Monthly Archives: October 2008

Fusicology revels in the 10th Annual Voodoo Music Experience

We could not have asked for a more perfect weekend in the Big Easy this October.  The weather was gorgeous (October always is in New Orleans), the setting was surreal (City Park), and the music was, well, like voodoo!  We see why this is an annual ritual in the Crescent City – 3 days packed chock-full of a diverse array of live music, intimate tents, and all the soul-satisfying Nawlins food and art you can take.

> The weekend in brief? We could not have done without the sets from Erykah, Wyclef Jean, King Britt w/The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fishbone, Thievery Corporation, Lupe Fiasco, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Fleur de Tease, The Soul Rebels, The Hot 8 Brass Band, and of course, our daily night-cap with DJ Soul Sister!  (Not to mention the thick political motif swimming in the air.)

NOLA rep and Senior Editor, Jocelyne Ninneman, blogs about the full experience… enjoy.*

10.24.08  |  DAY 1

After a misty morning, fearing a muddy scene a-la-Lollapalooza memories, we were thrilled with the breaking of the sun around 2pm as my photographer, Emily, and I arrived at check-in on Friday under some sprawling poplar trees at the spectacular New Orleans City Park.  Just a bit of distant chill in the air to let us know we’s need jackets for later and friendly smiles from the Voodoo Festival staff.

Our first glimpse was of the circus-style New Orleans Bingo! Show parlor tent, where we assume some scandalous revelry was taking place inside, but alas off we went to our first set on the PlayStation/Billboard Stage to check out those rising punk kids, and my hometown homies (shameless Detroit plug), THE DIRTBOMBS[The Dirtbombs], where they were opening that stage for the weekend.  It was dope to see this band, who I watched play seedy bars and local festivals in years of late, playing on this enormous mammoth of a stage, as well as be the first act I catch at Voodoo.  And you know what?  Theirs was the best rock set of the entire weekend, and not just because I am partial to my hometown heroes.  Unless, of course you want to classify FishBone as rock.  Seriously.

Next up on the PlayStation/Billboard Stage was that young British ivory soul chica, JOSS STONE[Joss Stone].  Clad in the most bohemian of summer dresses and of course naked feet, Joss seemed to have bought out the sun for the weekend single-handedly.  Her innocence reflected in the gleaming all-white of her amazing band.  (We just loved her male back-up singer – what a playa!)  Miss Stone wasn’t all first and happy bohemian innocence today though… apparently she had a few messages to get across; one of them for the girls – gently reminding the ladies to be ladies if you expect to be treated like one; and the second for everyone – that we have to reamain focused and choose our battles wisely in this time of war and economic crisis. [Not a straight-forward Obama plug, but an anti-war one, not to mention an economic one - and she's not even American! ---O-plug #1]

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Next, it was across the racetrack to claim our front row spots for the king of voodoo himself, Mr. WYCLEF JEAN[Wyclef Jean].  With full band and DJ in effect, Wyclef re-sold us all over again.  I mean, this dude is versatile.  From rapping to singing to rippin up the guitar, not to mention on the quick wit with the New Orleans, voodoo, and political satire.  Heck, even his DJ got jokes – while warming up the decks for Wyclef, he decided to amuse us with his play on Lil Wayne’s “Under Water” monologue (also heard on Robin Thicke’s new album) as he DJ’s while taking off his shirt, putting on scuba goggles, slowly disappearing below the table, and reappearing with a mouthful of water, shortly projected all the way out in front of his DJ deck for the climax… all the while never removing his hands from the platters! (now that’s talent)

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Now that the stage had our attention, Wyclef decided it was time to make his entrance, language-switching and referencing his Haitian heritage, citing his grandfather who “was a voodoo priest”  and noting that “this is Voodoo Fest, so let’s put a spell on them…”  [After his Obama plug ---O-plug #2] Clef next launched into his “If I was President,” where he would be “elected on Thursday, assassinated on Friday, buried on Saturday, resurrected on Sunday, and back to work on Monday” !  We’d vote for you Wyclef, after giving a solid performance, including Hip-Hop-inspired cuts, traditional mixture, and plenty of guitar skills, how could we not?

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After our true voodoo warm-up with our fine Haitian Jean, we bounced back over to the Playstation/Billboard Stage for one of our most anticipated sets of the weekend – the one and only, Ms. ERYKAH BADU [Erykah Badu] – voodoo queen indeed.  Now we already know she’s caught many a tough guy under her spell, and we just wanted to experience for ourselves “that voodoo that you do so well.”  We heard she wasn’t feeling her most tip-top (it appears as if the rumours be true – a wee Jayerykah seems to be on his/her way soon), so she stayed outta the spotlight quite a bit, requesting a darker stage setting as she hid her hazel soul-traps under a massive shelf of combed-down afro-bangs tonight.

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Always with the super-fly background singers, the Badu band was on point sans their drummer, who apparently got lost in the travels and flights overnight, but much to our (pleasant) surprise was replaced for the evening with a local drummer we know from ’round who effin killed it given the uber-short notice!  A few cues from the keyboardist, and homeboy was rollin.  Of course she opens with “Hip Hop is Bigger Than…” - just in case there are some newbies in the audience tonight ;)  Next she introduces us to “Me,” then back to some “Mama’s Gun” classics and onto a bit of a jam with what we can only assume are previews of material from the 2nd part of the “New Amerykah,” due out very soon.

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The massive crowd really got live for “Soldier” though, (and not just because of the steady beat by Detroit’s Karriem Riggins, yo) as she truly spoke live and direct right to the people when she hit her line in this track… “baptized when the levees broke.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing a phrase so distinctly and directly to the people in front of her.  A great moment indeed.  Then, after pouring her libations and sipping from her omnipresent hot tea canter, she introduces the stellar band before launching into the last song and dropping her Obama plug [O-plug #3] like a bomb as fists pop up in the ay-er.  We must say, it felt very New Orleans tonight… the poplar trees, the still air, Wyclef’s Haitian vibe, Erykah’s voodoo influence…

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[[[ Unfortunately, Erykah was feeling too under the weather, so one-on-one interviews got canceled, and only a brief general session took place in the Fuse TV tent after the set.  Next time... ]]]

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The next stop was TV ON THE RADIO [TV on the Radio], one of the most talked-about bands of the year, and one of the most anticipated acts at Voodoo Fest this year.  The boys definitely delivered one of their distinctly experimental and eternally different sets… consistent in that you never know what you’re gonna get.  TV gets points for pushing the envelope for sure.  Sadly we couldn’t stay for the whole set as we had to jet over to the WWOZ/SoCo Stage for what was even more anticipated for us – KING BRITT’s [King Britt] “Tribute to Sister Gertrude Morgan” featuring the full live band and photo/video footage.  Philly native, Britt, came across the late NOLA folk legend, Sister Gertrude Morgan’s work ironically not long before Hurricane Katrina and the flood of 2005 destroyed almost all of Morgan’s neighborhood, and therefore much of her famed artwork.

