What have I got?

If I were given the chance to see any female artist perform live, living or dead, I wouldn’t hesitate at all, Nina Simone. It would have been great to see Janis Joplin, I would’ve loved to see Joan Baez in her prime, seeing Patty Smith again would be cool… but above all Nina Simone. It’s the mixture of talent with attitude that I think would’ve made seeing her perform in person (preferably in a small venue) an incredible experience.

“Ain’t got no love, ain’t got no name”

She’s not somebody I remember listening to when I was growing up, I just kind of stumbled onto her on my own after hearing her songs in movies and television shows. A commonly referenced movie scene is at the end of Before Sunset when Julie Delpy does an imitation of her for Ethan Hawke and plays the song Just in Time. Most Nina Simone fans know this scene, and I’m sure most share my take that it’s the best scene in the movie, hands down. I also recall hearing the song Sinnerman (one of my favorites) in an episode of Scrubs. From there I went on to buy a few of her albums and she’s became one of my favorite artists. She’s one of the greats, no doubt about it.

“I got my mouth, I got my smile. I got my tongue, I got my chin. I got my neck, I got my boobs”

I like almost all of her songs, many aren’t even hers, but she was so talented she could take pretty much any song and just run with in. She’s covered Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne… George Harrison’s Here Comes the SunMr. Bojangles (which Dylan popularized, but is not his). You have to be a beast to cover these songs and get away with it, but then again her talent was special, saying she was a beast might not even begin to do her justice.

I’ve got life, I’ve got my freedom

So Nina Simone is someone I’ve listen to regularly and who I never get bored of. She’s great for setting the mood in a room with other people and works just as well to listen to alone. I always say that only a handful or artists are really good companions for when you want to lie down listen to music and drink by yourself… Nina Simone is the founder and honorary lifetime president of that club. Ain’t Got No, I Got Life is one of the reasons why…

“And I’m gonna keep it”


10 thoughts on “What have I got?

  1. My Step-Sis saw Janis in Texas.
    I asked her,
    “Hey Sis! How was the Texas Blues Fest?”
    She replied, “I saw Janis Joplin drink a pint of Southern Comfort on stage.”
    “Damn you!” I replied. “I needed to have been there.”
    (True story, circa 1970)
    In Texas.

  2. Thanks. NS Was great artist too varied to fit into easy genre pigeon holes. Wonderful soul and a mesmerising performer. Thanks for bringing her to mind again. Regards Thom at the immortal jukebox.

  3. Nina indeed tickles my fancy very much. Look forward to learning new music through your blog. I’m already making a list for ITunes. Thanks for liking three of my posts……that’s gangsta! Enjoy writing….it’s fun isn’t it. Well, except when it’s not:/

  4. I would go with Beth Orton. She just has that’ve*ache* in her voice that breaks your heart but does it so beautifully that you feel your spine tingling with a weird delight.

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