The Joup Friday Album: MTV Unplugged 2.0 – Lauryn Hill

Album cover of MTV Unplugged 2.0 by Lauryn HillAs a single, child-free woman, I’ve found myself with not one, but two, pregnant friends this summer. Both are expecting boys. And I cannot wait.

Childbearing is something I’ve never wanted or done. While many women experience the proverbial biological clock, or feel pangs of longing whenever they encounter babies, I’ve never been there. My role models were always older, child-free women with rich, fulfilling lives, complete with travel, careers, relationships, and adventure. Having a kid in the mix would do nothing but tie me down.

Yet I would take – and give – a bullet for my nephew.

Drinking, Fighting, Fucking and Crying Title

Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying

whelans (1)In January 2002, Joup’s Joe Grez and I, along with Joe’s cousin Tony, went to Dublin. Both Grez and Tony were experienced travelers, but this was my first trip out of the US. The reason for our destination, and a rather urgent first foray into traveling for me, was several months prior I had fallen hard for a gorgeous blonde girl who, two nights after I met her, moved back to Drumcondra, Ireland. Ah, Nichola, such a fair lass… who almost proved to be the death of me in the short time I knew her. We hit it hard in those two days, no explicit pun intended, and when she left for home I stayed in contact with her via the internet – then a fledgling experience for me.

The Joup Friday Album: PIL – Public Image: First Issue

Public Image, LTDWhat do you get when you remove the one member of the Sex Pistols that didn’t buy into the hype? You get the death of the band, whether or not Jonesy, Cook and Mclauren knew it or not. Ronnie Biggs? Come on…

Meanwhile, Mr. Lydon found himself some interesting people to work with when starting his subsequent project, the aptly titled Public Image, Ltd. Jah Wobble is one of the legendary musicians that not only helped catalyze what has colloquially become known as “Post Punk”, but also inspired the first outcroppings of Industrial music, specifically the Chicago sound (a personal modern favorite of Wobble’s that sets him in with some of the Chicago folks he influenced is the criminally short-lived band The Damage Manual). Then there’s Keith Levine and Jim Walker, both of whom I know far less about but turn in fantastic performances on this record.

Drinking, Fighting, Fucking and Crying Title

Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying

a-clockwork-orangeThis is less overt, so bear with me.

In 1993, the Autumn as I transitioned into my Senior year in High School, I learned that a good friend of mine had killed a young girl in the forest preserves that surround the area where I grew up. This was insane, but what was more insane was the way this information came to me; out on bail for nearly a year, this friend had all of our group naively believing that he was innocent. I’ll spare you the whys and wherefores of our erroneous logic, and simply boil it down to the fact that we were young and trusting, and the deed had occurred after a party in the aforementioned forest preserves. A party where many of the shady A.F. people that hung around those woods were present. With all these variables, it seemed at the time that there was enough reasonable doubt for us to believe our friend had been framed.

The Joup Friday Album Roman Gods The Fleshtones

2 Fleshtones

Drinking, Fighting, Fucking and Crying Title

Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying

Mirror ConspRemember my little ode to Sade a few months back? Originally, my idea for that one was to simply embed the song – really any Sade song will do – and type, “It works.” I figured if there was ever a ‘Nuff Said moment outside a Marvel comic book, that was it. Well, that particular column and idea were actually originally conceived for this band, and specifically this song, from this album.

The Joup Friday Album: Outkast – The Love Below

Outkast - The Love Below

Outkast – The Love Below

I honestly don’t even know how to start to talk about this album…or half an album, since I haven’t been able to bring myself to give Big Boi’s disc a fair shake; because I know that whatever it’s like, it can’t possibly occupy the same blinged-out Madonna Inn of amour that André Benjamin dreamed into being here. Having said that, I recently discovered that one of Big Boi’s favourite artists is Kate Bush, so I should really get round to that.

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