R&B

EP18: Frannie Kelley on TLC's "CrazySexyCool" (1994)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Frannie Kelley

The album: TLC's CrazySexyCool (1994)

Frannie Kelley, alongside Ali Shaheed Muhammed, hosts the Microphone Check podcast and when we invited her onto our show, she wanted to talk about one of her formative musical experiences as a teenager: TLC's sophomore album, CrazySexyCool. The three of us talked about how TLC shaped adolescent ideas about sexuality and femininity, how the group repped the hip-hop South at a time when that was just becoming to be recognized nationally, and how the group had one of the more underrated liner notes font game going on.

More on TLC's CrazySexyCool

More on Frannie Kelley

Show Tracklisting (all songs from CrazySexyCool unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Intro-Lude”
  • “Red Light Special”
  • Brandy: Waiting To Exhale “Sittin Up In My Room”
  • Brandy: Brandy “I Wanna Be Down”
  • “Switch”
  • “Waterfalls”
  • “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
  • “Sexy(Interlude)”
  • “Can I Get A Witness (Interlude)”
  • “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
  • Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times “If I was Your Girlfriend”
  • “Creep”
  • “Diggin On You”
  • “Take Our Time”
  • TLC: FanMail “No Scrubs”

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Heat Rocks, EP 14: Bosco on Erykah Badu's "Mama's Gun"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Bosco

The album: Erykah Badu: Mama's Gun (Motown, 2000)

Bosco was an artist that Morgan knew, from jump, she wanted to get on the show. A Savannah native who's now an L.A. transplant (by way of Atlanta), Bosco's been steady climbing the ranks in the music game and has had a breakout year in 2017, especially wiht the release of her full-length, b.

For her pick, Bosco wanted to revisit one of the formative albums that shaped her imagination as a kid: Erykah Badu's sophomore album: Mama's Gun. If Baduizm helped put Badu on the map, Mama's Gun - which was produced by the same Soulquarian team also working on D'Angelo's Voodoo and Common's Like Water For Chocolate - firmly established her as the preeminent queen of what was then called neo-soul and these days seems better described as future soul. Our conversation touched on many aspects of how Badu and her sound landed on people's ears back at the turn of the century and how it continues to reverberate today.

More on Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun

More on Bosco

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Mama's Gun unless indicated otherwise):

  • ”Bag Lady”
  • Bosco: b. “Castles”
  • Erykah Badu: Baduizm “Apple Tree”
  • ”Other Side Of The Game”
  • The Roots: Things Fall Apart “You’ve Got Me ft. Erykah Badu and Jill Scott Live”
  • Res: How I Do “How I Do”
  • ”Cleva”
  • SZA: Ctrl “Normal Girl”
  • ”Time’s A Wastin”
  • ”…&On”
  • ”Didn’t Cha Know”
  • Bosco: b. “Free”
  • ”Penitentiary Philosophy”
  • ”A.D. 2000”
  • ”Orange Tree”
  • …&On
  • ”Kiss Me ON My Neck”
  • ”Booty”
  • ”Green Eyes”
  • ”In Love With You Ft. Stephen Marley”
  • Erykah Badu: “I’ve Been Going Through it All”
  • ”Orange Tree”
  • …&On
  • ”Kiss Me ON My Neck”
  • ”Booty”
  • ”Green Eyes”
  • ”In Love With You Ft. Stephen Marley”
  • Erykah Badu: Erykah Badu “Amerykahn Promise”

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Heat Rocks, EP 11: Suzi Analogue on Missy Elliott's "Da Real World" (1999)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Suzi Analogue

The album: Missy Elliott: Da Real World (Elektra, 1999)

Artist and producer Suzi Analogue originally hails from Missy Elliott's native state of Virginia though these days, she's rooted in Los Angeles, having come up within the city's beat scene. Suzi wanted to talk about what she described as the "underdog" album, Missy's enormously successful yet somewhat forgotten sophomore album, Da Real World, one in a string of five back-to-back platinum LPs for Missy and her production partner, Timbaland. We talked about Missy's creative genius and what that meant for a young girl, growing up in VA.

More on Missy Elliott and Da Real World:

More on Suzi Analogue

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Da Real World unless indicated otherwise):

  • All In My Grill
  • Suzi Analogue: Wildflower (from Zonez V3)
  • Mr. DJ
  • Missy Elliott: The Rain (from Supa Dupa Fly)
  • You Don't Know (feat. Lil Mo)
  • Stickin' Chickens (feat. Aaliyah)
  • Timbaland and Magoo: Up Jumps the Boogie (from Welcome To Our World)
  • Timbaland and Magoo: Clock Strikes (from Welcome To Our World)
  • Bus A Rhyme (feat. Eminem)
  • Crazy Feelings (feat. Beyonce)
  • U Can't Resist (feat. BG and Juvenile)
  • She's a Bitch
  • Beat Biters
  • We Did It

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EP10: B.Slade on Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" (Recorded live!)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
B.Slade

The album: Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation 1814 (A&M, 1989)

This episode is the edited version of our special live launch party we held on Nov. 11 in Los Angeles, as part of the Voyager Institute. We were joined by Grammy-nominated soul artist B.Slade, a self-described "Rhythm Nation-pedia" who, indeed, brought incredible insight and knowledge to our discussion of this seminal Jackson LP. How many people can name every single dancer in Janet's "Miss You Much" video? Exactly.

