Sunday, February 21, 2010

posted by O.W.

This is like the answer back to all those folksy singer/songwriters trying to be cute by covering Dre and Snoop songs.

A few updates.

One reason I've been slow to post here is because I had knock these out...

  • Sade review.
  • Africa Boogaloo review.
  • Song of the Day about "Cumbia Moderna De Soledad" from Black Man's Cry.


  • Another Song of the Day for that Little Ann song.
  • A review of Freeway's Stimulus Package
  • Guest post for Super Sonido's 45 series.

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  • Saturday, February 13, 2010

    posted by O.W.

    I hate to pick on something done for charity but can we just talk about how stunningly terrible this is? Four things off the top of my head (just so I don't explode in criticism):

    1) It's been a quarter century since the OG "We are the World." Are you telling me no one could find a way to write a new ensemble song? Are you f----ing kidding me?

    2) Bringing back video of the original artists - MJ for example - was tacky. And again, says something very poor about the current state of popular music.

    3) Speaking of that current state...the train wreck of styles here was just painful. The original arrangement just was not designed to incorporate much of a hip-hop segment and then way they crammed it in here did a disservice to everyone.

    4) Autotuned Lil Wayne? Really?

    I could go on. But good god, next time someone asks for how the road to hell is paved with good intentions, please send them the link to this.

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    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    OH SNAP!
    posted by O.W.

    Some time in either the late '90s or early '00s, I was at a De La Soul show in the Bay Area. To be honest, for whatever reason, the energy was kind of flagging throughout the whole thing (I had seen some great De La shows in the past, this just didn't happen to be among the more stellar ones).

    Biz had been one of the opening DJs and during the De La's set, they brought him out and he sang the chorus to "Just a Friend."

    Brought the house down. It was the most energized the crowd had been the entire night. And the thing is - I don't remotely consider Biz to be a one-hit wonder but it is frickin' amazing how powerfully that song has remained in popular culture.

    I've always been curious what Freddie Scott must have thought of that phenom.

    (One more from the Diabolical).

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    Monday, November 30, 2009

    posted by O.W.

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    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    The 80s keep coming back!

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    Saturday, November 07, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    I heart Sesame Street. See more flavor here.


    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    This dude is off the chain.

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    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    posted by Eric Luecking

    Lushlife, whose debut album was released in July (and covered here at Soul-Sides), has been doing an acoustic covers series of classic hip hop tunes on the Rapster Records YouTube site.

    Cru – Just Another Case

    Jay-Z - Dead Presidents (version 1)

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    Monday, August 10, 2009

    posted by Eric Luecking

    Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe So, Maybe No from Stones Throw on Vimeo.

    Stones Throw just released a new video for Mayer's “Maybe So, Maybe No” cover. Nice little summer party toward the end of the video. A couple of shout-outs to the King of Pop are mixed in the video, too.

    Also, on Stones Throw's Jukebox you can hear “Your Easy Lovin (Ain't Pleasin Nothin)” from his upcoming album. He definitely shows his Detroit roots with this nice little Motown Sound backbeat. With the mini-break coming out of that first hook, I always think The Supremes are going to jump in with “No love, love... don't come easy.” Of course they don't, but that's okay. That infectious hook and the way he stretches out “blue” right before the chorus as well as that sax solo are more than enough to put a nod in my head and a smile on my face.

    Best believe this album is one to buy come September 8/9. Hold off on just one Beatles reissue for this album. You won't be disappointed.

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    Saturday, August 01, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    As I've been stressing, there's a reason I encourage people to get on-board with the Soul Sides Facebook feed. You don't have to love the site but they do make linking items quick and simple (and heck, you don't even have to join to look at it).

    As a courtesy though, here's some highlights of stuff I've been throwing up there of late:

  • Phil Da Soulman sharing a rare mix of LL Cool J's "No Airplay."

  • Philaflava's Latee compilation + Meters Samples Vol 1.

