First Watch: L.A. Salami, 'Going Mad As The Street Bins'

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L.A. Salami.

Lookman Adekunle Salami, or L.A. Salami, is a British songwriter and singer whose poetry channels the fierceness I first heard in Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, but with a prowess found in today's best hip-hop. You can hear that in the song "Going Mad As The Street Bins," which reflects the overflow of thought, ideas and stimulation in the 21st century.

The song's companion film opens with our star sitting at a bar, obviously distressed, with a caption that reads, "L.A. SALAMI AS A CONFUSED MAN." After leaving the bar, he's next seen consulting a priest, a writer, a rabbi, a guru and more. Nothing seems to relieve life's confusion until he meets a man who gives him a guitar — and then there's reprieve and a smile.

In an email, L.A. Salami writes that "the song came about as I walked past a street bin in the middle of the city one day, and it was full to the brim — completely spilling over with everyday human waste — and I thought to myself: That's what my mind feels like sometimes — a slow-motion explosion of a myriad of decomposing, stinking, noxious juices, provided by anyone who has, with or without much thought, just helped fill this bin to a repulsive, choking, everyday urban spectacle ... Kinda like the many misguided ideals of the past choking the life out of the modern-day average person. Words and music came not long after that thought."

"Going Mad As The Street Bins" can be found on L.A. Salami's brilliant debut album, Dancing With Bad Grammar. Intense but accessible, it's one of this year's best debuts, and this bluesy song should be an introduction to a long musical friendship with this storyteller and poet.

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