Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 3rd 2010 11:30AM by Mike Ayers
He was in such a good mood, his set opened with what essentially was a 15-minute stand-up bit. And guess what? He's hysterical. He cracked jokes about his Tennessee origins, saying that he grew up knowing everyone in the state, including Davey Crockett and Smokey the Bear. He discussed music critics' love of his recent absence, asking how a person could not do anything for 15 straight years. And he brought up his computer, saying that he wasn't too keen on Windows operating systems.
"Has any one of you ever felt you're a victim of technologies?" he asked the crowd moments after taking the stage. "The more modern I get, the more behind I fall. None of this works for me." It's not surprising that Scott-Heron would lament about the perils of a techno-crazed world; his most famous song, 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' isn't considered to be an anthem of embrace.
But those feelings of revolution, Scott-Heron said, were in the past, as was the night's set. For the first 45 minutes, Scott-Heron sat alone on stage with just a miniature keyboard, dipping into his history with 'Winter in America,' after a 10-minute intro, where he seemingly free-formed a narrative about how the seasons fight with each other. The set list also included 'Moving Target,' the title track from his 1984 album, a duet with pianist Kim Jordan on 'We Almost Lost Detroit' and a conga-fueled encore of 'Is That Jazz?'
Even thought Scott-Heron has been quiet-musically, he's still up on who's been sampling his work. He exalted praise for those over the years that have used his work over the years: PM Dawn, Kanye West, 2Pac and Common, calling the latter two geniuses.
Those expecting one song after another, probably may have left a bit disappointed -- he only played seven total tunes -- but Scott-Heron is a storyteller, and good storytellers don't pay attention to clocks. They pay attention to the audience and he could tell that he had everyone hooked for most of the evening. That's what Scott-Heron does well.
'I'm New Here' is out now on XL Records.