Archive for the ‘Gil Scott-Heron’ tag
The Bravest Man in the Universe is what long-time crooner/bad ass Bobby Womack is boldly calling his anticipated, upcoming album. In reality, that’s a title that probably has less to do with his surly personality and more to do with a 68-year-old often forgotten about soul man returning to the spotlight with album that was mostly produced and conceived by mercurial British pop icon Damon Albarn. Womack is a singing legend in his own right (note his 2009 introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and when you put his rough and tumble brogue on a track mixed with the oddball tinkering of Albarn, anything can happen sonically.
Coming across similar to Tom Wait’s 2006 release, Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards released unexpectedly on contemporary record imprint, ANTI-, The Bravest Man in the Universe drops on London’s XL Recordings and sounds like a marriage of today’s brainy production and yesterday’s soul. One wouldn’t immediately expect Womack to even be on the consistently hip label’s radar. At times the music has hints of triteness, but during other moments this is even better than Gil Scott Heron’s I’m New Here which was also released on XL.
As of today, NPR has a free stream of the record, which I highly recommend people delve into while the link still lasts.
If the record is anything like the eerily unforgettable “Please Forgive My Heart,” than Womack’s return is undoubtedly a sonic gift from the past with a recognizable gaze toward the future.
Apparently, the revolution is being televised after all and Gil Scott-Heron just didn’t have Al Jazeera. That isn’t meant to be flippant, it’s the damn truth. But when the late great Gil Scott-Heron came out with his seminal “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” piece in 1970, it super-charged urban poetry, planted a seed for hip-hop, and solidified his reputation as a musician that deserved to be taken seriously.
I won’t spent much time offering a mini eulogy of the man although he was a huge influence on my life. I’ve played Pieces of a Man on repeat more times than I could possibly count and his other soul-bearing pieces like “The Bottle” and “Home is Where the Hatred Is” showcased his ability to open up his own wounds to the world so that others could heal, even if it meant that he could not. He sort of had that Richard Pryor thing where he laughed about and showcased his own addictions to help others get through theirs. Pryor gets credit for that all the time, Heron never really did.
All of this reminds me that there’s an entire generation of music listeners out there young and old that never paid attention to Gil Scott-Heron’s music at all but will most likely begin now. Just like all the folks who listened to J-Dilla after he passed away. It’s a natural phenomenon. And let’s be real, folks need cliff notes. If you fit that description (and there’s no shame in that) or simply want to hear some of Heron’s best work compiled in one place, Cookin’ Soul has got you covered. Download his latest offering, The Revolution Will Be Televised and listen to it while you delve into Al Jazeera tonight.
I’ll be damned if this video isn’t as emotionally evocative as the song. Well done, Jamie James Medina and AG Rojas. You did the song justice. Together, the video and audio are a really smoothly combined, artful and sincere illustration of life/love as a beautiful struggle. (Don’t worry, it’s not as sappy as I make it sound.)
For whatever reason, Gil Scott-Heron’s solid album, I’m New Here, was overlooked by a bevy of fans and critics when it was released earlier this year. The 61-year-old poet, author, and musician released it to some fan fare, but given most people’s attention spans for new music, it was promptly forgotten about shortly after it debuted. Interestingly enough, Jamie xx of the indie band The xx, recently decided to give I’m New Here some remix treatment and reworked every song on the album. You can check out his refix of the original album’s lead single, “NY is Killing Me,” below.
Jamie xx is turning the entire thing into a new album entitled We’re New Here and it drops Feb 21, 2011. Read more about it if you like. So much for free remix projects. This one is gonna cost ya, but the music is most likely worth every penny. And hopefully, Gil’s getting some of the money.
(via Drowned in Sound)