Recorded in a converted New Orleans–area church over six days, Redemption is a jambalaya of Chicago blues, New Orleans funk, and robust soul. On the standout “Chariot,” Glen David Andrews’s voice rises with gritty passion as he trails into the song’s tag, borrowed from the spiritual “Sweet Home Chariot”:
To fully celebrate the life and legacy of Maya Angelou, we must contextualize her 86 years of living within the black religious traditions that influenced her and birthed her deep spirituality. While countless scholars have analyzed her literary, political, and cultural contributions, few have situated her work within the scope of black religious life, particularly the African-American Christian tradition.
On the mostly instrumental Pieces, JoyCut takes the sonic hallmarks of the 1980s New Wave era—from shimmering, echo-plastered guitars and propulsive picked bass to dysmorphic synthesizer pads—and reconfigures them in thrilling fashion.
May 30, 2014
Art selection and comment by Lil Copan
In his triptych Upper Room, Brooklyn artist Alfonse Borysewicz depicts “the drama of Holy Thursday with the focus on Judas (pointing and distant on the viewers’ left), Jesus (girded with a towel that will call all to service), and John not distant but close to the Lord on the right. All three paintings use a honeycomb motif that points to community as our Christian identity.” Borysewicz draws from the visual languages of iconography and contemporary art. “Sacred spaces have to inspire again,” said Borysewicz in a recent interview. “So many churches rest on what they’ve been given. There’s a younger generation out there who want to authentically give their voice to it.”
The diaries of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon have been digitized and made available to the public by the University of Cambridge. Sassoon, a British soldier, was quickly disillusioned by the war and became an outspoken war critic. His diaries feature poetry, prose, and drawings and include his 1917 antiwar “Soldier’s Declaration,” which got him committed to a hospital for the duration of the war. He described the first day of the Battle of Somme as a “sunlit picture of hell” (BBC, July 31).