REVIEW+PHOTOS+VIDS: Raphael Saadiq | “Generations of Soul” | Mack Sennett Studios | 4/2/15

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

E&J Brandy is America’s most awarded brandy. Celebrating their 40th anniversary, they’ve embarked on a “Generations of Soul” campaign featuring the musical talents of Raphael Saadiq, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lee Fields. We were able to attend their private concert at Mack Sennett Studios on 4/2/15 and Raphael Saadiq gave a performance that embodied what modern soul music is all about. 

Shy Girls | Park Plaza Hotel | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/23/14 [Review & Photos]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

THE ACT: Shy Girls | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS:

I’m a sucker for new R&B music. When I heard KCRW play Shy Girls’ Shy Girls’ “Voyeur’s Gaze” on Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2013, I was hooked. When I saw that they were opening for a band named Phosphorescent, I immediately bought a ticket. I had no idea about the headlining act, but that didn’t matter. It had been close to a year since I saw them perform, and I was jonesing to see them perform again.

The performance was short, but it was everything that I anticipated: smooth vocals over a tight knit band playing music with an 80s and early 90s R&B vibe.

The first two times I saw Shy Girls perform live, they didn’t play the song that hooked me in the first place, “Voyeur’s Gaze”. When I had asked them about why didn’t perform that song since it was the song that KCRW decided to spin, they indicated that the arrangement was a bit too complex for them to play live. They remedied the omission this time around and it was, to my complete satisfaction, performed as a song in the middle of their set.

Apparently, I was the only one in the audience excited to hear the tune. Instinctually, I yelped out a very audible, “Yes,” when the opening vocals and keyboard chord progression were played. I got a few giggles from some of the audience members around me, and under my breath, but audible, I felt it necessary to qualify my blurt with, “Can’t help it, it’s my favorite song of theirs.”

I soon realized that the crowd wasn’t here to listen to Shy Girls smooth R&B jams. I further deduced that headlining act’s style of music was at the opposite side of the spectrum because if the audience wasn’t feeling what Shy Girls was putting forth on stage that night … well, they were here for something else.

And it’s a bit of a shame. Shy Girls is a Red Bull Sound Select artist. I would have thought that Red Bull, the host of the concert series, could have done a better job at procuring a line-up that was more consistent. I went to the Chet Faker 30 Days In LA show later in the month, and I can easily say that Shy Girls would have KILLED IT if they were one of the opening acts for that evening’s music. In fact, switching James Supercave from the Chet Faker night, with Shy Girls would have been my choice.

The highlight of the evening was when Shy Girls’ covered Brandy’s “Sittin’ Up In My Room” (a demo recording of which is above). It was simple and sublime. It was a performance of an R&B classic that anybody with an inkling of appreciation for type of R&B music would have loved. I just wish more people could have truly appreciated it.

VIDEOS: The Instagram videos that I uploaded somehow got corrupted. 😦

PHOTOS:

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

MØ | Culture Collide | Echoplex | 10/16/14 [Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

THE ACT:  MØ | Facebook | Twitter Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS:  I’d thought that I’d be over female fronted, beat-driven, electro pop, but wow … MØ was something else. Her live show was something fierce. She may have been criticized for her “off” performance with Iggy Azalea on Saturday Night Live, but I’ve witnessed MØ performing live, and she is a powerhouse performer. Stage diving, and stage walking, throughout her set, engaging the audience with her piercing eyes and impressing me with her unexpected stage presence and voice, I was blown away. I’m willing to make this prediction … she’ll be making the festival rounds next year, and she’ll be performing on the main stages. Guaranteed.

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

Lenny Goldsmith | Way Over Yonder | Santa Monica Pier | 9/27/14 [Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

THE ACT: Lenny Goldsmith | Facebook | History

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: Though I typically do my research before attending festivals, I didn’t do so with this year’s Way Over Yonder because I, for the most part, knew a majority of the acts that were scheduled to perform. One of the artist’s that I really had no clue about was Lenny Goldsmith. When I walked into the carousel stage area, I noticed and elderly gentleman seated behind a keyboard, back by a full band and background vocalists. I was at first skeptical of what I was about to hear, that changed as soon as he started singing. Soulful blues music filled the room and I quickly pulled my phone out to see who this man was. It turns out Lenny has had quite the history in the music industry: fronting several bands and performing records that were Billboard #1 singles, mentored by Clive Davis, was, for a time, the lead signer of Tower of Power, it all made sense. I couldn’t stay for his entire performance, but I was glad I was able to hear what I heard.

