Pianist Simone Dinnersteins path to success reads like the proverbial fairy tale. In 2005, the Brooklyn native and resident, after years of playing in smaller concert venues, community centers, and a medium-security prison, raised $15,000 and self-produced a recording of Bachs Goldberg Variations.
The sound of an electronic organ swirls upward through a sludgy backbeat, as digitized woodwinds sparkle. The shimmering ambience soon gives way to a beat-driven din that inundates the listener.
Over thirty years have passed since Dambudzo Marechera wrote The House of Hunger, his landmark 1978 novella about the brutal relationships and decayed ideologies of colonial Rhodesia, the southern African nation now known as Zimbabwe. But hunger remains a common theme in Zimbabwean poetry and music, manifesting itself as both a metaphorical yearning for freedom from corruption and oppression, and as something quite literal: a desperate need for food.
The Naked Heroes sound has been described as hard, southern-styled rock played in a lo-fi, garage-punk mode. With more and more bands throwing in their lot with the avant-garde, the Naked Heroes simply write memorable songs in an effortless pastiche of rock idioms.
I was recently fired from my other journalism job and precisely for that reason. The boss claimed that my writing lacked journalistic qualities and that I was too personal, too general, and not analytical enough. In one discussion he had the gumption to tell me, Well, you probably hate writing for us, anyway.