During quarantine, the staff at the IAHI have been busy both in and out of the “office” and have been staying sane with some much needed music. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite jams that keep us focused, calm or put us in a dancing mood!

Today’s list is brought to you by Dr. Jason Price. Dr. Price is our post doc at the IAHI and has a PhD in Anthropology.

*Warning: Some of these songs contain strong language and may require adult supervision*

I Am Alone – Rhoda Mtemang’ombe
Mtemang’ombe was incarcerated at Zomba Central Prison when she recorded this spare plea for help in crossing a big river. May the God she implores help her, and us all. 

The First 100 Songs – An*l Trump
As “Rob Trump” puts it: “protest music is boring, and once I got the idea, the potential seemed bottomless.” Technically an album. An Indianapolis original.

Jobseeker – Sleaford Mods
“The thing is, there really is no future for a lot of people out there,” says Jason Williamson. “And it’s that experience I want to articulate and that humor I hold close to myself.”

Black Star – Gillian Welch
An early Radiohead track revealed as a country ballad in disguise by the splendid Gillian Welch.

When I Get to Heaven – John Prine
This performance—of the last song on his final studio album—is so sweet and funny and consoling. Our loss, the ancestors’ gain. Standing room only at “The Tree of Forgiveness” tonight, for sure.

New Bell (Hard Pulsation) – Manu Dibango
“Whether it was Congolese rumba in the 1950s, disco in the 1970s or hip-hop in the 1990s, his contribution to the development of modern music cannot be overstated,” noted Rita Ray following the recent passing of the prolific Cameroonian saxophonist to Covid-19. 

Daily Battles – Thom Yorke & Flea
More of a soundtrack to Maggie Nelson’s Bluets than Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn.

13th Century Metal – Brittany Howard
Repeat after Howard: “we are all brothers and sisters, we are all brothers and sisters, we are all brothers and sisters…” We know what the disease is. This is the antidote.

I Woke Up in a F*cked-Up America – Lonnie Holley
Holley is an ample guide through the Hell and Purgatory of America. And this track—so reminiscent of the self-taught artist’s assemblage and sculpture—feels more and more, tragically, like the national anthem our nation deserves.

I Wouldn’t Ask You – Clairo
Captures the missing-you-ness, and the dangers of losses to come outlined by impossibilities of certain expressions of desire and acts of reciprocity. The children’s choir gets me. Wished the track ended at the 3:17 mark.

We hope you enjoyed this list and stay tuned for more staff music picks!

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