Let Freedom’s Ears Ring:
A Soundtrack to the Summer of Resistance

Dissent is patriotic. Music makes life suck less. I hold these truths to be self-evident, especially on Independence Day. Doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into. Doesn’t matter who’s in office. We should all be thinking critically all the time, and we need a proper soundtrack to kick our powers of incredulity into high gear. Plus, music sends audio

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Slurred Soliloquy on Cymande:
Stories of Soul Francisco

Still feeling the soul glow from San Francisco. Tony Joe White called it Soul Francisco, and that was no joke. Saturday night I felt the fire and brimstone of Heron Oblivion at Mississippi Studios, and it cast my memory back there, lord, to two weekends ago when I wandered the streets that gave birth to that bad-ass band and so

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Run The Boules

“You gotta know when to boule them/ Know when to school them/ Know when to play a card/ Know when to flail. You never trade your token/ Unless you’re in the Viper Pass/ There’ll be time enough for cackling, once the ship has sailed.” – “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers (in an alternate dimension where Fireball Island, aka Ile Boule

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Asleep in Treme

You wouldn’t think a show set in post-Katrina New Orleans would be a smile factory. Perhaps that’s the alchemical magic of TV right there: It can take an experience that must have been hell to live through and turn it into something so life-affirming and brimming over with infectious groove that your squirms turn to funky grooves. Soon, you’re dancing

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Straight Outta Ferguson

You can’t write about rap music without writing about race. Every aspect of the music and its progression over the years from community center dance parties in the Bronx to a billion-dollar, global phenomenon is somehow tied into the African-American experience. As a white guy, writing about hip-hop necessarily presents its own challenges, because nobody likes a white guy writing

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