  • Passion of the Weiss' presents Murs and the L.A. Leakers' "Damn, It Feels Good to be a Gangsta" mixtape

  • Soundbombing's impressive journey through Africa series.

  • Elliot Wilson's Daily Breaks

  • An incredible story of a Sacramento man who discovers his mother's old records at a flea market.

  • Jared Boxx's Exclusive Secret Rendezvous Mixtape

  • King Most's rare ATCQ rips.

  • Breath of LIfe's essential Round Midnight Mix

  • Earfuzz's dissection of "Just Hangin' Out"

    And two videos you need to enjoy:

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  • Monday, July 06, 2009

    posted by Eric Luecking

    For all those video jocks out there or if you just love to watch a good concert in the comfort of your own home, is now selling Raphael Saadiq's “Live From The Artists Den” concert on DVD before it's available anywhere else. Proceeds from this pre-release will benefit New York Public Media. Starting July 21, you can purchase it at your local retailer as well. It's never too early to start shopping for Christmas!

    If you enjoyed “The Way I See It” by Raphael Saadiq, you can be sure you'll love this excellent companion piece. You can watch a clip below.

    The DVD track list is:

    1. 100 Yard Dash
    2. Love That Girl
    3. Keep Marching
    4. Thinking Of You
    5. Living For The Weekend
    6. Dance Tonight
    7. La La
    8. Sure Hope You Mean It
    9. Charlie Ray
    10. Be Here
    11. Still Ray
    12. Just One Kiss
    13. Oh Girl
    14. Let’s Take A Walk
    15. Big Easy
    16. Staying In Love
    17. Love That Girl Reprise
    18. Skyy, Can You Feel Me

    Raphael Saadiq - Love That Girl from Artists Den on Vimeo.

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    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    The folks at Thirteen/WNET have added even more episodes from the old show Soul to their website, including a killer set with New Birth and the Nite-Liters. You also have to see their "young people's show, especially the last performance where Jimmy Briscoe and the Beavers cover "Hot Pants." Ridiculously good.

    Folks really need to appreciate and understand what an incredible resource this is. It's not just that these performances are being brought back from the past, but the quality of the video and audio is pristine and as a time capsule, it's hard to imagine a better preserved scenario. It blows my time every time I visit.

    This won't do justice since you really need to watch the performance, but I love, love, love the fact that the Nite-Liters took their awesome funky instrumental "Do the Granny" and then splice in Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands". Here's a snippet from that performance (but watch the video!)

    The Nite-Liters: Do the Granny/Grandma's Hands
    From Soul! (Nov. 1, 1972)

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    Wednesday, March 04, 2009

    posted by O.W.


    Update: dude is blowing up. Peep and peep.


    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    My thanks to reader Chris "Zeke" Hand for putting me up on this...

    I learned about the old NY public television show Soul! from my friend and colleague Gayle Wald (she of that great Sister Rosetta Tharpe book). Her new book is focused on the history of Soul! which was broadcast beginning in the late 1960s through the early 1970s, first on NY public TV and it had a brief national run too. It was one of the first African American variety shows of its kind, during, arguably, one of the richest eras for Black culture and politics and amazingly, hosted by Ellis Haizlip, an openly gay television and theatre producer.

    The performances and interviews from Soul! are incredible; their shows are such a profound archive but for many years, they simply languished in the vaults...until now.

    This new site from WNET looks like it's going to start sharing clips and full episodes from the Soul! archive. I can't tell you how incredibly exciting this is (though I did note everything they have up right now is from 1972 and '73...I hope they get permission for stuff from earlier in the show's run. Haizlip has a mind-blowing interview with Louis Farrakhan and asks him, point blank, what the role of gays are in the Black Nationalist movement.

    I'm real happy they put up the November 15, 1972 episode, featuring Tito Puente playing salsa and Felipe Luciano breaking down the evolution of Afro-Cuban music in New York City.

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    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    (Tweeted by SFJ)


    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    I really love D-Nice's second act as an artist-turned-documentarian. Gives you hope that there's life after the stage and one can still contribute meaningfully. Respect due.

