I’m not sure why I’m so lackadaisical about posting my Mixcloud shows here. Really, I don’t.
But this show is a big one, my longest one yet (102 minutes) but one that I think people will like. And there is most definitely a theme. One that you will figure out somewhere between the second and third song.
New shows every two weeks. If you’re interested in following me on Mixcloud, you can find me here. Thank you for listening.
At the turn of the century – just let those words sink in for a second – Simple Minds had run out of gas. Their twelfth album, 1999’s Our Secrets Are the Same, didn’t see a proper release for another five years, and even then it was as a bonus disc to a box set of live and unreleased tracks. Their 2001 covers album Neon Lights is the kind of thing that polite people do not talk about in mixed company. With their last US Top 40 hit a decade behind them (“See the Lights,” #40, 1991), and their last Hot 100 appearance over a half-decade ago (“She’s a River,” #52, 1995), Simple Minds was aimlessly adrift. This would explain why singer Jim Kerr decided to open a hotel in Sicily around the same time; even he suspected that he needed a side hustle in case the day job went south.
There is a lot to unpack in “Black Panther.” Solid arguments are made on both sides of the topic of isolationism versus open borders. An outsider armed with a dark heart and fiery rhetoric assumes power, and literally burns sacred traditions to the ground. The governing body of the fictional country of Wakanda splinters, turning countrymen against each other. They’re not being subtle here: this is as Trumpian a movie as the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever see (one hopes, anyway). On top of this, the movie is led by a group of strong women, who symbolically serve as the #MeToo component. “Black Panther” is so ridiculously of the moment that it’s tempting to believe that, between the perfect timing of “Zootopia” (race relations) and this film, Disney has “Minority Report”-style pre-cogs in its employ, scanning the future in order to read the room, as it were.
This is an interview I did for the super-awesome pop culture site Popdose. And let me tell you, scratching Jim Kerr off of my interview bucket list was one that I never thought would come to pass.
Don’t look now, but with their sixteenth and seventeenth albums, Simple Minds is on a tear. Their 2014 album Big Music earned the band some of their best reviews in decades, and their upcoming album Walk Between Worlds (which will be released February 2) finds the band still exploring new ideas, not content to do what is expected of them. Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr was in France, and yet still volunteered to give 30 minutes of his life to talk to Popdose about the new album, and playing matchmaker with one of the most beloved singers of the Popdose staff.