ONE MORE THOUGHT ON RETRO-MOTIVATIONS


This is kind of apropos of nothing but I think one thing that holds true about retro-anything (but especially in retro-soul) is an implicit – and in many cases, explicit – hostility towards its equivalent in the contemporary moment. I mean, that’s not some brilliant insight – it should be rather obvious – but one of the things I find most interesting in how retro-minded artists speak about their motivations, whether the Poets of Rhythm back 20 years ago or Aloe Blacc today, is how it’s always framed as a confrontation of sorts.

For the […]

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ON NERDS, RETRO-SOUL, AND THE STICKINESS OF WRITING ABOUT RACE


Quite a few people asked if I had read this past weekend’s NY Times piece by Rob Hoerburger on the new(ish) generation of retro-soul artists, “Can a Nerd Have Soul?”

To be honest, I initially avoided it given the godawful headline and while that may not be Hoerburger’s fault, it gets things off to a terrible start, not the least of which is the insinuation that the things we associate with nerdiness – obsessive behavior, social awkwardness, intelligence and whiteness – are somehow mutually exclusive with what we associate with “soul.” And since “soul” is […]

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