On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, famed live music venue SOBs played host to the monthly BET Music Matters Showcase, a multi-platform campaign designed to highlight up-and-coming talent that the music network feels could potentially become “the next superstars.” The genres vary from hip-hop to neo-soul, giving audience members a diverse listening experience. And when it comes to determining who’ll the next superstars, BET may be right on the money. Read more of this post
A few weeks back, we were privileged to be guests of jazz soul singer Imani Uzuri, who performed a live set of her Gypsy Diaries LP at the legendary Blue Note Jazz club in Greenwich Village In New York City. We were lucky enough to be sitting right at the stage near the percussionist. Enjoy our perspective. Read more of this post
On Friday, March 22, 2013, Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote made their NYC debut at West Village venue Le Poisson Rouge. The band has generated a great deal of buzz and amassed a substantial fan base thanks to efforts like their debut EP Tawk Tomahawk.
Hiatus Kaiyote categorizes their music as “future soul,” which is appropriate given its neo-soul, jazz, hip-hop, and electronic influences. The band itself certainly has an eclectic look, with lead singer/songwriter Nai Palm appearing as if she stepped right out of the pages of a Japanese manga. The other band members – keyboardist Simon Mavin, drummer Perrin Moss and bassist Paul Bender – are a bit more conservative in their personal stylishness. Read more of this post
From the sounds of this thorough review from The New York Times, hip hop legend Big Daddy Kane and his current “grown up” soulful music explorations with his band the Las Supper are a hit with the Blue Note crowd this past Monday in New York. Enjoy!
Last September, at the inaugural concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Jay-Z brought out just one guest, Big Daddy Kane. It was the student offering the spotlight to the teacher: a show of respect, of civic pride (like Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane is from Brooklyn) and a compliment. It was also an opportunity, one that Big Daddy Kane took advantage of, showing in just a few minutes why he was worthy of the gesture, and the stage. Read more of this post
Last night was a memorable evening for all in attendance at the All Star Tribute at Carnegie Hall in New York City featuring the Music of Prince. As we reported, there was an open audition at the City Winery on downtown Manhattan the night before. The amazing array of talent for last night included D’Angelo, Elvis Costello, Princess (Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover band, Talib Kweli, the band formerly known as The Family, former Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin and Eric Leeds from the Madhouse jazz project. Check out a few videos of the performances from last night. Enjoy! Read more of this post
We loved this great performance this past weekend by soul music star, John Legend, who was one of the top acts, along with Mary J. Blige and Dionne Warwick, featured at this year’s Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, which is held each year on the island and features top talent from the world of R&B, Soul, Jazz and other related genres. This solid footage includes Green Light and Best You Ever HadRead more of this post
Shot in a very intimate fashion, this incredible concert performance captures the brilliance of Whitney Houston as a singer and performer. This is CLASSIC WHITNEY. From the opening shot where she walks through the crowd to the stage to the final notes and cheers for encores, you can really feel the power of this legendary voice, which we lost earlier this year. She captivates the audience with her classics as well as a medley of her aunt, Dionne Warwick‘s, hits. Enjoy this one evening or weekend morning.
Here is more about the concert from Wikipedia:
Classic Whitney, Live from Washington, D.C., were special live concerts by Whitney Houston featuring many of her greatest hits, as well as gospel favorites and songs saluting some of her influences including Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. The concerts were held at historic DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. on October 3 and 5, 1997. 2nd night concert was broadcast live via HBO, which was her third HBO special. (First was “Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston” in March, 1991 and second, “The Concert for A South Africa” in November, 1994.) Whitney and The Whitney Houston Foundation for Children donated the proceeds, over $300,000 from ticket sales to the Children’s Defense Fund, a national non-profit organization devoted to providing a voice for all children of America, particularly poor, minority and disabled children. Houston said her one-woman show was especially significant because it was occurring during the 100th anniversary of acclaimed opera singer Marian Anderson’s birthday. Houston dedicated her performance to Anderson’s memory and her historic attempt to perform in 1939 at Constitution Hall, where she was banned by the Daughters of the American Revolution(DAR).
Whitney Houston performed more than 20 songs in these concerts, including such hits as “I Will Always Love You”, “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” and “Greatest Love of All”. She was backed by a 35-piece band and orchestra with an entire string section. DAR Constitution Hall seated more than 2500 people for the performance, which employed 14 cameras. In addition, the backdrop featured images projected on five screens, setting an elegant and understated tone. Houston’s special was the first performance since the renovation of the legendary hall.