    HIs "True Hip Hop Stories" series are great; they're like video versions of (Robbie, holla!)

    Masta Ace on "The Symphony."

    YZ on his career and deafness.

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    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    I Got The Feelin': James Brown in the '60s (Shout Factory, 2008)

    Joe Bataan: Mr. New York Is Back (Vampisoul, 2008)

    Finally took some time recently to look at two music-related DVDs.

    The first is I Got the Feelin': James Brown In the '60s, a 3-DVD set comprised of two concerts (Boston Gardens, 4/5/68 & the Apollo Theater, 3/68), plus a documentary, The Night James Brown Saved Boston.

    The latter is in reference to one of the astounding cultural moments of the turbulent late '60s: the day after MLK's assassination, Brown came to Boston and it was decided that not only would the show go on, but WGBH would broadcast the show throughout the city as a way to "keep the peace." To that degree, it was successful as Boston did not suffer the same levels of rioting or arrests as other major American cities.

    Here's some video from one of the tensest moments from that evening:

    The doc is by director David Leaf (same guy who made John Lennon vs. the U.S.) and I have to say; it's worth the price of the box-set itself. I thought the film did an excellent job of not just framing the events leading up to and following the April 5th show, but more importantly, it contextualizes the complexities and contradictions of James Brown as a civic, cultural and political leader of the time. I think there's a conventional wisdom that Brown was a shrewd opportunist - which he was - but in an era of such remarkable strife in America, Brown also tried to step up in the social realm as well and while he certainly wasn't the most consistent of activists (see: endorsing Nixon, oof!), is complexities help make him a richer character study; something this documentary drives how very, very well. To boot, it has superior production values and some incredible footage of the time.

    So good in fact that I wasn't as invested in watching the actual show itself though, at some later point, I'll probably go back to it. The Live at the Apollo '68 footage was compelling as well, especially since it's intercut with segments of James Brown reflecting on the state of America while being filmed, walking around uptown New York. It's not, in my opinion, his most scintillating concert (you need to find his Olympia, 1971 show, holy mother of god) but it's shot and recorded well. The extra bonus footage of him performing with the Famous Flames from 1964 is especially killer. For one, his performance presence was well-honed from early on and second, his performance of "Out of Sight" is such a clear predictor of his future funk innovations.

    The other DVD I watched was Joe Bataan: Mr. New York Is Back from Vampisoul, the Spanish label that released Joe's comeback album, Call My Name. I have to confess, much as I wanted to really like this - and I'm obviously a big fan of Joe - it does feel kind of slapped together. For one, the video relies on a single interview done with Joe with poor lighting and apparently, no boom mic so the sound isn't great. It's not unwatchable but it also doesn't feel particularly professional. Overall, the documentary has its moments, especially with all the vintage photographs that they dug up for it but especially having just seen The Night James Brown Saved Boston, the difference in production is easily seen.

    Here's a trailer for the doc:

    Second, the English version hires someone for whom English isn't his first language and while he's intelligible, his sense of English's spoken cadence and pronunciations is off enough that it proves to be a distraction.

    Third, among the bonus material, there's a discography that's full of wrong dates and albums that aren't actually part of Joe's formal discography; sloppy stuff.

    Ok: the good stuff? Also on the bonus material are two different videos, filmed in Europe I believe, for "Rap O Clap O," Joe's big hip-hop hit from 1979. Just as time capsule, both are great and can be enjoyed both genuinely and ironically. The bonus material also includes a somewhat poor recording of a 1995 show at S.O.B.s but also has better footage from a 2005 show in Spain (though again, the audio quality is notably thin).

    Here's a bonus video (not one of the ones on the DVD) of one of Joe's European appearances:

    In short, I'm glad something like this is out there but it also suggests that there's room for improvement for a future Joe Bataan documentary to tackle.

