Tuesday, June 30, 2015
"African Flower" performed by Duke Ellington
"Blues In F" performed by Wes Mntgomery
"Caravan" performed by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
"Face Of The Deep" performed by Wayne Shorter
"The Pleasure Is Mine" performed by Herbie Hancock
"Mama" performed by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
"Grandma's Hands" (live) performed by Bill Withers
"Make It With You" (live ta Fillmore West 1971) performed by Aretha Franklin
"Fool's Gold" performed by Jill Scott
"Don't Take It Personal (One Of Dem Days)" performed by Monica
"Rock And Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This)" performed by Handsome Boy Modeling School
"Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!" performed by Funkadelic
"Pray My Soul" performed by Axiom Funk featuring Eddie Hazel and Bernie Worell
"Thunder Thumbs And Lightnin' Licks" performed by The Brothers Johnson
"Suzy Wants To Be A Rock Star" performed by Professor Griff and the Last Asiatic Disciples
June 2, 2015
"The Flesh Failures/Let The Sunshine In' performed by Melba Moore
"United Minds" performed by Arrested Development
"This Side Of Love" performed by Terence Trent D'Arby
"Mountains O' Things" performed by Tracy Chapman
"(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People!!" performed by The Chi-Lites
"Pease Porridge" performed by De La Soul
"And Then She Stopped" performed by The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet
"I Just Want To Be" performed by Cameo
"I Like The Girls" performed by Fatback Band
"The Jam" performed by Graham Central Station
"Take Me To The Next Phase" performed by The Isley Brothers
June 3, 2015
"It's All Right" performed by The Impressions
"Wait 'Til My Bobby Gets Home" performed by Darlene Love
"I Go To Work" performed by Kool Moe Dee
"You Gots To Chill" performed by EPMD
"Time Is Life" (live 1970) performed by La Belle
"Kalimba's Story performed by Earth, Wind & Fire
"Mystic Man" performed by Peter Tosh
"Love Song #1" performed by Meshell N'degeocello
"Overcome" performed by Tricky
"Tonight Is The Night" (live) performed by Betty Wright
June 4, 2015
"Ah...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!!" performed by Booty's Rubber Band
"Express Yourself (Say Yes)" performed by Jon Batiste and Stay Human
"Everybody Eats When They Come To My House" performed by Cab Calloway
"Bad Luck" performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
"Super Soul Fighter" performed by Lenny Kravitz
June 5, 2014
"Goin' Down Slow" performed by Bobby "Blue" Bland
"Stay In My Corner" (live 1972) performed by The Dells
"I Can't Get Over You" performed by The Dramatics
"What A Wonderful World" performed by Otis Redding
"All I Can Do Was Cry" performed by Etta James
"Bird Story" performed by Les McCann
"Body And Soul" performed by John Coltrane
"Pastime Paradise" performed by Stevie Wonder
"Mirrors" performed by Dam-Funk
"Window Seat" performed by Erykah Badu
June 6, 2015
SOUL TRAIN SATURDAY MORNING
"Let's Get It On" performed by Marvin Gaye
"I'll Be Around" performed by The Spinners
"Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)" performed by The Temptations
"Let's Stay Together" performed by Al Green
"Get Down" performed by Curtis Mayfield
"Power Of Soul" (live at Montreux 2001) performed by Living Colour
"I Know You Got Soul" performed by Eric B. and Rakim
"Don't Mess With My Man" performed by Lucy Pearl
"Hey Mr. DJ" performed by Zhane
"Close To You" performed by Bobby Womack
"Damn Right I've Got The Blues" performed by Buddy Guy
"Voodoo Woman" performed by Koko Taylor
"Everything Gonna Be Alright" performed by Big Mama Thornton
"Got My Mojo Workin'" performed by Muddy Waters
"Baby, Please Don't Go" performed by Lightnin' Hopkins
June 7, 2015
HAPPY 57TH BIRTHDAY TO PRINCE
"Condition Of The Heart"
"Breakfast Can Wait"
Interview on "Lopez Tonight"
Interview on "Tavis Smiley" w/ the song "Reflection" performed with Wendy Melvoin
"Outstanding" performed by The Gap Band
"Easy" performed by The Commodores
"I Call Your Name" performed by Switch
"You Don't Know My Name" performed by Alicia Keys
June 8, 2015
"Cute" performed by Lionel Hampton
"Vibes And Stuff" performed by A Tribe Called Quest
