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Am I Blacc Enough?

| November 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

With old age comes a deranged sense of humor. Suddenly, the same joke applies to every scenario and damnit if you don’t need to repeat it a couple times before people finally acknowledge your stunningly developed wit with an uncomfortable smile.

We’ve been trading on Billy Paul’s “Am I Black Enough For Ya?” for weeks, even mentioned it to John Legend when we spoke (along with some screenplays, ideas for kids’ names, and the best time to introduce Boggle at a party). But we really mean it when we talk about Aloe Blacc. The nouveau/retro soul singer doesn’t sound so much like Paul (though he does have hints of Legend along with a serious Bill Withers thing), but his latest album, Good Things (Stones Throw), is intent on getting deeper into Black-with-a-capital-B issues than many R&Bers today. Even a fool could deduce as much from lead single “I Need A Dollar,” though a full listen to Good Things fails to shake the notion that Blacc really ain’t all that hyped about what’s going on today. (Friday@Schubas with The Grand Scheme and Maya Jupiter.)

On a less-topical front – though the name could be interpreted as sexist commentary – California Wives celebrate the single-release of “Blood Red Hands,” hoping it’s enough for you to dive into the other four songs on the local band’s Affair EP. Unlike a number of their peers, CW understand that Ian Curtis died and his Joy Division bandmates rebirthed as New Order. Oddly, their single is least representative of this, charging along in a darkened vein that suggests Ben Gibbard trapped in Pinback’s abbatoir. It’s its sisters, particularly the sprightly “Purple” that could fit into their influences’ canon if they only made room for a highly melodic bass solo. (Friday@Bottom Lounge with Of1000faces, Elephant Stone, and The Idle Hands.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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