Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I think I should give up the ghost.

Everything in its right place.

Finally I'm free of all the weight I've been carrying.

It is the 21st Century.

Ice age coming.

Now I set you free.

Black-eyed angels.

You've got some nerve coming here.

Keeps me alive.

There's always sirens singing you to shipwreck.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Alive.

I don't care if I get a tan in Florida, in a week I'll be glowing from seeing some Thom and folks in the flesh.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Repeat: All We Are Is All We Got

This makes me feel so happy, like Mardi Gras inside my insides.

Here's a bit about its provenance. Oh, and Mark Ronson is still cute as hell.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Repeat: Pack a Pack Horse and Rest Up Here

God, that twin bass/guitar riff that opens and anchors this song just--well, it got me through last week. And last week was long. Long and heavy as these buzzy riffs. But these riffs are happy, too. So there's that, too. Lore (Wikipedia) has it that B. didn't have lyrics ready when it came time to record this for The Man Who Sold the World. That might explain the awkward first line or the overall brevity of the words.

I don't care. This enables me to skitter coolly down the street every day lately.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Don't Funk with My Groove

I decided to stop being afraid of the overwhelm that tidal-waves over me when I have, in the past, skimmed music blogs. I mean, thoughtful, dig-it-up-for-you, Soundcloud-riddled music blogs run by people infinitely more obsessed and attuned than me who have time to cull information and put it out there for your work-avoiding consumption. Initially on this morning's decision, I felt vanquished at the seemingly inestimable number of these blogs that float in the tubes. One look at Hype Machine's resources had me flinching desperately like I used to when I'd walk through a bookstore and dared not pull a volume off a shelf because then I'd want to pull, look at, and buy them all. Remember those days?

Information on the internet is more manageable, right? No. With my index finger, I can slack-jawed stroll--scroll-- across hundreds, thousands, of virtual Joseph-Beth Booksellers bookshelves. Or record store bins, as it were.

I like Earmilk because they cover a swath of genres (and organize said genres) and simply talk about the music (not themselves or their personas). No gossip. I can feed some singer-songwriter urges as much as I can identify fresh house to run to. And--oh, alright: it was the daily "chill" track that drew me in.

I did have to unlike Earmilk on FB not long after I first discovered it about six or seven months ago. The site would post a blinding parade of links that, when viewed on a Blackberry, would nearly prod me into one of these maybe-migraines I sometimes get. Y'all don't need to link to every post on the blog, do you? How about a couple a day as, you know, a sort of end cap to get me down into the aisle?

But even though I am facing the slow-dawning realization over the past few days that I spend a good portion of each day scrolling through an unheavenly host of gooey brain discharge, this, at least, has a purpose. The satisfaction of discovery. The adrenaline rush of identification. Oh yeah, and the pure pleasure of...listening. Hearing.

Looking at a constant stream of check-ins and traffic/CTA gripes does not bring me pleasure, ultimately, nor have any real or palatable purpose. It's the short-term rush of knowing. Of occupying, even owning, the moment. Great. I know something in this moment. I am not alone with my own thoughts (or discovery or identification or pleasure) in this moment.

I think that Stupor Bowl XXXIVIVIX the other night nearly pushed me over the edge.

But I will say that the discovery-to-hearing trajectory, and the ineffable connection of shared humor, politics, emotion, discovery, identification and pleasure that interacting with the virtual world (looking at you, Twitter. I know, after I huffily professed to not get you)--all of these will keep me nimbly on the edge, I think. And that edge is balancing discovery and decisiveness.

I'm not sure about their name, though. It's a bit...poetry-slamish. There is something likeably Jill Scott-ish about them, too. But this groove --it's worth the search anxiety.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A slip of the tongue is gonna keep me civilian

I’m not a very Sad Gal Music person; I'm rather an Eviscerate-them-with-my-wit-and-words-with-a-good beat Music Gal. To wit: 

It's no Blood and Chocolate, and the album's title belies these tracks, but there are some pointed gems on Get Happy!! There are also moments of bliss and wonder.

Legend has it that the record's R&B and soul undergirding sprang from remorse over racist epithets flung by EC during a bar conversation-turned-brawl at a Columbus, Ohio Holiday Inn in 1979 (oh, to be a fly upon the metallic wallpapered wall!). He denies that the record was such an obvious act of contrition. Wouldn't such a long album would emerge more organically, with much of the material retooled from slicker incarnations into gut-thumping soul workouts.

Whatever it was that prompted Costello's brain purge into a bass-y, twenty-track groove-de-force, the album's a reliable uplift.

Truth in advertising. And look at these hits!!

Monday, February 06, 2012

And it's all in the way you wonder

This is an early-day discovery that I guarantee will turn into push-play-and-repeat.

For a quasi-super group with a hell of a lot of history hanging over their heads, this sparkles. And, for a bunch of white dudes, grooves. And is another reason the early 70s was so music-rich, in my mind -- all the dudes who'd by then thrown in the towel with their formative bands were suddenly free to make their own stuff. All Things Must Pass. Ram and Band on the Run. Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, and Mind Games. That's just one freaking band. Oh, and Neil. And Curtis. Repeat the cycle roughly ten years later and you've got Michael and Tina.

Bring on the sprawl. I like sprawling albums. They speed up an hour of work or render an afternoon shaded by trees or a commute someplace remote, like Milwaukee or Rogers Park, a more contemplative experience.

This will be good plane listening.

And good for the turntable that's resting in my Amazon cart...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The brothers and sisters here together.

Don Cornelius and the "eighth wonder of the world." Chicago. 1971. At the 9:00 mark there's a special song for the Soul Train gang.

It's no secret around this territory that I one of my recent and characteristic fascinations has been with Soul Train. This news, however it would have transpired, is shocking, as it is when any influential cultural figure passes on, and especially when you've been touched by what they do, either in the course of your life, or even simply when you're sitting in front of the TV (or streaming screen) and that person has created a window for you into another world, big and joyful and thoughtful one, a "ride" that will be back next week. And the next week, and the next week. And you know he's right when he says, "you can bet your last money it's all going to be a stone jam, sonny."

It's beyond troubling when the end is sudden like this. There's not an answer..

Peace, love and Soul.


I just read this in-the-moment remembrance from Questlove.

"to say with a straight, dignified face that BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL was the RISKIEST radical life-changing move that america has seen. and amazingly enough for one hour for one saturday out the week, if you were watching soul train….it became contagious. next thing you know you are actually believing you have some sort of worth.

"the whole idea of Afrocentrism in my opinion manifested and spread with Soul Train in its first 6 years."