Music Library: GZA, Half Japanese, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Handsome Family, Hang Ups, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams
GZA - Liquid Swords (1995). One of the best hip-hop albums in my meager collection, the GZA and the RZA (who produces) knock out hypnotic beats and rhymes about samurai culture, chess, and street crime. Most, if not all, of the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan drop in to add lines to different songs. The only stinker is "B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)," which wasn't produced by the RZA and fails to capture the menace and cleverness of the rest of the album.
Handsome Boy Modeling School - "Has The World Gone Mad?" From their apparently critically unloved sophomore album White People. Sounds like I'd have to hear the first album and the rest of the second to hear this in appropriate context. From here, it sounds like so-so hip-hop.
Hank Snow - "I've Been Everywhere." Country music great who performed this song at an auctioneer's pace. Wikipedia says he supported George Wallace's Presidential bid in the early 70s, so it's helpful to remember that they can't all be good guys.
Hank Thompson - "Jersey Bounce," "Wildwood Flower," and "Wild Side of Life/It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" (with Kitty Wells). The greatest Western Swing artist who wasn't Bob Wills, Thompson's music has much of the same marriage of jazz and country, but it's also more song-oriented. Goes without saying that these tracks are utterly delightful.