I quite like this:
Etta James, “Tell Mama” (1968)
Etta James (name at birth: Jamesetta Hawkins) and Muscle Shoals was a natural combination that maybe took a little longer than you might think to happen, but when it did, well, wowóeasily one of her best albums. She’s in complete control of this blistering number, playing off the horns and guitar that lead the charge just about perfectly. The story about a woman swooping in to nurture a good man cruelly treated is pretty good too, but mostly it’s the sonics that get this over. “I’d Rather Go Blind,” from much earlier in the decade, is a nice example of her way around a heartfelt ballad.
AWOL describes me to a T. Nothing like a crappy week at work (but no complaints — for real; I got work) + a break for some enforced remembrance to kill the blogging impetus.
Not to mention that the cycle of dangerous mood swings brought on by living within a class war is making it hard to focus on writing sweet reason. It’s plain tiring to watch the neo-feudalists as they advance their attempt to envassal and enserf* us all.
So it was that this very new version of an old song heard while driving this a.m. seemed terribly threatening: if this becomes the soundtrack of our day, as it was of a London I lived in all those years ago, hard times are going to get harder. Can’t say it won’t though. Listen:
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And how about a bonus track — the Clash original:
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That about captures my mood today. You? As per usual, I suspect you may consider this an open thread.
*F’w’at we blog if not to coin
neologisms.[Or not. See Arrik’s correction.]
Tradition requires that we in the Northern Hemisphere note the turning of the year as it balances on the pivot between Summer’s abundance and Winter’s austerity. But mostly, I think we’re all glad to see the end of this particularly angry and brutal Silly Season…
I realize things have been a bit slow around here lately. I’ll be live-blogging the Republican debate tonight. Here’s Song of the Week, a day early. Also too, feel free to consider this an open thread.
R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981)
I’m going to try being vaguely relevant just for a change of pace. I was plain surprised to hear the news that R.E.M. is hanging it up I figured by this point they were planning to just take it to their graves. Now they’re gone I’m casting my mind back a long way. I remember well the offbeat wake-up call of that first single, though I couldn’t say at the time what struck so strong about it, and then the EP that built on that, and then Murmur, and so on and so forth. I admit I loved them beyond all sense at points, got tired unto the death of them at others, but they were always worth checking any time they came along with something new. Will miss them now, that’s for sure.