This is Simone's album length response to the Vietnam War- cover songs, poems, discussion. It's smart and thoughtful and heart-breaking.
This album is stuck with me right now because it's what I want to do next as an artist; stop and explore where the country is, "a minute" (as in right this. . . .) book just like this is "a minute" album. A snapshot.
It's hard though, which is why I admire this one so much. It's far from perfect, but yet it is perfect in that it is that exact moment. I know it is because Simone knows it is and tells us as much by the way she performs it.
That's the other thing I love about Simone, her ability to crawl into a moment, drag the song and the audience in there with her, and muck about.
Which is just as much what Eileen Myles says in a great new essay in The Volta. Myles does a great job of this too, this crawling inside and dragging you along with her.
So I"m thinking about these two works as guidelines and models. But they also leave me wondering how have we gotten to a place where we don't value this kind of artist anymore? We label them crazy or too personal and yet what they do is brave and crucial and dangerous.