It was a cool, clear night in Austin, Texas, as the 2013 South by Southwest music festival was nearing its end. Bassist Chris Slorach, guitarist Alex Edkins and drummer Hayden Menzies — three affable guys from Canada who make up the band Metz — strode onto the stage at Bar 96 for Filter Magazine's Dr. Martens Showcase and unleashed a torrent of hardcore guitar noise and brutal drumming that, in an instant, reconfigured everyone's night.
Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.
The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.