Don’t you love discovering new works to stimulate the mind and tickle the soul? I can recall many such moments in my life as an amateur cultural sleuth: Happening upon the first season of HBO’s The Wire while channel-surfing; purchasing a copy of Kem Nunn’s noir-ish novel Tapping the Source while vacationing in Hawaii; stumbling upon the films of Krzysztof Kie?lowski while skulking around the University of South Florida library--all are seminal moments in my growth as an aficionado of that which I can’t do.
Enter Wax Poetics, a Brooklyn-based music pub dedicated to funk, soul, reggae, hiphop and much more. I found issue number 28 at a Barnes & Noble in Kirkland on a recent Saturday, and couldn’t resist scooping it up, as it had a Glamour Shot of the Reverend Al Green on its cover. Little did I know that the goodies contained within this handsomely bound journal would change my life--or at least give me something to do in between bouts of ennui.
The related cover story (which is pegged to Green’s new album, Lay It Down, produced by Questlove and James Poyser; a Q&A with the Phili tag-team and exec producer Rich Nichols is also featured) on the good Reverend’s life’s work and What It All Means by Matt Rogers is well worth perusing, especially if you’re a fan of delayed hooks in creative non-fiction (and who isn’t?). This one contains a doozie--the context for the lead (which I dare not give away here) doesn’t come until much later, when Rogers’ essay ends and the Q&A with the good Reverend begins. The suspense’ll make your sphincter pucker with anticipation.
We’ve all known ol’ Al is a bit, well, loony, but Rogers’ exchange with him drives the point home with a sledge hammer. Unfortunately, according to my admittedly cursory glance, Wax Poetics No. 28 isn’t available on-line, which means you’ll actually have to buy it. (Fact-check that by visiting www.waxpoetics.com.) And that’s precisely what you’re supposed to do in the middle of a recession--consume shit.
A quick programming note: I’m going to post a review of RZA as Bobby Digital’s new album sans one track (I think the rep failed to provide me with number 14, but, then again, I was counting with my fingers and toes) later today. And if that doesn’t pucker your sphincter, then nothin’ will.