Two days ago, it was 80 degrees here in Central Iowa, sunny with a little bit of wind. I got a nice bike ride in, then Marcia and I took a nice walk (following proper social distancing protocols in both cases, though I was dismayed by how many of our neighbors were not), and then I was even able to sit out on our balcony late in the day and bask in the sun until it set.
As I type now, however, the temperature is about 30 degrees colder and dropping, and the wind is roaring at about 40 miles per hour and rising. There are snow squalls in the forecast for later today, and the high daily temperatures don’t look like they’re going to break 50 again for the next week. Oh, and there’s some pounding rain coming too. Is it any wonder we’re ready to move to more pleasant climes? Ugh!
Oh well. We’re not moving away today, and I don’t see any pleasant walks or rides in my near future, so it seems a good day to return to our occasional “Five Songs You Need to Hear” series at the blog. The premise, as always, is that these songs don’t have anything in common except that I’ve been listening to them lately, I love them all, you have probably not heard them all, and I think that you might want to do so. So give ’em a spin! Or a click! Or whatever it is that we call pushing the “play” button on your computer screen these days!
Note that when you click on the first one, you should lift a glass to the great John Prine, one of America’s finest songwriters, who died this week from COVID-19. He was a class act, and a classic. He was also one of the first artists that I reviewed live when I started writing for Metroland in 1995. I caught him at the wonderful old Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, where he was promoting a great new album, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, from which this recommended cut was culled. Here’s that story.
If you like that one or any of the other four recommended cuts, here’s the link to all of the installments in the series (scroll down when you get there), which is now at 13 posts and counting. Loads of musical wonders and weirdness await the brave and intrepid. Happy listening!
#1. John Prine, “He Forgot That It Was Sunday”
#2. Gitane Demone Quartet, “Past The Sun” (Note: Video NSFW)
#3. Bongeziwe Mabandla, “Khangela”
#4. Ghédalia Tazartès, “Un Amour Si Grand Qu’il Nie Son Objet”
#5. Hailu Mergia, “Abichu Nega Nega”