greg tate

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where can i find greg tate's 1988 village voice essay "diary of a bug"? is it in his "flyboy in the buttermilk"?

youngVITALrockskisterism one, Thursday, 4 December 2003 15:20 (eighteen years ago) link


bugged out, Thursday, 4 December 2003 16:16 (eighteen years ago) link

eighteen years pass...

There's really no general Greg Tate thread, so this will have to do for this very crushing news

Absolutely gutted to learn (from a trusted source) that Greg Tate has left this dimension. What a hero he’s been — a fiercely original critical voice, a deep musician, an encouraging big brother to so many of us. Total shock.

— Nate Chinen (@natechinen) December 7, 2021

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 16:54 (one month ago) link

Ah no way.

Rest In Peace, Greg. I’m happy I got to sing his praises directly to him the couple of times we met. Awful news.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:08 (one month ago) link

gutting loss

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:10 (one month ago) link

I've been re-reading both those books this past week. Tate was absolutely my #1 influence as a writer, and a tremendously nice guy. This is a massive loss. Gonna need to dive deep into the Burnt Sugar catalog, I think.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:14 (one month ago) link

This really sucks. Just a tremendous writer. His embrace of Miles' 70s period was so ahead of its time and literally the only commentary I could find in the early 90s that was actually positive.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:16 (one month ago) link

Loved his writing about Jimi Hendrix.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:18 (one month ago) link

I loved his writing about everything. One of the few writers who left me at once heady, envious, and grateful.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:19 (one month ago) link

I haven’t read his books, but always really enjoyed his record reviews. RIP

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:20 (one month ago) link

The two anthologies, Flyboy in the Buttermilk and Flyboy 2, are essential; they'll absolutely spin your head around a hundred times. But Midnight Lightning, his book on Hendrix, is not to be overlooked. I think it and Charles Shaar Murray's Crosstown Traffic are the only two books on Hendrix anyone needs; I went back to both again and again while writing my book on electric Miles (which has a chapter called "Miles, Jimi, and Sly").

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:43 (one month ago) link

Charles Shaar Murray said that if Midnight Lightning had existed prior to 1989, Murray wouldn't have written/needed to write Crosstown Traffic.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 17:50 (one month ago) link

Damn. Was just reading him on social media like 5 days ago. He had Dayton, Ohio and then DC roots and spoke up for the funk from both locales. Started reading him in the Voice in the early 80s . An inspiration

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 18:05 (one month ago) link

Thulani Davis led me to Greg Tate. With his first submission the word "genius" swam in my head. "The more writing like this I get the happier I'll be," I told him. And I did get more--lots. Problem was, all of it was by Greg. He was so inimitable few even tried to rip him off.

— Robert Christgau (@rxgau) December 7, 2021

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 18:31 (one month ago) link

Hanif Abdurraqib:

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 00:31 (one month ago) link

His piece on Miles Davis' electric period was so great it made me want to acquire every single one of those records, which I eventually did

Josefa, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 00:38 (one month ago) link

I wrote a little something
for Greg to take with him on his ride home
sort of an aural flashlight to help him read his map
Peace and Power Greg Tate

— melvin gibbs (@melvingibbs) December 7, 2021

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 02:05 (one month ago) link

In the introduction to Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, the first anthology of Lester Bangs' work, Greil Marcus wrote, "'What this book demands from a reader is a willingness to accept that the best writer in America could write almost nothing but record reviews." I feel like that sentence is a thousand times truer when applied to Tate than to Bangs.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 8 December 2021 02:35 (one month ago) link


So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 December 2021 02:42 (one month ago) link

Photos of an excerpt from my 1993 phone interview/ story on Greg Tate for fanzine Uno Mas appear with the tweet

Writer/author/musician/ teacher/ activist Greg Tate just passed away @ age 64. In 1993 when his Flyboy in the Buttermilk book came out, I spoke to him on the phone for Uno Mas fanzine. This Howard U grad, & longtime Village Voice writer explained his style :

— Steve Kiviat (@SteveKiviat) December 8, 2021

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 14:52 (one month ago) link

For the past 6-7 years, some of Greg Tate's most immediate "published" thinking/writing was taking place on FB, a major reason we remained on the app. Y'day, @jsmooth995 elevated this Tate post from July '16. Fantastic in myriad ways, it serves as a helluva "keep going" sign-off

— Dada Strain (@dada_strain) December 8, 2021

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 15:23 (one month ago) link

Aw, this intro was in Robert Christgau's new Consumer Guide report:

