CounterPunch Playlist




Hilton Ruiz: Enchantment (Arabesque)

New York-born pianist Hilton Ruiz was a child prodigy, performing at Carnegie Hall in 1960 at the age of 8. Over the next decade, Ruiz apprenticed with Joe Newman and Freddie Hubbard, before forming a fruitful association with the iconic Rashaan Roland Kirk. After Kirk’s death, Ruiz went on to lead his own bands, becoming one of the most gifted and innovative players of Latin and Cuban jazz. Earlier this week, Ruiz was mugged and severely beaten in the head as he left a bar on Bourbon Street. He now lies in a coma in a New Orleans hospital. The NO police, perhaps the worst crop in a nation of corrupt cops, have not launched an investigation into the near-fatal beating and initially reported that he had simply “fallen” on the sidewalk and smashed his skull. Like most musicians, Ruiz has only limited health insurance and his wife Aida is pleading for financial help in this time of crisis. Please wire transfer money to the below bank account. She wants people to call her when they have sent something so she will know that it’s there.

Aida Ruiz
Chase Bank
ACCT #: 711211359
ROUTING # 065400137

Her Phone # 201-925-6416 (Please leave message if she doesn’t answer)

Desmond Dekker: Rockin’ Steady (Rhino)

The King of Ska and Rock Steady music, Desmond Dekker died this week at the age of 65. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Dekker’s sweet voice and jubilant music laid the foundations for reggae and served as a running soundtrack for the Rude Boy culture. Dekker’s “Israelites” still stands as one of the greatest singles of the 1960s. His cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want It” is more biting than Cliff’s own version and landed on the soundtrack to The Harder They Come. Dekker became close friends with Paul McCartney, who immortalized him in “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da.” In the late 1970s, Dekker’s rough brand of ska was rediscovered by The Clash and other Brit punk bands who merged ska dubs with punk angst in the so-called Two Tone movement. Unfortunately the punk movement didn’t lead to a resurrection of Dekker’s career. He was forced into bankruptcy in 1984 and lived a hard existence for the remainder of his life. Stands with Toots, Marley, Cliff and Tosh as one of the giants of the Jamaican sound.

Roxy Music: Country Life (Virgin)

Lives up to its album cover. And then some.

Anne McCou: Roll (Messenger)

Anne McCou writes sharply observed and caustic folk-rock songs, a kind of Canadian Lucinda Williams. McCou’s song “Stupid” is as challenging as anything Williams, a self-proclaimed poet, has ever written. But that’s where the comparison ends, because unlike Williams McCou has a supple voice and she has enough chops as a guitar-slinger to not only cover Hendrix’s “Machine Gun” but attack it.

Dave Alvin: Way of the West (Yep Rock)

Roots guitarist Dave Alvin covers some of his favorite California songwriters, from Jackson Browne and Brian Wilson to John Fogerty and Jerry Garcia, improving on most of them. The highlight of the set is his haunting, almost ethereal, cover of Merle Haggard’s “Kern River”

Gato Barbieri: Last Tango in Paris (Varese Sarabande)

Word comes that Bernardo Bertolucci is directing a film of Bel Canto, the curious romance novel about music and revolution in an unnamed South American country that sounds a lot like Alberto Fujimori’s Peru. One hopes that Bertolucci once again calls upon the Argentinean sax-player Gato Barbieri to score the film (and offers even a tiny role to Maria Schneider). Long before the recent craze for Latin music, Barbieri was crafting sultry, after hours jazz that sounds both erotic and slightly dangerous. Pass the butter …


Dead Kennedys: Frankenchrist (Manifesto)

And you thought the Da Vinci Code got under the skin of the fundies…Will “Stars and Stripes of Corruption” ever seem archaic? Here’s to you congressmen Cunningham, DeLay, Ney and Jefferson …

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s music writings (as well as CPers Ron Jacobs, David Vest and Daniel Wolff) can be found in Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.



Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Imperial Myths: the Enduring Lie of the US’s Origin
Ralph Nader
The Joys of Solitude: a Thanksgiving!

Joseph G. Ramsey
Something to be Thankful For: Struggles, Seeds…and Surprises
Dan Glazebrook
Turkey Shoot: the Rage of the Impotent in Syria
Andrew Stewart
The Odious President Wilson
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
Sam Husseini
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”