1. “I Will Always Love You”
2. “I Know Him So Well” (with Cissy Houston)
3. Dionne Warwick Medley:
“Walk On By”
“A House Is Not A Home”
“I Say a Little Prayer”
4. Aretha Franklin Medley:
“Baby I Love You”
“(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone”
“Ain’t No Way”
5. Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.:
“Mr. Bojangles” (feat. dance solo by Bobby Brown)
6. Tribute to United States great men:
“Abraham, Martin and John”
7. Diana Ross Medley:
“God Bless The Child”
“Endless Love” (duet with Gary Houston)
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
8. Tribute to George Gershwin:
“I Loves You, Porgy”
“Porgy, I’s Your Woman Now”
9. “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” (BeBe Winans, Monica and Shirley Caesar joined in ad-lib of song’s finishing part at 2nd night concert.)
10. “I Love The Lord”
11. “I Go to the Rock”
12. “Greatest Love Of All” Encore
13. “Amazing Grace” (saxophone solo by Kirk Whalum)
14. “Step By Step”
15. “I’m Every Woman”
Rick James was one of the most important singers, bandleaders, songwriters and musicians of our time. This documentary, which was released in 2005, illustrates his virtuosity as a performer. Enjoy it even if you are not staying in on a Friday night.
This concert film was shot in Essen, Germany on Rick’s first tour of Europe; right before his career took a serious nose-dive. It is no secret that James, who died in 2004, was fond of dissipation and the drugs and drink would very shortly take their toll on his music. Ironically, this film opens with James backstage, taking hefty swigs off what appears to be a bottle of Courvoisier while waiting for his Stone City Band to finish their intro. Read more of this post
Last night’s BET televised and Centric produced Soul Train Awards, which was deftly hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, were really incredible. Despite missing some of the Sunday evening football games, we watched, sang and rejoiced with the lot of incredible performances that were featured. Among those performing were soulful superstars Stevie Wonder, Tyrese, Tank, Anthony Hamilton, Leah LaBelle, Fantasia, and Charlie Wilson among others. New Edition brought down the house with a rousing medley of hits from their heyday including a Bobby Brown led Mr. Telephone Man and a seat clearing rendition of their classic If It Isn’t Love.
We’ve compiled the best of the web for this recap in case you missed it.
We are pleased to bring you photos from this past weekend’s incredible show by British soul legends, Loose Ends, who performed with a full band (sans founding members Carl McIntosh and Steve Nichol) and serenaded the D.C. crowd with their most notable songs. Lead singer, Jane Eugene, sang her heart out and brought back some incredible memories. For a singer who has not performed in the States in years, it was an amazing display of talent and vocal prowess. From Urban AC classics like “Slow Down” and “Hanging on a String” to a resounding rendition of “You Can’t Stop The Rain”, this group came to play and left the crowd wanting more. If you are fortunate enough to have them come to your town, get involved and support this group’s resurgence. Read more of this post
By Ron Worthy
Some folks may not believe in the idea of a Queen or Royal Family and resent the presence of such lavish celebrations in light of the poverty that exists throughout the World. They believe the resources meant for such over the top celebrations should be redistributed to those most in need. In my opinion, the Royal Family exists as a global reminder of the splendor of pageantry. While the Royal Family is not perfect, we feel it is certainly appropriate to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. Having been to London many many times, I know our friends across the Pond take their Royals very seriously. While there, I visited Buckingham Palace as well as the Royal Crown Jewels. It was simply amazing and I became a fan. Yes, there is a ton of imperialism underscoring the crown, but on this day, let’s try to keep it light and celebrate the Queen and the British culture, which has produced some of the best music anywhere on the planet.
As a kid, I recall being in a thrift store and hearing The Style Council‘s Home and Abroad live album. Paul Weller and crew changed my life with their interpretation of American soul, but done with a very grand pop presentation. They spoke of the Queen often. It was light an aural mirror; one I loved. Then, of course, I became entranced by Morrissey voice on The Smith’s The Queen is Dead, the album I spent hours with during high school. And, of course, Depeche Mode….ah Depeche Mode. I listened to Catching Up With Depeche Mode nearly everyday after hearing them for the first time on a bus ride to Boston from the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire where I was for Summer school. Those beats and stories of life and “strange love” in London built my curiosity. I also recall not understanding a word The Cure‘s Robert Smith sang on Why Can’t I Be You? but not being able to stop dancing.
When I finally arrived in London several years later and had my first pint, I felt like I was at home. The pubs, the architecture, the cloudy skies, the cobblestones, the cabs, the double deckers, wooooo! LOVE it. And of course, the record stores, clubs and ambient music was and is just perfect in our eyes.
