Im the kind of person Bettye LaVette probably hates: another come-lately fan, brought around to her incredible voice and eclectic repertoire by last years Ive Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti-, 2005).
As I drove into the playground parking lot on a warm spring day, the sound of Mohammed El Amraouis voice was pulsing through the speakers and out of the open windows of my car. My three-year-old daughter was in the back seat, listening comfortably to the music as she gazed out the window.
All I knew about Josephine Foster before hearing her latest album was that she was considered part of the neo-hippy freak folk scene, along with people like Devendra Banhart.
In December of 2004, my husband and I moved into a four-story, pre-war walk-up with unpolished wood stairs and aluminum-tiled ceilings on a two-block street in Greenpoint.
Scott Walker’s forty-year evolution from a Swinging London pop singer to the somber genius behind the feel-bad record of the summer is as thoroughgoing, and as startling, as any in modern music history.