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James Lidell | Compass

Warp (2010)
Hey, I love Veckatimest as much as the next wimp, but the prospect of Grizzly Bear multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor’s offering production to the latest album from Jamie Lidell didn’t seem promising when it was announced earlier this year.  After all, Lidell has spent the past half-decade effecting an unlikely transition from introspective IDM nerd to extroverted R&B dude.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 26, 2010
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Pop music for picky people

Stalemate’s eclectic ways
Lincoln-based quartet Stalemate host their CD release party at the Blackstone on December 23 in honor of their sophomore effort, We Will Carry You Out to Sea .
By CHRIS CONTI  |  December 09, 2009
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New attitude

The Big Pink accentuate the positive
The rock career of UK upstarts the Big Pink has been one of finding, at the intersection of sheer bloody noise and haunting melodies, the commonality of hate and love.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 24, 2009
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Vegas and Jungleland

Paul Shaffer and the Big Man tell all
Paul Shaffer is a happenin’ cat. Pick an It Moment from pop culture over the past 30 years and Shaffer was there. He was an original band member on Saturday Night Live . He played hapless promo guy Artie Fufkin in This Is Spinal Tap . Disco? He co-wrote “It’s Raining Men.” And he helped David Letterman break ground as his glittery, ironic bandleader/sidekick.
By JOYCE MILLMAN  |  November 24, 2009
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Darrell Nulisch | Just For You

Severn (2009)
This Boston-based blues and soul singer’s seventh album might seem an update of the elegantly funky Stax sound, with its deep grooves and smartly harmonized horns.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  October 22, 2009
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Soul training

Suddenly, Mayer Hawthorne is running retro-pop
Mayer Hawthorne rose to instant retro-pop acclaim the same way that everyone from Al Green to Michael Jackson moved on up — work and luck.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 22, 2009
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Taking care of business

Digging for gold in the roots and world-music scene
Boston is one of the healthiest markets for live roots music in the country. Here are the 10 roots shows we don't want to miss this fall.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 14, 2009
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Review: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker | Burn It Down

OuttaSight (2009)
These Nashville-based high ministers of retro-groove — known for their muscular live sermons — broaden their gospel on CD #2.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 09, 2009
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Interview: Steve Swallow on the Gary Burton Quartet

An interview with Steve Swallow
DO YOU REMEMBER EXACTLY HOW YOU GUYS FIRST GOT TOGETHER? I have a memory. I tend to distrust them, but my recollection is that I met Gary when he called me up and asked me if I would consider playing in Stan Getz's band, which he was already in.
By JON GARELICK  |  June 30, 2009
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Michael Jackson and his fears

Solo contendere
At the dead end of a decade when everyone was too discouraged to wonder if pop had a center, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall (1979) gathered up disillusioned factions of fans as confidently as it punted four singles into the Top 10.
By MARK MOSES  |  June 26, 2009
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Michael Jackson and his fears

Solo contendere
At the dead end of a decade when everyone was too discouraged to wonder if pop had a center, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall (1979) gathered up disillusioned factions of fans as confidently as it punted four singles into the Top 10.
By MARK MOSES  |  June 26, 2009
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Lee Fields and the Expressions | My World

Truth and Soul (2009)
It's hard to dislike Lee Fields. He's an almost archetypal jobbing soul singer in the shouter/grunter/talker/improviser tradition of Otis Redding and James Brown, and he's currently undergoing something of a revival as a Sharon Jones collaborator and featured vocalist for Eurohouse hits.
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  June 16, 2009
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Come on home

Lyle Divinsky croons his way back into town
What's that about the apple and the tree? With college degree in hand, Lyle Divinsky returns to his Portland stomping grounds with a debut CD, Traveling Man , that not only features dad Phil Divinsky's drummer (Marty Joyce), bassist (Peter Masterson), and guitarist (Andy Argondizza) from the ToneKings, but plays in a Motown/R&B sandbox.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 03, 2009
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Review: Let Freedom Sing! Music of the Civil Rights Movement

Time/Life (2009)
In any given Black History Month, the three-disc Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement would be a powerful anthology.
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 06, 2009
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2008 Listravaganza!

An absolute glut of cruelly reductive Top 10 lists from our dedicated staff of tirelessly enthusiastic writers
We are not at all sick of bands with animal names yet and seem to have a soft spot for Erykah Badu that we kept very hush about all year.
By BOSTON PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  December 31, 2008
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Review: Anthony Hamilton | The Point of it All

Zomba
Anthony Hamilton is like a latter-day Bill Withers, with a gruff, straight-talkin' voice that can holler at you from across the room and then downshift to a gentler, fatherly tone once you draw close.
By ZETH LUNDY  |  December 16, 2008
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Feel the music

We may be the last generation to give tangible tunes for Christmas
I personally find it comforting that the current number-one single in the country has a chorus that goes "I'll gas up the jet for you tonight, and baby we can go wherever you like."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 11, 2008
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Various Artists | Love Train: The Sound Of Philadelphia

Philadelphia International/Legacy (2008)
It took Detroit’s Motown and Memphis’s Stax to pave the way for the Philadelphia International Records of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  November 24, 2008
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Mix nuts

An interview with breakout roots-music production stars the Tremolo Twins
Pop music has a history of great production teams.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 23, 2008
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Tapes for the taking

All mixed up
Want to make your own compilation of overlooked ’60s female soul singers? Go for it.
By MEGAN V. BELL  |  July 16, 2008
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Soul men

Hucknall, Hunter, and Burke
Classic soul music’s timelessness has come again.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  June 03, 2008
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Ready to wear

Enough respect — Jamie Lidell wants you to like him
It’s difficult to keep up when Jamie Lidell is talking.
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  June 02, 2008

Crescent City health report

The New Orleans Jazz + Heritage Festival buoys a wounded community
“Is much better! The tourists is coming back !” That was our cab driver from Louis Armstrong Airport into New Orleans — a transplanted Haitian from Jefferson Parish.
By JON GARELICK  |  May 06, 2008
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Fearful asymmetry

Carla Bley’s Lost Chords, Bill Frisell’s 858 Quartet
Carla Bley’s local appearances are so rare that each one is an event.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 09, 2008
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New bottle

Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed’s vintage sounds
“A lot of today’s music is a little bit ironic," says Reed, and I don’t have any of that. It’s not about irony.”
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  April 07, 2008
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When Jacko was king

The 25th anniversary of Thriller
Richard Nixon may be the only figure whose decline in popularity eclipsed Michael Jackson’s.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 26, 2008
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Call and response

Satisfying a growing crowd with a Playtime Music Session
We’ve had the pleasure here in Portland of watching a number of great singer/songwriters develop their careers into something substantial recently.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 20, 2008
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Primed

Lee Genesis at Johnny D's, January 9, 2008
Even among the greatest soul singers, there are probably few who can work a sermon about the evils of the sub-prime-mortgage fiasco into a song and make it hip.
By JON GARELICK  |  January 15, 2008
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Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration

Stax
This year, California’s Concord label took ownership of Memphis’s greatest musical treasure chest, the Stax Records catalogue.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  December 17, 2007
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Smoken’ Joe’s Authentic Southern Barbeque

It's time to turn up the heat
You wouldn’t have told Otis Redding to sing faster, so take a hint from him and slow down the cooking.
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  October 10, 2007

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