Long Hard Fall

Larkin Poe delivers a spritely tune which carries an undertone of loss and hope.

Oh, I am home, sweet suitcase.
There is room around my table
For open-hearted flying steady or unstable.
Out we go, wings are patched,
Those below prepare to catch,
‘Cause it’s a long, hard fall from here.

And, then there is their cover of the Son House blues classic.

River Cross

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam share the light in this tune from their new album Gigaton.

While the government thrives on discontent
And there’s no such thing as clear
Proselytizing and profitizing
As our will all but disappears
Folded over, forced in a choke hold
Outnumbered and held down
And all these talk of rapture
Look around at the promise now

Crosseyed and Painless

David Byrne has been exploring and encouraging international music for as long as I can remember. He’s delved into African polyrhythms in a number of recordings, the songs on Remain in Light for example.
I’ll never forget seeing the film Stop Making Sense, as the collection that made up the Talking Heads helped unleash Byrne as he careened across the sound stage with his songs of unease (disease?).
Well, I stumbled onto Angelique Kidjo’s project to cover (remake) Remain in Light. What better to help relay that unease of modern society than Kidjo working the lyrics of Byrne’s tune, herself at home with African rhythms, to further advance this unease?
Here’s a link to Kidjo performing at a 2017 jazz fest, effortlessly delivering a take on Byrne’s classic tune.

Lost my shape
Trying to act casual!
Can’t stop
I might end up in the hospital
I’m changing my shape
I feel like an accident.

Fautus Fables

A head’s up from a 2015 story by Stephan Wyatt in Houston Press twigged me to some of what was behind Charles Mingus’ tune on the album Mingus Ah Um.
The tune hinges (besides the great jazz playing of the quartet) on the words “fable” and “Fautus.”
The public (other than those who were aware of the Little Rock crisis) didn’t get a clear signal of the tune’s origins until it was recorded again later on the album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus.
I’ll leave it to you the listener to make the comparison of the two tunes, first the first, and second the second.
Jazz is so much, including a window into our checkered past, in this instance, a governor standing in the way of fellow citizens getting the same access to resources as other citizens in a more privileged position.
While the first rendition is more “recordable,” the second is so much more from the gut, so much more visceral, a chance for a jazz outfit to let ‘er rip.

Name me someone who’s ridiculous, Dannie.
Governor Faubus!
Why is he so sick and ridiculous?
He won’t permit integrated schools.

Spring care

Green spring light
peered through May drizzle,
Damping day’s cares, concerns,
Dusk lulling into sleep.

Morning was an ambush.
A green spring light
Leapt through rain and wind
A challenge to a new day.

Our Love Survives

This tune closes the album Desparate Ground, an album by The Thermals about war and violence, “this human obsession with war and violence and how it seems to always keep going on,” said bassist Kathy Foster in an interview in the Omaha World Herald in May of 2013.

Hutch Harrison’s vocals stay way out in front of the crunchy guitar sound of this single.

The world we knew, washed away
The life we led, led us astray
And now we face, our greatest foe
But we fear not for we know
Our love survives, our love survives