The dismaying and totally unexpected news of Greg Tate’s death reached me the day after I finished this Consumer Guide and the day before it was scheduled to go up. But although it included Greg’s latest Burnt Sugar album I felt no need to rewrite even a word, because my breakthrough to Angels Over Oakanda occurred exactly as described. It had been years since I’d seen him for more than a quick hello, although I did do a Zoom panel with him a few months ago. But I was so blown away by not just his acuity but his warmth in the Miles Davis documentary Birth of the Cool that I decided to relisten to the new one with ‘70s Miles in mind, and not only did I hear the connection I intuited would be there, I loved it—the vamp tracks began to function as a kind of chill-out music that I replayed more than any review required. Hence Burnt Sugar’s first full A, arrived at exactly a week ago. I was so looking forward to laying it on him, just as a gesture to a man and colleague I’ve marveled at for 40 years.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 16:12 (one month ago) link

The new Burnt Sugar really is good; I reviewed it back in October.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 8 December 2021 17:14 (one month ago) link

Love that Tate is getting the full obituary feature treatment on NPR. Fully deserved.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 21:43 (one month ago) link

Listened to this this morning while cleaning, really amazing

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:37 (one month ago) link

Love and Theft release date 01/09/11, Tate's dossier follows:

dow, Thursday, 9 December 2021 01:04 (one month ago) link

In 2013 Tate and Burnt Sugar teamed up with DC go-go musicians and some DC poets for a special gig -Drums along the Potomac, a Go-go Fantasia. They did a gig in NY and one in DC . I saw the DC one and it was a lot of fun—noisy and funky. I did an email interview with Tate before the shows.

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 December 2021 05:23 (one month ago) link


Raw Like Siouxsie (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 10 December 2021 05:30 (one month ago) link

Glad the Wire made those articles available

curmudgeon, Saturday, 11 December 2021 00:26 (one month ago) link

Yeah---I know Burnt Sugar relatively better-- in recent times, esp. via Top Tenned All Your Zombies, Dig The Luminosity several years ago: dialectic sparks of Afropunks x Afrofuturists (some of whom may be played by the same people, a la Parliament-Funkadelic): "It's A Family Affair" indeed. Some of their instrumental epics challenge my sense of dimensionality altogether, while immersing me in it (recent example: The Rites), but then again, this year'sAngels of Okanda just seems---pleasant---will have to try again. Meanwhile, archival 2021 release Making Love To The Dark Ages incl at very least an LP's-worth of instrumental goodness-to-greatness(good measure, in this vinyl-high, "post-album" age)---that is, my fave raves so far are the second half, at least impact-wise: "Dominata (the gabri ballad)"(15:47), and the two-part title work:

dow, Saturday, 11 December 2021 01:09 (one month ago) link

Other archival 2021 releases, ones I need to get to next: Twentieth Anniversary Mixtapes Groiddest Schizznits, Volumes One, Two, and Three.

dow, Saturday, 11 December 2021 01:13 (one month ago) link

Back in 2011 or 2012 I conducted long email interviews with Tate and Burnt Sugar co-leader Jared Michael Nickerson about the band's first decade for the fifth issue of the Burning Ambulance print zine; I'm currently preparing an online version that I'll post early next week.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 11 December 2021 01:50 (one month ago) link

Great, looking fwd! Now listening to yet another of their 2021 releases, younger contingent up front this time, Tate & other elders still along for the ride: Brides of Funkensteinoid for openers--

dow, Saturday, 11 December 2021 02:19 (one month ago) link

"No coluds, no coluds allowwwed,"The Darknuss, by REBELLUM ~ Burnt Sugar Arkestra's Avant Funk & Roll Splinter Cell

dow, Saturday, 11 December 2021 02:24 (one month ago) link

Idly wondering if the Clinton interview in Flyboy is the origin of the Eddie Hazel 'imagine your mother died' story? I'm hardly an expert but I don't recall the second part of Clinton's direction - 'and then you find out she ain't dead' - as part of the usual mythography.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 11 December 2021 23:06 (one month ago) link

Scratch that - the Tate interview is '85. Still, don't think I've heard that half of the anecdote before.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 11 December 2021 23:22 (one month ago) link

The fucking Today Show just ran a segment on Tate - part of their "A Life Well Lived" series on celebrity/notable deaths.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 12 December 2021 13:48 (one month ago) link

