IAN NAGOSKI returns to Europe for another series of his hypnotic interactive lectures on disappearing music of the 20th Century, this time with an exploration entitled “100 Moons: Stories of Great Forgotten Musicians and the Boundaries of Humanness from 78rpm Records”.
Ian Nagoski’s label Canary Records (pressed and distributed by the excellent Mississippi Records) reissues early 20th century recordings in languages other than English. In the past year, he has published acclaimed collections of Hindustani classical vocal music (100 Moons and Kesarbai Kerkar 1944-54), Greek urban folk music (Rita Abatzi - 1933-37), the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Widow’s Joy: Eastern European Immigrant Dances, 1925-30), and published writing in Yeti, Sound American, Ephemerotera Quarterly and The Wire.
Canary’s Bandcamp site was compared favorably by Damon Krukowski in Pitchfork to Revenant Records and Jack White’s Third Man label, and Nagoski’s deep views on music and recording caused Krukowski to compare him to Harry Smith, just as Marcus Boon also did in the Wire. In recent years, he also published compilations on the Dust-to-Digital (Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics) and Tompkins Square (To What Strange Place: Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora) labels. Nagoski’s work is now highly regarded, with high profile admirers ranging from DJ/rupture to Henry Rollins, and you can also still read several interview with and articles by him from 2013 at the Sound American site.
'Lecture' may seem too formal a term for something so immersive and transporting as one of Ian's 90-minute explorations of the disappearing music he unearths and its social/cultural roots and routes. Ian shares his love of his findings both in words and by listening to and discussing various carefully chosen shellac gems with you.
"His work is so rare and important that it should almost be treated as a ritual object, a pathway to the past and a voice for ghosts of a forgotten part of American musical history."
- Nate Wooley, Sound American
"Nagoski is a Walter Benjamin visionary, using his collection of 78s to hallucinate a history that actually happened but which remains hidden beneath official dogma and nationalisms.”
- Marcus Boon, the Wire
”I was entranced; I was FASCINATED. It is one of the most worthwhile purchases you will make this year. I went and got mine; I think you should, too.”
- Henry Rollins, KCRW
“Ian Nagoski’s To What Strange Place is a work of great beauty.”
- Jace Clayton / DJ/rupture, WFMU
"…as essential to an understanding of American music as anything else."
- Amanda Petrusich, Pitchfork
10/4-11/4 ISTANBUL (tbc)
Pori Art Museum
The Old Hairdressers, c/o Stereo
20-28 Renfield Lane,
+ DJ Martin Bomber Allen
The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP
Fuse Art Space
5-7 Rawson Place
7pm Free entry
1075 XL Amsterdam
+ Cian Nugent & The Cosmos + Rebel Up! DJs
Skalitzer Str. 134
18-22 Ashwin Street.
There are a couple gaps in here that w’d be happy to fill, specifically April 14-15 (Sweden? Norway? Denmark?) April 20-21 (Edinburgh? Ireland?) April 24 (BeNeLux? Switzerland?) I need to keep busy. Any thoughts? Please write to Lee Etherington at email@example.com.
See you soon!
There are now 19 Canary releases (10 fully restored LPs with liner notes and 9 “mixtapes”) available on the bandcamp site. Streaming is free; downloads with notes are priced between $3.50 and $7.
We’ll just keep things going at 78rpm today. The best speed. This is another Canary Records bandcamp comp, taking us from Kazakhstan to Hawaii with many lovely stops in between. I’ve been slowly going through these collectiosn and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Totally terrific stuff — and a ridiculous bargain too. Ian Nagsoki says that No One Cares is “a collection of beautiful performances gathered from the early 20th century from various sources, globally, that mostly haven’t (yet) meant enough to anyone to collect on a reissue. Seven were used on the CDR-only release ‘Uncollected Records.’ The rest were used in various lectures & presentation give ca. 2010-13 and made available here for the first time. All are only lightly restored.”
"Ephemeroptera Quarterly III" is an art book with silk-screened covers, featuring 11 different artists and a 10” lathe-cut record.
Edition of 44. Hand-numbered.
