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Keep To The Beaches You're Used To

Bette Midler sings a cover of TLC's "Waterfalls"
posted by The Whelk on Oct 25, 2014 - 17 comments

¡SUÉNALO!

This a little story 'bout this one time, we got booked to play a show, right? It was down in the Keys, we wuz makin' our way - and we ran into the Tiki Bar
“Funk cruises through the Caribbean picking up Afro sounds from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Reggae meets rock in a head-on collision. Jazz and electro hook up for a sidewalk makeout session. Hip-hop seems to hum from the very pavement, and R&B drifts in on the night wind. Suenalo reaches to far-flung corners and retrieves all these, takes them and mashing them together, marrying them—disparate players melded into a somehow harmonious blend.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 2, 2014 - 5 comments

Who is Spooky Black?

Spooky Black is (probably) a white 15-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota conspicuously rocking a variety of gold chains, du-rags and FUBU and who on first sight may come off as a joke (or worse). Listen to his music, however, and you'll see why he's been referred to as "a motherfucking Internet monster with the voice of an angel." You can listen to his first album (released as "Lil Spook") Black Silk and a second release, Leaving, is dropping on 8.11.14.
posted by griphus on Aug 7, 2014 - 26 comments

If Amy Winehouse was Ghanaian ... and flanked by a bike gang

Ghanaian R&B singer Y'akoto bemoans her lack of Perfect Timing - and the same bikers support Ghanaian/Brookylnese rapper Blitz the Ambassador reminiscing about his Ghanaian childhood in Make You No Forget (via).
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 10, 2014 - 20 comments

"There are specific instructions when Isaac Hayes comes on."

Wattstax [SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 3, 2014 - 23 comments

The Preacher

Bobby Womack--one of the last surviving soul greats from the Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding generation--has died. Nicknamed "The Preacher" for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, Womack never had the success of contemporaries like Marvin Gaye, Al Green or Otis Redding. For a good part of his career, he was better known as a songwriter and session musician. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jun 27, 2014 - 46 comments

"The classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game"

You'll never find, as long as you live / Someone who loves you tender like I do. / You'll never find, no matter where you search / Someone who cares about you the way I do / [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Dec 22, 2013 - 9 comments

Articles for ArchAndroid's

An amazingly-designed article about R&B performer Janelle Monae. And an interesting article too!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard on Sep 4, 2013 - 88 comments

"People treated it with respect, but didn't particularly enjoy it."

In 1973, The Who released their sixth album, Quadrophenia. The epic double album tells the story of a boy named Jimmy Cooper who deals with mental illness on top of the run-of-the-mill stresses of teen life. But Jimmy Cooper isn't just any London teen.  Jimmy Cooper is a Mod. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 29, 2013 - 68 comments

More soundtracks for 2013!

DJ Nirso explores the connection between Africa, North and South America with tasteful remixes and mixtapes.
posted by Tom-B on Jan 31, 2013 - 1 comment

Scenes from a Curriculum Vitae: Ike Turner & Associates

On piano at 71: Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
On piano at 20: Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
On guitar at 34 and on fire at 26: Ike and Tina Turner - Shake·A Fool in Love·It's Gonna Work Out Fine·Please, Please, Please·Goodbye, So Long [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 4, 2013 - 11 comments

Xmas Eve Eve Eve 2012 Xmas Present: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson

Some say that surf guitar started here: Johnny Guitar Watson - Space Guitar
Young John Watson's first appearance on wax: Chuck Higgins & his Mellotones - Motor Head Baby
Also back in the day: Johnny "Guitar" Watson - The Bear
And not so far back in the day - a Frank Zappa jam with Tuva throat Singers, Chieftains and Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 22, 2012 - 10 comments

y2funkysoultrainlive ( or, at least... lip synced )

Get Down On It:
Jean Knight - Mr Big Stuff
Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up
The Five Stairsteps - Ooh Child
Al Green - Tired of Being Alone
Shirley Brown - Woman to Woman
Joe Tex - I Gotcha
A Taste of Honey - Sukiyaki
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Firecracker
Five Star- All Fall Down
Eddie Kendricks - Happy
Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady
Al Green - Love and Happiness
The Staples Singers Come Go With Me
Sly & the Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

And as no Soul Train post would be complete without a line dance: Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 21, 2012 - 46 comments

