(1) It’s coming up to that time of the year when those best-of-2017-so-far lists will begin to appear. We live in an age of lists – like, hello – so it’s inevitable that lists marking the halfway point in a year are flourishing. One of the albums we’ve enjoyed most in 2017 has been “The Navigator” from Hurray From the Riff Raff. Here’s an interview with the band’s fascinating frontwoman Alynda Segarra and, if you want to check them out, they play Whelan’s, Dublin on October 19 next.
(2) The last post: what’s involved in planning one of those massive funerals which dominates the news cycle? Great read on what was involved in putting together Muhammad Ali’s funeral last year; why hearing Sabres of Paradise’s “Haunted Dancehall” on daytime BBC Radio One is a sign that the queen of England is brown bread; check out James McBride’s excellent Kill ‘Em And Leave for the inside story on what happened after James Brown died.
(4) It was Biggie all the way at yesterday’s Hot 97 Summer Jam as the 82,500 in attendance marked 20 years of Notorious B.I.G (some attendees marked it in ways they didn’t probably expect). Here’s a piece on the long shelf life of hip-hop’s annual trend setting festival.
(6) The art of the album review in 2017: “in the 1700s, a now extremely dead philosopher named David Hume pioneered the concept of the standard of the “ideal critic.” Despite having never listened to Lil Yachty, SoundCloud Rap, or even a single Red Hot Chili Peppers song, Hume had a pretty solid idea of what makes a good critic: “Strong sense, united to delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all prejudice.”