PHOTOS:

 

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

Charles Bradley | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier 9/11/14 [Photos]

Concerts

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

Charles Bradley loves everybody. Charles Bradley loves you. Charles Bradley loves me. And you know what? I love Charles Bradley. I love his spirit. I love his passion. I love his music. I won’t wax poetic about how much I his music moves my soul (I’ve already done that here and here), but I will say that if anybody is the “Soul of America” incarnate, it’s that man. Mr. Charles Bradley.

 

After he closed the Twilight Concert Series with a rousing performance of “Why Is It So Hard”, I went backstage with the hopes of getting him to sign a copy of a limited edition LP I had in my collection. As luck would have it, he was greeting some fans after his so I made my way towards him and asked him if he would do me the honor of signing my album.

 

His eyes widened with a sparkle of surprise and he exclaimed, “Even I haven’t seen this record!” I went on to tell him how I first saw him at FYF and also shot him at The Fonda, and he asked me for my name, proclaiming that he would try not to forget it. With nothing left to say, I simply said, “I love you, Mr Bradley,” reaching my hand out for a hand shake. He pulled me in for a hug, wrapping me in his arms and said, “I love you too, Derrick. Thank you.”

 

Getting a hug from the The Soul of America? No better way to end a concert series. Thank you Mr. Bradley. I can’t wait to hear what music you’ve got coming for us fans next.

 

CLICK HERE to put a little soul, and love, in your heart with some video clips of Charles Bradley at the Santa Monica Pier.

 

Lake Street Dive | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Lake Street Dive | Facebook | Twitter Website

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

SETLIST (UNCONFIRMED):

setlist-image-v1-1

THOUGHTS: 

Love, love, love the sound of this band! Knew absolutely nothing about them before stepping into the photo pit, but decided stay for their entire set and forego trying to photograph another band because I was loving their sound. This quartet fuses jazz and soul in a way that is truly sonically pleasing to the ear. The lead singer, Rachael Price, has such a wonderfully soothing tone to her voice that I couldn’t help but fall instantly in love with it. Throw in highly skilled players on upright bass (Bridget Kearney), trumpet/guitar (Mike Olson) and drums (Mike Calabrese)- if my memory serves me right, they all graduated from the prestigious New England Conservatory- and you’ve got a band that sounds amazingly good live. My only regret? That I’m only now discovering their music.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Lecrae | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The last act I was able to catch at the BET Experience music festival was Lecrae; a Christian rapper who has amassed quite a loyal fan base through his crunk beats and his verses on Christ.

With a new album scheduled for release on September 9th, his 7th album titled “Anomoly”, there little doubt that he will soon be charting on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart before the year’s end.

Check out Lecrae’s Facebook page to keep up with her music. CLICK HERE to get redirected to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Lecrae performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Roman GianArthur | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The third act I was able to catch was Roman GianArthur; a singer-songwriter who is a member of Janelle Monae‘s Wondaland Arts Society collective. His performance was quite impressive. His music was an infusion of soul and funk, reminiscent of Stevie Wonder (he did cover “Superstition”) and D’Angelo. His guitar skills were on point, and the way he played reminded be a bit of Prince.

Charismatic and skillful, his set really opened my eyes. He’s definitely someone I’ll be keeping tabs on. Check out Roman’s Facebook page to keep up with his music. CLICK HERE to get redirected to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Roman GianArthur performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Jonathan McReynolds | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The second act I was able to catch was Jonathan McReynolds; a contemporary gospel artist who ministers through music. His music is a fusion of R&B, jazz and gospel.

His set seemed shorter than the others, but he was still able to able to touch the audience with his message and, as he joked, made them feel okay about missing church that Sunday.

Check out Jonathan’s Facebook page to keep up with his music. CLICK HERE to get redirected to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Jonathan McReynolds performed at this concert.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

LiV Warfield | BET Experience: Centric Certified | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The first act I was able to catch was LiV Warfield, a powerful R&B vocalist and member of Prince’s New Power Generation. Prince is high on LiV, and the public should be too.

Passionate, soulful and dynamic, her live performance is one that engages the audience and gives everyone a serious case of happy feet. It certainly didn’t hurt that she was supported by a first class band (with Prince’s NPG Hornz).

I was duly impressed with her set, and I highly recommend catching her perform live when she is in your town.

Like her Facebook page by CLICKING HERE to keep updated on her touring.

Setlist:

  1. The Unexpected
  2. NotGVNGUP
  3. Soul Lifted
  4. Why Do You Lie
  5. Black Bird

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs LiV Warfield performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE