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Tag Archives: R. Kelly

Getting Into Black Panties: Reviewing R. Kelly’s latest

16 Dec

Here’s the thing about R. Kelly: At this point, he has nothing left to prove to anyone.  Except, clearly, himself, which is why this 46-year-old self-described “Pied Piper of R&B,” who’s sold a cool 38.5 million albums since 1991, just released his latest, Black Panties.

Yep, Black Panties.  It’s a good bet that after releasing two albums of throwback, Motown-inspired music – 2010’s Love Letter and 2012’s Write Me Back – Kelly felt the need to get back to basics.  In R. Kelly’s world, this involves being as horny as possible all the time and letting people know.

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Getting Ready For R. Kelly At Pitchfork: A Beginner’s Guide

20 Jul

The weekend is approaching, and you’ve bought tickets to Pitchfork 2013.  Amidst all the band names that involve either A) Plural Nouns (Woods, Savages, Swans, Metz), or B) Something Foreign-Sounding (Mikal Cronin, Toro Y Moi, Autre Ne Veut), you’ll see a familiar name: R. Kelly.

Saturday night, it’s all happening baby.

Maybe you’ve heard Aziz Ansari’s take on seeing Kelly in concert .  You’ve definitely heard of his sex scandal, but let’s not get into that right now.  The point is: have you heard the man’s stuff?

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Two New Nelly Songs You’re Going To Be Upset About

30 May

I’ll be brief.

How far we've come since since Air Force Ones.

How far we’ve come since since Air Force Ones.

Recording artist and known Benzie enthusiast Nelly is gearing up to release a new album later this summer, to be called M.O.

Naturally, pop radio has gotten ahold of two new singles in anticipation.  And by “anticipation,” I mean someone on Nelly’s team is paying good ke$ha to make sure that we might remember Nelly as more than just that guy with the one song about “riding with me.”

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Live at the Ave: The Welcome

13 Jan

I have only known one punctual drummer in my whole life. I think that he now plays in a Sonic Youth cover band in Beloit.

Although I am certain that The Welcome drummer Casey Harding is the most punctiliously prompt percussionist there ever was, he was delayed from our taping of this Live at the Ave session by a freak incident on Lower Wacker.

It turned out to be an excellent stroke of luck.

We ended up staying at The Welcome‘s apartment for hours on end, cooking dinner and talking about everything from the songwriting of Blink-182 to Social Security reform. When you’ve got a couple of hours to kill with a guy like Gehring Miller, the frontman of a four-piece that includes Sarah Johnson (vocals, keyboard, percussion), Jonah Kort (bass), and Casey Harding (drums), discussions about the intonation of the guitars at live Sleater-Kinney shows feel pretty natural and you’re no longer surprised to find yourself endorsing Def Leppard as a tremendously talented band.*

Casey Harding, Gehring Miller, Sarah Johnson, and Jonah Kort of The Welcome

The Welcome are coming off of a daring challenge, a project devoted to recording one EP a month for eight months. Recording and producing 31 songs in the time that it takes most freshmen to develop a tolerance, The Welcome constructed a discography that displays an inspired trove of skilled songwriting and musicianship. With EPs devoted to R. Kelly** covers and NPR and everything in between, the Chicago band displays their knack for finding poetry in the most disparate places, from magical socks to football, and the artistic value of frequently producing work of a high quality.

By the end of The Welcome’s final EP, Odds & Ends & Endings, it is clear that not only did the band make an impressive collection of music since the start of their project, but that they also have improved into a tight-knit and incredibly adept band that is capable of creating an abundance of compelling music in the future (starting with their next EP, slated for March).

And on top of that, they’re fucking killer cooks. Not to mention passionate Cholula addicts. Enjoy!

Sherman Ave is extraordinarily grateful to The Welcome for agreeing to this foray into multimedia, as well as Alexander Waldman for his help and support on this project.
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*Never before in my life have I ever wanted to listen to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” so bad.
**Fun Fact: Gehring Miller and Evander Jones attended the same high school as the female R. Kelly “allegedly” peed on.