"Walkin'" performed by Ron Carter, Billy Cobham and Herbie Hancock
"I Wrote A Simple Song" performed by Billy Preston
"Say Yes" performed by Floetry
"Love" performed by Musiq
"Shadows Of Tomorrow" performed by Madvillain
"Angel Dust" performed by Gil Scott-Heron
"Addiction" performed by Kanye West
June 9, 2015
"You Must Learn" performed by Boogie Down Productions
"Move!" performed by Public Enemy
"In The Cube" performed by Fishbone
"The Whole Of The Moon" performed by Prince
"Right On For The Darkness" performed by Curtis Mayfield
"The Ghetto" performed by Donny Hathaway
"Be Thankful For What You Got" performed by William De Vaughn
"Cause I Love You" performed by Lenny Williams
"I'm Catching Hell" performed by Natalie Cole
"She's Got Papers On Me" performed by Richard "Dimples" Fields
June 10, 2015
"Maybe The Last Time" performed by JAMES BROWN
"Never Can Say Goodbye" performed by The Jackson 5
"Now's The Time" performed by Charlie Parker with Miles Davis
"If You Want Me To Stay" performed by Sly and the Family Stone
"Good Times" performed by Chic
"Slippin' Into Darkness" performed by Ramsey Lewis
"Slippin' Into Darkness" performed by War
"It's On" (live 2010) performed by The George Duke Trio
June 11, 2015
"How'm I Doin', Hey Hey" performed by The Mills Brothers
"What'd I Say" (live 1963) performed by Ray Charles
"Baby Workout" (live) performed by Jackie Wilson
"You'll Lose A Good Thing" performed by Barbara Lynn
"Didn't It Rain" performed by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
R.I.P. ORNETTE COLEMAN MARCH 9, 1930-JUNE 11, 2015
"Beauty Is A Rare Thing"
"Dancing In Your Head" (live)
June 12, 2015
"Feel Good" performed by Mark Ronson with Mystikal-WSPC PREMIERE
"Cool" performed by The Time
"Dance Wit Me" performed by Rick James
"Double Dutch Bus" performed by Frankie Smith
"Ain't It Funky Now parts 1 & 2" performed by JAMES BROWN
June 13, 2015
SOUL TRAIN SATURDAY MORNING
"Loves Maze" performed by The Temprees
"Best Part Of A Man" performed by Wilson Pickett
"From His Woman To You" performed by Barbara Mason
"Everybody Was Rocking" performed by Betty Wright
"Supernatural Thing" performed by Ben E. King
"You Got The Love" performed by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
"D.M.S.R." (live "Musicology Tour-Welcome 2 America") performed by Prince
June 14, 2015
"Everybody Loves The Sunshine" performed by Roy Ayers
"Summer Madness" performed by Kool and the Gang
"Flowers" performed by The Emotions
"When You Touch Me" performed by Skyy
"It's You That I Need" performed by Enchantment
"Who Knows?" performed by Jimi Hendrix and Band Of Gypsys
"Gemini/Double Image" performed by Miles Davis
"Sorrow Tears & Blood" performed by Fela Kuti
"Door Of The Cosmos" performed by Sun Ra
"Bach's Blues" performed by Oscar Peterson
"Myself When I'm Real" performed by Charles Mingus
"Emily" performed by The John Hicks Trio
"In A Mellow Tone" performed by McCoy Tyner
"The Worst" performed by The Robert Glasper Trio-WSPC PREMIERE
June 15, 2015
"Back To The Future (Part 1)" performed by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
"Yoga" performed by Janelle Monae
"Some Kind Of Lover" performed by Jody Watley
"If It Isn't Love" performed by New Edition
"Astray" (live) performed by Bilal
"Free As You Wanna Be" (live at AfroPunk Fest 2013) performed by Unlocking The Truth
"Killer" performed by The Skins
"Out Here In My Head" performed by RADKEY
"Soul Craft" performed by Bad Brains
"St. Cobain" performed by Vernon Reid
June 16, 2015
"Summertime" performed by Sam Cooke
"Who The Cap Fit" performed by Bob Marley and the Wailers
"Purple" performed by Shuggie Otis
"You Hit The Nail On The Head" performed by Funkadelic
"Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)" performed by Run The Jewels featuring Zack de la Rocha
"Institutionalized" performed by Kendrick Lamar-WSPC PREMIERE
"They All Have Abandoned Their Hopes" performed by Fishbone
"Man's Temptation" performed by Isaac Hayes
"Golden Lady" performed by Stevie Wonder
"On And On" performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips
"Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)" performed by The O'Jays
"Chica Boom" performed by The Staple Singers
