Friday, September 09, 2005:

Joe Jones -- Every Night about Eight

Joe Jones -- Every Night about Eight
I found this track weeks ago on a 45" in a dusty bin full of them stacked in, sleeveless, most of them in horrible shape. It was released in 1958 on the Roulette label (R-4063, if that's of use to anyone).

I originally picked this up to listen to its flipside, "A-Tiskett A-Taskett," curious if that was in any way the same song I knew from childhood (yes, but it's not very good). I listened a bit and then flipped it. "Every Night About Eight" is a slow R&B number that tells the story of a lovelorn man whose woman has left him: "I cried last night; I cried the night before / I used to hold my baby every night about eight."

Jones is (was? I'm having trouble finding information about him) from New Orleans.


FWMJ has some good hip hop tracks up for download, though I think they might be mistaking De La Soul and Phife Dawg as obscure ("shit you've never heard"). Still, they have plenty up that I had never heard, and was glad for the introduction. The Kanye West / "George Bush doesn't care about black people" track gets off to a choppy start but quickly turns good. It tells a story of, you guessed it, a city left to its own ends, ignored, unrescued, blamed for survival tactics: "Five days in this motherfucking attic / Can't use the cellphone; I keep getting static / Dying cause they lying instead of telling us the truth / other day the helicopters got my neighbor off the roof / screwed 'cause they said they was coming back for us too / That was three days ago; I don't see no rescue."

Right on. Now the city has declared evacuation "mandatory," or whatever is more mandatory than mandatory. I guess what they mean is that this time they'll actually provide transportation for people who need it. All under penalty of arrest, mind you, and with the excuse that the survivors are "delirious" (because, you know, a small group of people leaving a hundred thousand other people to die is just thinking oh-so-clearly. You could get locked up for leaving your dog behind chained to a tree in a hurricane; why is leaving broke people behind somehow acceptable?)

Some of the survivors are no doubt living there in the only house they've ever known, with no money and nowhere to go; and if they leave, their house is going to be bulldozed and some new property built in its place that's too damned expensive for them to afford. From homeowner to homeless in one easy step--all at the whims of some neglectful overlord with anything but your best wishes in mind.

If I'd lived through all this shit and was still in my own house out there, by this point it would be like that Stephen King story with the guy who just absolutely will not sell his house to make way for an interstate on-ramp. You know, the one that ends with him barricaded in with all the guns and explosives.

And that's it for me and talking politics here, for a good long while, at least.


Back to music--dictionaraoke has made the rounds before--I saw it years ago, but now it's come around again and I have somewhere relevant to share it. "Wild Thing" is now, in my mind at least, the definitive interpretation; "Word Up" is equally great. Hilariously bad, just as it was meant to be.

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