Friday, 31 July 2009

They Bite, the Little Buggers...

Utterly freakin' nuts

Welcome to the strange world of Congresswoman Malinda Jackson Parker - a cut price Nina Simone and Liberian politician much-loved apparently for her unique dress sense, bizarre performance style and kindness to the poor.

Congresswoman Parker loved to sing and play the piano and, thankfully, someone had the foresight to record a handful of her performances, five of which have been available on the peculiarly-titled Tubman Goodtyme Songs of Liberia and, in the best Sam Sacks tradition, each song is introduced by the good woman herself.

According to the Emusic review this “Lovable Liberian eccentric....served a term in Liberia's House of Reps in the '50s during the William V. S. Tubman administration. Musically, the dizzy yet dignified Parker mauled folk songs and addressed societal concerns with a freewheeling half-sung, half-narrated style, while pounding mercilessly on a grand piano. The album offers odes to bush cow milk and palm trees, along with not one but two diatribes against bloodsucking bugs. On "Cousin Mosquito #1" Parker utters the word "cousin" 204 times in three and a half minutes. Madame had independent wealth, was by reports kind, generous and beloved, and was never without a bag of candy to bestow upon street urchins. She dressed flamboyantly, was renowned for an overload of cosmetics and sported a turban festooned with safety pins.”


Here, for your enjoyment is Cousin Mosquito (Number One). I urge you to seek out the entire album - it's jaw-droppingly brilliant, and worth the price of admission for the spoken introduction to Cousin Mosquito Number 2. Now, how do we pronounce the name of the composer of your favourite piano concerto Malinda? Is that Rattamanoff? Ratamaniov? Ratamaninov?

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