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    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    I was watching Almost Famous on HBO the other night (again) and it has two of the best "use of songs in a movie" examples I can think of and that got me to thinking about other moments like that. I threw together a list of what immediately popped into mind though there were some stuff I left off for just being too obvious (basically, any Scorsese film and Pulp Fiction too).

    End scene, Almost Famous.
    Led Zeppelin's "Tangerine."
    Tough to choose between this and the "Tiny Dancer" scene but I'm a sucker for the "what do you love about music?" bit.

    End scene, Fight Club.
    Pixies' "Where Is My Mind."
    Totally unexpected and the timing with the drums and explosions is fantastic.

    Hawaii scene, Punch-Drunk Love.
    Shelly Duvall's "He Needs Me."
    Best use of a song from Popeye, ever. P.T. Anderson, like Tarantino and Scorsese, is pretty genius with his song selections but this was, by far, one of the quirkiest I had ever seen and I thought it worked perfectly.

    "Be a man" scene, Wild Style.
    DJ Grand Wizard Theodore's "Subway Theme".
    No explanation necessary.

    Pre-assassination scene, X.
    Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come."
    Even though the patented Spike Lee tracking shot at the end mars the overall flow of the scene, the synergy between the power of the song and the unfolding of the scene - and what it's about to lead to - is of incredible poignance. I still get a lump every time I watch this.

    What are your suggestions? Drop links in the comments.


    Monday, October 06, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    People Under the Stairs just put out their latest album, Fun DMC last week and also dropped the first video off that LP:

    The album's 20 tracks deep; out of that, I'm especially feeling "Gamin' On Ya" (more video game beats!).

    And here's a special mix by Thes One, based on the tracks on the album.

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    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    I just hope Fontella Bass is getting a nice check off this ad. Otherwise, my opinion of its usage can be summed up thusly.

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    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    posted by O.W.


    Monday, July 21, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    Thanks: HHH

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    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    This is too good for a mere Soul Sights inclusion:

    Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey: Gbeti Madjro
    Edited together by Mario Stahn

    First seen at Analog Africa.

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    Monday, April 21, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    But be warned that you may not want to click away after peeping this.


    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    Sorry to have been away for a while - my thanks to the Captain's Crates crew for holding it down.

    I've been on award tour, starting last week at Duke University where I gave a pair of talks in conjunction with their Transcultural Humanities project. It was a great opportunity to talk about my work but the real enjoyment was spending some time, rapping with Mark Anthony Neal who brought me out there. He put me up on this stunning Max Roach/JC White Singers song but I'm still trying to track it down so that'll have to wait.


    I did catch an equally compelling exhibit at the Nasher, an impressive, first-ever retrospective of Barkely Hendricks' paintings. Hendricks has flown under the radar for decades but hopefully, this show - which will travel to the Studio Museum in Harlem and then the Santa Monica Museum of Art - will rectify that situation. His works from the '60s, in particular, are such beautiful snapshots of the time, both in terms of the cultural signifiers and the personalities that he captures in them. Here's a personal favorite, "Tuff Tony":

    Folks might be more familiar with this more recent painting of Fela:

    If you're in Durham...or New York in the fall (or Santa Monica next spring, or Philly after that), I highly recommend you see his work. Soul inspired, for real. Shout out to Trevor Schoonmaker for having the foresight and resources to put this retrospective together. Here's a video preview he helped put together for the Nasher:

    After Duke, I came home for all of 12 hours then had to fly out again for the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle. I. Love. This. Conference. Which is probably something only an academic would ever say, but f--- it. I have no shame in my appreciation for the conf (as noted in the past). I'm not going to do a complete run-down but I'll say this much: the conf does much to both inspire me intellectually as well as turn me onto new music/ideas/people. Here's a quick scattering, perhaps a follow-up post later.

