He grew up in Washington, D.C., raised by Chilean and Peruvian parents, listening to folk, go-go, hip-hop and soul—and he now makes his home in Brooklyn. So it should come as no surprise that talented singer-songwriter Nick Hakim isn’t tied down to just one genre. And thanks to the release of two excellent EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 (stream both below), in 2014, Hakim (above, performing “Cuffed” for KCRW FM)—channeling Marvin Gaye and Harry Nilsson—quickly earned the reputation of a powerful, refined crooner with an old soul. His first full-length, Green Twins (stream it below), arrived this past spring. “The album’s potent mix of soul-searching lyrics and spaced-out sonics lends itself to deep thought and accompanied stargazing,” said AllMusic. While Pitchfork added that Hakim “puts a modern spin on classic concepts. His genre-bending debut operates at a fever pitch.” But it’s his live shows—including a stint opening for Maxwell—that have really won over fans. And to that end, Hakim kicks off a new tour on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Evian opens the show. Come see what the fuss is all about.
Tag Archives: Marvin Gaye
Matthew E. White – Rough Trade NYC – August 7, 2015
Matthew E. White has been making himself pretty comfortable in Brooklyn this year. Friday night’s set at Rough Trade NYC was his third trip to the borough in 2015, and judging how the show went, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another one in the not too distant future. Before White and his band took the stage, though, they joined the crowd in enjoying the eye-opening warm-up set from Sleepwalkers, who almost immediately won over the crowd with a slick one-two opening segue and kept it going with an impressive array of high-energy genre hopping.
Returning dressed in suits, White and his band were instantly at home again, opening with a noodle-y two-guitar intro to “Tranquility,” off of his new Fresh Blood LP. Alan Parker matched White on guitar as the song took form before the rest of the band kicked in to the mix. “One of These Days” was an early set tutorial in the highs and lows of White’s sound, his whispered vocals became impassioned screams and back again, the groove whipped to a puree by the blender bass of Cameron Ralston, and extended instrumental passages reaching multiple peaks. Although it felt impossible to top that climactic second song, they did their best, following with “Vision,” which opened with White softly singing, “Nobody in the world is better than us,” and finished with drummer Pinson Chanselle slamming his way through a rocking jam-out.
The remainder of the set balanced deep grooves and ecstatic rock, each song taking things to the warning track, most of them sailing easily over the fence. A cover of the Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” opened into a lengthy, exhilarating noise jam that flipped to the sexy, bedroom soul of “Take Care My Baby,” followed by “Steady Pace” and an ensuing, intense Marvin Gaye–meets–the Who moment. Things grew even more raucous for “Feeling Good Is Good Enough,” White inviting members of Sleepwalkers up for an unplanned sit-in, leading the crowd in a boisterous sing-along before Parker hopped on the floor to engage in a fiery guitar duel. Finally closing with an everybody-dance-now version of “Rock & Roll Is Cold,” the comfort level was at an all time high for White and Brooklyn both. —A. Stein | @Neddyo
Tags: Aaron Stein, Alan Parker, Cameron Ralston, Fresh Blood, Live Music, Marvin Gaye, Matthew E. White, Music, Pinson Chanselle, Review, Rough Trade NYC, Sleepwalkers, the Who, Velvet Underground
Posted in House List, Reviews No Comments »
He grew up in Washington, D.C., raised by Chilean and Peruvian parents, listening to folk, go-go, hip-hop and soul—and he now makes his home in Brooklyn. So it should come as no surprise that talented singer-songwriter Nick Hakim isn’t tied down to just one genre. And thanks to the release of two excellent EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 (stream both below), last year, Hakim (above, performing “The Green Twins” for Sofar Sounds), channeling Marvin Gaye and Harry Nilsson, has quickly earned the reputation of a powerful, refined crooner with an old soul. But it’s his live shows—including a stint opening for Maxwell—that have really won over fans. And to that end, tonight at Mercury Lounge, Hakim kicks off a January residency, playing every Tuesday this month. Come see what the fuss is all about.
A self-described “hippie with a soul,” Allen Stone grew up outside Spokane, Wash., raised on gospel music. But once in his teens, he discovered secular music and took to soul, R&B and singer-songwriter fare, which should come as no surprise since as a musician he’s been compared to the heady likes of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. Stone’s breakthrough came with the 2011 self-release of his eponymous second album (stream it below)— rereleased the following year by ATO Records. AllMusic approved: “[O]ne would never expect to look at him that he possesses one of the most foul voices this side of Marvin Gaye, with a joyous, positive feel and energy to match…. There’s a bright future here. Soul is where you find it.” A follow-up album (stream a preview below) is due out later this year, and while Stone’s voice is terrific in its recorded form, the engaging, energetic performer (above, covering “Is This Love” at last year’s Bonnaroo) is best experienced live. And he just so happens to be playing Terminal 5 on Thursday night. Boston R&B five-piece Bad Rabbits and Los Angeles pop and soul singer Roméo Testa open the show.
Jessie Ware – The Bowery Ballroom – January 17, 2013
Having gotten herself on a few end-of-year lists, British songstress Jessie Ware definitely had a good 2012, and this year is already shaping up to be great. Some may already be familiar with her vocals, which have graced several SBTRKT tracks. Her debut album, Devotion, has been described by BBC Music’s Mike Driver as “the sort of sophisticated, soulful pop record that comes along all too rarely, a collection that never hides the heart on its sleeve. Down-tempo it may be, but no listener will come away downcast.” And there was certainly exuberance in the air last night at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom.
Out of darkness and clad in all black, Ware stepped onto the stage purring the lyrics to “Devotion.” Upon the song’s conclusion, the Brit doled out high fives to the front row and exclaimed, “It’s going to be a good night.” Indeed it was as she had the crowd grooving to “Night Light” and “110%.” Covering most of the material from her album, Ware peppered her set with quite a few memorable covers, including “Say It,” a collaboration with the Japanese duo BenZel on a Brownstone hit, plus Bobby Caldwell’s 1978 R&B single “What You Won’t Do for Love.” She even threw in a little of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” as an interlude on her song “No to Love.”
Halfway through the set, Ware cheekily dedicated “Sweet Talk” to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s unborn child. Her infectious banter with the rabid fans in the front row garnered her flowers from one admirer. After taking off her jacket for “Swan Song,” she became reflective about “Taking in Water,” which almost didn’t make the album, but Ware was glad it did as it was written for her brother. The singer-songwriter described what a pleasure it was to be accompanied by the Roots at a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Her mom, she revealed, was quite impressed by the drummer. Yeah, Questlove is pretty legit. Needless to say, Ware saved her hit single, “Wildest Moments,” for the end of the set. She was adamant about not playing an encore, leaving the audience with “Running.” There was no race to the exit as the house lights flipped on, but rather a lingering of folks soaking up every last bit of the evening. —Sharlene Chiu