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Black Music Now: A Juneteenth Event

  • Jun 13 @ 7:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Black Music Now

Jun 13

7:00 PM

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame




Laina Dawes, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicologist and the John P. Murphy Postdoctoral Scholar at Case Western Reserve University. She is also the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points Books, 2012; 2020). A lifelong heavy metal fan, her research explores how music listening and performance activities in transgressive sub-cultures complicate socially manufactured notions concerning race, gender and class. Her music journalism work can be found in various American, Canadian, and U.K print and online publications, such as The Wire, NPR, OkayPlayer, Metal Hammer, and many more.

Dante Foley is a self taught drummer and video creator from East Cleveland Ohio. As a product of the open mic/Cleveland music scene their primary goal in music creation is to center community in how they create and make the music space more accessible to marginalized people.Title: Black Music Now: Race, Rock, Punk, Metal and Rebellion in the 21st Century

Jah Nada (Elijah Vazquez) is a musician, engineer, producer and educator. He has played drums with Obnox and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He currently plays bass in Mourning a BLKstar. His most recent release with RA Washington, “In Search of Our Father’s Gardens” is out now on Astral Spirit Records.

OBNOX is dead, long live NOX!

Cleveland guitarist/vocalist Lamont Thomas has officially changed the name of his long running no-fi Afropunk / Hip-Hop hybrid OBNOX to its longtime nickname NOX—and it makes sense. With almost a decade and a half behind him since he stepped out from behind the drum kit (he made his bones as the rhythmic spine for incendiary Ohio outfits like Bassholes and This Moment in Black History), Thomas has grown well beyond the childish punk posture of valuing obnoxiousness for it’s own sake—as have many of us, right? Right? But we’ve ALL taken our share of knocks by now.

Under the new name, Thomas is, for the first time ever, independently self-releasing his new album Iron Knowledge, the long-brewing follow-up to 2020’s sprawling, face melting, aggressively genre-agnostic 2xLP Savage Raygun, the damn near perfect album for the most messed up year of our lives.

Iron Knowledge keeps forging ahead with Thomas’ heavy alloy of garage-punk, gospel, psych, soul, and electronics, enshrouded as always in a heavy dusting of Midwest rust. Slow-burners like “They Power” and “She Was a Bully” (respectively beat-doctored by acclaimed producers Aaron “A-Live” Snorton of Muamin Collective and Ra Washington of Mourning [A] BLKstar) feel laid-back even as they absolutely SEETHE. On Iron Knowledge’s hip-hop-leaning side, “Most High (God Body)” avails NOX of the flow talents of guest rapper Maxwell Shell, while “Instant Extra” adorns left-field rap with an industrial edge. Cuts like “Cold Piece” and “Blow” deliver classically ominous NOX garage-soul, with detuned guitars bellowing like they’ve been set on fire—and at the end of the day, haven’t they? And the title track, side 1’s closer, positively DRIPS with heavy-lidded psych R&B, successfully synthesizing melanin and melatonin as it lends a menacing underground edge to the tradition of black psychedelia in ways that could make Sly himself proud.

The “band” name may be cropped, but the unstoppable potency of NOX-music remains whole.

This event is part of our summer of live music and events.