Please, everyone stay safe. In practicing social distancing, we are taking care of each other. Hope this mix is any bit as helpful to you as it has been to me today.
Brother, Sister is my favorite album from MeWithOutYou. Gonna be sick to see this album played in full at Union Transfer this summer:
This one was tough. It was hard to make. It’s 5 1/2 hours and covers songs from 1985 to today. And that’s because there is just so much. Soul has always melded and shaped to its time, and these days, it’s kinda difficult to delineate the two! – r&b and “neo-soul” that is. Which is cool too, evolution.
“Old school” is anything soulful that harkens back to another time, is smooth, and speaks of “grown folks business”. So, today, as an 80s baby, my old school is 90s R&B (SWV) and Neo-Soul – which is a modern, fluid take on classic soul and tends to lean on the introspection part more often than the romance part (Erykah Badu). Back in the 70s, you could compare the two sounds with, say, The O’jays “Cry Together” (more soul) & The Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets” (more r&b).
What I personally love about Neo-soul is the jazz, hit-hats, atmosphere, sway, time, space, caution. Solange does this so well on last year’s album When I Get Home. Maxwell does it perfectly on Urban Hang Suite, as does Amel Larrieux on Infinite Possibilities, and then of course holdin’ it down for eternity is Ms. J-I-L-L S-C-O-T-T.
While researching this playlist, I was thrilled to see a new release this year from Syleena Johnson, artist and co-host on the #blackgirlmagic that is Sister Circle Live. It’s a show I hold dear to my heart – they are doing amazing things with the platform! She speaks about the state of R&B and Neo-Soul often on air, and they make a constant effort to bring on beloved Neo-soul artists all delivering bona-fide contributions to the genre as it’s both growing new roots and being gentrified into alt – r&b. With all the new voices out here resourcing the classic elements, though, I’m confident we can keep it healthy and well fed, so we can all be fed. We need it! ☺️ Also did ya’ll peep the Roots Picnic line up this year? Sheesh.
Here’s a roundup and playlist of all the local shows we’re excited about for Jan/Feb!
Motion City Soundtrack 1/12 @ Fillmore https://bit.ly/2FhGGtM
Damien Jurado 1/15 @ World Cafe Live http://tiny.cc/1sc3hz
Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven 1/19 @ World Cafe Live https://bit.ly/300SMjL
The Almost 1/22 @ TLA https://livemu.sc/2Dbel6Y
Courtney Barnett 1/23 @ The Queen http://tiny.cc/iif2hz
Angels & Airwaves 1/25 @ Xfinity Live https://bit.ly/2QuMu92
Nada Surf 1/30 @ World Cafe Live https://bit.ly/2ZXp27w
Thanks for Coming 2/1 @ Trans-Pecos (Queens) https://bit.ly/2QXDxEt
Cowboy Junkies 2/1 @ The Scottish Rite Auditorium (NJ) https://bit.ly/2s1qNUD
Rapsody 2/6 @ Elsewhere (BK) https://bit.ly/39PGXS0
Slow Crush 2/7 @ Saint Vitus Bar (BK) https://bit.ly/33Xhfrq
Thrice, Mewithoutyou, Drug Church 2/11 @ Franklin Music Hall http://tiny.cc/jznwcz
Anna of the North 2/18 @ The Foundry https://livemu.sc/2QwKJbj
Man or Astroman? 2/21 @ Market Hotel (BK) https://bit.ly/2QU2ErB
Wolf Parade 2/21 @ Union Transfer https://bit.ly/2N5Jeie
Refused 2/22 @ Brooklyn Steel (BK) https://bit.ly/2FvdFKM
The Black Lips 2/22 @ First Unitarian Church https://bit.ly/37g3M0e
Natalie Merchant 2/26 @ The Appel Room, Lincoln Center (NYC) https://bit.ly/2TcF0tl
Drive By Truckers 2/27 @ Union Transfer https://bit.ly/33jWW6y
Iron Chic 2/28 @ Saint Vitus http://tiny.cc/anf2hz