The Weekend Guide: March 4-6
LISTEN: Emily’s D+Evolution by Esperanza Spalding
The jazz vocalist, bassist and composer seems to absorb and reinterpret musical genres with refreshing ingenuity. Using her middle name as an alter ego, on Emily’s D+Evolution Spalding constructs jazz rock that is interchangeably boundary-pushing while reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, a musician who also used jazz music to support her jarringly personal reflections. But instead of folk, funk fills this soundscape, making the result distinctly Spalding’s own.
untitled unmastered by Kendrick Lamar
Released Friday on the sly, this collection of untitled tracks by the undisputed hip-hop master bristles with Lamar’s seething lyricism and layered grooves. “Untitled” was previously performed on The Colbert Report; “Untitled 2” was later debuted on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Combined, however, these eight songs show that Lamar’s touch is golden and his vision for hip-hop holistic and honest.
READ: Version Control by Dexter Palmer
Set in a recognizable future, Palmer’s work explores the impact of technology on our relationships and collective memories. Rebecca works at a dating site while her reality appears to unravel as she recovers from a personal loss. Her husband, meanwhile, labors on a causality violation device—a type of time machine. Version Control ultimately explores being present, even as we flirt with the future and struggle with the past.
Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard
Maynard is known in the literary world both for her 1998 memoir about her teenage relationship with the much older J. D. Salinger and for her own body of work, both novels and journalism. Under the Influence shows her rhapsodic talent in the service of Helen. A drinker whose life is collapsing, Helen becomes seduced by glamorous friends as she tries to maintain her relationship with her young son.