Pitchfork's Best New Track - 'Changes' (Black Sabbath Cover) By Charles Bradley
Posted on March 24, 2016
Change has always been a favorite theme in both politics and soul music. It’s an idea that moves and motivates listeners and voters alike, whether it’s Sam Cooke singing “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1964 or Barack Obama offering us a little hope in ’08. For that reason alone, it’s a wonder nobody has transformed “Changes” into a stirring soul anthem before now. Originally released on 1972’s Vol. 4, the song is one of Black Sabbath’s best numbers, featuring an arrangement that’s ethereal rather than heavy.
Charles Bradley got ahold of the song in 2013, making it the A-side to a 7" and featuring it in live shows. But he’s just now making it the centerpiece and title track to his third album, due in April. It’s almost like he’s been saving the song for the right moment. With its gently thrumming organ, a group of sympathetic horns, and a guitar riff that echoes Tommy Iommi’s original piano theme, Bradley doesn’t just make the song sound natural in this setting. He makes it sound as big as all of America, his vocals so commanding, so authoritative, so majestic that he explodes the notion that “Changes” is only about losing a lover.
“Changes” is powerful as a single, but especially on an album that opens with a completely heartfelt and utterly unironic version of “God Bless America.” It sounds like Bradley is taking stock of the country at this very moment and trying to figure out why something he loves so dearly and unreservedly could turn so ugly. So when he sings, “I’ve been going through changes,” and when he testifies, “It hurts so bad!” he’s speaking to something greater than himself. In an election year when violence, ignorance, and hate have become viable political platforms, this beautiful and devastating new national anthem might be more than America deserves.
Read more: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/18126-charles-bradley-changes-black-sabbath-cover
Meet the Who's Opening Act: Bass Sensation Tal Wilkenfeld
Posted on March 04, 2016
Back in 2006, the tenacious Tal Wilkenfeld arrived in New York City toting a guitar and a dream. Mere months after her arrival, the then-teenager not only met the Allman Brothers but was soon jamming alongside them onstage. Since then, the multi-instrumentalist has shared stages with Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton; collaborated with Jackson Browne; and is spending March opening for the Who on their The Who Hits 50! tour.
Wilkenfeld is working on new music that sees her evolving from an instrumental prodigy into a formidable singer-songwriter — you can hear her first non-instrumental single "Corner Painter" below, a rollicking banger inspired by experiences real and imagined. Rolling Stone caught up with Wilkenfeld before a Toronto Who show to talk about her "this is it" moment.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/meet-the-whos-opening-act-bass-sensation-tal-wilkenfeld-20160303#ixzz41xC0VLST
Prince Charles Makes Van Morrison A Sir At Buckingham Palace
Posted on February 05, 2016
Sir Van Morrison described himself as just a "blue-eyed soul singer" from Belfast as he was knighted for a lifetime of performing.
The prolific recording artist is best known for his songs Baby, Please Don't Go, Here Comes The Night and Gloria with the band Them, solo hits like Brown Eyed Girl, Tupelo Honey and Have I Told You Lately, and critically acclaimed albums like Astral Weeks and Moondance.
But Prince Charles was keener to discuss the 70-year-old star's new material as he honoured him at Buckingham Palace's ballroom.
Sir Van said: "He was just saying, was I still writing? And he said: 'You're not going to retire any time soon?' And I said: 'No, I'm not, I'm going to keep it going while I can'."
Born George Ivan Morrison, the son of a shipyard worker was awarded his knighthood for services to the music industry and tourism in his native Northern Ireland.
Afterwards he said about becoming a Sir: "It's amazing, it's very exhilarating, the whole thing.
"For 53 years I've been in the business - that's not bad for a blue-eyed soul singer from east Belfast."
Sir Van absorbed his father's love of music with the influence of acts such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters and Mahalia Jackson. Credit: PA Wire
Sir Van said he still remained committed to performing for an audience.
"I enjoy that the most - playing a small club - that's really what I do. The bigger places you have to do for financial survival reasons, let me put it that way, but the bigger places enable me to play small clubs occasionally.
Sales of CDs and stuff like that are very unreliable, it has really gone down a lot, I'm lucky I can still do live gigs and still pull crowds and be able to do that.
All these years of work have paid off and I'm still able to do that now."
– SIR VAN MORRISON
Asked if fans could still call him Van The Man now that he has a knighthood, the singer laughed and said "Well, take your pick".
Bad Bad Hats On Buzzfeed's 69 Excellent Indie Records You May Have Missed In 2015
Posted on January 27, 2016
1. Bad Bad Hats, Psychic Reader
Sounds like: No-bullshit, ultra-dynamic ’90s-style alt rock in the tradition of Liz Phair, the Breeders, and That Dog. Kerry Alexander’s lyrics are as sharp as her songs are catchy.
Sample tracks: “Midway,” “Say Nothing,” “Psychic Reader”
Read the full article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/indie-records-you-may-have-missed-in-2015#.evXpbDq3R