You guys, this is awful. Being stuck at home is one thing, but reading about people getting sick by the thousands and dying is another. However, this is not a time to panic. This is time to have a good, old-fashioned meltdown and then move the hell on. Thus I want to share with you, my beloved friends and readers, some of the most therapeutic tunes that I personally like to blast when the world seems impossible. Maybe it’ll help you through this. I sure hope so. Ready? Let’s do this:
Written in honor of his brother who overdosed on heroin after contracting AIDS (yeah, how are YOUR problems feeling now?), Raphael Saadiq’s 2019 record Jimmy Lee is nothing short of a masterpiece. But this song, in particular, is so innovative, heartbreaking and powerful that is may just shake you out of your funk. If not, just lean into Raphael’s. The man is a national treasure.
This is one of my favorite feeling-sorry-for-myself songs. Of course, you’ll remember Jimmy Hendrix’s original, but there’s nothing like the early 90s bands, Living Colour, to reinvent it. This tune is peppered with wonderfully dated vinyl scratches, timeless guitar solos and the incredible vocal prowess of Corey Glover to soothe your soul. I promise you’ll be sad when it ends but certainly healed slightly. Plus, the rest of the Biscuits EP is certainly worth checking out with covers of Al Green, James Brown and the Talking Heads.
Maybe you think that The White Stripes are too cool to be covered. Maybe you’re right. If this song proves anything it’s that the bass guitar is the closest thing to playing your heartstrings that an artist can get. Plus, this woman CAN SING. By the end of the riff, you’ll not only feel lucky to be alive but also to be blessed with ears. Listen up, you’ll be glad you did.
Overshare alert: when I have a big meeting and/or a situation that makes me nervous, I sit in my car and blast “It Take a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” like the idiot white girl that I am. Honestly, it works every time. There’s something about Chuck D’s deep voice that slaps my sorry ass right back into shape and when Flavor Flav chimes in, I always realize it’s never as scary as I think. Go ahead and try it.
Before you go wondering where you’ve heard your voice before, I’ll tell you– Frazey Ford is the former lead singer of the Be Good Tanyas. She’s dropped this album “U kin B the Sun” just in the nick of time. Her incredible, distinctive voice is as smooth and rich as that drink you really wanted to pour at 10am this morning. “Motherfucker” is a calm, controlled release of Frazey losing it over a beautiful piano waltz. So while you may be bleeding mascara into your last box of Kleenex, Ms. Ford’s gonna make it sound good. Not to mention the fact that few things feel better when you’re mad or sad than saying the word “Motherfucker” over and over again.
Be safe. Be well. Be sane. Mama loves you.