Basement Required Listening No. 22 for the ladies: Ricki Lee Jones

Photography by Anca Cernoschi

Howdy mah freinds! After a fantastically fun evening hanging out with the extremely talented & beautiful ladies of the Crafty Cotillion down at the Surly Girl Saloon, it seemed especially appropriate that I got a special little sumfin-sumfin for all you ladies out there in bloggy-blog land on the intertubal super-highways! And for all you fellows…. ya best be listenin’ close.

Our super-senior VIP & Master of the Music Listening Lounge down in our beloved Society and female-led music aficionado & promoter Fulltext was next in line in our Basement Required Listening series, number 22 actually, and he brunged it, my friends, brunged it goodest with the 1979 eponymously titled super-influential and iconic debut album, Rickie Lee Jones!

Now, I’m no Rickie Lee Jones expert because I don’t have a vagina. HA! Just kidding, I do have a vagina. HA! But seriously, the first thing I was thinking when waking up to this with a giant cup of ridiculously strong coffee this morning was, besides how incredible it is, how many times has Feist listened to this record? The more I listened (I think I’m on number 6 or 7 now), it really dawns on you how much you already know this record, eventhough I think this is the first time I’ve ever listened to it (besides the songs from the radio, of course).

Rickie seamlessly travels from jazz to folk to cabaret, often within a song, singing, talk-singing, in a perfectly beautiful yet “real” voice. Listening, it’s impossible to NOT hear all the amazing female singer-songwriters who have come since this record, how many played the album on their record players when they were kids, singing-along to “Coolsville”, over-emoting their own coolness in the mirror with an imaginary microphone, imagining being Rickie Lee Jones. I don’t know, maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but that’s imagery I get when I listen and realized that this album is, not a brick in the house, but part of the foundation of women’s music.

And maybe even more impressive is that she never let anyone dictate what she would create. From here, Rickie went her own musical path, regardless of fame or popularity, and I’m sure, much to the annoyance of her original record label. And she isn’t done yet as Fulltext noted, Rickie Lee Jones will release her 12th studio album ‘Balm In Gilead’ on October 6th… Damn.

So, let’s celebrate Ms. Jones and the album that started it all as..

Fulltext’s Basement Required Listening No. 22: Rickie Lee Jones

1. Chuck E’s In Love
2. On Saturday Afternoons In 1963
3. Night Train
4. Young Blood
5. Easy Money
6. The Last Chance Texaco
7. Danny’s All-Star Joint
8. Coolsville
9. Weasel And The White Boys Cool
10. Company
11. After Hours

Some Rickie Lee Link Love…
Myspace | Official

Buy it at Insound!

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4 comments for “Basement Required Listening No. 22 for the ladies: Ricki Lee Jones

  1. Fabo
    September 1, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    RLJ is GENIUS! If you get a chance to see her when she's touring- do it! The moment she opens her mouth to sing you are transformed. She's gotten better with each successive album. If you haven't listened to Ghosteyhead you are missing out. She was way ahead of the game and that album in particular took some amazing risks. Beth Orton, Madonna, Feist, Little Boots- I could go on – attempted to achieve what RLJ did on the album. Well, that's what I feel. Thanks for the post!!!

  2. Blueberry Shoes
    September 1, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    LOVES IT…sheryl crow reminds me a bit of her. such a great voice.

  3. Tsuru
    September 1, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    It's really cool, eh? I need to start diving into some of her back catologue as Fabo said…. really impressive! Can't wait to hear her new one!

  4. hank
    September 1, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Okay, I'll admit that RLJ is incredible. But, why not give the love to her album "Pirates" very obviously about Tom Waits and their time together. Every track sparkles. Jones at her Waitsian and probably her best.

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