Fat Tony/Young Fathers
Post Akon, K'naan, Shad
Fat Tony: Smart Ass Black Boy (Young One)
Young Fathers: Tape Two (Anticon)
Say these three Scots‑-rapper-singers African-born blacks, beatmaker white Edinburgh native‑-cross Shabazz Palaces and Tricky, only they're dirtier sonically than either, and also more emotional, energetic, even tuneful. Noticing the range of such fundamentally grim lines as "Inside I'm feelin' dirty/It's only 'cause I'm hurtin'," "Work your life don't know why," "She's looking for love/She's looking for trouble/In the wrong places," "She couldn't give a fuck if the exchange rate's down," you'll soon feel how all those slight musical differentials hoist the group's collective spirit, and how courageously the music's depressive candor strengthens their will to be alive. "We can unite ourselves"? I wouldn't bet on it. But a stirring effect regardless. A MINUS
I don't want to drag this into the next thread, so a quick update on my full review of Wilson Pickett's Atlantic recordings.
Wow -- disco hit Pickett really hard. He conquered rock numbers and Philly soul moves, but could not get into the hardcore dancefloor beats. I did not quite understand this. The one time he found his post-soul voice was, as Bob noted ages ago, "Lay Me Like You Hate Me" (which became a weirdly hard-to-hear number, I can't remember encountering it before now). Otherwise, he sounded Old Hat -- the Wicked Pickett stuck in a disco track -- or like a nobody. And indeed his career never quite recovered.
This makes me think of the truest Pickett fan I ever knew, Bruce Lee. He never got down with disco after the Manu Dibango years, which was the beginning of his detachment from new music. Typical of many early boomers, sure, but I suspect his beloved Pickett's trouble with the style had something to do with it.
Good to hear. Let me just suggest that "fancy pants" is not a good synonym for "solvent" and "reliable". (There's been some calamities -- like the time Youssou N'Dour pulled out of an already-prepped American tour because he thought it would not be a good idea immediately in the wake of 9/11.)
And I would like to underline how important organizations like World Music/Crash Arts are to getting international performers onto US stages at all these days. I mean, Island and Shanachie and Rounder ain't a-gonna be doin' it no more no how.
Best wishes to any fellow North Carolinians (and anyone anywhere else) who were (or will be) in the path of the storm going through our area this afternoon & evening. Lots of damage reported, including a tree which fell over on Chapel Hill's Franklin St. on the same block where CD Alley is located.
But you are misreading my affect--all I meant was that on the promoting-non-US-music-in-the-US spectrum they are on the relatively well-monetized (and hence trustworthy) side of things. I mean, they're not the MFA, sure, but they're also not thost guys putting on the soca shows in Roxbury or reggaeton shows in Revere.
You talkin' about World Music/Crash Arts? Those are some people I consider friends who do fine work and built the organization from scratch.
Nothing "fancy-pants" about them at all. Quality operation through and through.
Kouyate has a show listed, booked through a sorta fancy-pants World Music agency, for mid-September.
EDIT: Actual New Yorkers might want to note that Fat Tony will be part of the bill on June 29 (Parquet Courts too) at South Street Seaport as part of the 4 Knots festival. Sponsored, um...by the Village Voice
(EDIT: It's not that I dislike the "Motownphilly" rap. It's just that I wish it didn't run through my head as often as it does. Plus I picture Michael Bivins on the john reading the paper every time, just like in the video. Gee, I sure hope that's actually in the video and not some messed up faulty memory thing.)
I wanted to post this playlist two EW posts ago in response to Xgau's excellent O&E on R&B, but I ran out of time. Anyway, better late than never, and featuring lots of Xgau choice cuts as always, here's.....
'90s R&B Hits Volume 1 (JY mixtape '00)
1. En Vogue - "Runaway Love"
2. Bobby Brown - "Don't Be Cruel"
3. R. Kelly - "You Remind Me of Something"
4. Toni Braxton - "Come On Over Here"
5. Brian McKnight - "You Should Be Mine"
6. Next - "Butta Love"
7. Lisa Stansfield - "All Woman"
8. Mary J. Blige - "I'm Going Down"
9. Guy - "Groove Me"
10. Brandy & Monica - "The Boy Is Mine"
11. Usher - "You Make Me Wanna..."
12. Next - "Too Close"
13. TLC - "Red Light Special"
14. Erykah Badu - "Tyrone (long version)"
15. Maxwell - "This Woman's Work"
16. Boyz II Men - "I'll Make Love to You"
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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