Friday 08.20.2010 | 9:23 PM EDT
Mix Tape: Empire Blues Vol. 5
…chapter five in a maudlin series of sad bastard music for half-broken New Yorkers.
“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
Ok, so it’s not the timeliest soundtrack for the short glory of a Brooklyn summer, when skirt hems shorten, summer dresses fight for modesty against a naughty breeze and trim-fit tanks & halter tops wipe the memory of winter skin long hidden ‘neath a scarf, a hat and an overcoat.
But Hot Time Summer in the City ain’t all steamy roof-top parties freshly quenched with frozen grapes and gin. Five flights down the pavement is a frying pan, streets belching derelict breath as the city sings the blues. As we loathe and worship the summer sun in equal measure, dark skies and torrential rains gather to dampen the spirits of hardy city-slickers.
Roddy Frame claims loneliness and being alone don’t always mean the same thing. Mos def. But on the sidewalk, loneliness is a displaced tenant bracing a swift stream of brisk strides, tense jaws, blank faces. Nothing stands still, nothing takes root underfoot and break-ups catch you in their undertow. You got the Empire Blues.
For the archivist, dive into Vols 1-4 with the player on the right. Or maybe wait till autumn…
Page 1 of 1