Renaissance Man may be an overused label, but it fits Jeffrey Lewis — snug but comfortable, like those old T-shirts he wears in Youtube videos that have him singing the histories of Chinese Communism and New York punk
These 10 albums, the best of them conceptual works, were my personal favorites in 2022.
A talented and energetic young singer-songwriter named Le Anna Eden decided that Charlotte, North Carolina, needed a Black alternative music festival. So she gathered her tribe and made it happen.
Tamara McIlwain remembers a time when powerful young female rappers ruled the airwaves with positive messages. It was the late ’80s and early ’90s. The queens were Latifah, MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, and the sassy Salt ‘n Pepa. “Women like that — they had something to say,” says Mcllwain
The handful of fans has swelled into a formidable crowd, swaying along to the intense squall of guitars, hands waving in the air, eyes tightly shut as if everyone is praising God. Everyone is.
This Oakland outfit continues to create danceable manifestos for the masses: “I got scars on my back, the truth on my tongue,” front man Boots Riley raps. “Tell Homeland Security we are the bomb.”
Death was just another African-American R&B act from Detroit before the Stooges and the MC5 changed their lives
By 2012, Erykah Badu had undergone a beautiful evolution from pioneer of late-’90s neosoul to hard-hitting, politically inspired, space-funk godchild of George Clinton. I needed to talk to her. And so I did.
The old grey Jack Kerouac sweatshirt that dated back to my college years in the early ’80s was nowhere to be found. But today it’s in good hands.
With the recent election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, TV on the Radio may have been the most American band making music in 2008. Little did we know then that the country would face a vicious and sustained backlash that continues to threaten our democracy.