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Sunday, July 15, 2012



Mutatis Mutandis (Righteous Babe) :: When it comes to intelligent singin’ songwritin’ women, there are only two fabulous females with enough brain pan prowess to acquire my unbridled admiration: Grace Slick and Nona Hendryx. And while Grace has long since traded making platters for mixing palettes, just like that great statesman Hubert Horatio Humphrey, I’m pleased as punch to report that Nona is not only back but that she’s stronger than never ever before and still kicking out her distinctive brand of educational activist rock ’n’ soul music.

Now most likely you know Nona from her shiny space-suited discophonic dancing days in Labelle. Or maybe she caught your ear when she was wailing away as an integral part of the Talking Heads’ latter day in concert art rock incarnation. Me, I’ve enjoyed just about everything that she’s done but I’m particularly partial to Nona’s solo career when she was busy busting out from one genre to another, whether it be melting wax with Material or igniting her own butane band Zero Cool; indeed, I still recall attending one of her Zero Cool shows back in the ’80s during which she did so much sonic damage to the structure she was headlining that they had to tear that sucker down after she left town. Think they didn’t?

And while I may not always agree with her politics—hey, it’s a free country—I know where she’s coming from and I’ll defend to the deaf her right to say it; and boy howdy how she ever does say it on this empowering album. Not since Grace cut the incendiary anti-Nixon manifesto “Mexico” as a Jefferson Airplane flip side single has one woman taken such astute commanding control of what’s going on, as torn from today’s headlines.

What’s that? You don’t believe me? Then perhaps a few truth-tellin’ tracks like “The Ballad Of Rush Limbaugh” and “Tea Party” will set your simple-minded sensibilities straight. If not, Nona spells it out for ya in no uncertain terms throughout her insightful liner notes.

But best of all is her uncanny version of “Strange Fruit” that’ll literally haunt you. I thought Siouxsie Sioux exposed the essence of Abel Meeropol’s courageous lyrics when she recorded it on Through The Looking Glass but, in retrospect, that earlier eerie interpretation only painfully peeled away the top skin. Listen and learn as Nona skillfully strips away each remaining layer until all you’re left with is a raw ache in your soul that’ll have you regretfully bowing your head in abject sorrow.

So you’d better put down that Racing Forum and listen to me. I’m telling you to pick up on what Nona’s putting down before it’s too late, gate. Uh, it is still a free country, innit?

Annette Peacock
Abstract-Contact (Ironic) :: Make that three fabulous females!

The Marx Brothers
A Night At The Opera (MGM) :: And two hard-boiled eggs.

Be seeing you!

Sun, July 15, 2012 | link 

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