Fast forward to today and the Brits continue to deliver the goods in terms of music. From British soul legend Omar to Amy Winehouse and Adele, England has been producing quality for decades. We are happy they have chosen to celebrate their Queen and we are happy to present some of the highlights from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, which features incredible performances by Elton John, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder and many others.
Event:Lyricist Lounge 20th Anniversary Celebration Date: May 23, 2012 Venue: Le Poission Rouge City: New York, New York Host:Black Thought Performances by: Bush Babies, Doug E. Fresh, DJ Kid Capri among MANY others…..
Nearly twenty years ago, I met Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall during the New Music Seminar. I was a delegate from the mighty KZSU 90.1 FM Stanford Radio and had been hearing about Lyricist Lounge through the grapevine. So, it was indeed a pleasure to attend one of those earlier sessions during the seminar. These brothers have been doing it big from the beginning and have provided an unmistakably important platform that has endured the test of time. Dozens of artists owe their first big break to Lyricist Lounge and even artists past their prime have always found an audience hungry for authentic hip hop the way it was meant to be heard. No disrespects to the new artists on the scene since we dig a few of them, but the Lounge was the place to really learn and grow in the craft and culture of Hip Hop, something that is sorely missing these days.
On Wednesday, May 23, NYC hip-hop aficionados converged upon Greenwich Village music venue Le Poisson Rouge to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Lyricist Lounge, a now-legendary open mic showcase that rose from humble beginnings to eventually become a cultural phenomenon, spawning a series of successful albums, concert tours, and an MTV sketch comedy series. The crowd was a varied mix of industry heads, b-boys and girls, hipsters, and music royalty.
Early in the evening, after an excellent set consisting of head-nod joints from DJsRich Medina and Akalepse, founders Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall appeared on stage to give those in attendance a brief lesson on the history of Lyricist Lounge. An accompanying video showcased highlights from the past twenty years, including footage of then up-and-comers such as Eminem, Foxy Brown, Big Pun, M.O.P., Xzibit, Slum Village, and The Notorious B.I.G., just to name a few.
The evening’s host was Black Thought, lead MC of the legendary Philly hip-hop band The Roots. In black-and-white checkered fedora and fuchsia polo shirt, the man born Tariq Trotter wowed the crowd with truly impressive freestyle interludes interspersed between musical sets.
At one point, Thought was joined onstage by Brooklyn son Mos Def for a rousing performance of the classic joint “75 Bars,” a song that Thought jokingly admitted to not knowing as well as his guest. The two also paid tribute to The Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch, who passed away earlier this month after a three-year battle with throat cancer.
On Monday, April 16, hip-hop artist PHZ-Sicks (pronounced “physics”) performed live at well-known music venue SOBs. The performance was part of the venue’s weekly Faces in the Crowd series, which showcases unsigned talent in the hip-hop and R&B genres.
The DMV native performed his single “Success/Failure” off his recent release The Laws of PHZ-Sicks. The song, of course, deals with the dueling natures of success and failure over original instrumentation courtesy of producer Epik Da Dawn. Its accompanying music video is notable for taking the film (500) Days of Summer as its inspiration.
Nattily dressed in a white shirt, black jacket and vest, orange tie, and selvedge denim, and backed by an incredibly talented ensemble (consisting of bassist Aaron James, drummer Emanuel Harrold, saxophonist Yosuke Sato, and piano man Chip Crawford), Porter stood onstage before an assemblage of fans, both seasoned and new, and definitely delivered the goods.
We are pleased to present this video recap of the Monkey Gang Premiere held late last month at the QueensWorld movie festival in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, New York. The film, which we reviewed, depicts the life and times of a mythical hip hop group, The Monkey Gang. Billed as a mockumentary, Monkey Gang uses humor, wit and some serious absurdity to prove its point. Check out soulhead’s coverage of the event, which includes interviews with show producers and cast members. This is our first forray into video production so we would love to receive your feedback, good or bad.
Last month, my wife and I were thrilled to be invited to Brooklyn Bowl to check out thePrince and Michael Experience, which was created by Bomb Records owner and San Francisco Bay Area based DJ, Dave Paul. It had been the first time I had seen Dave in years. You see, we had met years earlier in San Francisco when I was nearing the end of my matriculation at Stanford. At the time, my good friend, Cheo Coker (Southland, Notorious) was writing for Dave’s underground hip hop mag The Bomb Hip Hop Magazine and it was one of his first big breaks. At the time, Cheo and I were serious Prince nerds. At one point, I recall taking a collection on campus for a Prince live bootleg album, Dance Music Sex Romance – 2nd Show, and taking the bus up to the Berkeley record store where the record was on hold. Cheo and I spoke endlessly about Prince, his music, his women and our mutual love and respect for his music. So, it came as a real surprise when I heard Dave was as into Prince as I was when we met. Who knew?