It was a delightful conversation and having the live audience was great. It was our first time taping in front of an audience but hopefully won't be our last. Thanks to all those who came out and to those who couldn't, we're happy you finally get to listen to this.

 

More on Janet Jackson and Rhythm Nation 1814:

More on B.Slade:

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Rhythm Nation unless indicated otherwise):

  • Intro from "Rhythm Nation"
  • "Interlude: T.V."
  • B.Slade: Alright 2016
  • "Knowledge"
  • "Interlude: Livin'...In Complete Darkness"
  • "You Need Me" (b-side of the "Miss You Much" single)
  • "Miss You Much"
  • "Alright"
  • Beyonce: "Freedom"
  • "Rhythm Nation"
  • "Miss You Much"
  • "Love Will Never Do"
  • "Someday Is Tonight"
  • "Living In a World They Didn't Make"
  • DeBarge: "Love Me In a Special Way"
  • The Carpenters: "Close To You"

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Heat Rocks, EP 9: The Shacks on The Sapphires' "Best Of" (1960s)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
The Shacks

The album: The Sapphires: Best Of (Heritage, 1994)

This week, we are joined by The Shacks, the NYC-based duo of singer Shannon Wise and producer Max Shrager. Maybe you heard their cool cover of The Kinks' "This Strange Effect" on that Apple ad this fall? Or maybe you were already up on them from their EP, released by Big Crown? Either way, Max and Shannon threw us a curveball with their choice: a 1994 compilation of nearly two dozen sides recorded in the mid-1960s by The Sapphires, the obscure-ish R&B trio of Carol Jackson, George Gainer and Joe Livingston that recorded with Swan and ABC-Paramount before dissolving circa 1966. We talked about the unique sound of The Sapphires, the roots of Philly soul, and what it's like to dig through the crates to figure out your own sound.

This episode was both the first time we had a group in the studio, which was fun, and the first time we tackled an album from the 1960s. Hopefully, it won't be the last, for either.

More on The Sapphpires and their Best Of anthology:

More on The Shacks:

Show Tracklisting:

  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Who Do You Love"
  • The Shacks: The Shacks EP "This Strange Effect"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Lets Break Up For A While"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Gotta Have Your Love"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Come On And Love Me"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Your True Love"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Your True Love"
  • Edison Lighthouse: Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Hearts Are Made to be Broken"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "I've Got Mine, You Better Get Yours"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Who Do You Love"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Slow Fizz"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Baby You've Got Me"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Hearts Are Made To Be Broken"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Let Break Up For A While"
  • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Gotta Have Your Love"

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Heat Rocks, EP 8: Ernest Hardy on Sade's "Love Deluxe" (1992)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Ernest Hardy

The album: Sade: Love Deluxe (Epic., 1992)

This week, we are joined by cultural critic Ernest Hardy. Oliver first got to know Ernest through his remarkable writing in the LA Weekly and other outlets, some of which has been compiled into his Blood Beats Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 collections. For this episode, he chose Sade's Love Deluxe, which came out 25 years ago this fall. Ernest's deep love and appreciation for Sade was readily apparent to both Morgan and Oliver and it produced what we think is one of the most insightful episodes we've taped thus yet. We really loved this episode, we hope you do too.

More on Sade and Love Deluxe:

More on Ernest Hardy:

Show Tracklisting:

  • Sade: No Ordinary Love
  • Massive Attack: Blue Lines
  • Smith and Mighty: Too Late
  • Sade: King of Sorrow
  • Sade: Pearls
  • Funk Brothers: Since I Lost You (Instrumental)
  • Sade: Cherish the Day
  • Sade: Feel No Pain
  • Sade: When Am I Going to Make a Living
  • Sade: Clean Heart
  • Sade: Pearls (Live, Hollywood Bowl)
    Sade: Bulletproof Soul
  • Sade: Somewhere In My Sadness
  • Sade: Kiss of Life

(Also, this episode was edited by co-host Oliver Wang!)
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Heat Rocks, EP 7: Anil Dash on Prince's "1999" (1982)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Anil Dash

The album: Prince: 1999 (Warner Bros., 1982)

This week, we are joined by Anil Dash, the tech entrepreneur and activist whose love for The Purple One is legendary. He takes us into the Heat Rocks deep dive for Prince's 1999, the album that marked his new wave turn. All three of us share tales of our older family members being scandalized by the sexy-sexiness on the album. Mmmmmm...spicy. 

