After a sunny June, Köln has endured something of a dismal July. Rihanna ain't just whistlin' “Dixie” - the umbrella is the hot accessory this summer. I think we've had three or four hot days here this month, though we're told we missed a couple more while we were in Seattle. Yesterday, luckily, was one of them. I sweated myself into a satisfying stank just reading along the Rhein. Later that evening, Kelly and I began making plans for the weekend, charged by this pleasant turn in the weather. This morning Kelly woke up early and got in a run under an only partly cloudy sky, but by the time I'd stirred, the rain had returned. In an exercise of unprecedented restraint, not one Annie Lennox lyric crossed my lips.
With all this in mind, I offer a lovely, melancholy song from the unrivaled Soul Queen of New Orleans. In addition to being climate-appropriate, Irma's words express better than I could just how much I miss my Seattle peeps.
Irma Thomas – It's Raining (1961)
Shout out to my cinephiles out there, who will no doubt recognize this track from Jim Jarmusch's Down By Law, and may even recall Irma Thomas's gumbo recipe from Les Blank's Mardi Gras documentary, Always For Pleasure. And big shout out to all my lovers of great soul music, who've surely suffered a few headaches in amassing the essential Irma recordings – two nearly identical greatest hits collections (this one and this one) and one various artists compilation (this utterly essential one) being mandatory to acquiring just her five best cuts.
This is one of Ms. Thomas' much-loved Minit Records singles, some of which have still not surfaced on CD (more headaches!). In addition to capturing that slippery magic of the glimpse of still-undiscovered greatness, the Minit records carry the additional cachet of being produced and sometimes written by Allen Toussaint.
As for the weather, if the weekend forecast is to be trusted, we should have some sunshine this weekend, part of which we hope to spend just across the border in Belgium.