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Tag: Lupe Fiasco

Monday, May 13th

Today, celebrating his twenty-second birthday, we revisit a few of the many posts inspired by my son Luke.

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It’s impossible, sometimes, to separate our experience of music, especially pop music, from the surrounding circumstances. The other day, for instance, I was taking my son Luke back to school in Bloomington, Indiana. He was playing dashboard DJ. As we rolled through the hills of southern Indiana, nearing our destination, this came on after a long stretch of hip-hop (Lil Wayne, Eminem, Young Jeezy, Tyga, et al.), and the electronic intro, the Björk-like voice—they lit up the highway.

Ellie Goulding, “Lights,” 2010


(Originally posted 8/22/12.)

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what you’d be listening to if you were 20* 

Lupe Fiasco, “The End of the World” (sampling M83, “Midnight City”), 2011

 

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Adele, “Rolling in the Deep,” Jamie xx Remix, feat. Childish Gambino, 2011


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*Based on a sample of one—my son Luke. What a treat to have a pair of 20-year-old ears back in the house (and car) over the holidays.

(Originally posted 1/2/12.)

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what’s new

I’ve got some music for you . . .

—my (20-year-old) son Luke, in a hospital room, moments after returning from general anesthesia and foot surgery

“Made In America,” Kanye West & Jay-Z, with Frank Ocean (Watch the Throne), 2011

 

. . . it might be my favorite song on the whole album.

(Originally posted, with a different visual, 9/3/11.)

Friday, 7/20/12

two takes

Robert Glasper Experiment, “Always Shine” (feat. Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)

TV show (David Letterman), 2/29/12

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Recording, Black Radio (2012)

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Jazz, classical, R&B: so much great music, no matter the genre, shares a particular quality—density.

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reading table

It’s as if your body were itself a person
And the person wasn’t you.

—Frederick Seidel, “Track Bike” (excerpt), London Review of Books, 7/19/12

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art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago (between court hearings at the nearby federal court building)

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XI (1975)

Friday, 6/29/12

more favorites

Digable Planets with Lester Bowie (trumpet), Joe Sample (keyboard), Melvin “Wah-Wah Watson” Ragin (guitar), “Flying High in the Brooklyn Sky,” live, 1990s

(Originally posted 3/23/11.)

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Talib Kweli, “Get By”

Live, New York, 2007

(Originally posted 9/29/09.)

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Recording & Video, 2002

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Lupe Fiasco, “Hip-Hop Saved My Life”

Live, Los Angeles, 2008

(Originally posted 9/14/09.)

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Recording & Video, 2008

Monday, 1/2/12

what you’d be listening to if you were 20* 

Lupe Fiasco, “The End of the World” (sampling M83, “Midnight City”), 2011

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Adele, “Rolling in the Deep,” Jamie xx Remix, feat. Childish Gambino, 2011

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Hip-hop is jazz’s great grandson.

Roy Hargrove, trumpet player, bandleader

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 found words

Don’t Die with your Teeth in a Glass.

—Billboard, Chicago Ave. at LaSalle St., Chicago
(Dr. Irfan [Ivan] Atcha, “Chicago’s #1 provider for Teeth-In-A-Day & Teeth-In-An Hour Dental Implants”)

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*Based on a sample of one—my son Luke. What a treat to have a pair of 20-year-old ears back in the house (and car) over the holidays.

Monday, 9/5/11

Today, in celebration of our second birthday, we revisit a few favorites from our first month.

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If I didn’t have kids, would my ears be stuck, forever, on “repeat”?

Here’s something my younger son Luke, who just started college, played for me recently, after first pronouncing it, with quiet but absolute authority, the best thing this guy has done (already Luke’s learned that what’s important isn’t to be right; it’s to seem right).

Lupe Fiasco, “Hip Hop Saved My Life,” live, Los Angeles, 2008

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And here’s a track my older son Alex played for me a couple weeks ago, before heading back to school.

Dirty Projectors, “Stillness Is The Move”

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Koan for aging parents: What is the sound of a childless house?

(Originally posted 9/14/09.)

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May, 2012

Nobel-Prize-winning economist devises a way to turn faces—images of them, that is—into marketable commodities: the more expressive the face, the greater the value.

March, 2013

Haiti is named one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

Arcade Fire, “Haiti” (Funeral, 2004)

(Originally posted 9/23/09.)

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Performances like this usually fall somewhere between disappointing and disastrous. So many things can—and usually do—go wrong when you take a bunch of folks who’re used to leading their own bands and throw them together onstage. People trip all over each another; flash trumps feeling. But this performance, with Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Paul Butterfield, and (at the end) B.B. King, has plenty of strong moments—some funny ones, too. Listen to Albert bark at Paul:“Turn around!” (0:39) And watch Albert outfox B.B. First he invites him back onstage (4:40) and then, just when B.B.’s about to take flight (5:55), he cuts him off—faster than you can say “wham”—with his own (wonderful) solo. So much for Emily Post.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Paul Butterfield, B.B. King, live, 1987

(Originally posted 9/18/09.)

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If spirit could be sold, New Orleans would be rich.

Rebirth Brass Band, live, New Orleans, 2009

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lagniappe

Brass band musicians are a wild bunch. They’re hard to control. The street funk that the Rebirth [Brass Band] plays definitely isn’t traditional—it might be in thirty years time.

—Lajoie “Butch” Gomez (in Mick Burns, Keeping the Beat on the Street: The New Orleans Brass Band Renaissance [2006])

(Originally posted 9/11/09.)

