Friday, May 28, 2010

SOME FOLKS HAVE A PROBLEM, apparently, with the fact that young white hipsters are such a large portion of retro soul act Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings' audience. 

My reply to the Chicago Reader piece went like this: 

White people, it is OKAY to be white and like black musicians. It really is! It is even okay to be young and white and like older black musicians. Whether enjoyed as a "hipster" or not, by age 30 none of that will matter yet they will likely have a lasting respect for the music, and that's all that matters.

I'm sure SJATDK appreciate people of all ages and ethnicities who buy their records and come to their shows, as long as they're paying customers.

By the way, I am a black dude who grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I hated Motown music. It was my parents’ music. The records sounded ancient and tinny, and they weren’t even in stereo.

But I was a huge fan of Hall & Oates. I started building a Hall & Oates record collection in high school. Little did I know I was listening to two white guys channeling doo-wop and Philly and Motown through New Wave. So now, I can appreciate Motown music. (I never really disliked Philly, I guess because the style was still in during my formative years and I heard it often: see Spinners, O’Jays, Frankie Valli in Theme from Grease…)

In similar fashion, I got into the British group Swing Out Sister, who do jazzy loungy pop. They in turn got me into -- or reintroduced me to -- SOS influences such as Fifth Dimension, Laura Nyro, Astrud Gilberto, Ennio Morricone, Burt Bacharach, etc. *

And how many soul or funk or jazz records would people have never heard if it wasn't for hip-hop samples?

People like Sharon & the Daps deserve to get this kind of love, finally. If they can't get it from black kids because they're too busy listening to Young Money or Trey Songz or whatever, let them get it from white kids.
* Ed. note 2/5/11: Add to that illustrious list the great John Barry, who died just this week.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

still peeved at this r & b

IN AN OLDER POST I shared why I was peeved with contemporary rhythm and snooze. In that post I blamed Sean P. "Puffy Pops/Diddly Squat" Combs for helping kill off hip hop. I have now received confirmation of this fact, from no less an authority than Pu$$ycow.