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[[[ Britt released his "King Britt presents: Sister Gertrude Morgan" on Philly's RopeADope Records [RopeADope] the same year Katrina wreaked havoc on the history of the 9th Ward in New Orleans, serving as an almost eerie preservation and rebirth of one of the city’s most noted, yet often unknown, people.  Though she died in 1980, Sister Gertrude was a self-proclaimed “Bride of Jesus” and was cornerstone of the 9th Ward for decades, serving as a minister and community artist.  She was both a painter and a musician, and possibly her most famous song is “Lets Make A Record,” which RopeAdope also re-released as part of a partnership with NOLA’s Preservation Hall – the historical Jazz institution that owns the original recordings of Morgan’s vocals – and continuation of Britt’s ongoing collaboration with Ben Jaffe and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.]]]

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Having heard Britt’s re-work of Morgan’s music, and learning about who she was, this would be the first time Britt and Jaffe would present the full project live, so we just had to be there for this moment in history.  As Britt presented his electronic pieces, old photos and original video collages created specifically for this presentation moved across two giant screens, transporting us back to another era… a black and white world of Jazz greats in tiny wooden rooms, Mardi gras Indians, and parades down streets brimming with smiling faces… until the colorful members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band [Preservation Hall Jazz Band] emerged one by one in there places on stage in front of the screens as if they were born straight out of the video, some of them sons of some of the late greats on the screens above, and the music literally came alive as each member joined in to play their part.

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By the end, the modest crowd had gathered and we found ourselves dancing in the grass, where the time machine dropped us back off, we came to and second-line stepped out way over to our finale for the day – DJ Soul Sister’s Social Aid & Pleasure Club [DJ Soul Sister] inside the Preservation Hall Tent, where we proceeded to get loose to Soul Sister’s infectious blend of original Soul and Funk goodness til they shut it down.  Was this a highlight?  Well, don’t know when the last time was that we got down in a cypher to Funk and Soul… so you be the judge!  Layers were comin off left and right… and the Booty Patrol Go-Go Dancers [NOLA Booty Patrol] were on fire!

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All danced out, we were most definitely feelin’ good as we pulled out of the haunting yet peaceful City Park for one more stop before we turned in… the TV on the Radio afterparty where one of their members was DJing and celebrating a birthday @ Cafe Lazizza on our favorite Big Easy strip – Frenchmen Street.  Some good ole’ 80s and mash-up fun was had by all, not ot mention shisha hookahs and late-night eats, and of course… the color and character(s) that are being on Frenchmen Street.

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10.25.08  |  DAY 2

Saturday was an absolutely, positively beautiful day and the sun welcomed us as we arrived back at City Park to start our afternoon with some more true Nawlins flavor in the Bingo! Parlour Tent for soon-to-be-known musician, Clint Maedgen‘s [Clint Maedgen] feature set, where we were soon in the time machine again, entering the world of circus-theatre-bohemian-burlesque… you know, the classic New Orleans breed of Moulin Rouge meets Sweeney Todd.  Yet, not to take away from Clint’s performance, I think everyone inside the packed-out tent would agree when we say that it was the Fleur de Tease [Fleur de Tease] burlesque show that got all the attention Saturday afternoon on that side of the park.  Though New Orleanians know where to get a dose of Miss Trixie and her scantily-clad lovely ladies on the regular, for the newbies, this was quite a treat!  Sure is nice to see adult entertainment being done the good ole’ fashioned way – with class and panache ;)

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We made an executive decision to fore-go Lil Wayne, though blasphemy in Nawlins to do so, in light of the fact that we had to catch two very important acts – Thievery Corporation and FishBone.  Yes, that’s right, the afro-punk originals were live and direct on the NooMoon Stage – perhaps the smallest stage that side of center park – and so before we posseed-up with NOLA man of the people and local festival organizer extraordinaire, Karl Washington, and King Britt and Rucyl, guest artists, to make the pleasant hike over to NooMoon for what was one of the Top 3 sets of the weekend, hands-down… we scooted over to Thievery Corporation’s Artist Tent to chat for a few with Rob and Eric about their beginnings, their new album, and of course what we could expect from this evening’s sundown performance.

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[[[ Exclusive Interview with Thievery Corporation ]]]


Turns out, hailing from our nation’s capital city of Washington DC, TC’s Rob Garza and Eric Hilton got together over [12] years ago (Wow! Has it been that long already? No way!) and have been steadily raising the bar and contributing to the genre-skating, worldbeat music movement over the better part of the last decade.  Chopping it up with them was not quite as easy as expected, for these guys are modest as all get out – quiet, unassuming and without too many airs.  So getting them to talk about themselves at length was, at times, like coaxing a cat.  What struck as an amazing point in their career was discovering that, even after over 10 years in this rough music biz game, Thievery Corporation [Thievery Corporation] STILL has yet to sign under a major label.  Yep, that’s right, now touring in support of their 5th album, “Radio Retaliation,” released just 1 month ago, Rob and Eric have helmed a full project every 2 years completely independently…and YOU know who they are!  Well, there it is… it CAN be done without the majors!

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Aside from having their own close-knit team to run their business, TC has managed to collaborate with some of the most diverse and notable musicians on the planet for each and every album, including Perry Farrell, The Flaming Lips, David Byrne, Anoushka Shankar, Astrud Gilberto, Bebel Gilberto, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Femi Kuti, Seu Jorge, Jana Andevska, and fellow DC legend, Chuck Brown. In fact, it has been their ability to merge limitless, seemingly disparate sounds into the Thievery Corporation brand of forward, eclectic dance music that easily translates into lounges and soundtracks that has been their trademark.

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So what is the focus of the new project?  The DC duo say: Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement,” says Garza of Thievery Corporation. “There’s no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It’s hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up.”

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Perhaps this is why they are fairly excited about today’s performance, as this is one of those opportunities – at a large festival with a decent budget – where they can afford to present the entire band on stage.  “Nearlyevery collaborator on “Radio Retaliation” will be on that stage today,” Rob & Eric say.  “It is not all the time that we get the chance to really present the whole band, all the elements, live.  We ‘re going to have belly-dancers and everything.”