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Muddy Waters, Saul Bellow, Steppenwolf Theater Company (John Malkovich, John Mahoney, Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, et al.), Curtis Mayfield: a lot of great artists, musical and otherwise, have come out of Chicago in the last 50 years. Among the greatest is this group: the Art Ensemble of Chicago. While the horn players (Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie) got the lion’s share of the attention, what gave their music its juice—what made it dance—was (as you’ll hear) one of the finest rhythm sections ever: Malachi Favors, bass; Don Moye, drums.

Art Ensemble of Chicago, live, Poland (Warsaw), 1982 (in four parts)

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

(I talk about the AEC in the past tense because, while recordings are still released under this name from time to time, with two key members [they were all “key members”] now dead—trumpeter Lester Bowie [1999] and bassist Malachi Favors [2004]—it just isn’t [nor could it be] the same.)

(Originally posted 9/8/09.)

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Here—with a shout-out to my brother Don, with whom (at the age of 15) I saw the MC5  in Chicago’s Lincoln Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention (when nobody outside the Detroit/Ann Arbor area [including us] knew who they were)—is an awfully good cover, from what might seem an unlikely source, of one of their “greatest hits.”

Jeff Buckley, “Kick Out The Jams,” live, Chicago, 1995

And here, courtesy, apparently, of the Department of Defense, is (silent) footage of the scene in Lincoln Park on August 25, 1968—the day the MC5 (who appear here fleetingly) played.

(Originally posted 9/7/09.)

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If influence were compensable, Claude Jeter of the Swan Silvertones—a huge influence on Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Eddie Kendricks (Temptations), Al Green, even Paul Simon (who took inspiration from a line in the Swans’ “hit” “Mary, Don’t You Weep” [“I’ll be a bridge over deep water if you trust in my name”] when he wrote “Bridge Over Troubled Water”)—would have, when he passed earlier this year at the age of 94, died a wealthy man.

Swan Silvertones, “Only Believe,” live

New York Times obit

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lagniappe

When he leaves the house [in NYC], he whistles his favorite tune, ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus,’ while greeting the assorted neighborhood junkies and prostitutes who knew him mainly as sometime manager of the [Hotel] Cecil. ‘What’s new, Jeter,’ they ask. ‘Nothing new, nothing good, just thank God for life up here with these heathens and muggers.’

—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good New and Bad Times(1971)

(Originally posted 9/13/09.)

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Without a song, each day would be a century.

Mahalia Jackson

Friday, 5/13/11

Happy Birthday, Luke!

What would it be like—I can only wonder—to be turning twenty today?

Here’s a fave from the Luke files.

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If I didn’t have kids, would my ears be stuck, forever, on “repeat”?

Here’s something my younger son Luke, who just started college, played for me recently, after first pronouncing it, with quiet but absolute authority, the best thing this guy has done (already Luke’s learned that what’s important isn’t to be right; it’s to seem right).

Lupe Fiasco, “Hip Hop Saved My Life,” live, Los Angeles, 2008

(Originally posted 9/14/09.)

Saturday, 3/26/11

The notes are easy enough to replicate—the touch impossible.

Pinetop Perkins (piano, vocals), July 7, 1913-March 21, 2011

“Grindin’ Man” (with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, harmonica), live, New Jersey (New Brunswick), 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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“How Long Blues,” live

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

He was one of the last great Mississippi Bluesmen. He had such a distinctive voice, and he sure could play the piano. He will be missed not only by me, but by lovers of music all over the world.

B.B. King

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If you don’t want to die, don’t be born.

Red Paden, owner of Red’s Blues Club, Clarksdale, Mississippi

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my back pages

Many years ago I had the pleasure of working with him, co-producing his tracks on Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 2 (Alligator 1978). Warm, amiable, unassuming—he was easy to like.

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listening room: what’s playing

• Ornette Coleman, Town Hall 1962

• Mos Def, The Ecstatic

Lupe Fiasco, Lasers

Steve Reich, Double Sextet, 2×5

Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, Apex

Nneka, Concrete Jungle

Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures, Vol. 1

Powerhouse Gospel On Independent Labels, 1946-1959

WFMU-FM: Sinner’s Crossroads (Kevin Nutt), Mudd Up! (DJ/rupture)

WKCR-FM: Bird Flight (Phil Schapp), Jazz Alternatives (various), Out To Lunch (various), Western Swing Festival (various)

Thursday, 2/24/11

what’s new
(an occasional series)

Have you heard the Lupe & John Legend?

—my 19-year-old son Luke

Lupe Fiasco (featuring John Legend), “Never Forget You” (2010)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Listening to music that means a lot to someone else gives you an opportunity nothing else does. You get to hear the world through their ears. This song, for instance, coming to my ears through my son Luke’s, makes me wonder: What’s it like to look back on your life, on all that’s come before, when you’re 19 years old?

More Lupe? Here. And here. And here.

More Legend? Here. And here.

Tuesday, 11/23/10

what’s new
(an occasional series)

Dad, listen to this . . .

—my (19-year-old) son Luke

Lupe Fiasco, “The Show Goes On” (2010)

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Take 2

Live, Georgetown University, 10/30/10: “Superstar,” “The Show Goes On” (’til he forgets the lyrics), back to “Superstar”

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More from Georgetown

“Hip-Hop Saved My Life”

More? Here. Here. Here.

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lagniappe

Interview (Tavis Smiley, 2008)

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listening room

Here, in MP3 format, is a track featuring a guy we listened to the other day: Cecil Taylor, with drummer Tony Williams (“Morgan’s Motion,” from Williams’ 1978 album The Joy of Flying).

Friday, 4/9/10

what you’d be listening to this weekend if you were 18

Listen to ‘Latitude’ by Kanye and Drake and Lupe.—my son Luke (last night on the phone)

Kanye West with Drake & Lupe Fiasco, “Latitude”

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