After premiering in NYC and on Jam Cruise to widespread acclaim, Let Us Play, the official documentary from funk powerhouse Lettuce, is now available to purchase or rent on Vimeo.The 45-minute film, directed by Jay Sansone of Human Being Media and produced by Live for Live Music’s Kunj Shah, merges footage from live sets, recording sessions, interviews, and candid scenes from the road. Filmed over a six-month period, the footage chronicles the mechanics of improvisation and the artistry behind making a funk record. Viewers will get an in-depth diagnosis of the band, who they are as artists, how they work together and use their ridiculous expertise to come up with some of the funkiest music around.Watch the trailer below, and view the whole thing here! Lettuce will be headlining two nights at the inaugural Fool’s Paradise April 1st & 2nd along with Vulfpeck, GRiZ, Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue (ft. George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Nikki Glaspie & more), The Nth Power, and more.
Professor Desiree Martin, an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Davis, spoke Thursday in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium about the growing following of La Santa Muerte, a skeletal Central American folk figure whose name translates to Saint Death, in a talk called “Borderlands Saints: Reflections on Secular Sanctity and La Santa Muerta.”“It [the current version of the following] dates from roughly the early eighties, and it kind of really gained steam in the mid-nineties during the Mexican peso crisis of 1994”, Martin said. “The origin of Santa Muerte that goes further back — there is no consensus on when belief in Santa Muerte first arose. … She is sometimes linked to Saint Paschal Baylon [a Spanish Friar and Catholic Saint from the mid to late 1590’s], and she’s linked to a saint in France who appears as a skeletal figure and another saint from Oaxaca who looks like a skeleton, so there is no real consensus, but probably the roots are pre-colonial as there are indigenous gods that match their beliefs and take a skeletal form.”Martin said Santa Muerte controversially highlights a contemporary symbol of secular sanctity, where a profane figure is worshipped in a way that is not unlike the worship of a sacred figure.“Since Santa Muerte is so strongly associated with the profane, especially in relation to illegality or transgressivity, she is a particularly extreme example of the collision between the secular and the sacred. Santa Muerte is famous for being very miraculous and loyal but also for being a jealous, vengeful patron who requires the utmost devotion and respect,” Martin said. “Santa Muerte is not venerated for her purity but for her accessibility and for her resistance to the powerful forces of the state, the Catholic Church and wealthy elites.”Matin said the exchange at the heart of devotees’ interaction and relationship with Santa Muerte, however, highlights a darker aspect of the relationship between worshipper and figure. Martin showed clips from Eva Aridjis’s 2007 documentary “La Santa Muerte,” which depicted a woman praising Santa Muerte while in prison.“This woman, who paints murals and images of Santa Muerte for her fellow inmates, situates her art as both offering and commodity. She also openly identifies the death saint as both a provider and a guardian for her drug habit,” Martin said. “The woman seems neither to expect judgment of nor deliverance from her drug habit. Instead, she considers Santa Muerte a friend and companion who will not only protect her from an overdose, but will stay by her side as she gets high, perhaps implicitly participating in her illicit journey.”Martin says the ambivalent and two-faced nature of Santa Muerte is inherently contradictory, leading to her image as a disruptor of class, racial, gender and sexual hierarchies being downplayed in favor of an intimidating image of the pagan, the Satanic, or the criminal.“In reality, Santa Muerte threatens her critics because she helps her marginalized devotees, especially migrants, poor barrio residents, and most contentiously, criminals,” she said. “But for the majority of devotees, Santa Muerte’s dark side is not exclusively or even primarily linked to the criminal underworld. Instead, it manifests through the Death Saint’s purported jealousy and the price she supposedly exacts from believers who use her powers recklessly or who fail to pay her proper tribute.”Tags: Desiree Martin, Santa Muerte
The No. 9 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team took care of business against Chicago State University at home Thursday in an effort that was anything but business as usual.Senior leader Nigel Hayes went 1-8 from the floor and finished with three points behind an 11 point, 5-7 field goal percentage from sophomore Kahlil Iverson.The beginning of the first half started slow, but freshman standout D’Mitrik Trice and the Badgers put up a 17-3 run and take an early 19-11 lead. As far as the score, it wouldn’t only get better for UW going forward as the bench racked up a massive 36 points on the game in the 18 point win.Iverson brought the ship home to port for the Badgers in the second half, recording four dunks down the stretch and creating enough of a buffer to close out the home win. Head coach Greg Gard said in the post game press conference that he was pleased with the improvements from Tuesday’s loss, but stressed the need to cut down on turnovers going forward.While the victory Thursday was needed just to get another win in the win column, the matchup served more as a chance for Wisconsin to prove to itself that it can return to a top 10 level after a disheartening defeat at Creighton University earlier this week. The Badgers will now look to stay on the winning end of things as they travel to the Maui Invitational next week for a matchup with Tennessee University Monday.Men’s basketball: Bench play sparks No. 9 Wisconsin to victory over Chicago StateThe beginnings of Thursday night’s game against Chicago State University and the effort against Creighton Tuesday night were all too Read…Wisconsin offensive player of the game: Kahlil IversonIverson’s performance can’t be more overstated when you talk about the depth of this Wisconsin team. The sophomore guard’s second half impact speak volumes to how far Gard can reach into his bench for points when the rest of the team is tired.Iverson also serves as an enormous spark plug for a team that, despite plenty of experience, has very few exciting players. The athletic youngster scores most of his points in the forms of dunks and those dunks are normally what excites the team most and ends up on the highlight reels. Iverson’s display of offense on Thursday will help the team in more ways than one as they move into a brutal non-conference schedule.Wisconsin defensive player of the game: Charlie Thomas IVIverson’s roommate and best friend, Charlie Thomas, also made a name for himself against Chicago State, recording a team-high seven rebounds and a dominant display on the defensive end. Opposing coaches and players have been blown away from Thomas’ size on the inside this season and his extra confidence this season should provide a huge presence on the blocks.Thomas was pretty limited last season after the coaching switch to Gard early on, but has reamerged in the lineup over the last few games. The center’s 15 minutes of action Thursday was limited, but felt as Chicago State only 10 points in the paint and were very limited around Thomas. With Thomas more aggressive down low, Ethan Happ and Hayes should have more room to work and will know they have a safety blanket on the boards if they put up a bad shot.Chicago State player of the game: Fred Sims JrThere weren’t many bright spots for Chicago State in Madison, but Fred Sims Jr. and his team high 26 points and six threes were enough to give the Cougars something to be proud of. Sims was definitely the team leader out on the floor, controlling possession and scoring more than half his team’s points.Wisconsin now travels to Maui at will face Tennessee Monday at 1:30 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN2.