"Shoeshine Boy" performed by Eddie Kendricks
"You Can't Change That" performed by Raydio
June 17, 2015
"Blue Skies" performed by Ella Fitzgerald
"Feeling Good" performed by Nina Simone
"The Very Thought Of You" performed by Nat "King" Cole
"A Kiss To Build A Dream On" performed by Louis Armstrong
"If I Didn't Care" performed by The Ink Spots
"Skywriter" performed by The Jackson 5
"High School Dance" performed by The Sylvers
"Dead Giveaway" performed by Shalamar
"Sang and Dance" performed by The Bar Kays
"Funkify Your Life" performed by The Meters
June 18, 2015
"Boom Boom" performed by John Lee Hooker
"Wicked Waters" performed by Benjamin Booker-WSPC PREMIERE
"Come On In My Kitchen' performed by Robert Johnson
"You Gotta Move" performed by Mississippi Fred McDowell
"The Sky Is Crying" (live) performed by Albert King
"It Hurts Me Too" performed by Elmore James
"When My Train Pulls In" (live) performed by Gary Clark Jr.
"Them Changes" performed by Thundercat with Kamasi Washington and Flying Lotus-WSPC PREMIERE
June 19, 2015
"Shine" performed by John Legend and The Roots
"Let's Chill" performed by Guy
"Never As Good As The First Time" performed by Sade
"It Don't Hurt Now" performed by Teddy Pendergrass
"We Fight/We Love" performed by Q-Tip
"Giving Him Something He Can Feel" performed by En Vogue
"Mixtape" performed by Madlib as Quasimoto
June 20, 2015
SOUL TRAIN SATURDAY MORNING
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore" performed by Rose Royce
"I Told You So" performed by The Delfonics
"What's Your Name" performed by The Moments
"Sugar Pie Guy" performed by The Joneses
"Check It Out" performed by Tavares
"Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got" performed by The Four Tops
"Rock The Bells" performed by LL Cool J
"Proud To Be Black" performed by Run-DMC
"Say It Loud (I'm Black And I'm Proud)" performed by JAMES BROWN
"Ladies First" performed by Queen Latifah with Monie Love
"Concrete Schoolyard" performed by Jurassic 5
"Old School" by Steve Harvey from the film "Original Kings Of Comedy"
"Woman" performed by Philip Bailey
"Color Blind" performed by Maze featuring Frankie Beverley
"Sweet Sticky Thing" performed by The Ohio Players
June 21, 2015
"So What" (live) performed by Miles Davis
"Forest Flower/Sunrise, Sunset" performed by The Charles Lloyd Quartet
"This Here" performed by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
"Tell It Like It Is" performed by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
"Infant Eyes" performed by Wayne Shorter
"Father And Friend" performed by Alain Clark
"Bridging The Gap" performed by Nas
"Color Him Father" performed by The Winstons
"Papa Don't Take No Mess" performed by JAMES BROWN
"Song For My Father" performed by The Horace Silver Quintet
a scene from "Coffee and Cigarettes" featuring GZA, RZA and Bill Murray
June 22, 2015
"Rainy Day, Dream Away" performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
"Walkin' In The Rain" performed by Marvin Gaye
"Fire And Rain" performed by The Isley Brothers
"No More Rain" performed by Angie Stone
"I Love The Rain" performed by Lenny Kravitz
"She's A Rainmaker" performed by The Dramatics
"Go Ahead In The Rain" performed by A Tribe Called Quest
"Still Raining, Still Dreaming" performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
June 23, 2015
"No Justice" performed by Jimmy Cliff
"No" performed by Chuck D
"This Is Madness" performed by The Last Poets
"Equal Rights" performed by Peter Tosh
"Agolo" performed by Angelique Kidjo
"We Continue" performed by Dam-Funk-WSPC PREMIERE
"Coming Home" performed by Leon Bridges-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Answer" performed by Raphael Saadiq
"Great Blacks" performed by Georgia Anne Muldrow-WSPC PREMIERE
"History" performed by Mos Def with Talib Kweli
"Rising Up" performed by The Roots with Wale and Chrisette Michele
June 24, 2015
"Inside My Love" performed by Minnie Ripperton
"Star Of The Story" performed by Heatwave
"See the Light" performed by Earth, Wind & Fire
"Where I'm From" performed by Digable Planets
"We The People" performed by The Staple Singers
"Creep" performed by TLC
"Brain" performed by Jungle Brothers
"The Last Donut Of The Night' performed by J Dilla
