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Santigold: Disparate Youth

As a rule, I know very little about performers who were born after I graduated from high school. That’s the case with Santigold, who used to be Santogold but really is Santi White. She’s a very talented singer/song writer.

As an editor, I got a kick out the fact that she is featured on at least one tune (Creator) “singjaying.” I had never run into the term, but it’s a winner. I also got a kick out of of the names of notable singjayers. They include, according to Wikipedia, Eek-A-Mouse, Anthony Red Rose, King Kong, Pinchers, Courtney Melody, Lilly Melody, Eccleton Jarrett, Nitty Gritty and Yami Bolo. Dickens and Joyce would be overjoyed, and I am not kidding.

In any case, it’s great that creative and talented people such as Santigold continue to arrive on the scene. Older folks tend to want to squeeze every last ounce they can out of Neil Young, The Beatles and other oldsters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. These folks have proven their talent for decades.

The best of them — Young, Sprinsteen, Eric Clapton and, thankfully, many others — still are growing creatively. But it’s as important, or perhaps even more important, for new talent to continue arriving. The acts are very different (even though Bob Dylan may actually be singjayng these days, it’s hard to tell), but they are connected.

Here are The Keepers, Lights Out and Santigold’s Facebook page.

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.