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Hall and Oats Speak

First, revisiting Daryl Hall in Salon on the incoherence and idiocy of “cultural appropriation” (nothing more than a species of crude rationalistic fundamentalism, a classic marker of the authoritarian mindset, arrogant enough to think that the mercurial nature of a healthy culture should/could be controlled); and second, John Oats has a memoir about to appear. daryl hallhall and…

Guardians of the Groove

The best little community radio station around for top-notch music (gig listings, recipes and more) and of course these days you don’t have to be in New Orleans to listen or indeed to watch their regular live video streams — a conduit to the deepest and widest musical tradition, constantly being infused with new talent. Please…

Traveling Soul

I’ve just learnt that there is newly published biography of Curtis Mayfield, a long overdue project I’d been hoping for over the past few years. acid soulCurtis Mayfieldgospelmusicsoul

Curtis Mayfield remembered

On August 13th 1990, Curtis Mayfield became paralyzed from the neck down, after stage lighting equipment fell on him at an outdoor concert at Wingate Field in Flatbush. This incident brought on his slow and harrowing demise which he endured with the dignity and the forbearance that we are accustomed to from CM. It’s a shame that…

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

Most will know of Charles Bradley (a thorough mensch) through the documentary Soul of America. I’ve been listening closely to his excellent three albums No Time For Dreaming, Victim of Love, and Changes but have come to the view that his best is yet to come. The latest features a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” and even has Charles doing an…

Dirty Mind

Neither For You nor Prince was adequate preparation for the full-blown masterpiece of Prince’s third album, Dirty Mind. Recorded in his home studio, with Prince playing nearly every instrument, Dirty Mind is a stunning, audacious amalgam of funk, new wave, R&B, and pop, fueled by grinningly salacious sex and the desire to shock. Where other…

California Dreamin’

Here are two very different superb interpretations — the first by Baby Huey; the second by Bobby Womack. These guys so easily and classily rework a classic song squeezing out new nuances. Isaac Hayes and Rod Stewart also had this ability, something that most covers these days fail to do. Both BW and IH reinterpret Bacharach &…