More on Prince and 1999:

More on Anil Dash:

Show Tracklisting:

  • Prince: 1999 "1999"
  • Prince: 1999 "Delirious"
  • Prince: 1999 "D.M.S.R."
  • Michael Jackson Thriller "Thriller"
  • Prince: 1999 "Little Red Corvette"
  • Prince: 1999 "Lady Cab Driver"
  • Prince: 1999 "Something in the Water"
  • Prince: 1999 "Free"
  • Prince: 1999 "All The Critics Love U in New York"

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Heat Rocks, EP 2: Phonte on Intro's "Intro" (1993)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Phonte

The album: Intro: Intro (Atlantic, 1993)

This week rapper, producer, and songwriter Phonte (Foreign Exchange, Little Brother) joins Oliver and Morgan to talk about R&B group Intro's 1993 self-titled debut album. The release was part of the changing tide of R&B music, when slow jams were giving way to more uptempo hits and singers were exchanging suits for Timbs and jeans.

Phonte shares about what Intro's brand of new jack swing meant to him as a teenager learning about life in Greensboro, North Carolina. Don't get him wrong: he was a hardcore hip-hop head, but he grew up both in an R&B household and in the church where singing was a big part of his musical formation. Phonte breaks down the group's influence on his understanding of songwriting, lyrics, and the balance between uptempo and down-tempo songs. He also discusses the album's mature themes, crediting them for helping a young brother's macking game.

More on Intro

More on Phonte:

Tracklisting:

  • Intro: Love Thang
  • Intro: Let Me Be The One
  • Jodeci: Forever My Lady
  • Brick: Dazz (1976)
  • Heavy D & The Boyz: Mr. Big Stuff
  • Jade: Don't Walk Away (1992)
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Award Tour
  • Mary J. Blige - You Don't Have To Worry
  • Intro: Come Inside
  • Intro: Why Don't You Love Me?
  • Intro: Ribbon in the Sky
  • Intro: One of a Kind Love
  • Faith Evans: Reasons
  • Intro: Ecstasy of Love
  • Intro: So Many Reasons
  • Intro: Don't Leave Me
  • Intro: It's All About You
  • Foreign Exchange: If She Breaks Your Heart (feat. Yahzarah)

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Bullseye: Chuck Klosterman & W. Kamau Bell

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chuck Klosterman
Guests: 
W. Kamau Bell

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Chuck Klosterman on consuming culture on the Internet and how the present will be perceived in the future

Chuck Klosterman has written countless articles for GQ, ESPN, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian and more. His new book, But What if We’re Wrong, examines how the present will be perceived it as the past. What exactly will be thought of as important events to people that are hundreds of years removed from it all? Is it even possible to get every fact correct when writing about the past?

Klosterman sits down with Jesse to talk about how we consume culture, how historians frequently reinterpret historical events, and how writing online and writing for print are fundamentally different undertakings.

Chuck Klosterman’s book But What if We’re Wrong? is available now.


Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

W. Kamau Bell on the Best Advice He’s Received

Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell shares with us the best piece of advice he’s ever received.

The Outshot: Tony! Toni! Toné!

Jesse talks about Tony! Toni! Toné! and how they successfully merged soul music and hip-hop to create a new type of R&B.

Bullseye: Mary Roach & William Bell

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mary Roach
Guests: 
William Bell

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Mary Roach on Shark Repellant, Submarines and “The Suck”.

Though she didn’t earn a degree in the sciences, author Mary Roach has a knack for writing about them with insight and wit. Whether she’s describing what happens to the body after death or the many aspects of human sexuality, Roach makes her topics accessible and fun.

Roach has authored half a dozen books including: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, as well as articles for magazines including Vogue, GQ, and National Geographic.

Mary Roach sat down with Jesse about whether shark repellant actually exists, life on submarines and how leaches inspired her to write a book on military science.

Mary Roach’s new book is Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War


Photo: Jesse Thorn

William Bell on the Family at Staxx Records, His Career Before and After Being Drafted and His Voice, Then and Now

William Bell is a soul singer and songwriter whose distinctive sound is forever associated with the legendary Stax Records. Along with with performers like Otis Redding, Sam and Duke, Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers, Bell helped create music that continues to entertain and inspire.

He is famous for his hit songs including You Don’t Miss Your Water, Private Number, A Tribute to the King and Everybody Loves a Winner. He also co-wrote the classic song, Born Under a Bad Sign which was originally performed by Albert King and later covered by Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Cream and even Homer Simpson.

William Bell joined Jesse to talk about what it was like beginning his musical career while still a teenager, how he returned to his career after being drafted and what he thinks about his own voice, now that he is in his seventies.

William Bell’s new album is This is Where I Live.


Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images

The Outshot: Tanya Tucker’s What's Your Mama's Name

Jesse shares why Tanya Tucker’s voice and classic song, What’s Your Mama’s Name manages to move him every time he hears it.

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