It's kind of shameful that it took nearly two months of the new year for me to see a new CD for sale that actually made me want to pick it up and bring it home right now. What makes it even better is that it wasn't one CD--it was three. Two of them, granted, were reissues: Holy Mackerel! Pretenders to Little Richard's Throne (Ace) and The Soul of Spanish Harlem (BGP). The other is the new K'naan album, whose buzz is so heady right now it makes me want to know a lot more. I actually picked up K'naan's You Can't Buy This mixtape, mixed by K-Salaam and Beatnick, which I've only gone through all of once, because I was floored by "Kicked, Pushed," which utilizes Lupe Fiasco's hit to tell the story of racist violence and police brutality in Amsterdam: "When the cops showed up, I felt a little at ease/Although to be honest, I don't trust the police (yep)/But I thought this was Sweden/Progressive liberal vegans/Religiously tolerant, even/Plus the evidence is breathing/A black man on the ground, bleeding/What else could they be needing to take these criminals to the precinct?/Hell yeah, we got a case/And I know the promoter will come to our aid/He knows we professionals/We just got paid--by him/He even said, 'Hey thank you for doing this thing'/And something about an after-party/This shit's not a probably/They've got to pursue justice and partly/Well, they know we rolling with the Marley family/And in music that's good as an army family/Then I felt my veins boil in rage/When I saw the promoter lower his gaze/Pacing front and back, looking at his performers turned victims/But trying to avoid eye contact with them/Ain't this a bitch?/What's this southern white camaraderie shit?" I hadn't quite intended to quote so much, but there you go--this is probably my favorite song of the year so far. I think that's why I've been avoiding the rest of the CD--I want to hear the album.
It'll be a while. I've been skidding by since returning from New York--and I was watching every dime while there. Things are looking better than I was thinking they would for a while; it can't be overstated what a relief that is. And of course I have a whole bunch of downloads to wade through: at least 20 more CDs' worth. (I went ahead and got the rest of the Lux & Ivy mixes; haven't listened to any yet.) But it's nice to have that as a goal. And I'm pretty secure in the knowledge that things will turn around next week. (There's another potential thing-in-offing as well, but I won't know about it for a while.) By then I should be finished with . . . most of what I've gotten. Maybe more than most. But we'll see.