Your Summer Playlist

If your musical thirst is drenched by the likes of Bright Light Bright Light, TYP and Empire of the Sun, than here’s two more albums to add to your playlist this Summer.
Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities delivered a superb full length earlier this month. In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is a line you will have heard in the duo’s debut single Safe and Sound, a song they first released some two years ago. If you loved the horns and the feel-good vibe of the track, you’re in for a treat. The whole album follows the same recipe, without sounding the same. The only break from this routine comes with Farrah Fawcett Hair, a radio commercial- like track featuring André 3000 and Shemika Secrest, narrated by NPR’s Frank Tavares. The new single Kangaroo Court will surely get you on board, if you’re not already.


In the same line, ever so superb but maybe a bit more divers, is SlowKnights’ album Cosmos, released back in March. SlowKnights is Scissor Sisters’ Derek “Del Marquis” Gruen’s latest collaboration, after working with musicians such as Xaxier, and members of Prince’s New Power Generation and his own Scissor Sisters.
Gruen only lays down lead vocals on Legendary Children. Other vocalists include Xavier, former Scissor Sister members Chrissi Poland and Bridget Barkan, and Rod Thomas (a.k.a. Bright Light x2), who is back on board after collaborating with Del Marquis on his own debut Make Me Believe In Hope. Cosmos perfectly blends funk & pop, with a seamless track listing and seductive sounds.

D’Angelo @ Ghent Jazz

Last night D’Angelo got to close Ghent Jazz Festival. With only two albums to his name, Brown Sugar (1995) and Voodoo (2000), and everyone yearning for that third release James River (only a working title so far), expectations were none. Speaking for myself, that is. This may well be the best attitude to start a gig though. The crowd got pretty excited, waiting, as D turned up a fashionable thirty minutes late. D’Angelo and his band served a totally phunked-out party. The set, almost two hours long, had everyone mesmerized. The singer’s impressive vocal range and the band’s incredible sense of rhythm had everyone on their feet. Somewhere in the middle, a more acoustic set included his signature songs Brown Sugar and Untitled (How Does It Feel). In the encore the heat was turned up a few notches more. Best way to describe the performance: James Brown meets George Clinton, with a touch of Prince. Respect!  A pity Bobby Womack was forced to cancel. Still, a night to remember.

London burning

Trinidad born Teophilus London, raised in Brooklyn, is causing a storm these days with the release of his full-length Timez are Weird These Days.His debut EP Lovers Holiday, released earlier this year features ao Solange Knowles. London’s approach to Hip Hop draws from a range of styles, from Soul and RnB, to post-punk and electro. Influences range from Michael Jackson and Prince to Kraftwerk and the Smiths. This shows in his current single My Name Is London. A fresh take on Hip Hop, frontin the Kanyes or Jay-Zs. Recent performances at Cannes Film Festival, Northside Festival in Brooklyn and Montreal International Jazz Festival inflated the buz. If you haven’t heard, check the video to see what the fuss is all about.

Prince @ Melkweg

Sunday night Prince showed up in Amsterdam for a last minute concert at the venue Melkweg, after his Oslo date was cancelled because of the recent tragic events in Norway. The show was only announced a couple of hours beforehand. The singer paid tribute to the late Amy Winehouse playing a cover, Love Is A Losing Game. Prince joined Cameroonian singer-songwriter Andy Allo in an acoustic take of the Mark Ronson production. Check below.
Prince played the same venue two nights in a row, before heading for a sold out Ahoy in Rotterdam tonight. After playing NSJ and Ghent, another triple treat. Seems the artist is comfortable playing this side of the ocean this summer.

Prince plays Ghent

Your chance to see Prince at North Sea Jazz in July was pretty much zero to nothing as tickets for all three nights sold out in no time. Maybe this triggered the artist to stop by Sint-Pietersplein in Ghent on his Welcome 2 America Tour, not for one but two nights. Again, the first concert 6 July sold out in minutes, so a second date 5 July was added. Surprisingly there are still tickets for sale. Not having a new album out might be a reason for (s)low sales, but for someone like Prince this still seems a little odd. No word of a 20Eleven as yet. Having gone to one of the 21 series at the O2 a few years ago, yours truly can surely recommend.

Prince to play North Sea Jazz

Last year Prince performed twice on Belgian soil. This summer he is returning to Europe.

North Sea Jazz, Rotterdam, is headlining his royal highness three night in a row. Friday 8 July to Sunday 10th Prince will close each night starting his set at 01.00, playing into the wee hours of the morning. The set list will be different each night.

Ticket holders can purchase ‘plusconcert’ tickets to combine. ‘Prince only’ tickets are also on offer. Sadly all 3 nights are sold out. Good luck to those still hunting tickets.