Tina Turner, Holland 1971

"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 26, 2012 - 10 comments

Back before the musical lines were so clearly drawn

In decades past, R&B and soul artists didn't shy away from covering country songs. That's right, children, straight up country songs. And the results were often stunningly good. For example, Al Green's performance of Kris Kristofferson's For the Good Times (best known as a hit for country crooner Ray Price). Or Ray Charles' performance of Eddy Arnold's You Don't Know Me. Or Aretha Franklin's performance of country chestnut You Are My Sunshine, first recorded in 1939 by the Pine Ridge Boys. And... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 30, 2012 - 98 comments

My name is GRiZ

GRiZ - Mad Liberation. Take a 21 year old bedroom producer from Michigan, raise them on the the internet with a near complete access to the history of modern music with a focus on electronic/dance and apparently you get this incredibly humanistic and cross-cultural album that's both homage, monument and appropriation of hundreds of influences in modern music in an incredibly dubby dubstep framework. (Free album download here.)
posted by loquacious on Sep 5, 2012 - 67 comments

The Gift and the Curse

After years of rumored depressiondrug and alcohol addiction, and legal issues, D'Angelo is poised to make a comeback. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 29, 2012 - 26 comments

Howard Tate, soul man, 1939-2011

The man who lent his wonderfully warm and soaring voice to the rolling soul ballad Get It While You Can, the limber southern funk of Eight Days on the Road, the coolly driving How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark, the mellow soul lilt (with breathtaking falsetto interjections!) of I Learned It All the Hard Way and so many other delightful soul numbers has died. Farewell Howard Tate. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 4, 2011 - 17 comments

from hoodoo to voodoo

The hoodoo lady and the hoodoo man had a voodoo child. Uh huh, yes, yes, voodoo voodoo.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 18, 2011 - 34 comments

We're All Born Superstars

In Defense of Pop Music -- New York Magazine takes a look at the rise of pop and dance music and the death of rock in the charts.
posted by empath on Jul 16, 2011 - 110 comments

Gladys Horton, Marvelette, RIP

Gladys Horton, a founding member of the pioneering (yet undervalued by Berry Gordy and Motown) girl group The Marvelettes, who sang lead on their 1961 classic Please Mr. Postman has passed on. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 27, 2011 - 19 comments

Best Music Writing 2010

Best Music Writing 2010 - Links inside! [more inside]
posted by chaff on Dec 16, 2010 - 15 comments

Who is the Greatest Diva of the Last 25 Years? We Offer Scientific Proof!

Who is the Greatest Diva of the Last 25 Years? We Offer Scientific Proof! The Awl discusses divas.
posted by chunking express on Sep 9, 2010 - 85 comments

The Thriller Diaries

The Thriller Diaries: Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” remains the most popular music video of all time: a 14-minute horror spoof that changed the business. Behind the scenes it gave its star a temporary home with director John Landis, sparked a near romance with actress Ola Ray, and revealed how damaged the young pop idol already was.
posted by reenum on Jun 24, 2010 - 33 comments

That Ain't The Way To Behave

Oil City Confidential is a new film from director Julien Temple, previously responsible for The Filth and the Fury, about the Sex Pistols, and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, focusing on Strummer and The Clash. This time round, in a kind of prequel to both those films, he tackles the life and turbulent times of Dr. Feelgood. Finding fame on the same Pub rock circuit (as remembered by writer and Kursaal Flyers drummer Will Birch) that also supported Ian Dury's Kilburn and the High Roads (not to mention Eddie and the Hot Rods and Joe Strummer's pre-Clash band The 101ers), Dr. Feelgood played stripped-down, taut and aggressive R&B. Hailing from the wildlands of Essex's Canvey Island – the "Oil City" of the film's title – Dr Feelgood were punk before punk really hit, a whirlwind of raucous energy, with a fierce work ethic. In Wilko Johnson, they had a guitarist with a scorching, slash and burn technique, while their singer, Lee Brilleaux (1989 interview), who died of cancer in 1994, aged just 41, oozed cheap-suited menace, and, into the bargain, helped found Stiff Records. [more inside]
posted by Len on Jan 27, 2010 - 9 comments

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Sugar Pie DeSanto says, "I like to sing blues, R&B, and pop and I think I do them pretty well". [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 20, 2009 - 13 comments

R.I.P. Willy DeVille

Sister Sue, tell me baby what are we gonna do. She said take two candles, and then you burn them out. Make a paper boat, light it and send it out, send it out now ... Willy DeVille (formerly William Dorsay), died of pancreatic cancer on August 6, at the age of 58. So much of his music evoked the languid heat of a city night. This might be a good evening to turn it up loud. [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Aug 7, 2009 - 21 comments

Tell her I'm happy, tell her I'm gay, tell her I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jackie Shane could rock the Sapphire Club. He was part of the Toronto Sound of the sixties, and made his mark not only for his soulful voice, but also for his flamboyent, gender ambiguous appearance (video). His song Any Other Way went to Number Two on the Canadian Billboard chart in 1963, and was his biggest hit. While his discography was short and he has faded into obscurity, he has been recognized by the queer community and music bloggers as a trail-blazing performer. In My Tenement, Comin Down, You Are My Sunshine, Stand Up Strait and Tall, Don't Play That Song.
posted by kimdog on Jul 27, 2009 - 8 comments

She was a BIG FREAK!!

