This article on rap music by Daniel Levin Becker catches my attention… especially this assessment of Rap music…

Rap music serves, consistently, contagiously, sometimes in spite of its own claims to the contrary, as a delivery mechanism for the most exhilarating and crafty and inspiring use of language in contemporary American culture.

… i struggle to get very much into Rap, even as i am aware of its enormous significance… i keep trying though… this article may be a window in, as it analyzes lines from a number of songs (raps?) and so could point me to some raps to listen to…

This is just it: taking words at face value is what good rappers almost militantly don’t do. They find the blind angles, the shortcuts, the secret overlaps, and use them, sometimes, to build stunning models of invention and entente, spaces where small discords combine into larger resolutions and we see, hear, how boring it would be to live in a perfect world where like belongs only with like.

… hmmm… saving this article…

… wow… every now and then i hear a song for the first time and it completely blows me away… Billy Bragg’s Mid-Century Modern is one of those songs…

”I Shot The Sheriff!”

… but i did’nt shoot no deputy…

this is an interesting court decision about whether an artist’s work, in this case a rap song, is admissible as evidence that the artist did what they are accused of doing… Muadhdhin Bey-Cousin, a rapper, maintains he was wrongly arrested, convicted and jailed… he is suing for damages… counsel defending the officers are(is?) trying to submit song lyrics as evidence of a truthful depiction of the incidents that led to his arrest… the judge ruled that artistic product cannot be used to determine truth or falsehood of a question at issue, since the very nature of art is to embellish on experience to transform it into something transcendent… therefore, there is a high burden on the part of those wishing to submit art content as evidence that there is strong reason to believe the artwork in question is factual and not embellished…

… among the examples cited was the Bob Marley song that is the title of this post…

… from the decision:

As a society, we have decided to encourage free expression in all its forms. The Court will not adopt a rule that might undermine that goal. It therefore adopts a rule that presumes that artists tell stories, even when they draw inspiration from reality. Officers Cherry and Powell have not overcome that burden, so the Court will grant Mr. Bey-Cousin’s Motion and preclude evidence of his lyrics…1


  1. Wolson, Judge Joshua, Bey-Cousin v. Powell, via Reason.com [return]

…strange, beautiful, compelling… im-hole by aya

Myriam Gendron

… Canadian songwriter… review of Ma délire — Songs of love, lost & found… gets an 8.0 on Pitchfork…

 The ambitious new album from the Canadian songwriter features thoughtful and transformative interpretations of traditional music. It is both a meditation on the past and a novel step forward.1

… as i read the review i note that this recording features Chris Corsanon on drums, whom i have heard live when Quinn’s Monday night jazz was up and running… the reviewer invokes Daniel Johnston…

 According to Gendron, what unites the crossbred pieces across this 15-track, 76-minute album are the eternal themes of love and longing. But just as important is Gendron’s own voice, a distinct, clear tool that works on multiple levels. With patient deliberation and gut-level resonance, she often sounds like she’s simultaneously intoning a children’s song and painting a portrait of complex emotion. Some singers approach similar territory—think of how David Berman talked and sang at the same time, how Daniel Johnston treated serious subjects with childlike wonder, or how Haley Fohr uses low tones to vibrate her music—but Gendron’s mesmerizing intonation has no exact parallels. Her voice is often both frank and enigmatic, grounded and limitless.2

… so, it becomes a must listen… i crank it up on Spotify…


  1. Masters, Marc, Myriam Gendron, Ma desire - Songs of love, lost & found, Pitchfork: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/myriam-gendron-ma-delire-songs-of-love-lost-and-found/ [return]
  2. Ibid [return]

Wiki, Half God

… i am not generally a fan of rap music, it doesn’t connect much with any of my life experiences… it has to be pretty highly regarded for me to take note of it, thus, when a new release by a rap artist i have never heard (not because they are obscure, almost all rap artists are obscure to me) of gets an 8.5 rating i add it to my list of music to listen to and decide if i like it…

 His latest album, Half God, is a record about what it’s like to come of age in New York: the way it shapes, hardens, prematurely ages you. Produced in its entirety by Navy Blue—the skateboarder/model turned prolific producer/MC born Sage Elsesser—the record captures the varied tempos of city life in colorful vignettes. A warbling guitar loop soundtracks a contemplative smoke session on “Roof”; the stuttering soul samples on “Can’t Do This Alone” stroll with Wiki and Navy Blue through city streets; hi-hats crunch and snares snap on “The Business,” as Wiki spews vitriol at the gentrifiers changing his home into something unrecognizable.1


  1. Ruiz, Matthew Ismale, Wiki, Half God, review. [return]

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

… the title of Halsey’s new album… what an interesting dynamic in that statement… i have been known to say i don’t want power… i would perhaps amend that statement to: i don’t want power, but i want to be powerful… that is, i want to be a powerful presence because of the wisdom with which i move through the world, not because i can make the world conform to the way i want to move… now, the idea that it is love or power… hmmm…

