The Edit: 11/05
A bite-size rundown of the best stuff of the week.
1. "Any Other Way" By Chuck Jackson
The only rendition of this song that I had ever heard is by the groundbreaking, transgender soul singer Jackie Shane. It was a regional radio hit for her back in the 1960s, and now serves as the title of the first release of Shane's complete work (You can learn more about her story and read my full review of the album right here). It was while researching Shane that I came across this version of the song by one of its co-writers, Chuck Jackson. While I'm still partial to the Shane version, this one has been on repeat. The horns are so explosive, the female backing vocalists so pleasingly retro, and Jackson's voice so packed with classic, gritty soul. It's a must.
2. Stranger Things Spotify Playlists
By now, I'm pretty confident you've already finished binging Season 2 of Netflix's Stranger Things----the sci-fi, 80s throwback that's as heartwarming as it is disturbing, with just the right amount of cheese thrown in for good measure. I'm a pretty avid fan and have some VERY strong opinions about which characters are my favorite. If this sounds like you, then please enjoy the playlists that Spotify put together with all the main characters in mind. I've provided a sampler of them below (Steve's Morning Hair Grooves: Think mainstream, 80s pop with lyrics that echo his narrative arc), as well as the playlist with all the tracks used in the show. Will it tide you over until next season? Probably not, but it'll definitely get you in the mood for a rewatch.
3. The White Album Essay By Joan Didion
I read Joan Didion's iconic "The White Album" a few summers ago, but was reminded of the brilliance of the title essay while watching The Centre Will Not Hold, an excellent documentary on Netflix about the writer's remarkable life. In it, Didion dissects events that occurred over five years, from 1966-1971, when she was living in LA----elegantly piecing together moments from her own life with national happenings in order to come to terms with when exactly the dream of the 1960s ended. It's Didion's take on Los Angeles loss of innocence, and the whole thing is essential reading for any Angeleno or 60s aficionado.
For our purposes, it's the section about the time Didion spent with The Doors during the making of their third album that's of greatest interest. After explaining what drew her to them----"The Doors’ music insisted that love was sex and sex was death and therein lay salvation"----she creates a vivid portrait of the boredom and tension that filled their studio sessions before going on to describe the time Janis Joplin came to her house for a party and ordered a Brandy-and-Benedictine.
You can read the essay in its entirety right here.
4. Public Access TV Announce New Album
Public Access TV won me over in a big way last year with the release of their debut album, Never Enough. You can read my full review hear, but basically they sound like the glory years of the NYC music scene with a modern garnish. Think New Wave, Punk, and Bowie flirting with Disco all rolled into one.
Along with the release of new single, "MetroTech," came the announcement that their second album, Street Safari, is set for release February 2018. With it's funky bass line and nightlife narrative, "MetroTech" leads me to believe that we can expect more of the same from the hip quartet----exactly what I was hoping for.
5. Give It To Me EP By Miya Folick
LA local Miya Folick first came to my attention when I played her single, "Pet Body" into the ground for about a month straight. I was so infatuated with her combination of massive punk and art-rock weirdness that I made a routine of regularly checking her page for new music. Right when I was turning desperate, I was #blessed with the opportunity to review her EP, Give It To Me (You can read my full review for LA Record right here).
Let me call it now. If there's any kind of justice in the world, I think Folick is going to be huge. Every track on the EP (including a brooding cover of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock) is inspired, original, hooky, and begs for a physical reaction. The sheer power she can illicit from her voice was enough to turn me into a full-on cheerleader. Miya, if you read this, I love you. And I need MORE!
Favorite Tracks: All of them, but "Aging" and "Let's Pretend" have gotten the most play.