Fast forward to Brooklyn Bowl and we were ready to experience what we had been hearing about from our friends around the country who had been to the event. We were not disappointed. Although the evening started later than most parties of its type, we took our disco nap and braved the frigid air to make it happen. For those who haven’t been to Brooklyn Bowl, it is an actual bowling alley with a huge dance floor, a stage and two large bars. The place was packed and filled with Prince and Michael Jackson revelers. In the crowd were plenty of look alikes and folks who clearly spent too much time preparing for the evening.
Dave was able to maintain a consistent flow throughout the night and mixed several standards from both artists with a few remixes and other rare tunes that complemented the overall flow. In addition, a few associated artists’ records were thrown in for good measure. However, given our aforementioned addition to Prince, it would have been nice to hear a few more bootlegs and more from associated artists like The Time, Vanity Six or Jesse Johnson. The crowd was very diverse and it made for a very We are The World feeling, which was not a bad thing.
In addition to great music, there were several live on stage performances to the music including several Michael Jackson lookalikes who seemed to be battling each other during Thriller. That part was simply hilarious. These guys really take their jobs seriously. Towards the end of the night, we were able to speak to the most popular impersonator and he said that he didn’t grow up with a father in the house and that Michael was his father in his mind. After a very long silence, my wife and I excused ourselves and ran for our car. But seriously, it was one hell of a night and one that we would highly recommend.
We were able to catch up with Dave for a quick Q&A. Check it out below:
1) What was the main motivation for during a Prince AND Michael Event?
I’ve been a Prince fan for a long time, and for a while, an avid collector (vinyl, cd’s, posters, buttons, magazines etc). In 2002 I wanted to do an all Prince party here in San Francisco. But there had already been all Prince parties out here, Dream Factory and a couple of others. I was discussing my dilemma with my friend Jeff Harris who is a huge MJ fan, and he suggested why don’t we do Prince and Michael Jackson. So I brought all my Prince records and he brought all his Michael records and that’s how it started.
2) You have been doing these events for 9 years now, how has the event evolved over the years?
Before our monthly residency at Madrone in San Francisco we were a roving party, a different club every time. Then we were playing at Rockit Room and Leila (the owner of Madrone at the time) was there and had such a good time she wanted the party at Madrone. That’s how Madrone came to be our home for PR+MJ for the last 6 years.
3) You have taken the show on the road and seen loads of different crowds. How do the various cities differ with respect to their response? (several examples would be great)
Every venue, city and date is different. It’s funny but a song that works the crowd into a frenzy at one party can do nothing the next time. Even here in SF at our monthly. You just never know. Also it depends when during the night you play a song. Years ago no one was into Lets Go Crazy by Prince, it was played out. Everyone was into the b-side Erotic City. But in the last few years Let’s Go Crazy has been HOT and Erotic City, you almost have to play early in the night.
4) What is the biggest challenge as a DJ putting together your setlist? How much is set before hand and how much is live?
We never pre-plan a set. We just spin song by song on the fly. So the biggest challenge is just reading the crowd – giving them what they want, and giving them what you think they need.
5) Ok, this is the tough one. Pound for pound, who is better, Michael Jackson or Prince?
That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? In the end it’s like apples and oranges and every person you ask you will get a different answer, and the reasons behind their answer. For me – Prince. I love both and respect both but for me growing up I was able to relate to Prince’s music more. Songs like When You Were Mine and Anotherlover… to the nasty songs, to his production with the Linn drum.
Check out our slideshow of the Prince and Michael Experience:
Shock G and the whole Digital Underground crew came to the Big Apple and turned it out. DU has and will always be one of our favorite groups of all time. Thanks to all the soulheads who attended and captured this great footage. Enjoy!
Brooklynsoulheads were pleased to welcome soul funk legend Roy Ayers to the newly opened SRB Brooklyn venue. The place was packed and we are happy to bring you this incredible footage of this show. Growing up in Washington D.C., it was a pleasure to see Roy each year at the Fort Dupont music festival. So happy to see him here in Brooklyn. Enjoy this 7 part glimpse into this weekend’s show.