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Now we can see glimmers of excitement and anticipation in their demeanors.  It appears, like the rest of us Fusicologists, that the full, live and direct experience is the pinnacle of not only their careers, but their souls.  Wow, now I’m all excited!  Especially since we haven’t heard the new album yet, this will be one of those treasured situations where you get to experience new music live, in person, before you have it on recording – the way it should be.  And with that, management beckons that it’s time to head over to the stage to prep the set.  That is our cue to grab a cocktail and head over to catch FishBone.

[[[ End Interview ]]]

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FishBone‘s [FishBone] set on the tiny NooMoon Stage was ridiculous.  Period.  I think they were even better than I remember them before.  Seriously, less heavy metal, and more ska.  I think I even got some afrobeat vibes from them!  The crowd was hype…obviously enough old-school fans in attendance, crowd-surfing soon commenced.  And though the guys are clearly getting older, they’re no less swank – just as quirky, but even maybe more so, in a somehow more sophisticated way.  Or is that just me trying to justify my quirky taste now that I’m supposed to know the difference between unique talent and just plain weirdness?

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In any case, their set was sick; funky horns, laid-back bass, and, though it took a minute, eventually the hype MC/lead front man we expected to dive into the audience not sans corded mic.  Each member most definitely still has their own character, only a few uber-thick dreads now, but enough eclecticism to maintain their rank as one of my top bands of all time.  In fact, I think I like them even more now.  Hey – I haven’t been near the front row of a crowd-surfing pit and not been annoyed in years!  FishBone was absolutely the low-profile, hardly publicized act of the weekend that just killed it. I totally went home to pull out my old FishBone albums.

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Kinda salty we couldn’t stay for their whole set, but super amped for the anticipated full-band set of Thievery Corporation [Thievery Corporation], we bounced back over to the PlayStation/Billboard Stage, lured by the exotic vocals of new TC feature chanteuse, Jana Andevska, already into their first song.  Belly-dancers and ethereal fairy-goddesses in white and gold lured us in as close as we could get, having to craftily dance through an already packed race track crowd to get to our press box side-stage.

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There we met the small brigade of press, photographers, guest artists, and local who’s who just feet from center stage where there was no talking and soon we found ourselves in a swarm of feet, derrieres, and shoulders dancing quietly as what seemed to be one worshiping unit.  Dancers were swirling in blazes of white and gold, the occasional pink and orange, and the lovely Jana made her exits just as graceful as her entrances – somehow a Bjork meets M.I.A. meets Bebel Gilberto new character.   The simple bronze crown atop her crown donning a new queen.

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Riddim MCs Sleepy Wonder and Notch kept the reggae in the area with their rude boy flavor and appropriate attire to accompany these Jamaican ‘tings, while a 6+ piece band surrounded Thievery Corporation captains, Rob and Eric, as they stood on their small platform with their keyboards, drum machines, and headphones.

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After that trip around the world, we most definitely did not want it to be over, but nonetheless were shooed off stage so crew could make the swift set-change.  As we descended the stairs into the “backstage” poplar courtyard that is City Park, the feeling still lingered in the air as all the band members, dancers, artists, press, and who’s who were gathering under a warm glow and a soft breeze under the canopy crawling Crescent City foliage, still a bit sweaty, but smiling wide and after that beverage from the bar. Is this why they call it the “Voodoo Music Experience” ?

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Now that we were hungry, thanks to our little work out, we decided it was time to indulge in whatever Cajun ans Creole fancies we could find along the “Voodoo Village” and “Loa Tent.” (Just in case, for those unclear, a “loa” is a god or goddess, so yes – the idea was to make us feel like gods and goddesses, and we have to admit, it was something like that.)  A few crawfish breads, fried green tomato napoleons, and po-boys later, we were rested and ready for the last live set of the night and, of course, our daily night-cap with DJ Soul Sister.

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The Mars Volta [the Mars Volta], another much talked-about feature of this year’s festival, also delivered an expected, consistent set of unpredictable experimentation ans abstract grooves on the main Voodoo Stage, much like TV on The Radio did.  No one can say they are trying to sound like someone else, that’s for darn sure.  The Volta dark purple set transitioned us into another mood and next we were off to toss back a few cocktails before getting under that jumpin dome known as the Preservation Hall Tent where DJ Soul Sister [DJ Soul Sister] was throwing down her 2nd night of her Voodoo Social Aid & Pleasure Club – which we knew we would need an entirely new batch of energy for, and possibly a fresh pair of dancin shoes.

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Indeed, within 10 minutes of arrival, layers were coming off, bags were being stashed in safe places, water started circulating, and after a brief photo shoot with Soul Sis’s smokin Booty Patrol Dancers[NOLA Booty Patrol], we found ourselves back in the throes of Round II of our little Voodoo Fest dance party.  Folks were trying to hop the stage to bump n grind with the sultry BP girls, and eventually the ladies were given the greenlight by Soul Sister, but the dudes unfortunately had to remain in their places on the ground and return to enjoying the view.  Aw, darn.  Uh, anyone wanna go see Nine Inch Nails on the main stage?  Um, nope.

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Pretty pooped after getting all the social aid and pleasure we could get for the night, we made it an early night in the Quarter and on Frenchmen St., in hopes of catching some Zzz’s before the final day was upon us.

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10.26.08  |  DAY 3

Sunday it wasn’t quite so easy to rise and shine, though the weather was one again superb, and we finally made it to City Park just barely around 2-ish.  In fact, it was looking like this was going to be the warmest day of the three.  The bad news: we got word that N.E.R.D. [N*E*R*D] had canceled, and instead of being bummed, we were down-right ticked off… how dare they?!  Whatever.

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So there it was, we got ourselves some time bought, because now Lupe Fiasco was going to take N.E.R.D.’s slot and that left us some time to casually make our way over to OZOMATLI [OZOMATLI] on the WWOZ/SoCo Stage.  You know, these guys rarely fail to show us a good time.  Truly.  Bringing the same eclectic worldbeat flair that Thievery Corporation brought the day before, but in a bit more organic sense – less refined, more college festival, but not any less authentic and fantastic.  The Latin-Hip-Hop-Hippie-Reggae vibes got us grooving in bare feet before long.  Chali 2na killed it, and every single band member gave us some.  OZOMATLI just can’t lose.

