It really wasn't a question whether the Robert Glasper Experiment would be any good at the New Parish on Friday night – but how it would go about replicating the success of Black Radio, which recently won the Grammy for R&B album of the year.
That’s an album that features notable collaborators on each track – Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, etc. – which could leave pianist Glasper a lot to make up for live. Going into the show I had a few theories: maybe the group would use pre-recorded vocal tracks in places, maybe up-and-coming vocalists would be pulled on stage from Oakland’s music scene, or maybe some surprise guest would be introduced. (Singer José James was nearby at the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. Maybe he’d finish in a timely manner over there and stop by?) Read more »
Peer pressure is the key to any good party. “Don’t leave, don’t leave,” Miss Pussycat called out from the stage Friday night at New Parish, not so much begging or pleading, but in a tone that suggested the couple heading towards the door with their coats were crazy. Read more »
A couple of phrases used (and possibly made up) to describe José James’s show Friday night: swoontastic and baby-making-music. The rising neo-crooner gigged in San Jose and SF the preceding two evenings, but it's hard to beat the intimacy of Oakland's the New Parish, which has a certain bohemian vibe. Read more »
You go to Dan Deacon in a bad mood – a no-good-reason sort of bad mood, where you’ve been sleeping a lot just to turn it off. (Works for a while, until the stress dreams start.) And even though you’d seen this guy a few times before, you have doubts about the show. Do you really enjoy the music, the high-pitched, manic indie electronics with screeching chipmunk vocals over it? Has he progressed enough as an artist to make a return worthwhile, or enough to brave the crush of an amped up, teenage and hyper crowd? Read more »