Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, March 11, 2005 ]


Picture this

3:30 PM, on my knees, scrubbing out the toilet, singing Fantasia Barrino's song "Baby Mama" at the top of my lungs.

On the box right now: Etta James, VERY BEST.


Dove With Claws [4:22 PM]

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 ]


Something I like

I realized a while ago that I have a special affection for bands that are more like collectives, or at least display a vision (both social and musical) that's both exploratory and communal. Beyond being either simply about protest or rebellion (although they're usually about both), these bands represent - to me, at least - a new, larger vision of society. This communal collective might be my favorite kind of band, as a matter of fact. They tend to be many in number, and mostly they're people of color, though not always (and some of the best are interracial or multicultural, with my fellow honkies making a good showing). It has as much to do with their symbolic/cultural value with their actual records and performances.

Examples of this that I've been thinking of lately: The Roots, Los Lobos, Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Booker T. and the MGs, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Rage Against The Machine, Ozomatli, The Staple Singers

I'll probably think of a dozen others by the time I hit "Publish Post," but that's who I've got in the noggin at the moment.

On the box right now: Booker T. and the MGs, VERY BEST OF. I've known it for years, and I hope y'all have too, but I'll just state it for the record: their records are simply fantastic. I've been deep in the Memphis soul groove lately, and there are no better practicioners of it. The four sweetest words in the English language may be "Cropper, Dunn, Jackson and Jones."


Dove With Claws [9:21 PM]

[ Tuesday, March 08, 2005 ]


This week in the academy

Seminar today yielded some particularly poignant remarks:

"Who the hell reads this book?"

"So, I read all 180 pages of this, and at the end I was basically, like, 'so what?'"

"What the hell are we doing here?"

On the box right now: Various Artists, THE MUSCLE SHOALS SOUND. As good as Stax or Motown. The studio where most of these soul classics got recorded (Fame Studios) just closed down. Hopefully, its importance as an American cultural monument will be recognized before some jack-ass tears it down.


Dove With Claws [4:29 PM]

[ Sunday, March 06, 2005 ]



Just finished watching the 2nd season premiere of DEADWOOD. The show is one of my very favorites on TV, and I've been ready for its return for quite a while. I spent the last couple weeks revisiting the first season, and I'm even more impressed than I was the first go-round with how well the episodes are constructed, how precise the acting and storytelling is, and simply how deep the thing is. Anybody who likes good drama on TV - in the tradition of HOMICIDE, NYPD BLUE and THE SOPRANOS - should do themselves a favor. Or, as they might say on the show, the cocksuckers should do themselves a motherfuckin' favor.

On the box right now: Janet Jackson, DESIGN OF A DECADE: BEST OF 1986-1996. Found a cheap copy of this, and am somewhat amazed at how consistently good her singles were.


Dove With Claws [7:04 PM]