M. LAMAR TOUR DATES AND UPCOMING SHOWS
January 11th 2013-Performatorium Festival of Queer Performance in Regina, Canada.
Holy Oak Cafe- January 20th- Toronto,Canada
Saint Vitus Bar- March 13th in Greenpoint Brooklyn, NY
Madame Claude-March 15th Berlin Germany
Loophole-March 16th- Berlin Germany
LE BOURG- March 21st- Lausanne, Switzerland
Fria Teatern-April 13th- Stockholm, Sweden
Liberte-April 19th- Helsinki
"this bitch can sing"
" traces landscapes of longing caused by extreme dehumanization"
The New Yorker
"M. Lamar, performs songs that are a cross stylistically between operatic excess, old-fashioned Negro spirituals and demonic possession"
"One of the most interesting singers currently making music in New York. [a] rare wonderful talent..."
Justin Vivian Bond
The singer and pianist M. Lamar, who is black and approaches gender through the lens of race and does it in a highly entertaining fashion.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
M. Lamar is a countertenor, pianist and composer. His work draws heavily from African American Spirituals, Opera, late 20th century avant-garde music, as well as popular forms like blues and rock. Lamar's work has been presented internationally most recently at Performatorum, Regina Canada, The International Theater Festival Donzdorf, Germany, Bowery Ballroom, New York, Cathedral of St. John the Divine New York, and The African American Arts and Culture Complex San Francisco. Lamar has also presented work at PS122, Dixon Place, Joe's Pub, Abrons Art Center, The Chocolate Factory, Galapagos Art Space, Center for Performance Research, and Washington Center for Performing Arts among others. In 2008 Lamar's work was presented along side world renowned performance artist Ron Athey in the Biennale d’art performatif de Rouyn-Noranda in Quebec, Canada. Also, 2008 found Lamar as featured performer in Tony-nominated performance artist Justin Bonds award-winning show Lustre at P.S.122 and Abrons Arts Center.
M. Lamar holds a B. F. A. from the San Francisco Art institue and attended the Yale School of Art in the sculture program before dropping out to pursue music.
Lamar has had many many years of classical vocal study with Ira Siff among others
Shackled to the Dead
Requiem for Voice and Piano
Was presented at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Thursday Feb. 16th 2012
The Atlantic Ocean holds the remains of countless black bodies, people lost en-route from home to the new world. During the transatlantic slave trade, millions of Africans were carried in bondage to America. A horrifying percentage did not survive the journey. This piece is about them.
Many of the captured people preferred death to slavery. They jumped overboard or tried to starve themselves. In those circumstances the slaver would use a device called a speculum orum to keep the captives’ mouths open while they were forced to eat.
In the fetid holds of slave ships, live bodies were shackled to the dead, sometimes for days and months at a time. The artist, M. Lamar, believes that we are all also shackled to the dead. The water that rises from the ocean, falls as rain into our reservoirs, and flows down the pipes to our faucets, was once and is still their grave. This water, water that is now inside all of us, conceals and reveals the truth about who we are as Americans. The abducted Africans had their months forced open. M. Lamar states, "I will willingly open my mouth to lift my voice and let the spirits dance. Yes, we are shackled to the dead! They speak to us and through us. Let their voices rise!"
This event was presented in conjunction with The Value of Water: Sustaining a Green Planet, an exhibition with related programming at the
M. lamar is reginald lamar on piano and vocals
7 inch white vinyl 2008
side 1 Dirty Dirty Nigga, White Pussy
Souls on Lockdown 2010
Negro Gothic 2010
(cassette tape) whip records
Negro Antichrist January 18th 2013
Speculum Orum:Shackled to the Dead March 5th 2013
[+ Show ]
If there’s such a thing as a post-structuralist, transgendering singer, it’s M. Lamar. While son...
If there’s such a thing as a post-structuralist, transgendering singer, it’s M. Lamar. While songs are his métier, he’s ultimately a performance artist who celebrates and parodies the very idea of the chanteuse: he deconstructs the persona of the diva even as he wraps himself in divalike hauteur. I first saw him last year, when the brilliant performer and downtown impresario Justin Bond curated a show that featured a number of up-and-coming luminaries. Lamar stood out, not least because of his bass-inflected falsetto, his strident, melodramatic piano playing, and what he celebrated in one song: a certain part of the female anatomy. Sporting a black weave and white boots, Lamar took himself as seriously during that performance as any myth in the making can and should. The twenty-nine-year-old artist has a show at the Chocolate Factory, July 16-18, called “The Black Death,” a song cycle that, as he puts it, “traces landscapes of longing caused by extreme dehumanization.” In other words, Lamar means to perform work about home, hearth, hope. ?
M. Lamar/ Souls On Lockdown
[+ Show ]
Even though most music performers are referred to as “artists,” M. Lamar really earns the title. Lam...Even though most music performers are referred to as “artists,” M. Lamar really earns the title. Lamar seems interested less in conventional songcraft and more with creating, for lack of a better word, “pieces.” His work engages the audience in a way that is unlike the standard consumption of pop entertainment. This is not to say that Lamar’s new full-length album, Souls on Lockdown, is no fun. In fact, though Lamar repeatedly explores the issues of race and sexuality in an intensely analytical way throughout the album, it’s not like an undergrad lecture. Souls is stuffed to the gills with potent melodrama.
