On Friday we learned of the tragic passing of an all-time great. Gil Scott-Heron passed away at St. Luke’s in New York after falling ill whilst in Europe.
Regarded by many as laying the foundations that allowed hip-hop to flourish, he fused politically informed poetry with a variety of musical styles, laying down a dozen classic albums from 1970 through to 1982 before struggles with drug addiction overtook his later years. Occasionally rising from the smoke to record again, or to call upon his unforgettable voice for another performance, he reminded us that we all have a responsibility to unite for each other, whilst never forgetting who each of us are.
We’re dedicating the next Funky Flavours to the great man. We’ll be playing a selection of his music, as well as things that inspired him, or that he inspired.
RIP Gil, one of very few musicians who really had something to say.
Check it out here; part of their Mighty Small Mags series.
I perused their website and discovered that like TNQ, Dragnet obviously has a sense of fun (from their press release: “Dragnet is young, beautiful, flexible, and pushes boundaries. Sort of like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, but Dragnet doesn’t need a dirty old man to tell it to go home and masturbate for homework.”).
Listen to Richard Brautigan read the title story from his 1971 collection, Revenge of the Lawn. Brautigan is one of my (Jeremy’s) greatest inspirations. You can read the whole text of the story here. Oh and here’s a great contemporary review of the book.
"Revenge of the Lawn" by Richard Brautigan:
My grandmother, in her own way, shines like a beacon down the stormy American past. She was a bootlegger in a little county up in the state of Washington. She was also a handsome woman, close to six feet tall who carried 190 pounds in the grand operatic manner of the early 1900s. And her specialty was bourbon, a little raw but a welcomed refreshment in those Volstead Act days.
She of course was no female Al Capone, but her bootlegging feats were the cornucopia of legend in her neck of the woods, as they say. She had the county in her pocket for years. The sheriff used to call her up every morning and give her the weather report and tell her how the chickens were laying.
I can imagine her talking to the sheriff: “Well, Sheriff, I hope your mother gets better soon. I had a cold and a bad sore throat last week myself. I’ve still got the sniffles. Tell her hello for me and to drop by the next time she’s down this way. And if you want that case, you can pick it up or I can have it sent over as soon as Jack gets back with the car.