June 25, 2015
MICHAEL JACKSON MEMORIAL TRIBUTE 6TH ANNIVERSARY
"I'll Be There" performed by The Jackson 5
"Looking Through The Window" performed by The Jackson 5
"Forever Came Today" performed by The Jackson 5
"Honey Love" performed by The Jackson 5
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
"(I Can't Make It) Another Day"
"Get On The Floor"
"I Can't Help It"
June 26, 2015
"The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" performed by Prince
"I Can't Help It" performed by Esperanza Spalding
"Little Waltz" performed by Ron Carter
"Nostalgia In Times Square" performed by Charles Mingus
"Bad Habits" performed by Maxwell
"I'm A Mess" performed by Anthony Hamilton
"Bustin' Out" performed by Rick James
"Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" performed by The Roots
"Anniversary" performed by Tony! Toni! Tone!
"I'd Still Say Yes" performed by Klymaxx
"Love And Happiness" performed by Al Green
"Let Love Rule" (2011 soundcheck) performed by Lenny Kravitz
"Hip Hop Hooray" performed by Naughty By Nature
"The World Is Yours" performed by Nas
"Life In Marvelous Times" performed by Mos Def
"The Humpty Dance" performed by Digital Underground
June 27, 2015
SOUL TRAIN SATURDAY MORNING
"Sho Nuff Boogie" performed by Sylvia with The Moments
"I Wanna Know Your Name" performed by The Intruders
"From Now On" performed by Lou Rawls
"Love Ballad" performed by L.T.D.
"Oh Girl" performed by The Chi-Lites
"Flashback" performed by The 5th Dimension
"Never Gonna Give You Up" performed by Lyn Collins
"You Turned Me On To Love" performed by Johnny Bristol
"If 6 Was 9" performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
"Monie In The Middle" performed by Monie Love
"Ruffneck" performed by MC Lyte
"Information Overload" performed by Living Colour
"The Television, The Drug Of The Nation" performed by Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy
"If 6 Was 9" performed by Axion Funk featuring Bootsy Collins
"LOVE LIBERATES" DR. MAYA ANGELOU
"I Want To Take You Higher" (live Woodstock 1969) performed by Sly and the Family Stone
"The Payback/Soul Power" (live in Zaire 1974) performed by JAMES BROWN
"Proud Mary" (live in Paris 1970) performed by Ike and Tina Turner
"Hollywood Swinging" (live 1974) performed by Kool and the Gang
"Fire" (live 1975) performed by The Ohio Players
"Machine Gun" (live 1974) performed by The Commodores
"I Never Loved A Man The Way That I Love You" (live 1967) performed by Aretha Franklin
June 28, 2015
"Reflections" performed by Thelonious Monk
"Yesterdays" performed by Paul Chambers
"Sweet Little Maia" performed by The Elvin Jones Trio
"Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise" performed by Wilbur Ware
"There Is No Greater Love" performed by Sam Jones
"Light Rain Blues" performed by Taj Mahal
"Sack Full Of Dreams" performed by Grady Tate
"Root Down (And Get It)" performed by Jimmy Smith
"Here's That Rainy Day" (live 1965) performed by Wes Montgomery
"Blue Monday Hangover" performed by Albert Collins
June 29, 2015
"All Day Sucker" performed by Stevie Wonder
"Living For The Love Of You" performed by The Isley Brothers
"Candy" performed by Cameo
"On The Radio" performed by Donna Summer
"Ain't Nobody" performed by Chaka Khan
"Fantastic Voyage" performed by Lakeside
"Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" performed by Brick
June 30, 2015
"Rock And Roll Music" performed by Chuck Berry
"I Hear You Knocking" performed by Fats Domino
"Keep A Knockin'" performed by Little Richard
"What'd I Say" performed by Ray Charles
"Blues Before Sunrise" performed by Elmore James
"I Second That Emotion" performed by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
"Brothers Gonna Work It Out" performed by Public Enemy
"Funk Is Its Own Reward" performed by Stanley Clarke
"Squat!" performed by De La Soul with Mike D and Ad Rock
"Black Satin" performed by Miles Davis
"Doggy Dogg World" performed by Snoop Dogg with The Dramatics
"I Can't Breathe" performed by Marcus Miller with Chuck D-WSPC PREMIERE
"Push It Along" performed by A Tribe Called Quest
"Sir Duke" performed by Stevie Wonder
"I'm Coming Out" performed by Diana Ross
"Be Alright" performed by Zapp