    1) Jeffrey Govan: This bassist in the LA ska scene is also now a grad student at USC's American Ethnic Studies program. He gave on paper on the Latin influence on ska back in the 1960s (and influence that has been remarkably cataloged here. Apart from introducing me to the Skatalites' "Latin Goes Ska" (a flip on Perez Prado), I was most thankful for Govan putting all of us onto this:

    Tommy McCook and the Skatalites: Sauvitt
    From 7" (Dodd, 1964). Also available on Tribute to Tommy.

    It's a cover of a Mongo Santamaria song ("Sauvito") and the subtle intertwining of ska and Latin rhythms here are simply delicious. I love how the song opens with that piano, how the horns come in and layer themselves, and my favorite moment comes right before the two bridges with the four note horn hits - wish they had made that into an entire chorus. Great song - a new favorite.

    2) Lauren Onkey: This professor at Ball State Univ. is doing fascinating research on the undersung Black rock and doo-wop bands who were part of the Mersey Beat scene in Liverpool circa the 1950s/60s. Onkey was drawn to this research given how, in most of the literature she had seen on Liverpool's music scene and the Beatles, rarely were any of the city's numerous Black bands ever acknowledged even though groups like the Fab 4 played with them and, according to some rumors, learned their R&B-styled chops from them. Onkey also makes the very provocative argument that Liverpool's historical Black population (dating back centuries to the city's prominence as the slaving port in Great Britian) is one reason why the blues fetishism that hit other British bands like the Rolling Stones or Cream bypassed Liverpool groups - they had grown up with Black people and thus, weren't as likely to romanticize/nostalgize them through the blues.

    In any case, during her talk, she played this clip by the Liverpool doo-wop group, The Chants, who worked with the Beatles early on before they really became "The Beatles." Here they are, covering the jazz standard, "I Could Write a Book."

    3) Gayle Wald: I last mentioned Gayle a year ago, in connection to her book on Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Gayle's now working on researching the life and times of the late Ellis Haizlip, a remarkable artistic force in New York, who, among other things, hosted the PBS show, Soul!. It's hard to quite capture how remarkable a show this was - in the late '60s through early '70s, it was an incredible meeting point of different Black artists, musicians, politicians, etc. in ways that have never really been duplicated since (no, not even by Arsenio).

    The problem is that this show will likely never, ever be released to the public on DVD or any other format - the release contracts signed at the time make such a occurrence logistically impossible for all practical purposes. It's a damn shame - the clips that Gayle brought included a mind-melting interview between Haizlip and Farrakhan talking about gay sex, Ashford and Simpson performing on one of the last Soul! shows and - coincidentally enough - Max Roach w/ the JC White Singers.

    Luckily (however illegally), clips have snuck out, including this 1973 performance by the Spinners on the show.

    4) Last but not least, one of the other people on my panel (besides Gayle) was EMP organizer and fellow L.A. partner-in-culinary-crime Eric Weisbard who did a paper on Elton John's "Benny and the Jets" - a song that most everyone (I presume) has heard but may not remember being a big hit on not just the pop charts, but also the R&B charts. Don't believe it? Just ask Mary. Or the Diabolical:

    Biz Markie: Sounds of Silence (by the Beastie Boys) (Capitol, 1999)

    For real though, listening to that version isn't half as fun as watching it:

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    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    posted by O.W.


    Monday, March 10, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    All I can say

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    Monday, January 28, 2008

    posted by O.W.

    Erykah Badu: Honey

    (thanks to HHH)

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    Thursday, December 27, 2007

    posted by O.W.

    Proof that there is some greater cosmic wisdom in the universe...there are videos to the songs off of Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson.

    Thanks to DJ Sheep.

    BTW, I'm still on holiday break but I'll be back around soon enough and expecting the true heads to roll through the Redwood Bar, ya heard?

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    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    posted by O.W.

    Trying to free up some time but for now, enjoy this from the late Hector Lavoe:

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    Monday, November 19, 2007

    posted by O.W.

    1) Look for this new book coming out in the next few weeks. (Psss...I'm a contributor, plus my boy Dave T. wrote the intro).