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Peeling off our jackets, and whipping out shades and caps, we trekked back across the “Voodoo Village” (stopping for some tasty eats of course) toward the PlayStation/Billboard Stage for Lupe’s set, where we found Mr. Lupe Fiasco [Lupe Fiasco] already into his first song.  He and his hype man all suave in minimal black and designer denim, kicks, and shades.  To our (pleasant) surprise, Fiasco had a nearly full band too, not just his DJ.  But the “Hip Hop Nerd” certainly wasn’t so geeky today… looking all swank and stuff, his hype man jsut a tad street.  After a few tracks, his sweat beads starting to take over, Lupe had to ask the somewhat still crowd to get into it… hw offered up his love, serenaded a single lady in the audience, and even got down on his knees.  Then he launched into “Superstar” and the crowd goes wild.  Guess that one works.  LOL.

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Sidenote: We are convinced that Lupe’s designer kicks are a new kind that only the celebs are getting right now  – the kind that have little super-springs built into the soles – because that young man literally sprung his way all over every inch of that gigantic stage for the entire duration of that freaking song!  Maybe he’s not human after all?

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Finally, he brings it down a notch after presenting his hit to take down the volume and announce that he “would like to introduce to you a very special guest that we have here with us today…” (thousands of people with ears perked – is it Pharrell?  Who is it?)… “Ladies and Gentlemen… the mutha-f*in SUN!  Give it up for that giant ball of fire in the sky over there that burning my azz up right now!” >>> Lupe Fiasco gets the Comedian Award for Voodoo Fest ’08 ;)

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We all died, and appreciated Fiasco’s down-to-earth persona, as it WAS getting crazy hot, and that huge black stage was facing due-East.  He and hype man continued to sweat out their charcoal clothes and finished out the set though, no matter how drenched and out of breath they were.  Soon Lupe ended up on the stage floor, on his back, feet in the air, mic in hand, ripping it while the audience laughed at dancing air-feet.

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Not being able to complain that his guy does not deliver an energetic show, we accepted his closing set, the politcal one, not without his Obama plug [O-Plug #5] and reminder to all that “the most important vote is the one for yourself!” A feeling I believe some call “unity” rippled through that field.

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All reminded of our democratic duties yet again for the 5th time this weekend, we mosied on over across the race track to the Voodoo Stage to catch the first 3 songs from Panic at the Disco [Panic At The Disco].  I must admit, I do appreciate their little theme.  They’re whole get-up is funky and quirky, yet totally marketable.  At least their take on The Beatles is a bit more original than say, Oasis. (lol)  OK, maybe that was bit unfair.  These guys really do have a lil sumthin-sumthin.  Maybe I’m just partial to ripping on bands that make it the center of their universe to dog disco.  I mean, c’mon man, we find appreciation in your music, and you can’t do the same for everyone else?  Either way, they were worth checking out, I’m just not all woo-woo about them.

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3 tunes from Panic and it was a wrap for us, we had a more important place to be; back to the WWOZ/SoCo Stage for our girl, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings! [Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings] Would we ever miss them?  Naw.  As usual, the Brooklyn Kings warmed up the stage with an almost instrumental set – getting us in the groove, several bare feet in the grass – to build the anticipation factor for Ms. Jones, their 1st Lady of Soul.  (We’re actually kinda glad, in a weird way, that Amy can’t rehab long enough to tour with these guys… because what it’s done is allowed Sharon to finally get the spotlight long due to her.)

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Sharon stormed the stage in bright orange and gold, with her usual bundle of energy.  She took us all ’round the world, from Funk to Soul to Afrobeat, displaying her usual tale of her family heritage through each funky movement of a different body part.  Right on schedule her heels came off, and she closed out the set by inviting a group of eager dancing girls to the stage to share the spotlight with her and shake their groove thangs front-and-center with her for her second-to-last song.  Each new-found young diva took her turn in the Jones-style Soul Train line, until Ms. Sharon had to remind them it was time to resume their places down below. Thoroughly entertaining and heart-warming were the the hip older women in the audience who were so into this and kept asking “Who is this? We love them! What’s her name?”

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Parking ourselves for a few at the complimentary SoCo tent nearby, we caught a breather, then kept right on second-lining in the grass straight into Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue [Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue] also on the WWOZ/SoCo Stage.  Already one of my favorites, Troy and crew are still not getting old.  We could see them again and again.  These guys create a mad-funky blend of that traditional New Orleans brass band power and contemporary hip hop / r&b that translates into the pop arena quite smoothly.  Yet never cheesey, they manage to know which covers to tackle and how often, always sticking to their roots and original tunes to balance out the combo.  At times, we felt like we were at a fun DJ party at someone’s house.  Mark my words… Trombone Shorty about to be a star.

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Once again, we decided to forfeit the main headlining act, R.E.M., knowing that we only had one more edition of DJ Soul Sister’s Voodoo Social Aid & Pleasure Club left… so that is where we parked it for the remainder of the night, and partied til we stank a little.  Yet again, people tryin to get on stage with the luscious Booty Patrol, and losing their brains to rare grooves, classic hip hop, and even some ‘Nawlins bounce.  We would venture to bet that more than half these peeps in this tent have never experienced a party like this, and at least a few hundred more ears and souls have been opened right here this weekend.

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A few crazy photos with DJ Brice Nice, DJ Kazu, the Preservation Hall crew, and of course Miss B and her Booty Patrol and the Voodoo Fest ’08 was a WRAP.  Well, so we thought… that was, until we chose to stop by Woody’s Bar for a night-cap only to find the Free Agents Brass Band starting a second-line through VIP!  I guess we were remiss for thinking that we weren’t going out without a bang – NOLA-style.  So we got swooped up into the crowded tiki room and got down to some New Orleans tradition before we made our tired hike off the premises.  It was Halloween and Mardi Gras and Carnivale and Burning Man all at once.

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*For the full remote experience, check out our Fusicology Voodoo Festival 2008 Photo Wrap-Up here.

> Photo Credits: Emily Egan for Egan Photography

— Jocelyne Ninneman for Fusicology

+ TOTAL NUMBER OF OBAMA PLUGS: 5 [6 unofficially, 7 with bandana propaganda]

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OBAMA!!

