blues, butterflies

I know I’ve been terrible about updating my blog this spring/summer, and my embarrassment has made me stay away even longer than I might have. (I sound like a student turning in a late paper.) But it’s been an eventful few months: I’ve been traveling, and later this month, I’ll be traveling again. Currently I’m in a town called Northampton, in Massachusetts, USA. The highlight of this trip: seeing one of my favourite singers, Bettye Lavette. If you haven’t heard of her, please nourish your soul and pick up a copy of one of her records. The latest one is called The Scene of the Crime. It’s so good you’ll want to scream. Seeing her live did just that to me: the woman is so BIG in her spirit, her passion, her anger, her humour – she’s such a well of wisdom and intensity – I don’t know how I kept sitting in my seat without tearing out of my skin! Her previous record, Hell to Raise, is no less spectacular, and at the concert, after the encore, she sang a stunning cover from this record called, ‘I do not want what I haven’t got’. Everyone cried. (The original was written by Sinead O’Connor. I don’t know that version; I never paid much attention to O’Connor, but what a song this is.)

Other highlights: seeing Buddy Guy (whom I’ve loved for much of my life) and the Black Keys (recently discovered). The Black Keys do fantastic covers of the blues legend Junior Kimbrough, whom I’m ashamed to say I never even heard of till I heard the Keys sing ‘Everywhere I go.’ Now I want every record of Kimbrough’s everywhere I go.

I also had a delightful visit to a butterfly farm just outside Northampton. Here are some photos I took of my hosts.

And of course, I’ve been following the elections – fearing for Pakistan and much of the rest of the world. (Speaking of which, thanks for all the responses to my letter to Obama, posted on Counterpunch in March. ) Of course Obama is better than McCain, but at least let’s not call this change.