Skip to main content


Hot off the grill.

2019 (Before I forget)

2019 (Before I forget)


Records I Like the Most  Released in 2019:
Wives - So Removed @@
Fontaines DC - Dogrel %%
Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons ##
Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs ##
Peter Perrett - Human World @@
Mattiel - Satis Factory @@
Tough Shits - Burning in Paradise @@
Felice Brothers - Undress @@
Robert Forster - Inferno ##
Danny Brown -uknowhatimsayin %%

Records I Like that Lots of Other Know-it-Alls Like:
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs
FKA  Twigs - Magdalene
Charly Bliss - Young Enough
Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
Refused - War Music
Aldous Harding - Designer
Better Oblivion Community Center - s/t
Black Midi - Schlagenheim
Cate LeBon - Reward
Raconteurs - Help Me, Stranger
Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury
Rhiannon Giddens - There is No Other
Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars

Records I Like That A few Know-it-Alls Like:
Mick Trouble - Here’s The Mick Trouble Lp
Titus Andronicus - An Obelisk
75 Dollar Bill - I was Real
Tacocat - This Mess is a Plac…
Recent posts

There is a town in Arkansas called Elaine.

Elaine, Arkansas is in Phillips County, one of the poorest counties in the United States, a flat expanse of deprivation where your Google Maps won’t keep you from getting lost. Elaine is lost. It looks like a place where nothing good has happened in a very long time.  That's, at least in part, because something terrible happened there. Something a majority of Americans don't know about.  I'm educated as a historian, but I lack the imprimatur of an advanced degree. I will do my best to offer a concise history lesson. 

The facts are straightforward. In order to escape destitution and indentured servitude, black sharecroppers in the Arkansas delta organized under the banner of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America. On the 30th of September 1919, a prominent, white attorney named Ulysses Bratton traveled the three hours from Little Rock to meet with the workers to discuss strategy. They met at a small church on the outskirts of Elaine at a place called Hoop Spur. …

Mississippi: Old Times There are Not Forgotten

The deeper you dig the more tenacious the lies.
How could it be otherwise when you start with slavery as a cornerstone of the Southern and let’s be honest - American economy? Chattel slavery is the ethic of capitalism taken to its ugliest, terminal conclusion. If labor is a commodity to be bought, why not introduce the option to buy and sell and eliminate as much as possible the requirements of remuneration? It’s just business.  
Once an economy is built on such a repulsive foundation what good could come from it?
And now The Peculiar Institution lives on. Its legacy is mass incarceration, wealth inequality, housing discrimination, and other institutions and mechanisms of white superiority.
My father’s family was part of it. I am saddened by my ancestors’ participation in slavery. Tracing my ancestry, I found documents confirming that my great-great-grandfather owned slaves. If the records I’ve found are indicative it appears that he had few, mostly devoted to household and personal servi…

A snapshot of Southern Racism, part 1

I thought I had taken a snap of the Sumner Drug Store. Apparently, I was a sad-ass photo-documentarian. So for graphic relief, please enjoy this photo of the dog who first assailed and then greeted me at Robert Johnson's gravesite on Money Road, a few miles outside of Greenwood, Mississippi. 

Tallahatchie County is basically a food desert. Let’s say you’re traveling and you want a can of mixed nuts to nibble on, something halfway healthy. In the small towns and rural areas of the Mississippi Delta you can’t find a can of mixed nuts to save your life. So, I was relegated to buying the little one- or two-ounce pouch numbers they sell in convenience stores. Anyway, I was visiting Sumner, one of the county seats, home to the courthouse where the animals who killed and mutilated Emmett Till were found not guilty by a jury of their all-white peers. My last time in town I had visited the Till Memory Project. I’d gotten a tour, plus a lot of wisdom from a fellow named Benjamin Saulsberry. …

2019 - Six months in. These records don't suck.

In the first six months of 2019, these sixty-six recordings impressed me favorably. Some of them I'll rarely listen to again. Some will become old friends. The ten in bold stand out a bit from the rest of the pack.

I haven't been of a mind to write record reviews for some time now. However, if you want my spontaneous two cent's worth on any of these titles, I'll be happy to give you a quick take to affirm, bolster my support.

In no particular order:

21 Savage – I am > I was

Kel Assouf – Black Tenere

Deerhunter – Why Hasn’t Everything Disappeared

Divine Comedy – Office Politics

Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs

Dream Syndicate – These Times

Du Blonde – Lung Bread for Daddy

Willie Farmer – The Man from the Hill

Felice Brothers – Undress

Flesheaters – I Used to be Pretty

Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

Fleshtones – Budget Buster

Robert Forster – Inferno

Better Oblivion Community Center – s/t

Bellows – the Rose Gardener

Pinky Pinky – T…

Better Ed than Dead

Ed Sheeran - He looks like Van Morrison, kinda, huh? Check the tats.  

Ed Sheeran is the highest paid entertainer on the planet. I think. I don’t know. They say he’s worth 65 million. Anyway, I read that somewhere. God knows he travels light and doesn’t have to share that dough with an orchestra or anything.
I saw Ed once. At least that I’m aware of. He opened for the Rolling Stones in 2015 (or was it 16?) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Just me and several thousand of my closest friends. He came out with a guitar in front of that throng and mesmerized the crowd. Okay, not really. Some kids seemed to like him. Old people, eighty percent of the attendees, treated him as a curiosity or mild irritant, not uncommon for a warmup act served up before the Stones’ Lions and Christians, bread and circuses exhibition. Later, he sang “Beast of Burden” with Mick. He was better than Dave Matthews.
I see his ruddy little mug and tousled ginger top here and there in the social media. He seems lik…