Can’t wait for the new John Legend And The Roots album, Wake Up!, to be released next Tuesday? Our friends over at NPR Music are streaming the album in its entirety at this very moment. You can listen here. Featuring covers of topical songs from the 1960s and 1970s—including tracks such as “Compared To What,” “Hard Times,” “Little Ghetto Boy” and “I Can’t Write Left Handed”—Wake Up! is quickly becoming one of our favorite new releases of 2010. The album will be streaming until its release date on September 21st.
Photo courtesy of DHDesign
First Listen: John Legend And The Roots, ‘Wake Up!’ “During the past 18 months, Legend spent his spare time collaborating with ?uestlove and The Roots on covers of politically motivated soul music from the 1960s and ’70s. What started as a potential single turned into Wake Up!, 11 vintage songs which are at turns optimistic and frustrated about the times that birthed them.” Younger fans of Legend’s bedroom shtick are about to get a serious history lesson. (Roots fans, not so much.) (NPR)
Gamble & Huff Arsonist Sent To Prison “The saga of the fire that gutted Gamble & Huff’s legendary Philadelphia International Records headquarters in Center City back in February has come to a conclusion (legally speaking, anyway) with the sentencing of the drunken arsonist. Christoper Cimini of South Philly—who pleaded guilty to felony arson, criminal trespassing, and other charges back in July—has been sent to prison for one-and-a-half to 10 years, and must pay $11,000 in restitution.” (Make Major Moves)
Sisterly Love Block Party, celebrating rad girls in Philly “Sisterly Love is an event that is going to bring together an amazing group of strong women who are active in the Philadelphia’s creative community. It’s a day dedicated to celebrate girls talents and passions all in a full day of fun. There will be some rad live performances by Club Lyfestile, My Father Born, Maggie & the Hat, E603ina, Suga Shay, and Slutever.” (Phrequency)
Dismemberment Plan to embark on reunion tour (performs 1/27/11 at Starlight Ballroom) “Breaking news from the greater Washington indie-rockosphere! Local post-punk heroes Dismemberment Plan will reunite in January to support the vinyl reissue of its beloved 1999 album ‘Emergency & I.’ The D.C. quartet has plotted a short, five-gig trek up the eastern seaboard.” (Washington Post)
The Way We Were: “What’s The Best Part About Working At CDNow?” “A couple of years ago, when Philebrity did Philly Internet History Week, it went without saying that CDNow — one of the web’s first major music retailers, based in the area—was a huge part of the story. In just a few years, CDNow went from a garage-band type business to being an object lesson in dot-com 1.0 bubble-ry. This video, we can fairly assume, is emblematic of the latter era.” (Philebrity)
The Antlers announce Philly show (@ First Unitarian Church) “Less than 24 hours than I wrote here that I had no idea when The Antlers were returning to tour the U.S., they announce a headlining show at the First Unitarian Church on December 2. Tickets are already on sale for just $13. So get your tickets now, this is a show you do not want to miss.” (The Swollen Fox)
Bert Jansch Philly Show (And Entire U.S. Tour) Canceled “Iconic 66-year-old Scottish folk guitarist Bert Jansch has been forced to cancel his October 9th show at Johnny Brenda’s — where he was to play with Pegi Young (Neil Young’s wife)—because he has to undergo an immediate operation due to complications from his recent bout with lung cancer. We certainly wish Bert well and hope for a speedy recovery so he can get back to Philly soon, as we were really looking forward to the show.” (Make Major Moves)
Less than two weeks remain until the September 21st release of Wake Up!, the new album from John Legend & The Roots. All but one of the songs are covers of classic ’60s and ’70s R&B songs—including Donny Hathaway’s “Little Ghetto Boy,” Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody,” the Les McCann/Eddie Harris jazz-funk classic “Compared To What,” Bill Withers’ “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” and Baby Huey’s “Hard Times.” One original song, “Shine,” was written by Legend for the documentary, Waiting For Superman. The folks at Okay Player have already released “Shine” and “Hard Times,” which you can download for free here.
For those not familiar with the work of Chicago-based R&B and soul singer Baby Huey, listen to the original version of “Hard Times” in the video below.