"A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. ... she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs." - All Music Guide (many links nsfw-ish)
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 17, 2009 - 22 comments

Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna. By now you've probably heard about Chris Brown and Rhianna. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine asked Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of Vibe Magazine's 2005 feature Love Hurts (pdf) about "domestic violence within (and without) hiphop", for her thoughts. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Feb 15, 2009 - 50 comments

The Music is the Message

The Soul is in the Soundtrack . . . Barack Obama's soundtrack, that is . . . [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Nov 2, 2008 - 41 comments

The Black Godfather

Agile Mobile Hostile [ Mov. file] A year with Andre Williams the documentary. The wiki entry, some clips from the film. [more inside]
posted by nola on Jun 29, 2008 - 11 comments

The Pied Pi(ss)er of R&B

Despite ongoing legal issues, Robert Sylvester Kelly continues to reign as an icon of commercial rap/r&b. His 'direct' approach to lyrics - that behind the bizarre metaphors and often hilariously tasteless statements that have been the key to his longevity - also shines through in some of his biggest hits. Kelly's piece de resistance, Trapped In the Closet, which recently released 10 new 'chapters,' takes his penchant for crude storytelling to new heights. Featuring love-triangles, -pentagons, and -octagons, not to mention a well-endowed 'midget', the soap-like series is being credited with the creation of a new genre of music video. Not one to let the strange allure of his work speak for itself, Kelly describes TITC as "my alien."
posted by whahappen?! on Sep 18, 2007 - 16 comments

I love the smell of alkali metals in the morning...

The dog's nuts of the periodic table.
posted by ozomatli on May 30, 2006 - 41 comments

The Show Must Go On

After the Storm Sometime this weekend, you may be able to hear one of the best expressions of New Orleans’ role in music and culture available in any mass media. It's American Routes, a weekly show carried on many US public radio affiliates. Programmed and hosted by folklorist and UNO professor of folklore and culture Nick Spitzer, the show normally broadcasts from a studio in the heart of the French Quarter, but has found a temporary home on a Creole/Cajun French/English public radio station in Lafayette. Spitzer told the NYT that he began planning the music for this week’s show as he was fleeing the flooding city in his car, playing Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans." This week’s show highlights New Orleans’ recovery from disasters past, emphasizing the city’s role as the greatest single wellspring of American music. The Crescent City, after all, has either birthed or nurtured everything from jazz, R & B, cajun and the related black-influenced zydeco, soul, blues, gospel, and rock and roll.) With an encyclopedic knowledge of American vernacular music, an utterly democratic spirit, and an unmistakeable respect and love for American musical forms and the people who create them, Spitzer has stepped forward several times this week to serve as a compassionate and optimistic spokesman for the irrepressible creative spirit of a suffering city and a culture in diaspora.
posted by Miko on Sep 10, 2005 - 19 comments

The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo

The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo They called rock music jump blues during the World War II era, and this amazingly talented clown was its master, with over fifty Top 10 R&B hits -- eighteen reached #1 -- between 1942 and 1951. Chuck Berry identified with him "more than any other artist." James Brown said, "He was everything" and considered him one of the earliest rappers. A pioneer of music video, the first black artist to cross over from the "race" market to a white audience and a central link between big bands and rock, he was a primary influence on Bill Haley, Ray Charles and B.B. King, who once said, "I wanted to be like him." Rest in peace, Louis Jordan. [Dozens of one-minute song clips here]
posted by mediareport on Jul 10, 2002 - 11 comments

What happened to the two-step invasion?

What happened to the two-step invasion? In early 2001, America was supposed to be poised for an invasion of this skittery garage/R&B combo, with Craig David's "Fill Me In" taking over the charts. However, while two-step has conquered England, it remains unknown in the US. Where is the homegrown two-step, and why are Artful Dodger, Oxide & Neutrino, MJ Cole and the rest failing to gain any converts on this side of the pond?
posted by Kevs on Jan 11, 2002 - 41 comments

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