Editor’s Note: It’s no secret that when you can’t find the words to describe how you’re feeling, music fills in the blanks. In what has quickly become a year unlike anything any of us have experienced in our lifetimes, we’ve turned to several avenues of comfort, some healthier than others. Regardless, the healing sounds coming out of our speakers have stayed a constant.
Over the last four months, Taiga Dinger’s hybrid record store/vintage shop Janku Land has watched COVID-19 close his Tacoma shop, forcing him to adapt to the current times. Pushing sales online, and now with his doors back open, this time has been tough for retail business in our city.
We asked Taiga what he’s been listening to and what he would recommend for a playlist that speaks to the challenges of our current times. Something reflective and would capture the ups and downs of this unforgettable year. Here’s what he’s spinning.
Janku Land’s Top 5 Records for the Times
Caetano Veloso – S/T 1969
The Bob Dylan of Brazil and one of the forefathers of the Tropicalia genre. This album is one of my favorites of his. He recorded this album while he was exiled from Brazil due to the military occupation that dictated his country. It’s amazing such beautiful music was created during such tense times.
Gil Scott Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
A compilation of Gil Scott Heron’s work as a Black poet and a soul singer. I can’t think of a musician that’s still more relevant and smooth than this fella.
Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
An almost nearly perfect pop album. This album reminds me of summer and has so much warmth in the songs. You remember that Zima commercial, when they drink an ice cold Zima, and they say “ahhhh Zima”? Yeah, this album is more refreshing than that.
Discharge – State Violence State Control 7″
Give it up to a punk band to pretty much explain something so deep in four simple words.
Judee Sill – Heart Food
One of the saddest albums I tend to revisit from time to time because it’s so honest and melancholic. This is Sill’s last album before she died from a tragic and depressing overdose.
Ed: All great selections from another Tacoma expert. Thank you, Taiga.
Before you go typing some of these songs into your Spotify, remember that nothing’s cooler than supporting your local record shop. Take a sun-soaked stroll down to Janku Land, don your mask, and go dig through some racks. The shop is the perfect size for a quick peruse or a deep exploration. Either way, you’ll leave with an arm full of records and a clear head, both of which will be a necessity for whatever comes next during these unprecedented times.
About Tacoma Defiance
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More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.