Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
"Sisters/Brothers and the whiteys/Blacks and the crackers/Police and their backers..." People, it's time to go to church. That's what this album is, at least: Soul Church. The opening track is called "Don't Worry (If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go)"—and that includes those folks named up top there. We're all going to hell! Solidarity through fire and brimstone! Curtis Mayfield shouts the N-word at top volume right at the beginning, along with "crackers" and "Jews," and something about that intro makes me wish record stores played it on the overhead speakers more often.
Picture the moment: Everyone's shopping the stacks. Someone's there to find a present for their kid but can't remember who the teens like these days. Two hunched-over record nerds are in the same area trying not to make eye contact with anyone and also to find the good shit before the other guy does. Someone like me is there, maybe hiding crappy '90s music underneath a Velvet Underground CD so no one can see what she's getting. Other people are browsing—looking for Broadway sound tracks, obscure electronica, the physical copy of Beyoncé with the DVD. It's just a collection of humans in a place. A devious record-store employee sees that this is the perfect moment for Curtis.