The only positive aspect of being smacked-down by a flu-with-an-attitude – besides the involuntary weight-loss – is the sudden availability of time to do nothing but listen to music (and sweat). That was me, from Sunday to Thursday. I had to give my tickets to Todd Rundgren's Wednesday show at the Riviera to a friend, but perhaps in compensation, Rundgren released a great new album. Here are a few others that made up my sick-time playlist. They all helped.
Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology Vol. 1 (Record Store Day vinyl exclusive)
This anthology of killer old-school tracks from the likes of Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, Run–DMC, Dana Dane and others reminds me of what is missing from so much contemporary hip-hop – space for the groove to move. Mmmm, yummy red vinyl, too!
Steven Wilson, "Pariah" (single)
The album won’t be out until August, but Wilson dropped a treat with this dramatic, emotional powerhouse of a duet with Ninet Tayeb. I can’t stop playing it.
Charles Kynard, "Afro-Disiac" (Record Store Day vinyl reissue)
This is the first audiophile release of an often overlooked soul-jazz gem from 1970. It's raw, real and rambunctious. The band, in addition to Kynard on organ is Bernard Purdie on drums, Jimmy Lewis on electric bass, Grant Green on guitar, and Houston Person on tenor saxophone.
Todd Rundgren, "White Knight"
It's finally out, and it was worth the wait. The duets, with everyone from Trent Reznor to Donald Fagen to Betty Lavette, are fiery. But so are the "solo" Todd pieces. "Wouldn’t You Like To Know" is my favorite – pure Rundgren at his bittersweet, soulful best.
Prince & 3rdEyeGirl, "PlectrumElectrum"
No, I'm not over it. Back and forth through the catalog I go, looking for… I don’t know. Comfort? This week, I found it in one of the last albums Prince released, particularly the tune "TicTacToe."