September 1st, 2021 7pm Stage 3
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The Last American is the debut Album from Brookyn based artist Ali Aslam. The songs explore questions of identity, belonging, and perspective--not just as independent concepts but as interrelated factors that inform our relationships to culture, each other, and ourselves. The tracks find their foundation in Aslam’s examination of his own identity as a Pakistani-American Muslim with a strong but complicated relationship to the mythology of American culture.
“Anyone with a background as hyphenated as mine--Muslim-American, Pakistani-American--will try and take ownership of that mythology, but also be fundamentally aware that our relationship to those things is qualified, somehow ‘other.’ It applies to my relationship with myself as well,” said Aslam. “I can love all of these things about myself, and still feel, or be made to feel, like I don’t have a right to. I think with this record, I'm asking if everybody feels this way.”
Aslam defines The Last American as a “supersonic folk” record. While the songs nod to American pop culture’s most recognizable sonic moments, he’s created a genre of his own, combining American folk, rock, and pop into a sound that supersedes traditional classification. The album, recorded in Brooklyn and Queens, traverses a wide territory in its twelve songs. At the heart, though, lies the formative expectations and experiences of the American Dream, in all its complexities, fulfillments, and shortcomings.