Modern Griots: Gregory Porter


The Grammy-nominated Jazz singer, Gregory Porter has a voice that speaks back to the Jazz, Soul, Blues and Gospel singers of the past. He cites Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway as three singers who have inspired him in his career. For his CD, “Water,” he worked with legendary alto sax player, James […]

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Computer Love


Before the Internet, web cameras, Skype, online dating sites and the T-Pain autotune craze, there was The Zapp Band‘s song “Computer Love” and the talk box. Enjoy! (P.S. Thanks to the podcast, Blacking It Up for getting this song stuck in my head!)

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Four Little Girls


In honor of the four girls, Addie Mae Collins, Cythia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair, who were murdered in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, here is Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, “4 Little Girls.”

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Sun Ra and George Clinton, Brothers From Another Planet


Don Letts‘, the well-known British music documentarian and DJ, 2005 BBC documentary on the “out-of-this-world” jazz musician, composer, and bandleader, Sun Ra. Born Herman Blount, in 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, Sun Ra later claimed to be from Saturn and his music definitely sounded like it came from there. Using interviews from members of his “Arkestra” and […]

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Black Power Mixtape Vol. 2


Last Friday, I went to see the Black Power Mixtape and I must say it is a very powerful film. It gives a fresh perspective on the Black Power movement from 1967 to 1975, especially because it is through the eyes of Swedish journalists, who are somewhat removed from the events happening in the United States […]

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…An Album By Its Cover


This is another segment on my blog covering album artwork and their allusions and meanings. Today’s post is about the controversial rapper Lil B‘s latest album cover for “I’m Gay (I’m Happy).” The artist, Uncle Grumpy, based his artwork for the album off of Marvin Gaye’s 1970 album, “I Want You.” Called the “Sugar Shack” […]

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Congo Square


Amel Larrieux– Congo (this song is inspired by the New Orleans’ Congo Square) I started reading Leroi Jones’ (aka Amiri Baraka) “Blues People” a few days ago for my honors thesis and he mentioned the Congo Square in one of the first chapters. His reference reminded me of this post I read on Tumblr from […]

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