NY for Obama video here with the help of 50 other New Yorkers who gave their voice, passion, inspiration and opinions to the overall cause, and to get this video out there and seen!  Also, please check for this beautiful video about Israelis For ObamaWatch

As a tribute to a pivotal time in our history, Whasdat? Music proudly presents “Come 2gether – A Tribute 2 Obama” by Detroit’s Pirahnahead. Soulful grooves with minimal keys and a tribal twinge serve as the backdrop for the profound words of Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as they weave together to make magic. Pirahna notes that the inspiration to create this mix was simply being a Detroiter during a crucial time in black history. Download Promo

Custom Obama Gear | More Obama schwag: myobamabar.com | theressomethingaboutbarry.com

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CMJ ’08 proved a very pivotal time for Global Hip Hop as it was a first time the movement made a real impact and splash…We made history with the first ever Global Hip Hop night at DROM and a fantastic French Hip Hop night as part of a cultural program called I Kiffe NY. Read More…

URB.com FEATURES:
In4mation x Casio G-Shock Contest

Rome Vinyl Snowboard Contest

Lil Wayne’s ’08-’09 NBA Preview

VIDEO: The Cool Kids Perform @ Sk8tique

VIDEO: The Knux Interview

Anthony Hamilton’s new album, “The Point of It All,” drops 12.02.08. Fusicology chats exclusively with Anthony here

The 10th Annual New Orleans Voodoo Fest kicked-off last weekend & Fusicology was there to revel in the music! Blog | Photo Wrap-Up

2008 CREATIVE CITIES SUMMIT 2.0 WRAP-UP : 1/2 of Sustainability is Culture.  Earlier this month Fusicology Senior Editor and contributing writer, Jocelyne Ninneman, back home in her native Detroit, attended the 2nd Annual International Summit more

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Missed the last Promoters Blast? Read it Here

2008 CREATIVE CITIES SUMMIT 2.0 WRAP-UP

2008 CREATIVE CITIES SUMMIT 2.0 WRAP-UP : 1/2 of Sustainability is Culture

10.12.08 – 10.15.08 found Fusicology Senior Editor and contributing writer, Jocelyne Ninneman, back home in her native Detroit for this 2nd annual international summit.

This one’s a doozy… but trust me, it’s worth the read – that is, if you’re into cities ;)

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October 12 – 15 found me back home in Detroit attending the 2nd Annual Creative Cities Summit at the Detroit Renaissance Center (ironically new home to GM HQ), a 4-day international conference on cities; what they were, what they have become, and what they will be – or at least what we think they should be.  Held last in Florida, this year the founder chose Detroit – the poster child for need, apparently.

Fusicology, being the hub that it is for seeking out and highlighting authentic, alternative urban music & culture experiences in the very thing this summit revolves around – cities – found its place as a media sponsor, being that we, of course, endorse creative cities.

Perhaps one of the things that stood out to me among the sea of “forward-thinkers” and “urban activists” was that what we do at Fusicology by second nature is actually a topic of study; its own field of interest.  “Cool-spotting” is now a new economy – we are actually a commodity!  Wow, and here we thought all along we were just trying to find the dopest party… and share it with our friends.  ;0)

In many ways, the CCS is MySpace for the over-intellectual urbanite, especially those hailing from or presently residing in rustbelt cities.  It seems that the former industrial epicenters of the US have all eyes and ears on culture, now that the gas masks of the factories are lifted and the smog has cleared a bit.  Culture is the new steel.

Though the summit held several forums with expert architects and planners on green-building, alternative energy, and sustainable materials and design, more of the short week seemed to be focused on capitalizing on culture as the “new” economy.  (We had to laugh just a little, seeing as we’ve known all along what the sustainable value of authentic culture is – it’s kinda funny to see it all over-analyzed – seeing as culture has been the most consistent economy for any village or city since the dawn of civilization.)  Forget steel, cars, or even Silicon Valley – all those trains have left the station.  With the exception of the mega-tropoli like New York and LA, it seems that American cities are struggling to attract or even retain their young, savvy intelligista.

So the CCS served mainly as a workshop for representatives from various cities and communities (especially, ahem, suburbs) who are experiencing the “brain drain” that is immanent after any forward-thinking, culture-seeking college grad realizes that there isn’t a whole lot to keep their interest after campus in Disneyland-style or post-WWII suburbia.  Not only that, but often the nearest “city” won’t always do either.

What did the “cool” experts have to say about how to retain the next generation of movers and shakers in your ‘hood, and thereby keep your town thriving and economically stable?  Well, for one, attractive, non-conventional jobs are a must.  Yet over and over again it was re-stated by countless “experts” and regular ole people that more and more, the new professional seeks PLACE before they seek a specific JOB.  This is probably because our generation missed the industrial boom opportunities, and have had to naturally be more diverse in our skill sets.  We’ve had to find jobs in often the strangest or most unexpected places just to survive.  We’ve had to school ourselves on various skills because there was no “training” for these things in school – schools that are still teaching skills for jobs that are now mostly obsolete.

I guess that makes us the “Creative Class.” (Now if only some of us were getting paid what Richard Florida does for talking about our lives!)  Apparently, though we were not doing it intentionally, we invented an entirely new class.  Funny, we used to call it the “new grad in a bad economy at the end of an era” class.  So what we inadvertently did was create our own economy where we bought and sold what we deemed to be “cool.”

So it seems that now the older, more established (read: with money) class wants in on the secret  – they want  “cool” in their town now.  Does that mean they are ready for executives in custom jeans, wild Tshirts, funny-colored hair and an array of body art?  What’s funny is that, you know what, I think they might actually be so desperate now (at least in the rustbelt) that they are!  It seems that thinking “outside the box” is now officially “in.”

What the average office, or un-office, looks like in Austin, TX where gaming designers work was discussed, and how it certainly does not involve suits and short haircuts.  Yet, these advanced programmers, animators, and graphic designers are PAID.  San Francisco and northwestern digital media hubs (known for being liberal granola communes) were also cited as thriving epicenters of “cool.”

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

I spoke on a panel entitled, “Making the Scene: Music and Economic Development,” where major music festival directors from Austin, Detroit, New Orleans and the UK talked about how they “made the scene” in their city, and how it did, or did not, help their cities’ economies overall.

Making the Scene

Making the Scene

Photo courtesy Marvin Shaouni

It sure is nice to see that music scenes are being recognized as vital parts of any city’s economy – an economy of culture that is indeed sustainable – for as long as there are humans in a city, they are going to make authentic music, and all you have to do is find it, nurture it, and promote it.  If that’s not sustainable, I don’t know what is.

That’s where the phrase I took away from this conference comes in; “half of sustainability is culture.” During this time when every other article and TV news topic is about sustainability, during an unstable time, it seems to point right back to the basics – culture.  Economies of culture – food, music, theatre, art, museums, festivals, film, dance, entertainment, tourism, etc – will never become obsolete, they simply evolve and change form.  And the places where these things happen – where their creation takes place on the regular – are the places that will continue to see vibrant traffic.  Not to mention that these are also the places where inquiring minds meet, discover and invent new things.  (Not in Edward Scissorhands-style ‘burbs by individuals in pods.)

