By Charles Hallman
Any actor hired to play “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” in a biopic expectedly would be challenged at every split or scream he’d attempt in character on screen. Chadwick Boseman demonstrated this as he played the late James Brown in Get On Up, based on the legendary singer’s life – the film hit theaters today (Friday, August 1). “It’s hard to do James Brown,” says Kenny Lang, adding that it takes “a high energetic actor” to portray the singer. He and Sybil Lang saw an advance screening of the movie July 29 at AMC Southdale Center 16 in Edina. “I was hoping the story would have more on [Brown] up to his death [in 2006],” says Sybil Lang. Continue Reading →
James Brown a/k/a the Godfather of Soul, precursor to Prince, did not lead what you would call a wholesome life. He grew up in a shack dirt poor, lived in a brothel, went to prison at age 16 for robbery, later went to prison again for assault and battery and, throughout his career — despite insisting his band members stay clean — did drugs, abused women and, well, as the expression goes, wasn’t nothin’ nice. On the other hand, his was, it goes without saying, one hell of a career. He was, onstage, on record and over the radio — long before MTV — celebrated, hell, worshipped as the entertainment heart and soul of grassroots Black America at its grittiest. When he released “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” it immediately became the national anthem for a 1960s groundswell that saw increasing urban unrest and hailed Brown as Soul Brother No. Continue Reading →
A movie review
By Dwight Hobbes
Were baseball, back in 1947, the boring, high-priced waste of time and money it is today, you’d have to wonder why Jackie Robinson went to the trouble. In those days, though, it was an exciting sport to watch and, of course, to play. Athletes loved the game. They had to. Unlike today’s lackadaisical, overpaid prima donnas, even the stars of the sport then worked jobs in the off-season, selling furniture, pumping gas, farming, what have you. Continue Reading →
Fri., Apr. 12, 10 pm • Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742 or epicmpls.com
Grammy award-winning Jamaican reggae artist and self-proclaimed “King of Dancehall.”
Fri., Apr. 12, 7 pm • Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-2674 or www.thecedar.org • Catch the Midwest debut by Mali’s new music sensation, who has been wooing critics and lighting up stages around the world with her radiant voice, coolly infectious Afro-pop, and smoking live band.
Eric Kamau Gravatt
Fri., Apr. Continue Reading →
Thurs., Apr. 4, 8 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com • With a sound that evokes comparison to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Prince, Rahsaan Patterson has become a force in the R&B/neo-soul world. For over 15 years Patterson has released five albums, toured constantly and has collaborated with a number of soul music luminaries.
Toots and the Maytals
Sat., Apr. 6, 9 pm • Mill City Nights, 111 5th St. Continue Reading →
Masta Killa of the Wu-Tang Clan
Fri., Mar. 29, 9 pm • Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, 612-285-3112 or www.amsterdambarandhall.com • Masta Killa has made appearances on every Wu-Tang Clan album, many solo Wu projects, as well as projects by Afu-Ra, Bounty Killer and Public Enemy.
Fri., Mar. 29, 9 pm • Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave., Mpls., 612-338-6425 or www.cabooze.com • Def Jam recording artist Redman helped shape a generation of hip hop artists. Continue Reading →