Check this Friday Five Out

I am so excited about this Valerie June album that I’m now at the point where I’m afraid it just cannot live up to the anticipation I have for it. And yet, in a summer of no money, this is the one thing I’ve scrimped and saved to have money for.

And now, she’s over at Engine 145 giving them five songs that inspired her while she was working on the album and I’m even more stoked.

On a side note, can we talk about Jessie Mae Hemphill just a second? If someone were to describe to you what a Hemphill song sounded like, I doubt you’d want to listen to it. A woman, with a kind of unpleasant voice sings these slow droning songs that seem to never end. And yet, I can’t stop listening to her. I feel almost like I’m listening to an aural drug–like she really wants to shift her listeners into a certain psychic space by just the power of her voice. I find that compelling. What I find unsettling is that I’m not sure what she wants us to find when we get over there, to the space the music moves you to. It sounds like it could be the kind of place you should bring a knife to.