portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

NEWSROOM: Lucinda Williams, Van Dyke Parks, Lily Allen, Talking Heads,





Speaking in a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 68-year-old singer-songwriter said she spent five weeks in the hospital after a blood clot developed on the right side of her brain in November of last year. A few days before Thanksgiving, Williams was in her bathroom getting ready to take a shower when she had trouble keeping her balance. She stumbled and struggled to stand up straight and couldn't walk. "An ambulance came and got me and we told them not to put the big siren on. We didn't want to alarm the neighbours or anything," she explained. "But they put the siren on."

Williams spent a week in the intensive care unit where doctors discovered a blood clot on the right side of her brain, which affected the left side of her body. She was then transferred to a rehabilitation centre to begin a month-long treatment of therapy. Williams was discharged on December 21 and is now undergoing physical therapy. She now walks with a cane, is unable to play guitar, and has lingering pain in both her left arm and left leg. However, thanks to the lack of brain damage, doctors expect her to make a full recovery.

She said, "I do, like, walking, with the cane and they watch me and see how well I'm doing. And then I have to do hand and arm exercises. It's really about regaining my strength and mobility, and range of motion. That's what they work with me on."

She added: "The main thing is I can still sing. I'm singing my ass off, so that hasn't been affected. Can't keep me down for too long."


'Van Dyke Parks Orchestrates Verónica Valerio: Only in America' teams the musical iconoclast with singer-songwriter-harpist Verónica Valerio for a new, four-song EP. It merges the sensibilities of the Mississippi-born hero of California music with the Veracruz, Mexico native to create a miniature suite that very much reflects the times in which we're living. Valerio reached out to Parks to initiate the pairing. Valerio, who studied music in Veracruz and New York, reflects in the press release, "Two years ago, I wrote Van Dyke because he is a sincere person, a selfless communicator, polite, a fighter and great artist." Parks returns the compliments: "Her music got me out of the hall of mirrors of pop culture which is unavoidable as we turn on a radio or television. This was my exit... the record I wanted to do with this girl in quarantine! Never met her. But I have a longstanding love for Hispanic music - I think it's the moment to be part of the 'browning of America': crossing the aisle, learning the lingo. It has idiomatic value, a supreme unimportance to the value of profit." Parks orchestrated all of the music; Valerio sings in Spanish. Klaus Voormann has provided the striking cover artwork for Van Dyke Parks Orchestrates Verónica Valerio: Only in America. Due on June 11 from BMG/Modern Recordings in vinyl and digital formats.

What we are (mostly) listening to . . . . . . .   

  Lily Allen - Seattle 2007
Click here for the tracks:

  Talking Heads - Paris 1979
Click here for the tracks:

Lily LDN 2007 Glastonbury


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