Tuesday, August 24, 2010

THIS WEEK ON OUTQ: FUNK AND SOUL

For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET (ish) I am a guest contributor to the SIRIUS XM OutQ channel show The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick.  Every week I discuss music (surprise!) and this week I'll be talking about some new funky and soulful releases.

I have written about Brad before: the band features Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, along with the great singer Shawn Smith. Smith also sings for Satchel (who Stone has produced), and for the electro music project Pigeonhed (the Lo-Fidelity Allstars remix of their song "Battleflag" is probably Smith's biggest "hit"), and has done solo albums too (as well as some other projects). He is one of the best singers you haven't heard. The band's drummer is Regan Hagar (also of Satchel, he used to be in Malfunkshun with the late Andrew Wood, who went on to form Mother Love Bone with Stone). Jeremy Toback used to be the bass player (he's also done some cool solo albums) but now Mike Berg is the bassist (he's also in Satchel). Enough family tree stuff, Brad is a really soulful band. At first they both benefitted and suffered from the Pearl Jam association: they certainly got more press because of Stone, but they sound nothing like Pearl Jam, they have a much more funky and soul music-based sound. Smith is the star of the band. If you can find the first album, 1993's Shame, check it out. But Best Friends?, their forth album which just came out, is very good too, although it did take me a few listens.

Street Sweeper Social Club just put out their second release, The Ghetto Blaster EP. It rocks! It has a bunch of new songs, a remix of "Promenade" from their debut, a new version of Boots Riley's other group, The Coup's "Everythang," and covers of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." Plus there's a few new songs. I think Boots is going to do a Coup album next, and I guess Tom Morello will do another Nightwatchman project (and maybe some Rage Against The Machine shows), before the next Street Sweeper full length.

Michael Franti has had such an interesting career. In the late '80s, he was in this angry industrial/hip-hop group The Beatnigs. After that, he had a very Public Enemy influenced hip-hop group called The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopricy (I saw them open for U2 at Shea Stadium, pretty bizarre). In 1994, he started Spearhead, which combined hip-hop with live music, soul, R&B and reggae, and he's been doing it for years without too much commercial success - but the band gets lots of respect in the jam band community. All of the sudden, last year, they had a hit with the very poppy "Say Hey (I Love You)," which is a classic hit single. A wonderful song. Franti's new Spearhead album, The Sound Of Sunshine, comes out September 21, and it sounds like it has a simlilar vibe to "Say Hey."

A couple of other things I'll be bringing: new songs by Cee-Lo Green (his viral hit "F*** You," and another new song "Georgia"), some Robert Randolph & The Family Band (featuring Ben Harper) and a preview of the John Legend/Roots album.

2 comments:

Marianne said...

I love it when you are on OutQ w/ Larry Flick. You bring some music this old lady would probably never think of wanting to listen to. Thank you.

Minority said...

well thank you Marianne, that's really nice. If I expose people to cool music that they wouldn't have heard of, that's all I want to do! thanks for reading my blog and commenting. More good stuff to come this Wednesday!