The Perils of Revisiting the Past

All that is old is made new again.

Self-consciously reconstructing a bygone style is tricky business. Odds are you’ll end up sounding like a stale nostalgia act, when the goal is to create the illusion of spontaneity. Amazingly, a gifted few pull it off.

Nick Waterhouse
Nick Waterhouse
Innovative Leisure

California’s Nick Waterhouse revisits the slinky, pre-Beatles R&B he does so well on his self-titled fourth album. The cat has a winning recipe: fizzy, catchy songs, plus suave vocals with just a hint of a rasp, topped off by loose, swinging rhythms that don’t stop. But he’s not a tiresome purist or a hipster poseur, adding hints of garage rock, bebop, and funk to keep things fresh. This is groovy stuff, in the best possible way.

Bloodshot Bill
Come and Get Your Love Right Now
Goner

While he hails from the Great White North, Montreal’s Bloodshot Bill delivers an uncanny impression of a deranged southern hillbilly on his seventh album. Mumbling, howling and growling with feverish glee, he echoes ‘50s greats like Carl Perkins and Charlie Feathers, continuing the wonderfully shabby revivalism of The Cramps. Happily, Bill’s stripped-down take on vintage rockabilly never feels contrived, thanks to the obvious delight he takes in these wild-eyed displays. Come and Get Your Love Right Now could raise the dead, or at least your spirits.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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