Song of the Week: “Add It Up” by Violent Femmes

by Douglas Cowie on 13 July 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Add It Up” by Violent Femmes:

I’m in Wisconsin today, so I figured why not post a classic by the second-best band ever to come out of Milwaukee? Your favorite indie-rock dancefloor deejays always play “Blister in the Sun” because who doesn’t like a whole-group clap (not that clap)? But “Add It Up” has the beguiling sleaze and menace that makes it the better song, speaking from an altogether objective point of view. Here’s a live version from 1988.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Water (If They Only Knew)” by Kojey Radical ft. Mahalia:

I only heard this song for the first time earlier this week. It grips both lyrically and musically, and I love the vocal performances. There’s so much happening in this song that repeated listening isn’t so much repaid as required. It’s a song that opens a door and asks you in to endlessly listen and think and talk to it.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “London Is the Place for Me” by Lord Kitchener:

Late last week I was reading Kitch, a new novel by the writer and musician Anthony Joseph. It’s a fact-based fictional telling, in a variety of voices, of the life of the Trinidadian calypso singer Lord Kitchener. Before I was too many pages (two or three, maybe) into the novel I was already looking up Lord Kitchener’s music, and this, appropriately, was the first song I stumbled onto. Here’s a mini acapella version, for a little bonus.

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Song of the Week: “Freedom” by Richie Havens

by Douglas Cowie on 22 June 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Freedom” by Richie Havens:

The United States of America is incarcerating children and their parents at its southern border.  That border became a border in 1848. The United States of America has been systematically separating children from their parents at that border, which before 1848 was just a river in Mexico, since at least 6 April. These are people. They are not monsters, and they are not infesting anything. To treat people systematically in this way is a continuation of a racist and fascist attitude that the current President of the United States expressed when he was a candidate, and has continued to express and enact in various ways since he became President. Nobody should be silent about this atrocity.

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