April 18, 2008 |
Despite Gil Scott-Heron's place in the musical intellectual pantheon of poets, writers, rappers and thinkers, you can't help but talk politics with him. The 59-year-old who gave the world stories of the street-savvy, the militantly aggressive, and the tenderly trapped since penning The Vulture (1968) and recording Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970) is noted for his polemical social rhetoric, especially against the right and the Reagan '80s on "B-Movie" and "Re-Ron. " Ask if he thinks people are finally ready to heed his pleas for change and he's solemn.
August 30, 2012
The Hon. Michael A. Nutter, also known as Mixmaster Mike, is a BlackBerry/Microsoft guy, not an iPhone/iPod guy. Here are some of the 2,005 songs on his Microsoft Zune. For a playlist of his music, go to Dan DeLuca's "In the Mix" blog at www.philly.com/inthemix : The Jackson Five, "I Want You Back" Jay-Z and Kanye West, "Otis" Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes feat. Teddy Pendergrass, "Wake Up Everybody," "Don't Leave Me This Way" Laura Izibor, "From My Heart to Yours" Chiddy Bang, "Ray Charles" DJ Kool, "Let Me Clear My Throat" R. Kelly, "I Believe I Can Fly" Patti LaBelle, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Marvin Gaye, "What's Goin' On" Public Enemy, "Fight the Power" Gil Scott-Heron, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
May 28, 2010
Gil Scott-Heron Gil Scott-Heron made a triumphant return to recording earlier this year with the wryly titled I'm New Here , a short, sharp, postmodern blues album that is the 1970s soul-funk-jazz-R&B-griot-and-rap-godfather's first album in 16 years. The satiric and socially conscious 61-year-old songwriter best known for "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" did not get to put those songs across to Philadelphians in person, however, because his scheduled February appearances at the Tin Angel were scuttled by two-plus feet of snow.
June 26, 1987 |
Kansas will be at Great Adventure for two shows tonight and at Valley Forge Music Fair for one on Tuesday. Just a short time ago, this rock quintet appeared moribund. But its latest album, Power, marked the return of the band's original lead singer, Steve Walsh. Even more important is that Kansas managed to lure Steve Morse, an exceptional guitarist, from the Dixie Dregs. Mutatis mutandis, it's a happening group again. Kansas' two-hour live show is a model of versatility and energy.
June 1, 2011
America isn't the same tortured nation it was when Gil Scott-Heron suggested that "the revolution will not be televised. " That's not to say this country has solved every problem it had when Scott-Heron famously made that pronouncement in his 1970 poem. It is to say that in part because of the consciousness-raising of Scott-Heron and other politically oriented artists, this nation was confronted with its racism, sexism, classism, militarism, and myriad addictions, and led into meaningful dialogues, if not solutions.
May 26, 2000 |
He is a man who has spoken and sung about revolution, a man who has written six books of poetry, a man who has attacked racism, colonialism, alcoholism and all kinds of other "isms" with strident, powerful words. He is one of America's most important poet-singers, a precursor of rap and slam poetry who garnered a huge following in the 1970s and early '80s with such tunes as "The Bottle," "Angel Dust" and "Johannesburg. " Some of hip-hop's best lyricists continue to give props to Scott-Heron more than 20 years after his creative peak.
February 17, 1989 |
If, indeed, a retooling of folk music, using pop elements, is the trend of the year, then the Proclaimers' second album, Sunshine on Leith (Chrysalis), is right on time. Piloted by the smooth vocal harmonizations of twins Craig and Charlie Reid, the songs on Sunshine on Leith breeze by, occasionally making thorny statements, more often observing love from wary distance. This is hardly sitting-around-the-campfire fare; instead, it's straightforward songwriting and declarative singing, all marked by an honesty reminiscent of folk music and a cunning stylistic sense that comes directly from pop. Even the engaging "Then I Met You," which in an earlier era might have been an acoustic-guitar meditation, is dressed with a band and production to become something of a runaway anthem.
May 31, 2010 |
"If you want to learn something new about yourself, just put out a new CD," Gil Scott-Heron quipped to the sold-out crowd Saturday at the Tin Angel. "I read where I had 'disappeared.' Do you know how great that would be? You're out with the wrong lady, you see her boyfriend, and you just disappear. " Making himself vanish may not be among Scott-Heron's manifold talents, but for a while he seemed to be giving it his best shot. I'm New Here, released this year, ended a 16-year gap between his albums, a period during which he was twice jailed on drug-related charges and lived in a crack house for a time.
September 13, 2011 |
When Mos Def and Talib Kweli started Black Star in the 1990s, they didn't create hip-hop based on bling, boastfulness, or violence. With the killings of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. before them, the righteous, literate rappers Def and Kweli formed their union based on the ideals of Marcus Garvey, founder of the United Negro Improvement Association, and his Black Star shipping line. Garvey's concerns about the African American community - pride, respect, consciousness - were shared by Def and Kweli, and acted as a gentle but formidable tonic to the chaos surrounding them.
November 2, 2001 |
SLA radical's words may hinder her plea The surprise guilty plea by radical fugitive Sara Jane Olson to charges of planting bombs under Los Angeles police cars in 1975 was called into question yesterday by the judge handling the case. Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler summoned a meeting next Tuesday of defense and prosecution lawyers on the validity of the plea following Olson's insistence outside court on Wednesday that she was innocent of the charges. Olson, 54, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, said she "pleaded guilty to something I was not guilty of," because of the climate following the Sept.