IAN NAGOSKI lecture + listening session TOMORROW 3/21

Widow's Joy

Oberlin Concert Board and WOBC present a lecture and listening session with Ian Nagoski:

Record producer, music researcher, and writer Ian Nagoski specializes in early 20th century recordings in languages other than English. In the past five years, he has produced collections for the Dust-to-Digital, Tompkins Square, Important, and Em record labels, as well as his own Canary imprint (manufactured and distributed by Mississippi Records of Portland, OR). In the past 12 months, he has produced six new LPs of music from India, Anatoalia, Greece, the Levant, and Eastern Europe, as well as a “global view of the rise of rock n roll, 1942-61.”

His new lecture, titled The Widow’s Joy: Pride, Genius, Grief & Lies from International 78rpm Recordings, seamlessly presents recordings from the the mid-1910s to 1950 across a wide geographic area. Musicians, famous and obscure, “classical” and “folk” alike are presented side-by-side as Nagoski describes one life after another of a creative person whose biography was marked by displacement, tragic circumstance, great opportunity, and forces of history beyond their control. In the process, Nagoski shares rarely-heard and deeply touching performances, some joyous and some heartbreaking, while asking questions about the value of life and meaning of music.

“Like [Harry] Smith, 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.” – Henry Rollins, KJFC

“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… He is not an academic, but a street corner preacher. His milieu is probably a bar or rock club as much as it would be behind a lectern, but that’s the point of someone like Ian. His work lives in two places at once: in the mind of the academic and in the heart of the public. For that reason alone, he is special.” – Nate Wooley, Sound American

“work of great beauty.” – Jace Clayton, DJ /rupture, WFMU

“It’s almost in a mystical way. He’s not just talking about: ‘Here’s this item I own.’ When he talks about or writes about these items, they’re discs that can really transport you.” – Ben Chasney, Six Organs of Admittance

“as essential to an understanding of American music as anything else.” – Amanda Petrusich, Pitchfork

“a beautiful and labyrinthine Americana, one that stretches confines of the definition of the word itself.” – Thom Jurek, AllMusic

“enigmatic, haunting, transfixing, and just plain odd.” – Brett
McCabe, Baltimore City Paper

Craig Lecture Hall // Oberlin Science Center 2nd Floor // 7PM // Thursday, March 21st