A Goods Train Running Through My Mind (June 7th, 2018, Columbia, MO)

Another day of mostly being inspired to expand my musical horizons by good memoirists–a brief side trip to West Helena, Arkansas.

Sad to say, especially being a pretty strong Wu-Tang Clan fan, but I’d never explored Method Man’s tracks. I’ve dug his leads on Wu rekkids and his guest spots on other Clansmen’s, and I am a long-time deep admirer of his team-up with Aunt Mary, but that’s as far as it’s gone. In U-God’s memoir Raw, we learn that Meth was a teenage compadre of the author, and stories of their exploits sent me to 2009’s Best of Method Man, which I enjoyed aside from some hard wincing at flying misogyny. Great production, honed style and flow, always goosed by Redman.

I am also reading Tracey Thorn’s terrific memoir from last decade, Bedsit Disco Queen, which her terrific (and AOTY candidate) Record led me to in the first place. Due to unfortunate prejudices and youthful ignorance, until today I had never listened to Everything But the Girl (well, I had, on the benefit comp Red Hot and Rio, but I hadn’t paid attention). Reading the book, I’d have been a stubborn fool to continue holding out, so I spun the bottle and started with Amplified Heart, which I very much enjoyed–especially the lyrics. Every song seems to have an aching line, and nearly every song traces the struggle of women in this here time. I’m gonna have to be in the right mood when I listen again, and it’s not the most dynamic attack in the world, but…I’m sold. And regretful. My fave (and I now know what a goods train is!):

By the way? Read the book. And check the gal’s track record!

Last but not least, Nicole and I listened to one of our stone-cold heroes, Sonny Boy Williamson, while buzzing ’round town. Besides being a master harmonica blower, the man was a sly and funny singer, and quite a writer–in fact, a kind of poet of the close call, the futile plea, the learned lesson, the sideways seduction, and the not-so-veiled threat. His known for his Chess label work, but his work prior to that (especially on Trumpet) is rawer, funnier, and often more powerful. Listen to him saunter, moan, stutter, and almost whisper through this one:

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