FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What We're Listening to This Week

by COUNTERPUNCH STAFF

Jeffrey St. Clair

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Functional Arrythmias (Pi Recordings, 2013)

Free funk at its most cerebral, which doesn’t mean that these abstracted grooves won’t make you want to swing your ass off. Chicago alto phenom Steve Coleman, once hailed as the next Charlie Parker, proves himself on this pulsating recording to be something of a hybrid of Ornette Coleman and that other Parker, a fellow named Maceo.

Zara McFarlane: If You Knew Her (Brownswood / Kartell, 2014)

In a musically deflated era when Diana Krall is considered a notable jazz singer, it’s arresting to come across the real thing. Zara McFarland, a British virtuoso of Jamaican descent, has a voice as nuanced as Dinah Washington and as soulful as Mary Wells. This incandescent record throbs with the after hours rhythms of the Caribbean night. Her cover of Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves” is a masterpiece of musical concision.  

Lone Justice: This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983, (Omnivore , 2014)

For a brief moment in the early 1980s, the feisty cowpunk of Lone Justice seemed poised to inaugurate a fresh (and much desired) new current in American music. A year later the LA-based group was kaput, fatally riven by internal tensions. But these demo tapes and early live recordings capture the raw, brash and cocky sound of a band, fronted by the riveting Maria McKee, who thought they just might conquer the world.

Jeffrey St. Clair once played two-chord guitar in a garage band in Naptown called The Empty Suits.

 

Joshua Frank

Linton Kwesi Johnson, In Concert with the Dub Band, 1985 (LKJ Records, 1985)

Poetry, radical politics and dub rhythm. What else do you want, man?

Beachwood Sparks, Desert Skies (Alive Naturalsound Records, 2013)

Psychedelic ear candy recorded in the 1990s (released last year) by the West Coast’s greatest cosmic country band.

Point Blank, Second Season, (Arista Records, 2006)

You may write off the Lone Star State, but don’t write off Texas’ own guitar slinging Point Blank. Straight up bar room blues rock, just as boozy and sublime as a hot summer night in Waco.

Joshua Frank is managing editor of CounterPunch.

 

Kristen Kolb

Ethiopiques Volume 13: Ethiopian Groove (Buda Musique, 2003)

Bardo Pond – Lapsed (Matador, 1997)

Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy (Asylum, 1990)

Kristen Kolb writes the Daydream Nation column for CounterPunch magazine.

 

Lee Ballinger

Louie Vega and Elements of Life: Eclipse (Fania, 2013)

Dierks Bentley: Home (Capitol, 2012)

Eric B and Rakim:  Follow the Leader (Geffen, 2005)

Lee Ballinger co-edits Rock and Rap Confidential.

 

Sally Timms

La Caita…a somewhat reclusive flamenco singer featured in Tony Gatlif’s film on Roma culture, “Latcho Drom (Safe Journey)”.  Here’s a clip of her in the movie,  beyond that there’s little out there which is a great shame.

Koudede: Guitars from Agadez Vol 7 on the wonderful Sublime Frequencies Label in Seattle.   Highly influential Tuareg singer and guitarist who sadly died in a road accident last year.   Parallels the fuzzed-out hill country blues of RL Burnside etc. Available here

Botanist.  Beautifully packaged, high concept, hammered dulcimer Black Metal sung from the perspective of plants who wreak their revenge on humanity.   Available at totalrust.com

Sally Timms is a singer, songwriter and member of The Mekons. Her most recent solo record is ‘World of Him.‘ She lives in Chicago.

 

David Yearsley

John Stetch: Off with the Cuffs (Addo records, 2014) 

This recording marks the extraordinary jazz pianist’s always imaginative and often irreverent encounters with beloved keyboard works of Mozart, Bach, Chopin, and Shostakovich, along with polyrhythmic rag thrown in as a coda.  

David Yearsley once played the world’s oldest piano and didn’t damage it … much.

 

Kevin Alexander Gray

Les McCann & Eddie Harris: Swiss Movement  (Atlantic, 1969)

The Patti Smith Group:  Radio Ethiopia  (Arista, 1976)

Curtis Mayfield: Curtis/Live! (Curtom, 1971)

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Live at ‘The Club'” (Capitol, 1966)

Kevin Gray’s latest book, Killing Trayvon, (co-edited with JoAnn Wypijewski and Jeffrey St. Clair) will be published by CounterPunch this spring.

 

Becky Grant

A little of this, a little of that…

Suzanne Vega, Jenny Scheinman, Tracy Chapman.

Becky Grant is CounterPunch’s business manager.

 

Ron Jacobs

Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding (Columbia, 1967)

Jorma Kaukonen and Tom Hobson: Quah (Sbme, 1974)

Muddy Waters: Electric Mud (Chess, 1968)

Ron Jacobs’ book on the Seventies, Daydream Sunset, will published by CounterPunch this summer.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail