Daily Music: Bump & Hustle
SXSW Music Live: The Roots & Friends
On a stacked SXSW Saturday night billed as the Roots & Friends, a seemingly endless array of artists graced the stage of a 450-capacity shotgun venue. This meant that for every one ecstatic fan that made it into the Bud Light-sponsored revue, another five were left on the outside looking in, many of whom had waited in line for hours.

1:25PM Sun. Mar. 19, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Prince Tribute
If, like most of us, you didn’t make it into Prince’s marathon set at La Zona Rosa during SXSW 2013 – and you weren’t snacking inside IHOP when he popped in for a late-night breakfast – Friday night at Auditorium Shores may be the closest many of us will ever come to seeing the late Minneapolis legend perform live.

10:50AM Sat. Mar. 18, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Durand Jones & the Indications, Jamila Woods
Young frontman donning a trim kelly green cardigan, Durand Jones & the Indications opened their fourth set of the day on Thursday night the same way they do their recent debut album. Fatback drums and yearning organ set the tone for the searing sociopolitical soul of “Make a Change.”

1:20PM Fri. Mar. 17, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

SXSW Panel: G-Funk With Warren G
DJ, producer, and rapper Warren G is the central character of G-Funk, a SXSW documentary about the era of Nineties West Coast hip-hop that married gangsta rap with syrupy, synth-laden funk samples from the likes of Parliament-Funkadelic. While the film looks promising, its panel on Wednesday afternoon felt like a missed opportunity.

10:10AM Thu. Mar. 16, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

SXSW Music Live: Erykah Badu, Thievery Corp, Wu-Tang
On a night billed as a D.C. showcase, Chocolate City go-go legends Rare Essence set an awfully high bar for the bigger names that followed. With more than 15 members onstage, the 40-year vets delivered a master class on call-and-response syncopated funk jams with honorary member DJ Kool (“Let Me Clear My Throat”) serving as MC.

1:35PM Wed. Mar. 15, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

ACL Review: Gregory Porter
With all due respect to 2015 ACL breakout Jidenna, Gregory Porter is the real classic man. Dressed in a smart vest, tie, and his signature short-billed cap, the cuddly bear of a jazz vocalist treated fans to an array of new American standards in the Tito’s tent on Sunday.

12:50PM Mon. Oct. 3, 2016, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

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ACL Review: LL Cool J
The dichotomy of LL Cool J’s career was on full display for a late-afternoon Saturday set in front of a vast crowd on the day’s designated hip-hop stage. Everything in the catalog of the veteran Queens MC is either growling tough guy bars or romantic whisper rap. Hardcore or cornball, there’s no in-between.

11:10AM Sun. Oct. 2, 2016, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

ACL Review: Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus may be the only ACL artist counting both Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke as close collaborators and friends. Despite such connections, it still proved incongruous seeing the L.A. producer on the festival’s biggest stage. This is a dude whose latest release, 2014’s You’re Dead!, is a largely instrumental concept album about death.

12:25PM Sat. Oct. 1, 2016, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen
Marshall Allen is 92 years young and remains as sharp as the notes that explode from his alto saxophone. The Kentucky native joined the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958 and has been steering the ship ever since his mentor (and the band’s namesake) died in 1993. Sun Ra, of course, remains one of the most innovative and enigmatic artists who ever lived.

1:00PM Wed. Aug. 24, 2016, Thomas Fawcett Read More | Comment »

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R.I.P. Jimmy LaFave Songwriter passes days after legendary performance
I Love You, Jimmy Nearly four-hour LaFave convergence petitions a greater good
Drum Dynamo J.J. Johnson’s Saving Grace Powerhouse Austin drummer strips down to his bare essence
R.I.P. George Reiff Cancer steals extraordinary bassist and producer