However, what the “cool-keepers” among us seemed to have to keep reiterating throughout is that you cannot manufacture “cool.”  Meaning, you can’t create cool – cool just happens, organically, naturally.  In other words, forced cool will always fail – because it’s not authentic.  And there’s the other word that kept surfacing all week – “authentic.”  Maybe, just maybe, these municipal big-wigs are starting to get it – generic “cool” ain’t gonna cut it.


> Real culture; there just ain’t no substitute.

So it was interesting that there was a lot of talk about “art villages” and how cities should “create” art villages in order to attract and retain talent, especially young talent.  So maybe there is still some room for understanding here?  One does not “create” an art village – art villages create themselves.  However, what municipal groups and business associations can do is preserve, support, and promote the ones that naturally sprout up – rather than bull-dozing them for casinos, or allowing out-of-town “developers” to buy up all the property and raise the rents through the roof so all the art is forced out.

MOCAD

MOCAD


It is possible for true culture and Starbucks to thrive simultaneously
, side-by-side, but it is a very, very delicate balance that must be maintained.  And it takes policy-makers that grasp a profound understanding of this science and artform in and of itself to make it work.

In fact, this was a topic of discussion that keynote host, Carol Coletta of CEOs for Cities, raised during the panel with “The Big Three” of the “creative economy” John Howkins (“The Creative Economy” 2001), Charles Landry (“The Art of City Making” 2006), and the infamous Richard Florida (“Rise of the Creative Class” 2003 & “Who’s Your City?” 2008) – where she wanted to be able to pull something tangible out of the steep intellectual banter of the conference for those policy-makers in the audience.  What should modern policy-makers bear in mind while making decisions in their cities and states in order to nurture creative economies?

YouTube Preview Image

Video by Tom Hendrickson courtesy of Model D / Issue Media Group

Charles Landry said if he had to over-simplify it, he would say “openness” – a genuine new form of openness to new ideas and concepts that are usually unrecognized by the conventional mind.  John Howkins pointed out that politicians seem to have a real problem recognizing exactly what they should invest in; that they love to construct monstrous new buildings, but they hate to pay really bright people to run them, or run the programs that these structures are supposed to house.  It seems, Howkins says, that the policy-makers (and often private corporations) never want to invest in people.  Meanwhile, Richard Florida stated that it’s simple; truly creative and innovative people like to be in aesthetically pleasing, inspiring environments, with diversity and color – and that’s where they work and produce best, therefore municipal leaders need to invest in making their spaces aesthetically pleasing to the creative person.

Of course, transportation was a big topic too.  It’s obvious that cities with mass transit not only have a better ebb and flow of the movement of its people, but also have fewer issues with race and prejudicial incidents.  Although, I think we’re still a little ways away from leaving the mindset of public transit being for “poor” people, especially in the Motor City.  Soon though, all you Vespa cats and Paul Frank limited edition Schwinn riders will enjoy your place at the top of socio-transit ladder (we hope).  Alternative transportation for those that still drive 3 blocks to the corner store is finally starting to sink in, even if only due to ridiculous gas prices.

(We won’t even get into the other recurring theme of the week which was “the elephant in the room – race.” I suppose it’s not even worth it for us to waste time at Fusicology on this obvious topic because this is a non-issue for all of us.  All of these heads of overly-analytical organizations can continue to talk about it in hushed tones, or they can start walking the streets of different neighborhoods and supporting local businesses and watch how it all just falls into place…)

MOCAD

MOCAD

Although, an interesting solution for the rapidly-sinking auto “Big Three” of Detroit Ford, GM, Chrysler – was voiced at the “unconference” on Sunday at the MOCAD Gallery, where it was suggested that perhaps the Big 3 could save themselves from their tailspin of failure over the past two decades by not only turning their management style around to reflect “The Toyota Way,” but how about reasserting themselves as “mobility providers,” not just “car-makers” ?  Hmmmm… now that’s food for thought.  Could the Big 3 save themselves by becoming mass-transit providers as well?

Management
also being a key issue in business and development, many facets of conventional management techniques are now completely outdated but unfortunately still in vast use among power corporations, which is driving away the young, talented workforce that refuses to settle for an environment where not only are their ideas never seriously considered for implementation, but where their active engagement and feedback of the methodologies in place are actually discouraged.  We like to call this “The Big Three Approach,” as opposed to “The Toyota Way.” (put on book list)

The panel discussion that spoke largely to this was that with 2 of the founding officers of Google, and heads of their Ann Arbor, MI office.  As Grady Burnett and John Burchett described what an average day at Google HQ is like, with its bike racks, showers, gym, health food café, greenery and large, open spaces, we all imagined our own offices.  But then, they spoke on what I found to be the most notable aspect of Google management – “The 20% Rule.” At first you might expect that to be an employee requirement to increase your profitability by 20% over a given time, or even that you are expected to execute 20% more work in 20% less time.  But instead, “The 20% Rule” at Google is a policy whereby all Google employees get to use 20% of their on-the-clock hours each week working on a project of their choice that is related to or inspired by their job at Google.  (Next, I checked their website for job openings…)

The sort of engaging and community-building, forward-thinking quality that something as simple as “The 20% Rule” brings to a company or organization is nothing less than an investment in sustainability.  There it is again – using the creativity and culture of your people as your most sustainable asset for long-term success.  This is the investment in “human capital” that Richard Florida and the other authors are always talking about.

Here I cannot help but think about how we love to endorse and promote the creative culture of all our Fusicologists that post their events and contribute photos and music and video to our website every day… I guess that means we’re a pretty sustainable bunch, eh?  I mean, we all know we rep our cities best, yo.
(that was the SSP portion of this program – lol)

And being the truth-seekers that we are, we of course had to play proper host to our summit guests from down south in Austin, TX Tuesday night.  And being the music aficionados that they are  – all SXSW and ACL royalty and allEd Bailey & crew were of course interested to know more about this little Detroit music thing some call Techno.

We, of course, were happy to oblige by arranging for an exclusive, personally-guided tour of the legendary Underground Resistance / Submerge Records building by UR captain, Cornelius (also in attendance at the CCS), where portions of the Detroit Techno exhibit formerly housed at the Detroit Historical Museum, now reside.  Funny how that tour just never gets old… as many times as we’ve been on it, it still brings us a renewed spirit upon stepping out onto Grand Blvd.

In the end, the two speakers that resonated the most were those that told their heroic stories of community transformation from their ghettos of Pittsburgh and the Bronx.

