>Music: D’Angelo’s Coming Back…

>From Billboard:

“… D’Angelo is making progress on his first studio album since 2000, which will likely be released early next year via J Records. The label purchased D’Angelo’s contract in 2005 from Virgin, which issued his first two studio albums. For his as-yet-untitled J debut, D’Angelo has already collaborated with Raphael Saadiq and also plans to record with John Mayer, according to a source. A single may be out before the end of the year.

“… In lieu of new music of his own, he’s made sporadic guest appearances on albums by Common, Snoop Dogg and J Dilla. On Tuesday (June 24), Virgin will release a CD/DVD retrospective, “The Best So Far…,” featuring hits, rarities and previously unreleased videos.”

Welcome back, Mr. Archer.

>Music: What I’m Feeling… June ’08

>For your listening pleasure…

Some of the links are more informative than they are musical, but – all in all – these are the new songs dominating my June 2008 playlist. Enjoy…

1. (Untitled 1974 snippet) – Stevie Wonder
2. You Know What – Idle Warship (I prefer Res’ vocals to Pharrell’s on the N*E*R*D version)
3. Universal Mind Control – Common
4. QuartetSpanky Alford (Rest in Peace)
5. Computer Girl – Zaki Ibrahim
6. Reach Down in Your Soul – Sy Smith feat. Wes Felton
7. Honey (Seiji Remix) – Erykah Badu
8. Velvet – Jose James
9. Let Your Hair Down – Kidz in the Hall
10. Magnificent – Estelle

UPDATE: one reclusive friend of mine has put together a niiiiice mixtape of classic soul songs, some of which have been sampled in contemporary hip-hop and R&B tunes, others which are just plain enjoyable to listen to. Highly recommended.

>Politics: Change (in Foreign Policy) that We Can Believe In… ?

>
We have our own general elections coming up this December but I doubt that anyone would stay up until 3 in the morning to listen to Akuffo-Addo, Nduom or Atta-Mills make a speech (“ZzzzzZZzzZZZzzZZz…”: sorry, but it’s true) the way a few of us have stayed up listening to Barack Obama on BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera (the three news channels whose transmissions take over from Ghana’s at night).

An Al Jazeera poll recently ranked Obama the US presidential candidate most popular outside America, and Ghana (where someone has even made a reggae song about the man) is no different. One might ask why anyone here should care. Besides an inherent fascination in the notion of (not just an African-American but) the direct son of an African in the White House, the simple fact is that American presidents make decisions that affect everyone’s lives. Frankly speaking, the rest of the world should be allowed a bloc vote in every US Election.

When Obama suggested he was open to direct negotiations with Iran, I was full of hope that such open-mindedness was not just sensible but that it could spill over into other US foreign policies, especially where Africa was concerned.

‘Change we can believe in’ started to sound – well – believable.

To say I was disappointed when Obama ‘s first major post-victory speech veered back in the direction of ‘same old, same old’ would be to describe Rawlings as having been irritated when Atta-Mills decided not to contest the results of Ghana’s 2004 elections (rumour has it that he was livid).

Don’t get me wrong: I understand that Obama needs to arm himself against a Republican campaign machine that has torn to shreds the reputations of men whose middle names are far less hysteria-inducing than ‘Hussein’.

What I have never understood though is how America can position itself as a peace broker on the matter of Israel and Palestine but proclaim such open and unashamed bias towards one side.

Weird.

Obama’s speech seemed to go further than a McCain speech might have. I guess that, having said what he had said earlier about Iran, he had something to prove. I just hope he has nothing to prove to those people expecting him to effect change in black/African issues.

Oh well…

Given that he now probably won’t be the one to bring about peace in the Middle East, the speech should at least silence not only those who think he will be soft on terrorists but also those who think Obama might be the Antichrist… which will probably get him more of the Poor-Fearful-White-American-Male vote, right?

Right?

>… and We’re Back

>Since unceremoniously sacrificing this blog’s last incarnation to the internet gods almost two years ago, I have been chastised, smacked across the back of my head, looked at in silent, jaw-dropping disbelief, spoken down to by children half my age, and – in one bizarre dream – had the crap beaten out of me by a group of violent glue-sniffing gorillas.

I’m just as clueless as you are as to what that last one has to do with anything but, with safety in mind, I decided to bring the damn thing back from the dead. So here it is:

Wherever I Lay My Hat… Part II / Reloaded / Wherever I Lay My Hats (they always go missing) / The Return of Q. Manchu

Or – for short – Wherever I Lay My Hat…

If anyone (everyone?) missed it the first time around, this is a small corner of cyberspace in which I crouch at times and scribble down anecdotes and experiences of moving to Ghana for good after spending seventeen or so years of my life in London (that and the occasional poem, story or opinion piece).

You will laugh.
You will cry.
At times, you will even tilt the screen sideways, squint really hard and hear yourself say out loud, “what the hell…”

More often than not though, you will probably read a funny post or two, lose attention and move on to a more interesting website.

It’s okay.

I won’t hold it against you…

I’ll just try and have something better ready in time for your next visit.

PS: in case you were wondering, the blog name’s comes from a line by one of my favourite musicians, Marvin Gaye: “Now I’m the type of guy who’s always on the road / Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.”

I think Marvin was talking more about being a player than he was about the Diasporean experience, but hey: it works.