Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SAADIQ is Gawd

So, big ol Late Pass to me and a huge hat tip to Montana's Finest for hipping me to this video for my favorite song offa my favorite album of 2008.

This album was not only an amazing piece of art but also helped me get navigate a few speed bumps in my life last fall. Dude spits some real knowledge on love and heartbreak and lessons to be learned. Professor Saadiq dropped some gems and now I am a better man for it. The fact is, this album has got to be up in the hundred playcount area by now and has not worn on me at all. On that note...I'll go ahead and post my review of 'The Way I See It' I wrote for Seattle Subsonic last September. Here goes...

Raphael Saadiq has been putting out great music for a loooong time. He started out as a lead vocalist in the new jack swing group Tony! Toni! Tone! in the early 90s. Then he formed the (super?) group Lucy Pearl with Dawn Robinson of En Vouge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest. He is also a sought after producer, having produced cuts with D’Angelo (the Grammy-winning “How does it feel?”), Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, The Isley Brothers, The Roots, Macy Gray, Snoop Dogg, Devin the Dude, Kelis, Q-Tip, and just exectuive produced Joss Stone’s entire 3rd album. Then there are his solo albums that are a must have in any soul/r&b heads collection. Yeah he’s been doing things for a minute.

His newest album does not disappoint. The Way I See It is one of the best recreations of the “Motown Sound” I’ve ever heard. The tracks sound straight off a 1960’s vinyl pressing. The production is top notch, the vocals are well sung and every song captures the essence of soul music how it was meant to be heard. It isn’t too polished or clean. Hell, it doesn’t even sound like a product of the digital age…and that is the highest compliment I can give. It sounds like all analog equipment was used in the production process and that adds a realness and grittyness that is absent in nearly all new soul music, except maybe for Mark Ronson and the Dap tones. The resurgence of that classic/analog/soulful sound is the best thing to happen to music in the last decade, in my humble oppinion, and Saadiq’s latest offering is at the head of the pack.

The album is full of gems but my favorite track would have to be “100 Yard Dash.” The riff is just so nasty and the tempo is perfect. I can’t help but get in the groove and hum along when the guitar kicks in during the intro. The rest are all crowd pleasers that will feel right at home in the stereo of a peer, a family member, a parent, a child, or a coworker…practically everyone can enjoy this album. It doesn’t discriminate and is very listener friendly.

You can go and listen to The Way I See It in it’s entirity on Saadiq’s myspace page. Then I recommend going out and buying a copy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Time of My Life

So I went to DC from the 17th-22nd and it was easily one of the best trips of my life. It's hard to put into words the overall experience of bearing witness to one of the biggest parties our country has ever seen. Not only did I go out every night, meet amazing people, drink a lot and witness a truly historical moment...I got to see a monumental (literally) concert at the Lincoln Memorial featuring the likes of Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, U2, Usher, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Herbie Hancock, Will.I.Am, James Taylor...and many more.

This show was not only entertaining, but a very moving experience. I have never been in a crowd so large (400 or 500,000) and everyone was genuinely ecstatic and singing along to just about every song. Herbie and Will.I.Am busted out 'One Love' and the whole audience just lit up and got their Jamrock dance on. Garth Brooks came out and sang "Bye, Bye Ms. American Pie" and "Shout" and owned the moment. The crowd was eating it up and jumpin' up and down. I have never been a huge Garth Brooks fan, but he killed it. Stevie Wonder is one of my idols, and when I got to see him live this summer I could have died on my way home and died a happy man. He put on a great performance with Usher and Shakira and just destroyed the clavinet like only he can do. I love me some Stevie. Finally, Sam Jackson came out and introduced U2. This was especially moving because he talked about the struggles of the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King...who stood on those exact steps 4 decades ago and delivered his I have a dream speech during the march on Washington. U2 then came out and sang 'In the Name of Love' which is a touching tribute to MLK and his stance on non violence and the power of love. Really an amazing moment.

What an amazing trip and a great concert! I can't wait to go back to the east coast...I kinda fell in love.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

COME KICK IT...with me...please??

Carry every Wednesday like it's Mardi Gras

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ORGONE @ Nectar Lounge Friday Jan 16th

So it's Friday night and you are in the mood to get crazy...shake your ass a bit...have a drink, or 5...vibe out to some funky cuts...

Well lucky you.

This Friday January 16th Nectar Lounge is playing host to the first all out funk dance party of the year. I shouldn't even have to say this but I will. This is a can't miss event. If you were one of the poor souls that missed them the last 2 (!!!) times they played here, or missed out on Budos Band for the TSK release, or missed out on the Herbliser in November slap yourself and then get with the program. Nectar throws one hell of a funk concert.

So yeah, Nectar throws a good party blah blah, but let me explain further why this is going to be one of the best concerts of Q1/09. Orgone is going to kill it. I saw them play Bumbershoot this year and I had my own little dance party at the Fishergreen beer garden. Sure I looked like a granola eater at a Phish concert, but I could not have given less of a shit. I am a fiend for the funk. Love it, live it, breath it, spin it, produce it. These guys have got their shit dialed. It is infectious. You can't help but bust out your finest two step within seconds of the first kick drum or horn stab.

Oh you still don't believe me? Fine. Let me break it down further...Orgone is 8 members of the LA funk band/crew Breakestra (sometimes more) coupled with lead singer Fanny Franklin. The band itself is one of the best in the biz. The thing is, Fanny has the soul and organic sound to not only complete the package, but sign, seal and deliver it rushed overnight Fed Ex. Music Man Miles did a great job on the vocals on Breakestra's Ubiquity release "Hit the Floor" but Fanny just brings that extra something I need in a funk 'group'...sass, soul, whatever you wanna call it. The band can jam on and on, seamlessly transitioning from funk classic to dirty breakbeat to flute solo and back. I love that shit. Probably more than most people will ever comprehend. But, it's the extra addition of Franklin that really brings it all together and helps it stand out from the rest. Just peep "Who Knows Who" on their myspace and tell me otherwise. I dare you.

So what are you waiting for??? Peep their music either on their myspace or buy the cd and go get your tixx HERE.

Also, it's Colin Johnson's farewell party *tear*. The man that has brought us all these wonderful nights of funkiness, and who was a true friend to the local music scene, is leaving us for greener pastures (family first!) in LA and he deserves one hell of a bash to go out on . We'll miss ya man!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snow Days + Car Trips = Best Massline Music I've Heard in a Minute

Blue Scholars - Coffee and Snow

Common Market - Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fleet Foxes are not that tight

There...I said it.

Sure they're from Seattle. Great. They are in every critics top 5 albums of the year.

Their album was boooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.