For the Sake of the Song

When Blue Light Special debuted our cover of  Tom Waits' “2:19” at the Roadhouse one night during our last set, our charismatic LV sang that line from the 3rd verse as “A storm in my pants, I’m a lusting machine—My baby’s leaving town on the 2:19.”

At our next rehearsal, I said, “Um, Jimmy—it’s—it’s ‘The Sturm & the Drang, the luster & the sheen,/ My baby’s leaving in town on the 2:19.’”

“Macalicious,” Jimmy said, “Nobody gives a crap about lyrics.”

I swallowed.  I gave Jimmy my fiercest stink eye.  “It’s the only thing I care about,” I told him.  Which wasn’t entirely true.  But you know, it was an argument.  He shrugged & nodded—then next show, Jimmy sang it the same way.  The wrong way.  & after he did, he turned around & laughed all over my bass line.

Asylum Records Publicity photo of Tom Waits in early 1973 

Love & Death in Oaxaca

Lila Downs, a home burial, a reverie on Body & Soul

It’s something of an extravagance to be here in Oaxaca right now, but we have come these 1500 miles to mark an anniversary in a place that celebrates the transience of lives but the persistence of LIFE—that grasps with every sense la alegría de vivir.

Originally broadcast October 30, 2023

Photo credit:  Tania Victoria on Wikimedia

Shakin' the Tree:  Popular Music from West Africa

In this episode we travel to West Africa on waves of sound—talking drums, djembe, sabar, the kora, & the cavaquinho, and plenty of familiar synth & guitar.  We land first in Dakar, soar offshore to visit Cabo Verde for a couple morna songs from the Barefoot Diva, then head east for a time to neighboring Mali—all before returning to Dakar. 

Originally broadcast May 22, 2023