Staff Picks: Loving Day, Shovels & Rope, Cosmic-Americana, Prince bootlegs and more | Rock Candy

Friday, June 12, 2015

Staff Picks: Loving Day, Shovels & Rope, Cosmic-Americana, Prince bootlegs and more

Posted By , , , and on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 2:50 PM

click to enlarge Album artwork by Yokoo Tadanori
  • Album artwork by Yokoo Tadanori

Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

A minute ago I was watching to Sturgill Simpson’s video for "Turtles All the Way Down" which got me thinking about Beachwood Sparks, which reminded me of The Court & Spark, which ultimately brought to mind Gram Parsons. When I was done with all that, I realized it was time for an afternoon cup of coffee. When I returned I decided I needed to expand my cosmic-Americana palette a little wider while I get back to work, which landed me in the lap of a wonderful album called "Complete Strangers" by Vetiver. Which is what I recommend you enjoy today. — Bryan Moats

If you should find yourself a dear who sees you clear, I recommend getting married. Grace and I celebrated our three-year (LEATHER ANNIVERSARY!) on Tuesday by listening to the song "Mary Ann and One Eyed Dan," by Shovels & Rope over and over. I recommend that song too. Best line is the last one: "To our selfish selves, so long." Worked for us. — David Ramsey

I recommend this article about the 1960s and '70s work of the Japanese painter and graphic designer Yokoo Tadanori, who spent  decades creating vibrant illustrations and collages for psych-rock records and posters for Western artists like Santana, Miles Davis, Tangerine Dream and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The images are utopian, paranormal, staggering, stupid — the only contemporary analogue would be the Houston hip-hop design firm Pen & Pixel.  

I also recommend this Prince demo, "I Spend My Time Loving You," recorded at a house in Minneapolis in early 1976 (according to the experts). I heard it three times maybe seven years ago and have been trying to find it again ever since (Prince songs tend to disappear from YouTube as soon as they're uploaded). For all I know, the link will be dead by the time you read this — Will Stephenson
The Internet, an experimental soul group, just released a single called "Special Affair." It appears on their forthcoming album Ego Death which hits stores on June 30th. The song is lead by a slow and heavy bass line, ethereal vocals and provocative lyrics. The song is both haunting and seductive; truly infectious. Give it a listen. — Kaya Herron

'Loving Day' is today, June 12 — the anniversary of the landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws in 16 states against interracial marriage. Arkansas was one of those states.

Two recommendations for Loving Day. First, read this New York Times op-ed called "The Myth of a White Minority," which points out that as the U.S. grows more and more diverse, many children born to white/nonwhite unions are raised “sociologically white” — that is, although multiracial, they are "integrated into white communities and family networks and seen as essentially no different from anyone else." And yet, because of our insistence on defining racial identity along binary white/nonwhite lines, the Census Bureau defines all multiracial children as "minority." That's one reason official demographic projections claim that "non-Hispanic whites [will] be a minority by 2044" — something that's true only if we consider no mixed-race children to be "white." Yet many multiracial people (such as myself) are "sociologically" more white than they are nonwhite. Thus, says the op-ed, "we will seem like a majority-white society for much longer than is believed."

My second suggestion: If you're single, go on a date with someone of a different race. And yes, a multiracial person counts. — Benji Hardy

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