"Atomic Dog" performed by George Clinton
"I Am Love" performed by The Jackson 5
"It's Your World" performed by Common
"Take It Easy" performed by Duke Ellington
GEORGE CLINTON AND THE P-FUNK ALL STARS
Released June 11, 1996
Released January 26, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: This album marks the second solo release post-Supergrass from singer/songwriter/musician Gaz Coombes. While the heavy melodicism from the Supergrass days remains (plus his terrific Jagger-esque vocals), "Matador" arrives with a new maturity that sidelines raucous energy and weaves in a lush sonic palate that beautifully signals that Coombes' best musical days are not in his rearview mirror.
MY MORNING JACKET
Released May 4, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: The first of two new albums from My Morning Jacket finds the band operating in peak form as they have crafted a 21st century folk/pastoral/psychedelia/prog rock statement that serves as their finest work to date (at least to my ears). Stand out tracks include the vaguely 80's synth pop of "Compound Fracture," the haunting pensiveness of the seven minute plus "Only Memories Remain" and I really loved what is essentially the album's cyclical, almost Genesis by way of King Crimson sounding title track, "In It's Infancy (The Waterfall)."
Released May 18, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: One of the finest albums of the year so far. I have been recently getting into the musical world of Paul Weller, once the leader of both The Jam and The Style Council. With his latest solo release, I have been fully disarmed and charmed by the gorgeous amalgamation of soul, McCartney-esque ballads, bass playing and textures, amplified guitar roars plus a willingness to combine seemingly disparate genres and re-form them into fully melodic wholes. The dream world psychedelics of "Phoenix," the fury of "White Sky," the stunning love song "Going My Way" (so good that I'll bet McCartney himself wished he'd written it), and the eight minute finale "These City Streets" make up just about half of this brilliantly conceived and sequenced release. And Weller's voice!!! DAMN!!!
Released January 9, 2007
ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS
Released January 5, 1979
Released July 3, 1974
Released April 21, 2009
Released June 2, 2008
THE BLACK KEYS
Released December 6, 2011
Released June 10, 2008
Released October 11, 2005
THE BEACH BOYS
Released May 16, 1966
ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS
Released February 15, 1980
Released April 19, 2010
Released November 12, 2001
Released June 18, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: Now that this artist has completed his role in the first half of Todd Rundgren's "Global" tour serving as the show's DJ/keyboardist, I felt compelled to check out his newly released 4 track EP, which arrived as a free download and serves as a precursor to his new full length album to be released in September.
Released September 6, 1993
Released July 15, 2014
Released June 16, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: I think we have one of the year's finest releases as Glasper, fresh off the success of his two "Black Radio" albums (released February 28, 2012 and October 29, 2013, respectively), returns to his original trio for a live recording of personal favorites at Capitol Studios. Without all of the studio electronics at the ready, it was great to hear Glasper on acoustic piano, accompanied only with bass and drums covering the likes of Radiohead, Musiq and Bilal as well as his own material. Shades of Dave Brubeck and Vince Guaraldi instantly sprung to mind as I listened...
Released June 3, 2014
Released July 18, 1995
Released January 4, 1972
Released November 7, 1983
-For Chris Squire...
Saturday, June 6, 2015
JUNE 2, 2015
Karl Wallinger: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
David Duffy:Violin, Mandolin, Backing Vocals
John Turnbull: Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals
It was a concert that I never thought that I would see. Now that I have, and at such an up close and personal proximity, I have to admit that I am still pinching myself with my extremely good fortune.
