I've been on a serious Nina Simone jag since hearing an incredible singer, formerly unknown to me. Lady Mem'fis sang at Derek Lassiter's show at The Red Poppy Art House last week. Derek put on a sweet show, the vibe that of a house party by the end of the evening, at which point he graciously turned the stage over to some of the other singers in the house. I was already a fan of Cecilia Long, who put it down on "Stormy Monday," but Lady Mem'fis was new to me. If you see her name come up on a calendar listing, go see her. I found this photo of her at Russion River Jazz Fest, and while she evidently isn't performing widely at the moment, be prepared for a healing when you see her. She sent all but the drummer away from the Red Poppy stage to cover a Simone tune and left the audience stunned by her voice and sheer presence. Caliente!
Speaking of hot, it's been blistering here all week. The streets of SF feel like another city, spilling over with revelers in short sleeves after hours, making me think I was already in New York. I met up with Michelle May at Mojo Cafe last night for a writing session, but was surrounded by what felt like a party. It's April. It's Earth Day, and so I can't help note its abnormal to feel this warm, but for the moment, it's a good feeling...especially if your Earth Day pledge is to ride your bike more often.