Ever since Snarky Puppy beat my favorite neo-soul band of 2013, Hiatus Kaiyote for the Best R&B Performance Grammy this year, I had to look them up and figure out who they were.
I’ll admit … the first video clip supporting their release of “Family Dinner- Volume 1”. It was Lalah Hathaway singing a song titled “Something” … and she harmonized with herself… let me say that again … SHE HARMONIZED WITH HERSELF!!!
That video was mind blowing, and I’ll have to admit the music, separate from the mind-blowing vocal gymnastics performed by Lalah, was pretty damn good.
Based out of New York, the band is led by Michael League, a Grammy Award-winning bassist. It’s players are part of collective that features nearly 40 musicians. They affectionately refer to themselves as “The Farm” and for this evening, they had 9 of them play at The Troubadour.
With the 10 players cramped on the stage, their music, which is a fusion of jazz, rock and funk, was loud and funky. I won’t lie, though … if you were hoping for some vocalists to jump onto the stage to join them for a song or two, you would have been disappointed. It was an all instrumental set with only the audience singing along with the chants on a song … the name of which totally escapes me, but you can see the video below.
I’m not one to complain though. When you have that many talented musicians on stage, it’s easy for me to get lost in some robust, Grammy Award winning music.
A tip for any avid concert goer living in Los Angeles: ALWAYS find a concert or two to go to during Grammy Week. During the week immediately preceding the awards ceremony, amazing musical talent from all over the world flocks to Los Angeles to join in the celebration of music, whether to attend the ceremony as a nominee, to perform in the city of angels to showcase their own musical abilities for the throngs of A&R, talent agents, talent managers, critics and fans who happen to be in town to celebrate music with them or to just play gigs with their friends. Continue reading →
Sometimes you can’t find soul. Soul finds you. Apparently it found a group of talented musicians in Australia.
Last weekend I went to see Jose James at the Del Monte Speakeasy. I bought tickets for that show online on the venue’s website a few months ago. I noticed that there was a name I was unfamiliar with playing the following weekend. The venue site said they were from Australia (foreign bands always interest me, because it always seems that the best music these days comes from abroad, and it’s not often you can catch them playing in the United States) and there was something unusual about the spelling of the second word of the name of the band, so I decided to click through the links landing on their official website. Went straight to their band camp link, and listened to their latest project titled ““Tawk Tomahawk”. Impressed with what I heard, I decided to buy tickets that day, mostly because I liked the music, but also because tickets, at the time, were only $10 each. [If you want to read about their show that “blew my mind” click here]
I didn’t purchase the digital download of the album (I like to own LPs and CD, so I figured I’d wait), but I did download a free remix album and a live performance. I figured I should have something to listen too later, so I could know what to expect for the show.
A few weeks went by. I went to the Jose James concert (which was amazing, by the way) earlier in the week, and now, on this Sunday, March 17th, 2013 while others are sipping beer dyed with green coloring on a warm, breezy southern California day, I’m at my desk working. I remember I have the extra tickets, and post on Facebook to see if any of my friends are interested. Having only listened to the band’s latest album a couple of times, and their “remix” album as couple times, I described it as “Bjork with a jazz/funk/soul slant.” I’d like to take that back. They’re WAY more soulful than Bjork could be.
I hadn’t yet listened to the live download titled “Live at RRR FM”, so after posting on Facebook, I pressed start on my iTunes. It’s a 40+ minute live recording, and it’s already on it’s third replay … today.
Really, I’m just floored by what I’m hearing. I knew their recorded music was quality stuff. After doing a little internet snooping, I find out that Erykah Badu loves the band. ?uestlove of The Roots Tweeted about them. But their live recording … what I had been listening to for most of today, is really impressive. So much soul. So much talent. The lead vocalist’s, Nai Palm, voice reminds me (sincerely) of Amy Winehouse. The songwriting is filled with so much life. I think all of the jazz elements in the music breathes the life into it.
Spent a handful of distracted minutes to finding some quality live video links to share. I’m so looking forward to see them play next weekend.
This song is stunning.
Okay … now back to work. At least I have something to look forward to for next weekend.
Updated: 03/18/13: I found Nai Palm covering Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour”? If you didn’t already know, I named my blog after one of Stevie’s albums. I’m a huge Stevie fan. Nai gets SO many brownie points in my book. Can’t wait until the weekend.