Song of the Week: “Kurunba” by Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee


Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee – “Kurunba”

For the first single from her upcoming debut album BAMANAN, Mali’s Rokia Koné collaborates with Irish producer/remixer Jacknife Lee.  While musically exuberant and danceable, “Kurunba” deals with serious issues of women’s rights in patriarchal societies where women passed the age of child-rearing face exclusion. Koné previously performed with the supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique which focused on gender equality.

Song of the Week: “Who Has Seen the Wind” by David Byrne and Yo La Tengo


“Who Has Seen the Wind” by David Byrne and Yo La Tengo

As a long-time fan of Yo La Tengo and Talking Heads‘ leader David Byrne, I feel this collaboration was targeted at my interests.  Better yet, this is a cover of the song Yoko Ono created as the B-Side for John Lennon’s “Instant Karma.”  There are so many layers of rock & roll history in this one song.  This will be featured on a Yoko Ono tribute album called Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono. Learn more at Rolling Stone.

Song of the Week: “Colonizer” by Tanya Tagaq


Tanya Tagaq – “Colonizer”

Kicking of 2022 with the first post of the new Song of the Week feature is old friend Tanya Tagaq, an Inuk throat singer from Nunavut, Canada. “Colonizer” combines traditional Inuit throat singing with electronic music.  It’s the second single from Tagaq’s upcoming album Tongues, due for release on March 11, 2022.

Also check out the “Tundra Mix” of “Colonizer.”

My Favorite Songs of 2020, So Far


We are halfway through the year 2020! Only halfway, you say? Yes! But all things considered, there has been some good music from this wreck of a year.  Here’s a list of 20 songs I love from 2020.

If there’s a song that you think belongs on this list, let me know in the comments.

“All That” by Sparks
(also consider “Lawn Mower” and “Onomato Pia“)

“Antifa Dance” by Ana Tijoux

“Anyone Can Play Guitar” by Midwife

“Be” by Mourning [A] BLKstar
(look forward to a full review of the band’s album The Cycle in the coming weeks).

“Clean Kill” by Coriky

“Daily Jobs” by Bee Bee Sea

“Devil Put the Coal in the Ground” by Steve Earle & The Dukes 

“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
(also consider “Boys Will Be Boys” and “Break My Heart“)

“Emotional Devotion Creator” by Peel Dream Magazine

“Finally // beautiful stranger” by Halsey

“IN IN IN” by Zebra Katz

“Is There Something in the Movies” by Samia

“Mansplain” by Thick

“Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)” by Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela
(also read my full-album review for Rejoice)

“Phenom” by Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
(also read my full-album review of Temple)

“Shameika” by Fiona Apple
(also read my full-album review of Fetch the Bolt Cutters)

“Take a Piece” by The Big Moon

“Take What You Can Carry” by Mia Doi Todd

“Tenebrist” by The Ballroom Thieves
(also read my full-album review of Unlovely)

“The Low” by Jonah Mutono

“walking in the snow” by Run the Jewels
(also read my full album review of RTJ4)

Album Reviews: A Sampling of Songs


A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of albums released in 2020 that had been recommended to me from various sources.  I’ve listened to them all, and starting next week I will begin posting full album reviews.  Today, though, I’m going to post a few songs I liked from albums that didn’t make the cut for an album review.  Kind of like a Monthly Mixtape, but kind of not.

In the meantime, if you have any albums or songs or EPs or rock operas or anything else from 2020 you think I should listen to, let me know in the comments.

Selections from A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip by Sparks:

“Lawnmower”

“All That”

Selections from Agitprop Alterna by Peel Dream Magazine:

“Emotional Devotion Creator”

“It’s My Body”

Selection from Manic by Halsey:

“Finally // beautiful stranger”

Selections from Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa:

“Don’t Start Now”

“Break My Heart”

Selections from Walking Like We Do by The Big Moon:

“Take A Piece”

“It’s Easy Then”

 

 

 

2017 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


Here are 20 of my favorite songs of 2017. For previous year-end lists of previous years check out my lists for 20162015,  201420132012,  2011,  2010  and  2009.

In no particular order

“Blue Mountain Road” by Florist

“Memories are Now” by Jesca Hoop

“You Would Have to Lose Your Mind” by Barr Brothers

“Cherry Blossom: by ALA.NI 

“Drinkee” by Sofi Tukker

“Every Day’s the Weekend” by Alex Lahey

“Witness” by  Benjamin Booker (feat. Mavis Staples)

“I Give You Power” by Arcade Fire (feat. Mavis Staples)

“Quiet” by Milck 

“Work” by  Charlotte Day Wilson

“Familiar” by Agnes Obel

“Cryin’ in the Streets” by Zeshan B

“Venus Fly” by Grimes (feat. Janelle Monae) – technically this song is from 2015, but the video of this most important collaboration came out this year bringing due attention to the song.

“Hot to Trot” by  Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

“Modafinil Blues” by Matthew Dear

“The Underside of Power” by Algiers 

“A Wall” by Downtown Boys

“Future Politics” by Austra

“Learning to Lose” by Margo Price (feat. Willie Nelson)

“Straight Boy” by Shamir