High Five

Joan Wasser on the future

Asked to name five things that are inspiring her next album, Joan Wasser was appalled by what initially sprang to mind.

“The things I wrote down were: ‘utter aloneness,’ ‘death and disappearance,’ ‘trusting one’s self-desperation,’ ‘ecstasy,’ ‘frustration,’ ” said Wasser, who records under the name Joan as Police Woman (and got her start in Boston bands such as the Dambuilders). “I was like, ‘Wait a minute. No one will come to see this show or ever buy this record!’ ”

Wasser, who performs at Lizard Lounge on Friday, also wrote down some things she has been loving recently “separate from the blooming garden that is my new record,” which she expects to release early next year.


1. “Mortality,” Christopher Hitchens. “I thoroughly enjoy his ability to get his thoughts across. This book is about him getting diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and he describes the transition from living to dying.”

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2. “Electric Warrior,” T. Rex. “That is, from start to finish, a perfect album. It’s one of those things that I listened to it a lot when I was pretty young, and I loved it. I was absolutely floored when I returned to it, especially the song ‘Life’s a Gas.’ ”

3. “Overgrown,” James Blake. “I was looking forward to this new album to see what he was going to do, because clearly he’s brilliant. He has an ease with space and silence, and that’s unique.”

4. Epiphenomenalism. “It’s the concept that your mental thoughts are created by the physical stuff that happens in your brain, rather than the other way around. That’s a fascinating idea for me as someone who’s always writing from emotion.”

5. Taza chocolate. “I love the gritty texture, and the flavor is beyond words. Then I found out that it is made in Somerville. So when there’s a break-in Friday night at the Taza chocolate factory in Somerville, you’ll know.”


Joan as Police Woman performs at Lizard Lounge on Friday, with Rick Berlin opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $14. 617-547-0759,