A close up of the back of a dollar bill with a stamp on it saying Not to be used to buy elections

Renee Dion’s newest album Haven is probably my favorite Columbus release. Musically, the R & B singer sits somewhere between Sade and Charlotte Gainsboug.

This kind of begs the question. Is R & B the most vibrant form of music right now?

John Legend has pretty much taken a place next to Bruce Springsteen as mainstream liberal America’s favorite entertainer. The Weekend, Rihanna and Beyonce are constantly releasing music that could almost be trip hop if the songs didn’t operate so smoothly.

Obviously, this can work within the same thesis that Drake and Diplo are the same guy. 

Never forget DJ Khaled’s is a man who was a Miami DJ who came from the NYC Golden-era of Hip Hop surrounded by the rise of Miami Bass, Latin Music, No Limit, Cash Money and various influences.

R.I.P. Amy Winehouse.

The blogosphere recently had fun with WFMU’s billboard depicting Justin Bieber, RIhanna and Charles Manson. WFMU is one of the most well regarding radio stations when it comes to playing underground garage, punk. Hip hop, funk soul and whatever else is tasteful in the past 70 years of music.

This billboard isn’t a wacky attempt at irony utilizing pop culture figures like a flyer you would have saw in the mid-aughts It’s more of commentary on how mainatream musicians have embraced curators, influencers and other obscure experts into a reality landscape that is ripe with messages and nuances of multiple literacies.

The Billboards say: have you noticed how we got rid of Frankenstein’s design flaws.

Side note: My guess is a bulk of the soul records WFMU player were hits. Now, I doubt Renee Dion has the resources of a Rihanna or Bieber. However, I don’t find this indicative of why it’s hard for a new rock band that isn’t punk or well versed in electronic music to be as interesting as people in the R & B and hip hop realms.

Pitchfork just ran a Columbus about Black musicians wanting to do things outside of R and B and Hip Hop. This is not about them. This is about boring, mostly white bands.

After Renee Dion performed at the Columbus Museum of Art she was in L.A. with Robert Glasper of Black Radio fame for a Hurricane Benefit.

Robert Glasper is a musician who specializes in making the soul, jazz and history of music sound new. My guess is that neither Robert Glasper nor Renee Dion aspires to be the next Bieber or Rihanna.  Renee Dion did sing the national anthem before an Obama speech so John Legend might be slightly closer.

My point is that it’s probably hard for a lot rock bands to cull the history of music into a well-designed and sequenced form. Especially if someone can carry a melody. Justin Bieber, Ozzy and Chance the Rapper can sing with charisma.

I caught Shabazz Palaces at Ace of Cups earlier in the month.

The music was like if you dubbed whatever the overlap between Thundercat, Dilla and Flying Lotus would be if you had Lee “Scratch” Perry on the boards. Shabazz Palaces is Butterfly from Digable Planets project. His music was executed with a drum machine and various multi-instrumentalists. Shabbazz Palaces kept the capacity room completely mesmerized.

If you factor that sonically, Shabazz Palaces is somewhat playing in the same lane as people that Kendrick Lamar is working with.

Thundercat and Flying Lotus are producing the 2017’s ‘Chronic’  album cuts with their blend of Funkadelic and Radiohead.

I caught a punk band at Bourbon Street. This band was playing their 10-year anniversary show. They are a band that consists of members of Teeth of the Hydra, Vile Gash and Killed in Action.

I’m not going print their name as to avoid the possibility of blowing up the spot. Those dudes have been playing in bands, buying records and facilitating culture since before I can remember. My point is that taste with the history of music makes sounds. And most people are more worried about Health Care and stopping racism to worry about Bieber.

This isn’t even an argument about “Rockism” or “anti-rockism.”

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