Tuesday, February 9, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUS XM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. We talk about - surprise! - music. Given that our area is supposed to be snowed in tomorrow, I may or may not make it in, stay tuned!

But if I do, I'll be talking about albums from some very talented ladies. First off is what might be the most anticipated album of 2010: Sade's latest, Soldier Of Love, which came out today. I only have the single, the title track, which I love. Sade is like Peter Gabriel, she's practically her own genre. Anyway, Larry has the whole album, so I'll be hearing some of it for the first time.

Corinne Bailey Rae's The Sea is just so, so sad. It is about her late husband, who died of an accidental overdose. I guess it is kind of like Lou Reed's Magic & Loss, about the death of a friend, or Sting's The Soul Cages about the death of his father or Neil Young's Sleeps With Angels, which was inspired by the death of Kurt Cobain. It's a hard album to listen to over and over, but it is a really good album at the same time. There are some beautiful sentiments, like "I Would Like To Call It Beauty" (inspired by a conversation Corinne had with her husband's brother), and "I'd Do It All Again." She had a hard time getting back into music, and then Questlove, a great guy by all accounts, gave her a live DVD of a Nina Simeone concert, and that helped her. I don't know how long I can really talk about this album for.

Patty Griffin's latest album, Downtown Church, is very gospel-inspried, and was in fact recorded in a church. Produced by the great Buddy Miller, it features guest appearances by Buddy, Julie Miller and Emmylou Harris. It's interesting: she could have made a much more "pop" album... especially since more people are finding out about her (she has been covered by Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Susan Boyle, The Dixie Chicks, Ben Harper and Emmylou Harris, among others). This would seem to be the right time to just go for it, and try and make the breakthrough album. Clearly not her m.o., and good for her. It's a really, really good album. I love her writing and her singing.

Once again, I am going to try and get Larry to accept Jack White's greatness. Actually, this proably won't work. As I've written about before, Jack is producing Wanda Jackson's new album, and the first single is out now. The A-side is a cover of Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good," and the B-side is a cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates' "Shakin' All Over." The thing is, even five decades after she started making music, her voice still sounds really abrasive. I'm not sure the Amy cover works.

Then there is The Black Belles, an all-female rock band who I am sort of enjoying, the way you enjoy your first taste of a strong whiskey before you are old enough to drink. You're not actually sure you liked it at all, but you're going to try it again next weekend. Jack produced them, they have a cool sound, a cool look and I'm giving this one some time.

Well, I think it started snowing, so I don't know if I will make it in. If I don't, I'll be talking about all of this music next week. If I do, next week will be all about David Bowie!


Kent said...

work made me miss most of The Jolt today, but. . . if you can't defend Neil Young to Larry, Jack White has no chance.

Minority said...

you didn't miss me, I couldn't get in to the office, so I'll be discussing all of these releases next Wednesday . I think what I said about Neil Young that time was, I couldn't defend his latest album, Fork In The Road, to Larry. Neil is one of my favorite artists ever, and maybe my single very favorite. But I have to admit, Fork In The Road isn't very good. Jack White sometimes has a chance with Larry - if he isn't singing. Larry likes Raconteurs songs that Brendan Benson sings, and he likes The Dead Weather, and he liked the Loretta Lynn album that Jack produced. So he may be OK with Wanda Jackson and The Black Belles.