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A

… this blog is all about the attention i pay… it is rare that i read a Pitchfork review from beginning to end, but BS is sort of my era… i like, sometimes love, his music, but i have never been an avid fan… truthfully, i have never been an avid fan of practically anything or anyone… i have my flirtations, but they all stop short of avid fandom, which always struck me as giving too much power to the heroes… excused you from being your own hero… it’s also rare that Pitchfork gives a 10 rating to an album, so i read, and kept reading to the end…

… it seems that BR enjoyed the stardom and didn’t…

… Born in the U.S.A. speaks about an America that i grew up along side of, but not in… it’s full of blue collar music that appealed to me as i rejected the white collar life my parents brought me up in as being sterile and boring… i have always been more comfortable in artistic communities and neighborhoods that sit on the edge between blue and white collar, if those things mean anything anymore…

… i may have to crank the album up later on…

New (to me) Music

… among my somewhat daily routines is to look through Pitchfork reviews of newly released music… i will pay attention to anything with a rating of 8 or higher, sometimes to things with a 7.5 or higher if it is a genre of music i am fond of… i have music nerd friends who say this is a terrible way to find new music… all i know is that i have often enough found new-to-me music that i really like… so i continue to the practice… here is some new music added to my to be listened to list…

  • Mega Bog: Life, and Another… this review got my attention because of the high rating the music is given, that it is experimental, referencing folk, jazz and chamber pop, but also because i learned about Green Porno, a series of films wherein Isabella Rossellini costumes herself as a variety of animal creatures and demonstrates their sex lives… trust me, watch the trailer, it’s hysterical…
  • Yves Tumor: The Asymptotical World EP
    • The music of Yves Tumor moves like something molting. At first, it cleaves to genre, taking recognizable shape—a loping bass line, a steady backbeat. And then the shape dulls. It starts to appear as a copy of itself, not a rock song but an imitation rendered from paling memory. And then the form splits, and from the split comes something glistening and new, in the same arrangement as the old, dulled thing but rawer and more perceptibly alive.1

03 Laurie Anderson, United States Live

fascinating review of the performer and album

And so began Laurie Anderson’s own state of the union. The record of this eight-hour, two-night show—1984’s four-and-a-half-hour box set, United States Live—is a gesamtkunstwerk, a bold federation of hobbyist tinkering and scientific wizardry, sound sculpture and rock music, gender and social studies, philosophy and linguistics. With performance chops equal to the Gipper’s, Anderson untangled Reagan’s knot of tech and hope and power and wove together an alternative form of patriotism, one that centers disorientation and finds authenticity in imagination. Along the way, she created an American masterpiece.1

20210612.03 Pitchfork Reviews

… on most days i scan the music reviews on Pitchfork… my rule is that most anything with an 8.0 or higher rating gets remembered for later listening with slightly lower bar for genres i like (Jazz, Rock, Folk, Folk Rock, Experimental, Etc) and slightly higher bars for generes that just aren’t my thing, most Rap or Hip-Hop for example, and really high for genres i really am not fond of, Heavy Metal for example…

… this morning there were three releases that warranted saving…

Blue: Gene Tyranny: Degrees of Freedom Found…

 The fearless work of the late avant-garde pianist is celebrated with a momentous new anthology, showcasing his immense talent and passion1

Anthony Joseph: The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives…

the title alone on this one made it a no brainer…

 Backed by veteran jazz musicians and newer players, the Trinidad-born, London-based poet summons spirits of the Caribbean diaspora to ask what it might take to build a better world.2

Ski Mask: Pool…

… dance/electronica, not my thing, but rating high enough to give it a listen…

 Compiling several years’ worth of material and spanning nearly two hours, the Munich producer’s first full-length since 2018 feels cohesive, virtuosic, and thrillingly physical.3

03 Greentea Peng & Mike Skinner

… this image immediately catches my attention…

Greentea Peng, Photography by Stefy Pocket

… good hook image, red, woman… sex… i am also a little intrigued by the hook line “Your the Musical Jesus!”… what does it mean, i ask to myself, to be a musical Jesus?… image and headline compel me to find out…

a conversation between two music personalities i haven’t hear of, the genre seems to be rap, hip-hop, he is older, established, she is younger, up and coming, this is her first album, written and produced during the pandemic, her pandemic project (don’t we all have one in one way or the other?)… the album being discussed is Peng’s Man Made, i look for it on Spotify, not there, some single are, i will listen later… i find the Jesus reference, seems to be something about being a carpenter, craftsman?…

02 Fugees, The Score

… it’s Sunday morning, i peruse my Feedly feed and come across a review of The Score, by the Fugees on Pitchfork… i am not a fan of hip-hop, culturally it is miles from my life experience, but it gets a 9.3 (of 10) rating, so i decide to read the review… after a bit i decide to cue up the album and listen to it… i like it…

… this sentence from the article reverberates with my own life experience…

For Wyclef, the endeavor was a 24/7 lifestyle. He had moved into a bedroom upstairs after being kicked out of his home in Newark by his religious father for creating sinful music.1

… i have a lifetime of experience with disapproving patriarchy…

… as i am listening, these words, “too many MC’s and not enough mics,” which sums up the attention driven culture we live in perfectly…

… the album is clear, beautiful in places, i understand it, at least partially, which i often don’t in this genre of music… so many references to history i experienced through tv news…