When I first saw the promotional advertisement, surprisingly posted within the Facebook news feed as I scrolled through while on a lunch break, I could not believe my eyes. The seminal British band World Party would be arriving in my fair city (possibly for the very first time) within a few short months on their latest concert tour and for a price so affordable that it was a complete no-brainer to snatch up a ticket the minute they went on sale. I voiced my amazed disbelief openly, to which my co-workers wondered precisely what I was so excited about. I repeated the information I had just read and was met by a series of bemused and confused gazes, that were eventually joined with the question, "Who are they?"
This is how it usually is with me. More often than not, some of my most treasured musical artists happen to be performers that have existed considerably under the radar, even though in my mind, they are sitting on top of the world and shouldn't it be quite obvious to everyone that their musical gifts should be more commonly known? World Party is indeed one of those artists as the band and the music has demonstrated its glory and formidable beauty and creativity from its inception, but at the same time, on this occasion I could understand the disconnect and ignorance. So, I called up a track that I thought would sound familiar, the 1990 single "Put The Message In The Box" from the band's second album "Goodbye Jumbo" (released April 24, 1990). As the song played, my co-workers listened and listened yet still dressed their faces with looks of the wholly unfamiliar. Finally, one person announced, "This sounds like The Beatles." And beyond that comment, no discernible recognition whatsoever. Maybe I couldn't blame them for their unawareness of World Party because truthfully, I have to admit that the band has not existed as the easiest one to keep up with over the years.
For the uninitiated, World Party is the musical vision of singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger, begun after his departure from his role as keyboardist in The Waterboys. Essentially a one-man band (with occasional assistance from a small group of collaborators), World Party's sound and mission arrived fully formed upon the debut album "Private Revolution" (released 1986), which contains the now classic track "Ship Of Fools," which does still receive considerable radio airplay.
Musically, World Party delivers a sonic palate that is lushly psychedelic as Wallinger openly wears his influences of Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Sly and the Family Stone, Prince and undeniably, The Beatles upon his sleeves and he also possesses a certain "Jagger-esque" quality in his lead vocals, which are consistently augmented by his own Brian Wilson styled stacked harmony vocals.
Lyrically, Wallinger utilizes World Party to express his ecological and environmental concerns and passions, animal rights activism, savage political scorn, as well as his ever evolving and questioning philosophical musings concerning spirituality and religion--a course from belief to an avowed atheism and all in between that listeners have been able to chart over the course of World Party's 6 album discography. And boy, can the man write a timeless pop song like the very best, most notably "She's The One" from the fourth World Party album "Egyptology" (released 1997), a track that I believe that Paul McCartney himself would have wished that he'd written.
I have cherished and followed World Party ever since my high school years, when the first album was released, and while I may believe the band to exist as one of the finest British exports that I have ever had the pleasure to listen to, I do realize that those feelings may not hold the same devotion and loyalty from others for any number of reasons. The most obvious reason is that World Party, whether by choice or design, happens to not be a prolific band as many years pass between album releases, making it difficult to remain at the forefront of listeners' thoughts should a new release arrive.
And so, it would not be unrealistic to ponder just who would come see World Party perform live right now in 2015. Would people either remember or even know the legacy of this band in the first place before spending hard earned wages for a concert? Even so, I just figured that others would feel as I, and therefore, I was not going to take any chances. I bought the ticket the minute they went on sale and on the evening of Tuesday, June 2nd, I purposefully arrived early to the Majestic theater in case a lengthy line of adoring fans were waiting for the doors to open at 7:00 p.m.
I arrived at the Majestic, on this very beautiful evening, at 6:45 p.m. surprised at the sight in front of the theater. Instead of the imagined lengthy line of World Party fans queuing up, I stepped to the Majestic to find...nobody waiting.
Huh? Could this be true? Did I arrive on the right night? I actually even checked the marquee to make sure that I hadn't gotten the date of the concert wrong. Looking upwards, I discovered that I was indeed at the theater on the correct night and yes indeed, I was the only one ready to be let inside. By 7:00 p.m., when the doors opened, just one more concert goer arrived and we ventured indoors.
Walking into the Majestic theater was a most surreal experience for me as I had not set foot inside the building since the site once solely existed as a movie theater, the kind of which that screened weekly midnight showings of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975). It had been fifteen years since I had been inside, when I saw Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" (2000), in fact. It felt like walking inside of a half-remembered memory or dream as the Majestic sort of/sort of not looked like how I remembered it, due to the physical changes made to the location.