A lot of folks have focused on his writing about hip-hop, but I'm going to be talking about his jazz writing (and our interactions — he blurbed my Miles Davis book, and contributed a piece to Marooned, and we hung out a few times) in my upcoming Stereogum column.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 12 December 2021 13:58 (one month ago) link

Just now sent out via Greg Tate's publicist, @HowardWuelfing

— Ned Raggett (@NedRaggett) December 13, 2021

Ned Raggett, Monday, 13 December 2021 16:21 (one month ago) link

The long-ass interview (7500 words, it turns out) with Tate and Jared Michael Nickerson about Burnt Sugar's first decade is up now on the Burning Ambulance site.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 12:41 (one month ago) link

Voice writers and editors remember Greg Tate, in a succinctly conversational way ( and now I'm interested in that oral history of the Voice that Tricia Romano says he encouraged her to undertake)---and we get to see his 1983 P&J ballot (good choices!); also, though I'm not a fan of Sasha Free-Jones, he makes a good point about Tate's coverage of early 80s Downtown jazz, even though he's much more predictably associated with Public Enemy etc.

dow, Wednesday, 15 December 2021 18:10 (one month ago) link

I wrote a little more about Tate, specifically his jazz writing, in my final Stereogum column of the year.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 21 December 2021 15:13 (four weeks ago) link

A terrific essay, unperson. I reread the King Sunny Ade piece yesterday as it happens.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 21 December 2021 15:20 (four weeks ago) link

Seconded. I came for the Tate and stayed for the rest of it as well.

Blue Suede Q*bert (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 21 December 2021 16:42 (four weeks ago) link

Fantastic piece unperson. I'm reading Fly Boy 1 now as well. Have read quite a few bits of Tate over the years but never the collections and uh, yeah, wow.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 21 December 2021 17:52 (four weeks ago) link

more good stuff here:

tylerw, Wednesday, 22 December 2021 17:15 (four weeks ago) link

Tate’s Hendrix book send to be out of print.

curmudgeon, Friday, 24 December 2021 19:35 (three weeks ago) link

I scanned a library copy and I'm sharing it on s0uls33k fwiw. If anyone is looking.

Freeze Instr., Saturday, 25 December 2021 06:45 (three weeks ago) link

The Greg Tate jukebox is so good!

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 26 December 2021 23:57 (three weeks ago) link

Seriously. It’s so rare to see critics talk about music with that level of knowledge and perceptiveness

Josefa, Monday, 27 December 2021 00:10 (three weeks ago) link

Haven’t read any of his stuff in decades, kind of amazing how it holds up, how much I absorbed by osmosis the first time around or through the wider culture or something.

Heatmiserlou (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 27 December 2021 00:21 (three weeks ago) link

Greg Tate (1957–2021)
December 14, 2021
More by Xgau, w links to Sheffield:
Oh and I did get into Angels Over Oakanda more, duhhhh
(But also, don't sleep on Making Love To The Dark Ages and their "Splinter Cell" Rebellum's The Darkness--all three are in Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber's Bandcamp trove.)

dow, Friday, 31 December 2021 23:12 (two weeks ago) link

My just posted piece for Washington City Paper on how Greg Tate’s life in DC impacted his future. I talked to a lot of people for the story. Original draft , later shortened by my editor for space reasons, had more from actor and former programmer of NY’s the Kitchen on seeing go-go with Tate and more on P-Funk. Still covers his roots and more I think.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 00:18 (two weeks ago) link


(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Razor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 00:50 (two weeks ago) link

Did not realize till someone told me, that actor Bob Wisdom (of the Wire fame and other shows and movies) was Tate's roommate for a bit in NYC and was a programmer at the Kitchen. He had lots of stories (several of which I wish I could have fit in the article). Wasn't able to speak with video artist and cinematographer Arthur Jafa who was best friends with Tate from Howard U days on through to recent NY projects together

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 02:48 (two weeks ago) link

long Robin D. G. Kelley interview with Bongani Madondo about Tate:

Brad C., Wednesday, 5 January 2022 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

Haven’t heard it yet but there’s an aquarium drunkard podcast interview with Tate now available ( recorded the day before he passed)

Also, Tate might be in November or December issue of UK magazine I-d , guest -edited by Arthur Jafa, video artist recently profiled in NY Times, who went to Howard with Tate, talked on panels with him, and was friends with Tate since college.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 January 2022 14:38 (one week ago) link

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