Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A song I still like for no good reason but then lots of things happen for no good reason

Yeah, still no CHIP fix, no community health center fiscal cliff fix, no Puerto Rico Medicaid fix, merry Christmas, y'all.

Meanwhile, there was this time in my life where I was living in Washington, DC. Nothing policy-wonky; as a matter of fact I was a mouse-killer. I lived in a seventh floor studio apartment; it was mostly a pretty lonely year. I was buying music to pass the time, and somehow got into this one song on one French house music compilation (Respect is Burning, Part 2). "Casa Campo", by Clement, somehow grabbed me, and I've had a soft spot for that track ever since. And it wasn't like I was going to clubs or meeting people at that point. I was sitting in this seventh floor apartment, watching planes in the distance flying into National, listening to house music for no especially good reason. This is music for dancing and having sex and taking drugs, not sitting around your apartment being a stone-cold-sober mope-tastic pre-med. So, I can't explain why I was buying that kind of record, or why on that kind of record, it was this particular song at that time.

But even though now I can't find the CD in my stuff, every now and then I go find the song on the internet. I've never known anything about the person who made it--though you can look that up these days--and I can't even say why this la-de-da chill-out kinda song makes me happy. Especially with the little guitar bit at 0:27, it starts like something that should be playing at the pool bar in some kind of boutique hotel where probably nothing good ever happens and a lot of money changes hands to make those nothing-goods happen.

But, the pleasures of music can't always be explained, and the moment where a little synthesizer riff starts dancing around at about 3:33, with the bass kicking in a few seconds later, makes me inexplicably happy, moving my shoulders at my desk, as if somehow I was like, some Parisian getting ready to go to le discotheque.

Which is probably at least as inexplicable as, why there's still no CHIP fix, but there you have it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Black Madonna, "He is the voice I hear"

"if she’s dance music’s mom, she’s a rad, weird and decidedly cool mom" -- MixMag

The New York Times described her in passing as "warm left-field disco"; but I gotta say, I just had to write down the first time I heard her song "He is the voice I hear" because I feel like it might later turn out to be an important moment. The first time The Black Madonna entered my headphones. And yeah, I realize I'm like a year or many years late to the party as usual, though I want to say in my defense I found this song from Spotify not from the Times. I mean, I have never and will never hear this in a club, but I'm not such a looo-zah that I'm getting dance music recommendations from Paul Krugman or whatever.

But anyway, during my twenties, if I had the cool and the common sense to be in the back of the club with the DJ instead of up at the front handing out condoms and public health information, "He is the voice I hear" is the kind of music I would have dreamed of producing as a result. Smart, propulsive, genre-mixing, obscure-sampling, and somehow, intellectual about being emotional. But no, due to my misspent youth in public health, I go to work and write prescriptions instead of dropping beats at a Barcelona music festival. Instead, I'm a doctor, telling you that

we still need the Children's Health Insurance Program fully funded,

and we still gotta fix the Puerto Rico Medicaid cliff,

and may our dance music be welcoming and warm, always.

Because, wow, Holy Record Store Nerd, Batman!--check it, from 2012:

Alright this morning