The other surreal factor for me was the following: the concert was billed as an "intimate seated show." OK..but to see about five rows of fold out chairs on the dance floor made this evening's performance feel to be like somewhat of a campfire sing-a-long. Walking slowly down to the chairs, I just decided to go for it and claim a seat front row center, and why not for when else would I ever receive this chance again to witness a musical hero within less than a stone's throw from myself?
After a spell, one more concert patron arrived and then another and another but even so, there were still less than 10 people present. As I was making small talk with one gentleman, I was happily greeted by my beloved college friend and fellow WLHA student radio DJ Kelly Klaschus and her husband Brian. Quickly joining me in the front row, we alternately joked about the profound lack of audience members while also beginning to feel badly for Karl Wallinger, or at least,openly wondering what must it feel like to be an artist of his stature and longevity to perform for an audience that was so startlingly tiny.
We were soon to find out first hand.
The concert began promptly (with a rapid head count of somewhere between 20-30 people in attendance) with the opening act, a 40 minute set by folk singer Gabriel Kelley, whose songs possessed a fragile beauty that, to my ears, was reminiscent of Ryan Adams at his most hushed and aching. Between the songs, when Kelley addressed the audience, he displayed not only a dry yet biting wit, he provided us with an insight into himself which just may have also provided a possible bit of insight into Karl Wallinger as well.
Kelley spoke of the time in his life when he was part of the country music industry as a professional songwriter. He also mentioned that he collaborated with Kings Of Leon for a spell. And to both of those experiences, he plainly exclaimed that he hated those times as everything felt to be a "factory," where honestly and truth in music was replaced by product. In order to simplify his life, he sold his home and reduced his belongings and abode to a '77 RV, in which he travels the country. From these tales, he weaved in his gratitude to World Party for inviting him along for the second time to tour alongside them as opening act. He expressed how the band members were truly the real deal and how their graciousness has sustained him. His gratitude was undoubtedly palpable to me, and hopefully to the remainder of the audience.
By the time World Party took to the stage at nearly 9:00 p.m., I could barely believe my eyes that there was Karl Wallinger himself, directly in front of me, complete with beaming, impish smile and immediately displaying a quintessentially English verbal wit that nearly functioned as stand-up comedy as he and his two bandmates tuned up their instruments. Within moments, the concert opened with the driving "Waiting Such A Long Time," itself the opening song from the 5 disc/70 track "diary and music collection" entitled "Arkeology" (released April 10, 2012). From here, the band launched into "Put The Message In The Box" and the Bertrand Russell inspired evolutionary lament "Is It Like Today?" from the album "Bang!" (released April 26, 1993), two selections that I was just happily stunned he placed at the beginning of the show as I figured that those hits would be saved for later.
And the hits just kept on arriving. World Party's nearly two hour concert leaned most heavily on songs from the albums "Goodbye Jumbo" and "Egyptology," deftly demonstrating not only Karl Wallinger's outstanding songcraft but also how beautifully he and the band were able to instantly set the tone and mood to deliver a richly enthusiastic performance that involved all of us within the audience. Each moment of musical recognition was met with unabashed applause and clearly audible singing along and drum tapping on knees and chairs (supplied by myself and another obviously excited gentleman near me). Song after song performed felt to be a musical gift as well as a vibrant reunion between myself and an old friend, and the sizable glee I felt was echoed by my seatmate Kelly, as we were both in disbelief that we were indeed seeing and hearing these songs performed so closely, perfectly and so engagingly.
What was most impressive to me about the evening was hearing all of these deeply familiar songs sound simultaneously anew while existing as classics. They were all here. "Vanity Fair," "Is It Too Late?," "When The Rainbow Comes," "Sunshine," the Dylan-eque rave-up "Who Are You?," "Way Down Now," "Sweet Soul Dream" and of course, "Ship Of Fools." By the time, Wallinger moved over to the piano and began a set which featured "Love Street," "God On My Side," the aforementioned "She's The One" plus even more, I was in musical heaven...and I want to believe that everyone else in the scant audience was as well.
