Sun Ra

The Man Machine

This entry is part of 10 in the series Greatest Hits

In the fall of 2009, Capitol/EMI issued a lavish and long-awaited box set, collecting the catalogue of recordings of one of the world’s most beloved, and most important, pop music groups. The music this group made was not only great in its own right but revolutionary and hugely influential. Whole genres of popular music of the last forty years are impossible to imagine, and would have been impossible to create, without the legacy of this band, arguably the greatest of all that came out of the rise of pop culture and mass media. That band is, of course, Kraftwerk.

The Secret History of American Popular Music

This is going to be one of the musical events of the year: starting at midnight tonight, WKCR is honoring the centennial of Sun Ra with non-stop music through May 25. What makes this so important is that Ra was both prolific and obscure, and there are bound to be recordings from the archives that(…)

First, The Sound

(not for the faint of heart or ear) To quote the great David St. Hubbins, “it’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.” It’s also, in American culture, a fine line between the established and the avant-garde. The paragon of this are Sun Ra’s singles, which combine a sincere, straight-faced take on pop music(…)

It's Always Sonny in Philadelphia

Prepare thy minds for the con-fusion of the coincidental . . . I sat down to glance at the Times’ Weekend Arts section today, and just as I happily discovered a story about an exhibit dedicated to Sun Ra, Out To Lunch started on WKCR, with today’s feature of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Between those bookends(…)