Firmly placed in the middle of Fall (my favorite season), October has always had a very particular energy and atmosphere for me. Leaves changing color, Halloween, a distinct but manageable chill in the air. I love October and for a long time this month I’ve been digging and experiencing a ton of enriching art and music. Here are a few dope things that caught my eyes and ears this month.
Sun Ra Arkestra – The Living Sky
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Marshall Allen a few times and with each conversation, I’ve walked away thinking a lot about the idea of tradition. Allen and other Arkestra players past and present often talk about how Sun Ra passed down lessons on history and culture along with the fundamental mechanics of playing the music itself. With over 70 years as an active musical institution, the Sun Arkestra is upholding the tradition that Sun Ra taught and their new album, The Living Sky is the embodiment of all that knowledge. Powerful, fearless, and free, the music here is forward-thinking yet infused with a deep sense of history; read my review of the record here.
Illadelph Archives’ Philly New & No Wave YouTube Playlist
Rebecca Stein is a true people’s scholar with an inexhaustible knowledge of Philly hip-hop culture and music. Their fantastic YouTube channel, Illadelph Archives, is not only home to some great rare Philly rap gems, it also includes this dope playlist of local No Wave, New Wave and post-punk rarities. Come for rare cuts from bands like Bunnydrums and Experimental Products and stay for classics like Crash Course In Science’s “It Costs To Be Austere.”