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Model Home

Since 2018, D.C. vocal and electronic duo Model Home have been releasing album after album of experimental musical chaos. On Bandcamp, they have a series of albums numbered from 1 to 18, not to mention a June 2020 album called One Year that compiles tracks from eight different self-released mixtapes and a July 2020 single, “Rev b/w Flesh.” The pair, made up of Southeast-raised rapper Nappy Nappa and Maryland-based instrumentalist Pat Cain, first met in 2017 at Black Cat. In Model Home, Nappa’s vocals are usually altered—sped up cartoon style, digitally edited, and echoed. Similarly, Cain can play rhythmically, but he often prefers to make shrieking, atonal sounds on his synthesizer. The two have also worked together with Sir E.U and Tony Kill in the avant-garde hip-hop group Delta-7. At times, Model Home’s compositions balance slightly more conventional musical segments with manipulated ones. On “Rev,” Nappy Nappa starts off speaking and then shouting over a funky programmed beat with Dolo Percussion of Future Times Records adding additional low end sonics; then Cain injects a bit of screeching programmed sound. Still, sometimes Model Home’s self-proclaimed “experiments in liberated sound and lifestyle” can be a bit trying. “Livin’ in a Treehouse” utilizes helium vocals, some cheesy synthpop, and slurred and mumbled rapping. Nappa, who attended the Duke Ellington High School for the Arts, explained their approach via email. He says he started “creat’ng what was felt that world may have been miss’ng. Vibrations to th voiceless, colors to th blind.” Model Home’s discography is available at modelhomedc.bandcamp.com. Prices vary. —Steve Kiviat

Black Journal

In this week’s New Yorker, staff writer Doreen St. Félix writes about the experience of watching the news show Black Journal, which launched in 1968, in 2020. It resonates across the decades: The premiere episode, St. Félix says, is “decidedly of its time, which was, like ours, one of transformation, violent and hopeful by turns.” Episodes are now available online via the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston), and segments can also be found in the online collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. On Black Journal, viewers could see Alice Coltrane interviewed about music, spirituality, and her family three years after the death of her husband John—a rare clip, according to a description for a screening earlier this week that was introduced by Rhea Combs, the museum’s curator for photography in film. They could also watch a frank, nearly hourlong segment where Black soldiers and ranked officers talk about the racism they experience in the military during the Vietnam War. What makes Black Journal so fascinating, St. Félix says, is how it highlighted “the complexities of Black fame,” and its political project—it “was tracking a revolution.” Segments are available at nmaahc.si.edu and americanarchive.org. Free. —Emma Sarappo