"Ephemeroptera Quarterly III" features contributions by:Bill Nace
S.M. Stone & Jason Labbe
Covers (and bindings) silk-screened by Alison K Walsh.
Lathe-cuts by Peter King from New Zealand.The lathe-cut record features an EXCLUSIVE track by BODY/HEAD, an old field recording of lovely birds, as well as other gems.Don’t miss out on this issue!
It used to be that when a baby died in Chile, he was dressed in white, with angel wings on his back, a silver crown on his head, and a white carnation in his mouth, and laid on a table surrounded by candles and wild country flowers, paper doves swinging from strings tied to a white bedsheet spread out all above him like the cover of heaven, and a paper ladder stretched all the way down to his hands, tiny and fixed to hold on as if he was climbing, while all around him mourners drank wine, killed pigs, and someone like these sisters sang this song.
Señora ya me retiro,
ya me retiro señora,
a andar ese buen camino
para adentrar a la gloria.
I made this 18 track, 55 min. compilation in 2007 as a direct response to Mississippi Records 13th release, Lipi Kodiya City Council, using several of the same source LPs as they did. And I admit that I hesitated to post it, partially because the recording are only 40-50 years old but more importantly because they’re drawn from the serious work of musicologists - Hugh Tracey, John Storm Roberts, Michel Vuylsteke, etc. In the end, I decided to post it and charge only $4.50 to download, knowing full well that it is THE hit of all my early compilations. Enjoy
Between 2005 and 2007, I compiled and released 20-odd CDR mixtapes of ethnic/world/vernacular musics and made them available through the True Vine and Weirdo Records shops. (Many are still available through Weirdo.) In the next 24 hours, I’ll be releasing my five favorite of them, as a representation of my juvenalia, through bandcamp in slightly restored form, available to listen to for free or download cheaply.
The first of them is also, admittedly, certainly the least popular - a full Gregorian mass for the dead, recorded ca. 1930 by a choir of prepubescent boys and including the Dies Irae (the “Wrath of God” which was stuck from the mass shortly thereafter).
Second in the series: Southeast Asian recordings from the 1920s-40s. A lot of this material has since been better presented on David Murray’s Longing for the Past CD set, but when I compiled this in ‘06-‘07, there wasn’t much of this kind of thing around…
#3. This one could easily have been a real CD or LP release, and I think it stands with any of compilation of its kind. For me, it has always been one of favorite albums to wash dishes to. 24 tracks and 65 minutes of yeh-yeh/bubblegum/motown/psyche squawky pop fun for $5.50 (Previously issued as “Maylaysian,” I know now that most of the singers are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.)
Of the two dozen mixtapes I made for sale ca. 2007, this one was always my personal favorite. A collection spanning the 30s to the early 70s, including Epirot, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Serb musicians - outrageous virtuosi and deeply earnest amateurs - and, emotionally, radically high highs and low lows.
I’ll be uploading a couple more in the short term… Bon apetit!
popsmargree asked: Hi Ian. I came to your talk at The Vortex in east London a few months ago. It was amazing, so thanks for taking the time to come over. Anyway, one of the things that really stayed with me was the music you played by an Indian singer. Your retelling of her amazing life story was fascinating. Unfortunately, I was very stupid and didn't write her name down: was it Kesarbai Kerkar? Anyway, I'm very grateful to you and all the other diggers who are keeping this music alive. One love brother!
It’s kind of your to write.
Yes, the long story about the Indian singer was certainly Kesarbai Kerkar. The song of hers that I played was her “Devi Durga” in Kukubh Bilawal.
I’ll be back around the EU & UK in April 2014.
24-track, 70-minute, digital-only collection of recordings ca. 1909-1929 that were transferred for possible inclusion on the Tompkins Square Records 3CD set To What Strange Place: the Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora, 1916-30, but were. for one reason or another, not.
The first 19 recordings were made in New York City by Arab, Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek immigrants. The last 5 tracks were made in present-day Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey and imported physical or issued domestically in the U.S. for the immigrant market.
Track titles are all listed here as given (in their often mangled form) on the original disc labels.
Compiled January, 2012 and originally released as a limited CDR. Tracks are only lightly restored.