Long weekend ahead – in case you were stuck for something to read…
I wrote about wonderful, life-affirming, ill-starred ska-funk-punk fusioneers Fishbone and their mercurial stabs at greatness.
I wrote about obscenely brilliant funk queen Betty Davis, and the sinful, unimpeachable music she made in the mid-70s.
And I wrote about ecstatic, voodoo-powered thrash trio Vodun, who are one of the most exciting groups of right this minute.
Whatever you do, have a great one.
The wonderful genius Bernie Worrell, the Woo himself, left us this weekend. I wrote about his storied career, from taking ParliaFunkadelicMent into the synth-era, to helping Talking Heads find the funk within them, to his fractious period seasioneering for The Pretenders. Farewell, Bernie, and thanks for all that music.
I also wrote a Ten Of The Best for the glorious, much-missed Minnie Riperton, though it could easily have stretched to a Twenty Of The Best, or a Thirty, and so maybe you should just buy Come To My Garden, Perfect Angel and Adventures In Paradise and be done with it?
Thanks for your time, and let’s keep it European.
THEESatisfaction were one of my favourite new groups of recent years – last year’s EarthEE LP was one of the finest of the year, and the duo have always been great fun to interview. They’ve recently called it a day, but before you get too upset, one half of THEESatisfaction – Cat Harris-White, whose dulcet jazz tones often sent their futurist screeds spinning far OUT, in the best possible way – has released her first album-proper as her alter-ego Sassyblack. No More Lame Dates is a smart, funny, honest take on the dating game from a black queer woman’s perspective, and I talked with Cat about it for Noisey. You can read it here.
Hey! I got to interview and tell the story of one of the most wonderful, head-mangling, booty-destroying hip-hop groups of the 1990s at Red Bull Music Academy. If you ever owned either of New Kingdom’s sublime albums, you’ll know theirs was a unique, DNA-rearranging sound. If you’ve never heard of them, get discovering.
Buy the new issue of MOJO! There’s a killer interview with Sonny Rollins, a massive Syd-era Pink Floyd feature and a great piece on Santana, and also my feature on Corinne Bailey Rae, whose forthcoming album The Heart Speaks In Whispers is one of the year’s best.
Hello again, 2016…
I wrote about Sturgill Simpson‘s remarkable new album, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, in the new issue of MOJO! I think this is my album-to-beat so far this year, an extraordinary work.
Also, after spending the winter hibernating, I went out to a bunch of gigs! Pretty great ones, actually: Kurt Vile, Big Sexy Noise, At The Drive-In. And I wrote about them! Fancy that.
“There’s that rock’n’roll myth, of the functional junkie rock star… Our friend Jeremy went out to LA once to interview Lemmy, expecting him to be off his head the whole time, and Lemmy gave him this whole spiel about the reason he was alive was he didn’t cane it anymore. It was just the media that created the myth. It’s all blown out of proportion. Real junkies aren’t able to make a record or turn up to gigs… I mean, I was incapable of any of that. Apart from being a blithering mess, I just couldn’t do it. People who really are like that die, to be honest.” – Sym Gharial
From the ashes of 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster come the wonderful, bruised and lysergic pop nuggets of Piano Wire. Want to know more? We interview them in the latest entry in the seventh issue of Loose Lips Sink Ships. Enjoy!