Saturday, April 5, 2008

simmer to a sizzle like the days of old

When I first bought Voodoo, I didn't get it all. At the time, I was a two and half year deep into a Prince/James Brown obesession that would prove to be one of the longest, deepest musical obsessions I would ever have. And everything pointed towards Voodoo being the album for me. I'd always liked Brown Sugar but thought it was a bit too sweet and neo-soul for me, and all sources and advance reviews pointed towards Voodoo being it's dirty, messy, jammed out, evil step-brother.

Like I said, when I first bought it, I didn't hear it that way. In fact I don't even think I listened to more than once until a friend yelled at me a month later and demanded I go listen to it again, which I did. And it's one of those few times in my life I was able to totally experience something in a completely different way. (no homo) I don't know how I heard it at first, but I was fucking wrong, I realized what I was listening to might just be one of the greatest albums to ever be released in my lifetime.

And so began the spring of 2000, in which I listened to nothing, literally nothing, other than Voodoo. At home, in the car, at work, on the way to class, everywhere. And I couldn't stop talking about it. Everyone I talked to I'd have to bring it up, did they have? Have you heard it? Is it not the single greatest album ever made by a musician ever? The way I carried on you'd think I'd be getting points off the album.

That summer, I saw him twice, two nights in a row, and was going to drive all the way to Detroit on some deadhead shit to see him a third time when cooler heads prevailed and my common sense was severely questioned. And both nights he put on such a hell of a goddamn show that of the ten greatest concerts I've ever been, two of them have been those two D'Angelo shows. Dude was front and center all night commanding and conducting a thirteen-piece band circa early 70's James Brown. In a sense, it was the show I'd been waiting to see since I dived into it all two and half years earlier.

Unfortunately, there hasn't been much since. After all the hype and publicity, D'Angelo quickly slipped back into the shadows of self-destruction and seclusion. Drug busts, flipping over his car, and one absurd looking mugshot showing everyone showed us all how far he had fallen.

So this spring I'm thinking I'm going to make the spring of D'angelo. It's been a while since the shit has been in constant rotation, but it's about to happen again.

So the clip I've posted is really what did it, what changed my mind about the album an got me to hear it in a different way. It's a live version of Chicken Grease off the Chris Rock show, and it couldn't be any fucking better.


Blogger daniel arnold said...

i don't know about d'angelo.

4/18/08, 10:32 AM  

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