Darondo (né William Pulliam) passed away today at the age of 67. His single, “Didn’t I” remains one of my favorite Bay Area records (and really, just an all-time great slow jam).
I interviewed Darondo back in 2006 for Wax Poetics and they just reprinted the article on their site. Here’s an excerpt:
The name “Darondo” is so unique, it’s hard to forget. But for many years, all people knew of him was only that: a name on a faded label. In his brief recording career, the [...]
Continue reading DARONDO: DIDN’T HE TREAT US RIGHT?
My recent deluge of work means a drought in posts but I’m finally back. Pardon the kitchen sink but I got a lot to cover.
First off, my early runner for “album of the year” goes to Laura Mvula. I’ve been singing her praises for a while but had been looking forward to finally reviewing the U.S. release of her Sing to the Moon for NPR. I feel like any kind of superlatives I might throw her way will be woefully inadequate. Listen to this, the first song on the album. If you’re not awed…well, maybe you’ll [...]
Continue reading MAY SHOWERS: LAURA MVULA, LADY, BIZ MARKIE, AND MORE
The Root just published my 20th anniversary piece about The Chronic.1 You can read what I have to say about the album, the context in which it flourished, and its long-term legacies over there. I just wanted to add a personal postscript.
I didn’t like The Chronic when it first dropped. Much of this was for reasons that were quite silly in hindsight: I sided with Cube over the rest of the N.W.A. crew, I was a budding backpacker who was supposed to eschew so-called reality rap. Sonically, [...]
Continue reading HIGH POWERED: 20 YEARS AFTER “THE CHRONIC”
I review the long-awaited, official re-release of the Ghetto Brothers’ Power – Fuerza album for NPR.
Don’t get the fishy reissue from a few years back; the deluxe edition has incredible liner notes by Jeff Mao plus a plethora of photos of the crew, back in the day.
Big up to Truth and Soul for putting this out the right way.
And speaking of T&S, check out the new single by their new act, Lady:
In honor of the new Bill Withers Complete Columbia and Sussex box set, I wrote a pair of pieces for NPR. One is a radio review of the set itself. The other is a 5-song Music List of Withers covers.
Both were fun to write but in both cases, there were things left off because of time/space.
First up, I wanted to do a “slept-on” song for each of Withers’s studio albums. From Just As I Am: “I’m Her Daddy”
It’s easy to listen to this at some kind of [...]
Continue reading WITHERS, REVISITED