

(Part 1 of the series here. Part 2 here. A little something extra for Part 2 here.)

Black Monument has released two albums on the Chicago-based International Anthem label, 2019’s Where Future Unfolds and the monumental Now. Recorded during summer 2020 – under the shadow of pandemic, social unrest, and an unutterably bizarre political climate – Now qualifies as an instant classic, right down to the chorus of cicadas that accompany the outro to the title track. (Due to Covid, the Now sessions were held in a garden behind the recording studio.) read more

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