Bill Strickland explained how you can become a CEO of your own neighborhood, no matter how blighted, with art and a little bit of persistence.  His story is testimony to the power and talent in every single person in your city, from the college professor to the deadbeat Dad to the middle school drop-out.  It proves that if you provide the place or the resources for someone to discover their talent, they will grab hold and take off.  Now that is using your local resources.

Additionally, Majora Carter laid evidence that you can indeed turn a landfill into a public park, that you can reclaim industrial waterfronts, and that you can insulate your roof with grass (and eat off it too!).  She will note that it takes a lot of toil and trouble to start, strength against doubt, and some squatting at Mom and Dad’s place, but with creativity, thrift, and cooperation from neighbors, anyone can turn a broken place into a green one.

And on that note, off we went to party like Creative City Stars at Detroit’s Garden Bowl, where we drank, bowled, and rocked out to the sounds of 3 local bands to close out the gathering – well, almost.  After bowling a really bad score with some of the summit’s organizers, a few of Austin’s SXSW & ACL finest, Detroit DJ extraordinaire Mike Clark (always somehow in the building), a few architects, and the prestigious John Howkins, we kidnapped John for a real night on the town in the dirty D and several tumblers of whiskey… now THAT was a good time!

John, if you’re reading this, we hope that we were able to make your 1st experience in the notorious Motown a memorable one… for what is a night in the D without some real House music in a gritty bar in the ‘hood and a late night-cap at Lafayette Coney Island?!
(see, we knew you could dance all along!)

Like you, John, we hope to try everything in the world before we leave this Earth… and we believe that ALL – not just ½ – of sustainability is culture.*

+ Download the visual art scrapbook created by students from Detroit’s premiere visual arts college, Center for Creative Studies, designed to summarize the CCS 2.0 in an alternative fashion, here. +

+ Also check Model D online Detroit zine’s re-cap of the CCS 2.0 with some great photos and video +

Jocelyne Ninneman for Fusicology |  jocelyne@fusicology.com

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United Nations Day & Week, Legendary R.I.P's + WMC 09

United Nations Day, proclaimed in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, is held annually on 24 October, the anniversary of the coming into force of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945. United Nations Day is devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization. United Nations Day is part of United Nations Week, which runs from 20 October to 26 October. Live UN Webcast | Official Website

Rest In Peace – 2 Legends: ‘Dolemite’ Star Rudy Ray Moore and Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops. One of the greatest soul vocalists of all time died in Detroit after a long illness. Stubbs’ death leaves only one remaining Tops founding member, Abdul “Duke” Fakir.

Last Friday, an official Voting Registration Event as part of Fusicology’s 5 Year in LA. The night began with two fashion shows by LRG and Factory Girl with DJ sets were provided by Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) and DJ ?uestlove. There was also a booth registering voters and raising funds for the Obama Presidential Campaign. Check out the pictures c/o URB.com

Tomorrow, Friday 10/24: Fusicology 5 Year Anniversary Party in NYC during CMJs with special DJ set by Dwele! + open bar and free shuttle – Free with RSVP!

trueAnthem’s newest artist Amber Ojeda www.trueanthem.com/amberojedaDownload Music + View Video available for free!

Winter Music Conference Announces Dates - March 24-28, 2009, once again in Miami Beach

Amber Ojeda, URB.com, CASRAM, Nikka Costa, CMJ

trueAnthem’s newest artist Amber Ojeda www.trueanthem.com/amberojeda is now sponsored by Old Navy providing fans with free song downloads – her entire album available for free!

Listener’s hear the influence of jazz greats like Sarah Vaughan in San Diego singer Amber Ojeda’s R&B tracks. With a style reminiscent of Jill Scott or Erykah Badu, Amber consistently dominates the MySpace Top 100 Jazz/Soul/R&B artist charts, in part due to her heavy play on over 100 radio stations and podcasts worldwide. Download Music + View Video

The Can A Sista Rock A Mic Festival brought was another huge success last week in DC. To view photos, please visit the Fusicology Photo Gallery. All images displayed are courtesy of Stevie’s Soul Photos

NIKKA COSTA is BACK! Pebble To A Pearl out now on the Newly Re-Launched Stax in Conjunction with Nikka’s own Go Funk Yourself Records. Listen to the Entire Album

Latest Press Release about Fusicology’s new event upload system, ticketing solution, BandLink execution and new functions got blasted, if you missed it, click here

Friday Oct 17th – Los Angeles: DJ ?uestlove with special guest Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes and more for the Fusicology 5 Year + LA Fashion week and Voter Registration!$15 all night list for Fusicology: RSVP here!

CMJ 08 Urban Soul Playlist streaming on our homepage Imeem player

Videos & MP3s c/o our friends at URB.com:

Get the Madvillainy 2 Boxset

MP3: Wale / Jay-Z vs. M.I.A – “Boyz”

Murs “Can It Be” video

MP3: Evidence’s “The Layover”

Kid Cudi :: Live at the BBQ

Also, our friends at KOCH Canada posted DJ Z-Trip’s Obama Mix

The Global Mixx (G-Mixx) Music Retreat ’08 Weekend in Chicago had Panels and Forums that Empowered, Educated and Engaged the Urban Entertainment Community – View Photos

SoulTracks, Nikka Costa, Eric Roberson & RSS

The 2nd Annual SoulTracks Awards and All-Star weekend brought many intriguing elements to the host city of Detroit. Friday night kicked off the 2nd Annual Awards Show hosted by Jodine’s Corner, Jodine Dorce (Atlanta) and Detroit radio personality, Mason. While the evening’s theme centered on rewarding the best of the soul music industry, the cause stayed ever present with 100% of the proceeds going to the Cornerstone Schools. There were performances by the Female Vocalist of the Year, Conya Doss, April Hill, Algebra, Heston, Monica Blaire, Sy Smith, Gordon Chambers and a riveting tribute to The Dramatics by Phil Perry. To view photos from the weekend, please visit the Fusicology Photo Gallery. All images displayed are courtesy of Stevie’s Soul Photos

NIKKA COSTA is BACK! Pebble To A Pearl, will be released on October 14, 2008 on the Newly Re-Launched Stax in Conjunction with Nikka’s own Go Funk Yourself Records. Preview and Order

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2009 dates set for April, 17, 18 & 19

BOXMUSIC 02: Scott K. + Laithie vs ’08AMA – “Dreams of Unity”
Download Free | Video of track paired with street art (amazing!)

