Archive for the ‘Sam Cooke’ Category


Ali Awan is a Philly native and WXPN loves him.

Ali Awan‘s whole set was drenched in sound, and yet the crowd always seemed eager for even more.  The Philly artist and his six-person band opened his NONCOMM set with the bombastic “Be a Light.” The track, which Awan just released a surreal video for, highlights the band’s ability to make a lot of noise.

Like the rest of the set it features rocking guitars and a retro feel including backing “doo doos.”

Three guitars, one played by Awan himself, didn’t feel like enough for “Pick Me Up”, a bright cut off Awan’s new EP.

“Pick Me Up” is he ridiculously catchy track that WXPN has been playing so much.  The bouncy chorus is unforgettable.

The combined power of the rest of the ensemble added even more of the energy that the crowd craved. Everything Awan and co. did sounded like a lot, but purposefully so, making every ounce of noise feel valuable.

“Citadel Blues” has a bouncy repeated “beat beat beat beat” followed by a cool downward guitar riff.  His songs sound familiar–old school jangly distorted guitars with an updated retro soubnd.

The 26-year-old’s unique psych rock stylings enraptured everyone in attendance. There seemed to be as much jumping and dancing on stage as there was off stage, especially during the gripping “Citadel Blues” and “Beyond The Valley”.

Awan closed out the set with “Rubble and the Memories” which was so full of energy the “bah da das” could barely be contained in the song.

No doubt Ali Awan would be a fun performer to see live.

[READ: May 1, 2019] “Pain in My Heart”

While looking through back issues of the New Yorker, I discovered that Nick Hornby had written a number of essays for them.  Not as many as I imagined he would have, but at least a handful.

In this, his first piece for the New Yorker (as far as I can tell), Hornby combines his love of music with his humor at being disappointed by his heroes.

He starts by citing an old R&B lyric that he’d always liked:

I’d rather be blind, crippled, and crazy / Somewhere pushing up a daisy / Than to let you break my hear all over again.

But then an “over-analytical” friend asked why he had to be blind, crippled and dead.  Surely just being dead would get the job done. (more…)

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1993-1994 SOUNDTRACK: LEON BRIDGES-Tiny Desk Concert #469 (September 8, 2015).

leonLeon Bridges has a great old soul voice.  Indeed, I had no idea he was so young until he started speaking after the third song and all manner of young person chat came out of his mouth: “Thanks to my main man, you all looking beautiful man.”  His voice is pure and clean and hearkens back to 1960s soul singers like Sam Cooke.

The way he sings “baby baby baby” in “Coming Home” is classic soul.  And his enunciation of “mouth” is just gorgeous.  This song features the backing vocals of his sister Jesse.

“Smooth Sailin'” features a sax solo and Bridges on guitar.  Since there are 2 guitarists already Bridges’ guitar doesn’t  add much, but for me it’s all about his voice anyhow.

“Twistin’ & Groovin'” is about how his grandparents met.  He says the first time he saw her at a party the thing he noticed first about her was her long legs.

“River” is just him on acoustic guitar with Jesse singing backing vocals.

It’s a solid set and Bridges’ star has continued to rise since this show.

[READ: September 18, 2016]  The Complete Peanuts: 1993-1994

I didn’t like the previous book all that much, but this one picked things up a bit.

The year starts with Snoopy taking a test in school and acing the true false part–the only one to do so!

1993 has Schulz’ first celebration of MLK day.  Patty mentions the “I have a dream speech” but I love that she just mentions it without making it a big deal, it quickly changes to an unfair lunch swap between a carrot stick and french fry.  Speaking of old words, Lucy begins insulting Linus with: blockhead airhead, noodleneck but then finds that these older words work better: puzzlewit, dimbulb.

In pop culture notes, April 1993 sees Snoopy as Joe Grunge and in May 1993 Sally asks why is Barney purple? (more…)

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