“In Augusta, to photograph James Brown, these pictures were taken when he suggested we go for a ride. He told me he would show me ‘his town.’ So we jumped into an old car and drove around. He would stop the car when he saw someone sitting in their yard, run up, do the split, yell out, ‘I feel good,’ and jump back in the car and drive off. It was all so spontaneous and hilarious, and it took the onlookers by such surprise. Brown was a fun-loving character and a good sport.” Harry Benson, Photographer

Meadowlark Lemons.: James Brown and Wagner: Tension and Release


Not even Reich’s music is as exhilaratingly tense as “Doing it to the Death,” or “The Payback.” Reich’s pieces take long, extended journeys; they are exquisite processes which slowly unfold through time, irreversibly. Brown’s best music never takes a journey: it’s either just where it should be, or tantalizingly close to where it should be.

Strangely enough, I think that ”The Payback” has more in common with Tristan und Isolde than it does with Glass or Reich. It’s all about tension and release.

This whole post is straight-up brilliant.

Meadowlark Lemons.: James Brown and Wagner: Tension and Release


The story behind James Carr’s “At The Dark End Of The Street”:


It amazes me that THIS is the story behind one of the best soul songs ever recorded:

It was the Summer of ‘66, and Memphis was chock full of DJs in town for a convention.  Songwriter Dan Penn and session guitarist Chip Moman were taking advantage of the situation, cheating Florida DJ Don Schroeder out of his money in a card game.

They wrote the song about two lovers in an illicit affair while on break from the game.  ”We were always wanting to come up with the best cheatin’ song ever,” Penn explained.

They went to Quentin Claunch, partner in Goldwax Records and a fellow alumnus of the Muscle Shoals music scene, and asked to borrow his hotel room for a half hour.  He agreed, on the condition that whatever song they wrote, they give it to Claunch for his singer, James Carr.  A deal was struck and the rest is history.

Terrific song. A Youtube search will show you all the cover versions out there.

One of my favorite new-to-me songs from earlier this summer.