Lamar’s work is often confrontational. Before this full-length, he released a 7-inch EP that included songs called “White Pussy” and “Dirty Dirty Nigga.” They’re actually great songs, but they have the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Similarly, Lamar’s mode of performance is often very direct. He sings in a soaring countertenor which, when listened to blindly, could be easily mistaken for the voice of a female opera diva. He accompanies himself with simple, pounding chords on a keyboard. I’ve seen a few live performances by M. Lamar, and the uncomfortable squirms of the uninitiated and unappreciative were quite obvious.
Well, screw those people. M. Lamar is not only an incredibly interesting musical performer – following ably in the footsteps of the likes of Klaus Nomi and Diamanda Galas – but he’s a hell of a writer too.
The opener, “The Conquest,” is a new (and improved) version of the third track from his previously released 7-inch record. This new version alters Lamar’s keyboard sound so that it more closely resembles a heavily-reverbed electric guitar. It’s a wonderful contribution to the ominous atmosphere of the piece, which depicts seduction and sexual domination in an era of imperialist warfare. As Lamar put its, “Defeat is not an option / My weapon is yours to fear.”
Lamar returns again and again to the imagery of slavery. The CD cover features an illustration of an 1863 lynching of a black man, hanged from a tree. It’s an image which Lamar states in the liner notes that he hopes can stand as “a symbol of hope, possibility, and faith for blacks, queers, trans persons, and all who turn away from white supremacy and identification with domination and power,” in the way that Christians use the crucifix as such a symbol. This theme is key to the song, “The Tree,” which sounds distinctly like a Negro Spiritual and features the lyrics, “Renew my soul / With your violent hand… hang me from the tree.” It also pops up in slightly mutated form in the provocative “Get Down,” where the narrator (presumably a white john looking for a black hustler) orders, “Get down from that tree / And give me that nigga dick.” Lamar interjects with a description from a sex ad (“I’m a top / Outcalls only”) and talks to the potential john, who is looking for a black man to dominate and humiliate him. “You say I’m the superior race,” Lamar comments. The lyrics, as with most of the songs, are very sparse, but Lamar knows how to pick the right words to create a vivid picture – and not always one the listener is prepared to understand.
While “Get Down” is cut from a similar cloth as the tracks I mentioned above from Lamar’s 7-inch record, it is actually in the minority on the album, as far as in-your-face provocations go. It comes late in the album, at a point at which Souls on Lockdown has established a mood of both ecstasy and melancholy. While Lamar never abandons his directness, the first two-thirds of the album have a surprising tastefulness. Lamar’s voice throughout the album shows a vulnerability that makes the work accessible, allowing the listener to get swept up in the songs no matter how elliptical or fragmented the lyrics. Lamar’s performance fills in all the details we might be missing from the text.
Souls on Lockdown is an album that, despite its lack of lush arrangements, is fairly dense. It reveals more with each additional listen. Certain technical concerns (sometimes it sounds like Lamar sings an “off-key” note) melt away over time (now I’m convinced that at least some of those notes are not merely out of tune but are intentionally dissonant), and the power of the album grows stronger. It would be easy to spew a “not suited to all tastes” disclaimer when discussing Souls on Lockdown, but that’s a cop out. Really, your potential enjoyment comes down to this: Are you man (or woman or trans) enough to handle this album?
by Justin Remer
[+ Show ]
The singer and pianist M. Lamar, who is black and approaches gender through the lens of race and doe...The singer and pianist M. Lamar, who is black and approaches gender through the lens of race and does it in a highly entertaining fashion.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Lamar holds and trills his guttural utterances with the marvelous fortitude and surety of a Nina Simone or a Patty Waters. Wearing his blackademia on his form-fitted leather sleeves with equally tight-ass jeans, Lamar places the listener into often uncomfortable situations. I thought at times, bloody black fetuses might climb out of the piano's guts, slither downstage, sit and stare accusingly at me. Like Kara Walker, or David Hammons, Lamar confronts with history, shuns with narrative, pricks our noses with shameless recall, all the while smiling, his eyes turned to the floor, waiting.
-World famous in San francisco
An African-American artist from Brooklyn, New York, simply called M. Lamar, performed songs that were a cross stylistically between operatic excess, old-fashioned Negro spirituals and demonic possession. Lamar's lyrics attacking gender and racial stereotypes are too risqué to repeat here but they brought the house down Thursday at SAW as more than 100 people tried to squeeze into the gallery's tiny performance venue for a truly decadent, undergound experience. Ottawa Citizen
"The singular artist M. Lamar is a classically trained counter tenor whose brilliant original work is in the unabashedly political yet emotionally powerful tradition of artists like Diamanda Galas and Paul Robeson. He also has a sense of humor, and the songs, with titles like 'That Obscure Object of Desire' and 'Exploitation Chic,' can be sexy, funny, angry, and sad, often all at the same time."
-WBAI Pacifica Radio
This songwriter was born to appear in a David Lynch film, sounding like an operatic loon trapped in a piano.
"A big falsetto and a fearless sense of propriety that would make Gil Scott Heron proud. This revolution is already being televised, bitches"-Urban Folk
"Lamar's understated work on the keyboard was accompanied by soaring phrases of song, sounding overwrought, and intentionally so."-$pread Magizine.
"Scratchy and gritty, Lamar deeply probes race, class, and sex prejudices and taboos."-San Francisco Bay Guardian
My concerts are anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. I also have several theatrical show that happen in three movements. Those shows are 75 to 90 mins. Most M. Lamar sets look something like this:
Unloved and unwanted
no more auction block for me(traditional)
meaning is slipping
Let Darkness Descend
Paint it black
Dirty Dirty Nigga
PDF RiderNegro Antichrist tech Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.