It’s been a trying couple weeks for the folks at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen. Their studio in Park Slope was flooded for the billionth time, this one resulting in a permanent closure of that location. Luckily the turnaround to find a new space was fairly quick, but they’re starting over from scratch at their new home in Brooklyn. Despite the troubles, work never stopped. Last week they released a remixed and remastered collection of 12 songs considered Ghost Pal’s “Best Of.”
It’s hard to argue with any of the selections in this album. I have a hard time believing that “Who Is Nathan Jones?” (their response to The Supremes classic-which they cover on Extended Family EP) didn’t crack the top 12, but I’m biased. They did include my favorite Ghost Pal song that they’ve released, “The Wildebeest Song.” It opens with the line “To know that you’re deal is to wind up someone’s meal, you can’t run those blues away.” The choices all have a kind of cosmic kinship, so it’s a great listen even though it’s made up of one-off releases and tracks pulled from various EP’s and full-lengths.
The thing about MCFK is that every band is an organic and ever-changing organism. Some recordings are done as intended with all the members of a band present, and sometimes it’s just whoever happened to be at the studio at the time. In the notes for This Was Ghost Pal, there are eight members listed under “Ghost Pal WAS” and only four are billed as “Ghost Pal IS.” People come and go but the music waits for no one. It’s a good philosophy to have, and it’s resulted in some of the best music I’ve heard the past few years.
I’m happy to report that Ghost Pal and another MCFK band, No Shoes, will be joining the Chicago band Ariada for a show at The Empty Bottle on June 25th (organized by me). I don’t have show info yet, but you can probably count on a 9pm start time and tickets will be $5. I look forward to seeing everyone out there. I took a trip up to NYC a couple years ago and caught Ghost Pal in the basement of a cafe. Even though Oliver, the patriarch of MCFK and front man for the band, was sick as a dog they delivered a phenomenal set.