What was most impressive to me, and especially as these songs as recordings are exercises in loving studio psychedelia, Wallinger and his bandmates completely stripped the tracks down to their barest essence, completely illustrating what astounding and therefore, timeless, pieces of songwriting the oeuvre of World Party actually is. An acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin, electric guitar and vocals. No bass. No synthesizers. No drums and only a tambourine as percussion. Just the crispness and clarity of the performance with Karl Wallinger's vocals having not lost a single step over the years and supported blissfully by David Duffy and John Turnbull. At times, their gloriously harmonic vocals sounded like vintage Crosby, Stills and Nash fronted by George Harrison.
If the size of the audience was remotely discouraging to Karl Wallinger, he never let on for a moment. This would either demonstrate how consummate of a performer he actually is or he truly did not mind a whit and was just happy to be on stage at all, performing for anyone at all. Of course, I'll never know for certain but I would love to believe that it was the latter. Wallinger was a gracious and inviting host throughout, smiling from beginning to end, offering one vibrant bon mot after another, effortlessly saving face after breaking a guitar string or hilariously requesting some water, both situations during which none other than Gabriel Kelley came to his aid.
Once World Party sailed through the encore, which consisted of "Don't Bogart That Joint" plus the Everly Brothers styled rarity "Mystery Girl," and the band exited the stage for the night, with promises to return in a year's time with new material, the magic of the evening fully revealed itself to me.
This was a not a night about hit singles, past glories and any perceived sense of legendary status. The performance of World Party was a celebration of great songs, and they were indeed performed heroically with no artifice, detachment or any sense of self-absorption. It was an evening of communication and inclusion, where the honesty and truth of the music itself was the star, thus making the intimacy of the night so paramount. It was a beautiful night without question and it showed me that World Party, regardless of who is aware of them in 2015 or whether they performed for an audience of 100,000 or just 1, they delivered the goods and then some without cynicism and completely with grace. World Party treated this night, and this tiny locale and audience, with reverence and joy. It was as if they were standing in the middle of Wembley Stadium and we were honored guests.
But no. The honor was all ours!
All photos by Scott Collins
Monday, June 1, 2015
We have lost many too many in such a short span of time.
For the month of June, WSPC will celebrate BLACK MUSIC MONTH for the fourth time. This is a 30 day period where this virtual radio station will exclusively spin the music of Black artists from around the world and this time, I do feel a greater sense of urgency to this celebratory annual event.
Over the past two months, we have had to sadly say goodbye to several legendary artists who have forever advanced and changed the face of music as well as provided us with eternal chestnuts that have all shaped the soundtracks of our lives. Regardless of whether we chose these artists or not, the music they so beautifully achieved entered our collective existence, transcending all demographics and therefore becoming timeless works of art.
On April 14th, we lost Percy Sledge, the singer most famously known for the heartaching ballad "When A Man Loves A Woman," as well as 2005 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee, at the age of 73.
And of course, as well as most personally affecting to me, was the loss of Mr. Riley B. King, immortally known as B.B. King on May 14th at the age of 89.
In regards to B.B. King, I truly have no concept of how or when his music entered my life but in many ways, it seemed as if he was always there. What amazed and attracted me more than anything in the world about B.B. King was the sheer and bottomless joyousness with which he sang and played, making the intimacy and anguish of the blues something so universal and downright euphoric. To realize that his voice, plus the voice of his timeless guitar Lucille are now silenced just feels unfathomable, for King plus Percy Sledge, Ben E. King and Louis Jordan all seemed to be as unending as the sky, the sun and the stars.
But the music does indeed go on and on and on...
It some ways, it feels that this 4th annual ode to Black Music Month is beginning upon a somber note. While I don't wish for it to be, the sheer gravity of this time is inescapable because these artists have given us the gift of their musical legacies, and therefore artifacts of our collective histories and tin return and eternal gratitude for all they have given to us. These musical, and now cultural, histories must be protected, treasured, cherished, and ultimately, sustained so that their contributions to this beautiful art form of music do not go forgotten through the passages of time.
As with past years, while the content upon Synesthesia may not exclusively be tied to the theme of this month, ALL of the music that is played upon WSPC will definitely and humbly serve as a tribute. I do not come to this month serving as any sort of an expert. I come to this month in thankfulness and endless curiosity as the joy of discovery for me, and hopefully for you in turn, is paramount.
And throughout this month, should you choose to listen and celebrate with me, always...