    2) This video is so good, I actually almost makes me feel bad I quasi-panned the album. Had I seen this before listening to American Gangster, I would have assumed the CD was godly (instead of being merely "good").

    Jay-Z: Roc Boys

    3) D-Nice's True Hip-Hop Stories = essential for oldnew school cats like me. I mean no disrespect by this following comment, but I appreciate D-Nice better in his "post-rapper" career than I did when he was rapping. That said, this song is still one of the illest '90s tracks ever.


    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Another Soul Sides Space Filler
    posted by O.W.

    James Brown in Paris, 1971

    (Sorry, too busy to post right now but I'm working on some big things I'll share soon).

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    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    If This Ain't Fresh, Don't Know What Is
    posted by O.W.

    Sorry, still buried in a ton of work. Another snack to keep ya'll tided over:

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    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Gettin' Busy Like That
    posted by O.W.

    Ugh - I'm swamped in work again so it might be a few days until a new post. Until then, enjoy this:

    (And yeah, I did already post it on my other blog. No, the other other one).

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    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Amy Winehouse: Live at the Roxy
    posted by O.W.

    Apologies for being gone for a minute - I was back up in the Bay last weekend for a quick trip for this. I've been meaning to post something about Amy Winehouse earlier - and I will be doing something more substantial by early April - but for now, let me just share that I caught her at The Roxy in Hollywood (yes kids, O.W. actually does venture outside the house once in a while) and am pleased to report that I was well-nigh entertained by Ms. Winehouse.

    (And no, it's not because she was drunk off her ass, singing "Beat It").

    There's been a lot written about Winehouse over the last few months - please see my dear friend and colleague, Ann Powers' recent profile in the LAT - and it's not hard to understand why: she's a Jewish, British gal gifted with a voice that's part of the Billie Holiday/Erykah Badu/Lauryn Hill/Madeline Peryoux school of bourboned warmth and rasp, who was a jazz torch singer last album and has, for Back To Black, reinvented herself into a Stax/Motown era song slinger.

    There's much that could be said about artists like Winehouse or Joss Stone - modern day Teena Marie-types whose blue-eyed soul performances raise provocative questions around race and performance but I'm going to put those aside for now...except to say that I was marveling a bit at how her and her band were set-up. Though two of her backing band (the Dap-Kings - more on them in a moment) are African American, the most prominent Black folk on stage were her back-up singers - two very nattily dressed Black men in fitted dark suits - who were on Winehouse's left and spent more time swaying to the music than actually singing. And then there's Winehouse herself - she of the faux-beehive coif, tatted arms, arched eyebrows and ever-so-exotic racial indeterminacy. It's an intriguing spectacle to be sure.

    But yeah - for those who listened to Back To Black and thought initially, "wow, this kind of sounds like a Sharon Jones album" it's because Winehouse's touring band and studio band for at least half the album (all the tracks produced by Mark Ronson) are none other than the Dap-Kings.

    It's a good look for Winehouse - or should I say, a good sound. What makes her album so much fun to listen to and what made her show so enjoyable was the fact that her tunes just sound great and that's largely thanks to the work that producers Ronson and Salaam Remi (yeah, that Salaam Remi) plus the Dap-Kings put into giving Winehouse's charming soul brogue a bed of sound to play off of.

    I'm not saying this to take away from Winehouse as a songwriter - sure, "Rehab" is pretty catchy in a Lily Allen/Nellie McKay sort of way - but let's be honest...we're swimming in any number of neo/retro-soul artists at the moment and what gives Winehouse the current edge - besides her tabloid exploits - is that she's got a great sound working for you.

    I'll have a special post in a few weeks that addresses this, namely by situating Winehouse's new album against the new "tradition" of retro soul albums that have cropped up in the last half dozen years or so.

