Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Music: Judee Sill

During their most recent tour, the group Fleet Foxes performed a lovely Judee Sill song called "Crayon Angels." Sill died in 1979 from a drug overdose, nearly forgotten by the music industry. She should have been a star. David Geffen and Graham Nash were both fans and producers, and her song Lady-O was covered by the Turtles. But, her album sales were dismal, and long-time struggles with heroin, and then prescription painkillers, limited her ability to perform. The following is a performance on the BBC of "Jesus Was a Crossmaker," and "Lady-O," from her debut album Judee Sill, released in 1971 on Geffen's Asylum label.

"The Life and Times of Judy Sill," in Dusted Magazine [Link]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CTA Stories: Dear Olympic Selection Committee

Yet another video of a completely out-of-control Chicago police officer giving somebody a beatdown. This one took place on my favorite CTA story bus, the #70 Division. There are a lot of good cops out there, but this city needs to do something about the bad apples before we even consider hosting an event like the Olympics.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Music: Moussa Doumbia

I haven't had much time to listen to "new" music in the last few weeks. This album is just one of several on my wishlist.

Love's a Real Thing: The Funky, Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa. Luaka Bop [Link]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rainy day pick-up music: Mohammed Rafi

I was too busy this weekend for a music post. Fortunately, a friend sent me this clip, from a 1966 Bollywood film, of Mohammed Rafi performing "Jan Pehechan-Ho." It really cheered me up! Plus, one of the dancers looks like Rod Blagojevich (2:04).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Music: PJ Harvey

When I was a teen living in rural Ohio, there were at best two FM rock stations that I could regularly pick up. The strongest signal belonged to WMMS, out of Cleveland. Their playlist was mostly white, blue-collar and loud: Bob Seeger, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money and, of course, The Boss. Very few female artists appeared in rotation. I mostly remember them playing Heart and the atrocious bodystocking-wearing Pat Benatar. I was a loyal reader of The Rolling Stone, it and Creem being the only music press available in the grocery store magazine rack. Rock was a boy's club in the RS, too. I'll never forget a male reviewer sneering about the quality of Chrissie Hynde's voice. Women were supposed to sound pretty, even when they were rocking.

In the 1970's I couldn't have imagined a Polly Jean Harvey. The first time I listened to her 1992 debut album Dry, I fantasized about running away to New York and playing in a band. It still makes me feel that way, which is what rock is supposed to do.

PJ Harvey (Wikipedia) [Link]