What TIme Makes Sense for Janelle Monáe?

On the Saturday of Voodoo last October, I trekked through the mud by myself to see Janelle Monáe’s 5:30 p.m. set. I wasn’t interested in getting close and hung back where the crowd was still porous, with plenty of room to dance. I was unprepared for the crowd’s intense enthusiasm and fluency in her music, and it quickly became clear that these were not fans who simply happened upon her set. They came to Voodoo Fest specifically for her.

Bobby Z Recalls The Evolution of The Revolution

Bobby Z’s pride in The Revolution is as obvious in conversation as it is justified. Prince had many bands, but The Revolution was the band. Prince’s “last band,” Z—Robert Rivkin—said in an interview, and the thought rings true. Prince may have played with New Power Generation and steady groups of musicians after The Revolution, but those musicians all signed on to play with an international star. Members of The Revolution signed on with a guy who had more talent than buzz and more buzz than sales. And, they grew together.

Zack Villere Reveals His "Little World"

On Little World, Zack Villere sounds like he was born the day Prince recorded “Christopher Tracy’s Parade” and has spent his life examining his birthright. Without a Paisley Park at his disposal, Villere scales down his psychedelic pop/funk soundscape to the limits of his laptop, and his vision is less luxe—more Under the Whataburger Sign than Under the Cherry Moon.

Adele Takes the Excitement Out of Anonymous Sex at the Grammys

In Sunday’s New Orleans Advocate, Keith Spera wrote that the Grammys were going to be Beyoncé vs. Adele, but if it’s anyone against Adele, Adele wins. She’s everything the Grammys like, starting with an unnaturally good singer. Against someone with big ideas like Beyoncé, her big voice will win a Grammy every time.

KING's Rule Comes to Tipitina's

The humble origins of rising R&B supergroup KING begin in Minnesota, where sisters Paris and Amber Strother were born into a family of musical talent. While the girls were growing up, their father and uncle held jam sessions in their childhood home, which Paris says was littered with her dad’s various instruments and vinyl records of family favorites including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Bobby Brown. “My parents were both big music lovers,” Paris Strother says.

Bantam Foxes Have a Gold Record Coming

Many bands still seem addicted to the major label-dictated album cycle that once prompted Prince to declare himself a slave. Although the technology that gets music from the bands to the fans has given the musicians more control, many still want to put out an album once a year at best, maybe longer, even though the ADD-afflicted marketplace has a hard time remembering a band three months after a release. 

Jazz Fest: Janelle Monae Says an Emotional Goodbye to Prince

Jazz Fest 2016  began with Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, Thibodeaux dressed for Saturday night on Friday morning. In long-sleeved black pearl-snap shirt, black slacks and a black fedora, he played Cajun music the way it has been played for at least 50 years. It’s the sort of sound that Jazz Fest has long maintained as its musical heart, but ironically, there are few of the old guys who can or still do play their Louisiana music the old way. Some have tried to change with the times, some have passed away. 

Jazz Fest: Saturday's Schedule and Picks

Friday was a slightly soft start to Jazz Fest. There was never enough of a crowd to create lines for anything, and only in the last hour did the schedule force any hard choices. Fortunately, the day ended with a Steely Dan set that was as musical as you'd expect, a Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings set that was a lesson in old school R&B and showmanship, and Janelle Monae's emotional tribute to Prince. It was particularly affecting to see someone as self-possessed as Monae in tears onstage as she played "Take Me with U" and "Let's Go Crazy."

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