1) I'm sitting here listening to Robbie Basho's "Venus In Cancer" for the first time and am powerfully struck by how much Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons resembles Basho vocally -- the selfsame soaring, tremelo heavy choir boy voice. And no shame in that. Not like Antony was copping from Nick Lachey
2) RL Burnside -- I am SUCH a bandwagon jumper on this one. It was only when I was working a project or two for Fat Possum and they sent me a care package that I was hipped to their roster of Mississippi Hill Country worthies including the late Mr. Burnside. I contented myself with "Burnside On Burnside" and "First Recordings" for a long while -- and those are both PRIME! Eventually I purchased "Ass Pocket Of Whiskey" and all too soon found the obtrusive presence of Jon Spencer (whose Blues Explosion provided backing here) a bit too much to take and moved that down to the basement archives. I picked up "Too Bad Jim" and that was another great one! Recently found used copies of "Come Right In" and "A Bothered Mind" and both wound up being frustrated listening. Each has a couple great tracks of RL solo or with a band throwing down, but the majority of tracks feature "remixes" with various folks taking stabs of creating tracks using the odd Burnside sample.
In the documentary "You Don't Know My Mind" Fat Possum owner Matt Johnson counters complaints from Blues "purists" about these efforts of updating RL for the wider marketplace - saying there's not enough Blues purists to support releases like that. And I do believe there was intent to raise RL's earning power (there's a great sequence where Johnson advise RL to contact social services and have them stop sending benefits checks as he was earning much too much from record sales and performances to qualify -- but RL ain't having none of that!) but -- jeez, these experiments just stink! Neither fish nor fowl and they totally dilute the power of the essence of Burnside's art, the hypnotic/obsessive riffing, that strange, rolling Hill Country beat - that whiskey-scorched voice!