Speaking in Tongues: Diary Playlist 2 (April 15-21)

My second week of reviewing my seven days’ listening with a Spotify playlist and dispensing imaginary awards to notable records.

Plucked from History’s Dustbin (best recent purchase of an old record): Joe McPhee, Oleo

Grower, Not a Shower (old record I already owned that’s risen significantly in my esteem): Grace Jones, Island Life

Encore, Encore! (album I played at least twice this week): Tracey Thorn, Record

Through the Cracks (sweet record I forgot to write about): Sons of Kemet, My Queen is a Reptile

Coming Attractions (Sunday’s Children): Hamilton (traveling to St. Louis to see–and mos def hear–it today); all things Shabaka Hutchings!

An Embarrassment of Riches (April 18th, 2018, Columbia, MO)

A narrative-free day, but it was stuffed with very, very good music.

Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquist–I’ve loved Meshell since her shy and smoldering live rendition of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” in the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, but haven’t been held fast by any of her albums. That just changed. Cool and smart.

Jeffrey Lewis: Works by Tuli Kupferberg–A labor of love for Lewis, who’s certainly a kind of son of the sorely-missed Fugs legend. I’m a Tuli nut myself, but the interpreter does some expert excavation here; the Beatles’ tweak “I Wanna Hold Your Foot” is new to me, and perfect. I will have to dream of what wonders he could’ve worked on “Nothing,” a classic begging to be updated, but I’ll settle. A great introduction to a genius who loved language, liberation, laughter–and (especially) fucking. Kupferbergian advice: “Try to be joyful.”

Shopping: The Official Body–Bratty offspring of a knee-trembler engaged in by Pylon and Gang of Four.

Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red–Complaints about her singing are nitpicking, and claims that this is “emo” (whatever that really is) are bogus. I hear someone’s even convened a panel to test it’s emo-ness. Such efforts strike me as artistic policing, which is exactly what this fascinating young artist doesn’t need. Me? I dig it. It’s definitely her, lane change be damned.

Ebo Taylor: Love and Death–I cannot get enough of this diligent, multitalented Ghanaian’s music, but I have struggled to helpfully describe it. It’s brighter, busier Afrobeat–imagine a very happy Fela.

One afternoon several years ago, I converted Nicole to The Grateful Dead (circa ’68-’73, just like me). She jammed on ’em today on the way home from work, mentioned how much she liked this song when she walked in the door, and it played on a loop in my head the rest of the day.