ERIC ROBERSON presents “Pave A New Road” – bonus track on a project called Rockin’ The Vote from My Muze and Rock The Vote. Hear the song and photo video here

Our RSS feeds – now with event images – are better than ever! Click here to subscribe to Fusicology’s Featured Event feed

Friday Oct 17th – Los Angeles: DJ ?uestlove with special guest Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes and more for the Fusicology 5 Year + LA Fashion week and Voter Registration! more…

2008 SoulTracks Readers Choice Award-Winners!

Congrats to all the winners (and nominees) of this year’s SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards!!!  Fusicology had a blast this weekend (plus a few surprises with Jay-Z stopping in town for a FREE rally concert with Barack Obama, and a 2nd star-studded afterparty @ Plan B with DJ Premier the same weekend!)  Detroit was on JAM this weekend… -F.

Mint_Condition_E_Life_Album.jpg

Album of the Year

Mint Condition – e-Life
Dwele – Sketches of a Man
Angela Johnson – A Woman’s Touch
Conya Doss – Still
Sy Smith – Conflict

Dwele-sketches.jpg

Song of the Year

Dwele – “I’m Cheatin”
Mint Condition – “Nothing Left…”
Angela Johnson ft. Eric Roberson -
“Let Me Know”
Conya Doss – “Something 2Nite”
Algebra – “Run and Hide”

Conya Doss - Still (2008)

Female Vocalist of the Year

Conya Doss
Regina Belle
Algebra
Sy Smith
Angela Johnson

Dwele-sketches.jpg

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dwele
Frank McComb
Heston
Bobby Caldwell
Amp Fiddler

Mint_Condition_E_Life_Album.jpg

Duo or Group of the Year

Mint Condition
The Whispers
Hil St. Soul
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Impromp2

Algebra_Purpose_Album.jpg

New Artist of the Year

Algebra and April Hill
Heston
Liv Warfield
Melissa Young

AprilHill-Love360.jpg

dramatics-ultiimate.jpg

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Dramatics

Book Release: The Green Collar Economy

. We need your help RIGHT NOW to catapult the solutions in this book into the hands and minds of every policy maker, pundit and person in our country!

Get the book now! | Share it with your friends

Our country is facing serious times. On the heels of sky-high fuel prices this summer, a massive financial crisis has sent the economy into a tailspin this fall.

Green For All founder Van Jones has proposed a powerful green cure. His first book, The Green Collar Economy, hitting bookstores tomorrow October 7th.

Pick up your copy and learn how we can move the country toward a fully clean and renewable economy – one strong enough to fight pollution, cut poverty and put America back to work.

2nd Annual National Creative Cities Summit 2.0 to take place in Detroit for 2008

Detroit Hosting International Creative Cities Summit  October 13-15
[Register by Sept. 12 for Early Bird Prices!]


Detroit will host the second International Creative Cities Summit (CCS 2.0) on October 13-15.  It’s a next-generation look at how communities are integrating innovation, social entrepreneurship, arts & culture and business to make vibrant economies.  Register by Sept. 12, 2008 for the special $250 early bird special.

The summit features an exciting line-up of speakers and activities including Dr. Richard Florida, the author of international best-seller Rise of the Creative Class and the just released Who’s Your City, Charles Landry, author of The Art of City Making, and Majora Carter, co-founder of Green For All, a national green collar jobs initiative.

Information on the agenda (which includes an Oct. 12 “unconference”) speakers, sponsors and news about CCS 2.0 as well as registration and hotel information are available on the website www.creativecitiessummit.com.

Participants will include architects, designers, urban planners, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, students, educators, community leaders and other creative professionals sharing their experiences, projects, successes and failures as they re-imagine and rethink cities.

CCS 2.0 is committed to hosting a green conference and $10 of every conference registration will go toward carbon offsets. The host hotel for the conference is the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The Sun., Oct. 12 unconference theme is “Detroit 2.0” and will include Inside Detroit Experience walking and bus tours, Detroit After Dark, Taste of Michigan, and Detroit Music Showcase.  An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven, face-to-face conference around a theme or purpose.  The Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Cool Cities Team is a key organizer for the event.

2nd Annual SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards Announce Dates, Nominees

SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards 2008 banner

SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards 2008 banner

September, 2008

SoulTracks.com, one of the leading online sources for what’s new with classic and modern Soul music artists, will host the 2nd installment of its annual Readers Choice Awards, where SoulTracks and their partner groups – such as Fusicology, Jodine’s Corner of Atlanta, Mosaic Thump, The Bloom Effect of NYC, Neo Soul Cafe of Dallas, and others – host a committee to nominate outstanding Soul artists that have produced or accomplished a project of note during the previous year.  Then, any subscribed member of SoulTracks.com – that’s right, ANY of you – are invited to cast your vote online via SoulTracks.com for the artists in each category that YOU think deserve the most kudos this year!

Fusicology.com is proud to announce that we will again be sponsoring the 2008 SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards for the 2nd year in a row.

2008 SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards to be held FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3 @ the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Downtown Detroit, to be followed by a VIP afterglow @ The Jazz Cafe inside the historical Detroit Music Hall (Theatre for Music and the Performing Arts).  Doors are @ 7:30pm, Show starts @ 8:00pm.

2008 SoulTracks All-Star Soul Jam, hosted by Mosaic Thump & Jodine’s Corner, will be held SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4 @ The Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Downtown Detroit’s Cultural Center. Doors @ 7:00pm, Show @ 8:00pm.

*Tickets are $25, and both shows are 18+*

> More details, travel info, and advance tickets available via www.soultracks.com.

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After much deliberation, the SoulTracks Nominating Committee has announced the 2008 SoulTracksReaders Choice Awards Nominees in the following categaories:

SONG OF THE YEAR

“I’m Cheatin’” by Dwele [Detroit]

“Let Me Know” by Angela Johnson ft. Eric Roberson

“Nothing Left to Say” by Mint Condition

“Run and Hide” by Algebra Blessett

“Something 2nite” by Conya Doss

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

“A Woman’s Touch” by Angela Johnson

“Still” by Conya Doss

“Sketches of A Man” by Dwele [Detroit]

“e-life” by Mint Condition

“Conflict” by Sy Smith

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Algebra Blessett

Angela Johnson

Conya Doss

Regina Belle

Sy Smith

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Amp Fiddler [Detroit]

Bobby Caldwell

Dwele [Detroit]

Frank McComb

Heston

DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

Hil St. Soul

Impromp2

Mint Condition

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

The Whispers

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Algebra Blessett

April Hill

Heston

Liv Warfield

Melissa Young

*Fusicology wishes ALL of our Soul artists the best of luck, and cannot wait for the awards show and afterparties in Detroit again this year!  See you there!

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