You know, I thought that the (Neo) Soul movement was dead. Ok, maybe not dead, just in cryogenic sleep until it’s needed. Kind of like the period between one flood of African American inspired/themed/starred/targeted movies (including the Blackploitation ones of the ’70’s) to the next. This is usually every 8 to 10 years seems like. But that’s for another time, right now, it’s about the music. Like I said, I figured the Soul movement was sleep until needed. Really, it’s always needed. R&B sucks and does NOT deserve the name. It’s either Rap and Bullshit or Booty and Pop with Booty thrown in some more. It’s RE-diculous (yes, I meant to spell it like that). Radio is mostly crap, and it wasn’t always like that. Because of which, I don’t really listen to it anymore. It’s good because I am spared the same song every 15 minutes, but presumably miss out on a gem that gets squeezed in at the midnight hour. Who am I kidding, that last part doesn’t happen any more, either. And before I go off on ANOTHER tangent, let me get to the heart of the subject.
So (Neo)Soul, apparently, is always needed to balance out the BS. And also, apparently, it hasn’t gone anywhere but perhaps under the radar, which is where I shamefully barely look anymore. but that has changed, dear friends. I’ve been holding on to this site for a while now, but I need to share it with you. I’ve already given you Honeysoul.com and it’s still a great place to go, but I have an equally impressive site for you to peruse. It’s called:
Truer words were never spoken. This is a great site for (Neo)Soul music lovers. It’s nicely laid out, too. The main focus, however, is the music as it should be. The site is the baby for the seemingly lovely Dallas, Texas based DJ Frances Jaye. Upon entering the site, you are greeted with all of your options for checking out said site. You will need Flash to check out stuff, but i’m pretty sure you already have it. At the top of the page, are links to other pages of interest on the site like Art, Photos, Events, Links to other site worth checking out (mainly Music Labels), and Music (links to Artist pages/sites). There’s also a Guestbook and an About page where I gleamed some info off of. Please check them all out, but the glue for the site is in the Lounge, which is the first button at the top. This brings up a pop up and where most of the action takes place. The lounge is where there is a 24 hour music player running, called the Cafe (hence the name). All you have to do is choose your stream (Windows Media, Itunes, or Quicktime, winamp, and connection type of whichever you choose) and let the musical goodness wash over you. The music is GREAT. You could hear anything from Amel Larrieux to Wayna (not Boyz II men one) and everything in between. All work safe….provided your work will let you stream music at all. Oh, and for you Hip Hoppers out there, there is a Hop Hop Lounge that you can listen to also. It is the same as the Cafe, but playing more hip Hop like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Digable Planets, and many others you may or may not know. Cool thing about both players is that it is a good quality stream so it sounds great. Even more, the artist, track and album name is there and you can click the album art to buy it from Amazon or Itunes.
And if that isn’t enough, every Sunday night from 7 – 9 Central Time(8 -10 Eastern), the one Frances Jaye jumps on the boards for a two hour set called,”Neo Soul Cafe Live”. At least I think she still does as I haven’t had a chance to catch the stream live. And she seems to like Roy Ayers. I ain’t mad at her. So how do I know this? Well, i’m glad you asked. Guess what, the “live” sets are downloadable from the lounge under “Podcasts”(click audio) and you can subscribe to it just as easily. Think is, I hadn’t seen a new one the Hip Hop mixtape back in May. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Here’s what got to me a bit more. On the first show I downloaded and listened to, it took a little over 30 minutes before I heard something I remotely knew (a Floetry song, if you’re interested), but I was groovin’ the whole way. I was excited about the fact that there was all of this music from people that I hadn’t heard about, but at the same time, I was put off because I can’t believe I didn’t know about these people. I heard names like Candy West, Geno Young, Eric Roberson, and W. Ellington Felton, who also has a group with Raheem Devaughn called CrossRhodes. Now I also heard songs from Van Hunt, Frank Mccomb, Hill St. Soul, and Ne-yo. And i’m so sick of hearing his song, but I feel the need to check out his album anyway. That and the aforementioned Raheem Devaughn for some reason. Just to rattle off a couple more names, there was stuff by Carmen Rogers, Geno Young, Goapele, and YahZarah.
Now, in case you didn’t know about who those l just mentioned, there is also a video component that is apparently is on television in certain markets called, what else, the Neo Soul Cafe. From what I read, it’s been on TV for a couple of years now? And it’s also viewable(under shows), downloadable and can be subscribed to from the Lounge (under podcasts. click video). There, you can find music videos and interviews with artists such as the last ones mentioned. It’s a good show. Check it out. As a matter of fact, stop reading this and just go there now. You should have done that well before now…unless you have. If you haven’t…go! I’ve had it as a link on the left for a while now, so maybe i’m preaching to the choir.
I know I was a little light on the artist links I would normally put in, but i’m sleepy and may put them in later. By the way, did anyone know that “Over There” star, former Power Ranger, “Half and Half” and”ER” guester, Keith Robinson could sing?