    What I want to say right now is that it does bear the question: would Winehouse seem as intriguing if not for her British + Whiteness? Coincidentally, I recently interviewed none other than Sharon Jones, who rightfully deserves recognition as the pioneering retro-soul singer for our era, and though she had nothing negative to say about the woman who's currently touring with the band she normally rocks with, Jones did note that she finds it disappointing that she's never enjoyed the same level of media attention as a lot of these new soul singers coming out of the UK (most of whom, notably, are young, handsome/pretty and White).

    The fact that Jones is a Black woman in her 50s does make a difference here - in being seen as more authentic, she's also less a novelty (though her age does put her into a different generation entirely) and thus less likely to have a platoon of publications trying to profile her with the same fervor that Winehouse as enjoyed.

    Is there some kind of double standard going on here? Yeah - absolutely. Ironically, Jones was too young in the 1960s and '70s to have been able to become part of the tradition of funk/soul divas like Marva Whitney or Lyn Collins but now she's too old to roll in the same crowd as the Joss Stones and Corinne Bailey Raes.

    As you can sense, my thoughts are rather jumbled here and I'm not trying to come at Winehouse sideways - I actually thoroughly enjoyed her show (which is saying a lot considering how much I hate having to drive into West Hollywood for any reason) and I plan to write more about her in the near future. But it's impossible for me to listen to her and the Dap-Kings perform and wonder, "well - would Sharon Jones and this same band have sold out the same venue?" and if the answer is "no," that should be cause for pause.

    In the meanwhile, check out her latest video, this the title song off the new CD:

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    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Back to the Day Glo
    posted by O.W.

    God bless YouTube. I'm an insane De La Soul fan - they are the #1 reason I got into hip-hop - but even I didn't know about the existence of this 3 Ft. High and Rising video press-kit until now.

    Nostalgia overload!

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    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Al Green: Still Keepin' It Together
    posted by O.W.

    Al Green: Definitive Greatest Hits (CD/DVD) (2007)

    When I got this in the mail, I have to first thought was..."wait, haven't there been about four dozen "definitive" Al Green anthologies? And to be sure, the tracklisting on here is meant to collect songs you already know rather than pick up on more obscure bits from his catalog:
      1. Let's Stay Together
      2. Tired Of Being Alone
      3. Take Me To The River
      4. I'm Still In Love With You
      5. Look What You Done For Me
      6. Here I Am (Come And Take Me)
      7. Love And Happiness
      8. Keep Me Cryin'
      9. Call Me (Come Back Home)
      10. Livin' For You
      11. Let's Get Married
      12. Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)
      13. L-O-V-E (Love)
      14. You Ought To Be With Me
      15. Oh Me, Oh My (Dreams In My Arms)
      16. Full Of Fire
      17. Back Up Train- Al Green & The Soul Mates
      18. I Can't Get Next To You
      19. Belle
      20. I Can't Stop
      21. Perfect To Me
    I'll be really real - I wouldn't have programmed it this way (no "Simply Beautiful"? No "Light My Fire"?) but if you really need a starting point and you want to cover a wide range of Green eras without having to ball for this, then sure, it'll work.

    The real bonus is the second disc that comes with this set: the DVD full of Green performance videos. I hadn't seen most of these before and though the acoustic performance of "Simply Beautiful" is very, very, very nice, I have to give the nod to the 1972 performance of "Let's Stay Together" while it was at the height of its popularity. For real - a young Al Green was probably living like the mack with his looks and voice.

    Good stuff. He even looks good in a suit that would have been a fashion disaster on anyone else (with a turtleneck no less!)

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    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Classic Material
    posted by O.W.

    Kanye West feat. Rakim, Nas and KRS-One: Classic (DJ Premier Remix)

    It's stuff like this to make an 80s 70s baby feel old. It's cool they (Nike) footed the bill for a video on top of the song.

    Thanks to D. Johnson for the heads-up.

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    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Never on schedule, but always on time...
    posted by O.W.

    One of my favorite songs of the last few months gets a video:

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    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    posted by O.W.

    Apologies for not having any recent updates - it's been a very busy week. In the meantime, enjoy this wholly awesome video originally spotted at Soulstrut.