Last night, Syl Johnson played a short set as part of the Hideout’s Expo Chicago closing party. And while well-dressed/hot mess Emmy nominees were wreaking havoc on the red carpet, causing Twitter blisters for a world-wide web of fashion bloggers, Syl Johnson was debuting this ensemble to a crowd of privy locals and Euro-yokels. While comparisons were made to Michael Jackson’s early-’90s military collection, a more direct resemblance could be drawn between the Twinight recording artist and boisterous headliners Mucca Pazza.
Syl is wearing Air Jordans (by Nike) and Obama cap (by Obama).
This is about 1/5th of Mucca Pazza, donning mix-matched marching band “uniforms.”
Filed under: Newsworthy, Numero Press, Syl Johnson, Twinight | Tags: Fresh Air, NPR, Syl Johnson
Once again, ex-pat homie and NPR correspondent Ed Ward does us a solid and shed’s some light on the man himself, Syl Johnson, for NPR’s Fresh Air today. Clocking in at a little over 8 1/2 minutes, Ward traces Johnson’s musical career from his beginnings in Mississippi and Chicago to his recent success becoming one of hip-hop’s most sampled artists.Take a breather here.
Filed under: Living Liner Notes, Twinight | Tags: Dig Deeper NYC, Living Liner Notes, Renaldo Domino
After threatening to do a podcast for nearly two years, intern Leigh gets it done in his third week. We grappled with what the subject for this inaugural podcast should be, but when Renaldo Domino came by to sign a few contracts last week and talk about his upcoming gig at the Brooklyn Soul Festival it was settled.
Give it a listen: http://01LivingLinerNotes001
We’re hoping to make this a monthly thing, but don’t hold us to it. In the meanwhile, why don’t you buy tickets for this?
Right before we struck out on the Eccentric Soul Revue tour last falls, we got a call from our friends at Luaka Bop asking if Renaldo Domino would be interested in laying his sugary falsetto over a Javelin track for inclusion on their debut for the label. So he did.
The results are mixed. Renaldo spares no energy, but the track isn’t really right for his singing style. Ultimately “Let’s Get Down” was left on the cutting room floor. Perhaps it’ll be released some day on a Javelin rarities collection, but don’t hold your breath.
So today we give you a gift, dear reader. The gift of 100 downloads, first come, first served.
In the wake of Stormy’s unfortunate passing last week, Ben Poster has put together a little short of his last interview he did with us back in May 2009.
Stormy passed on today.
John Colley, known to the world as Stormy, died today after a long battle with cancer. Around a year ago we learned about Stormy’s illness when we began planning for the Eccentric Soul Revue that was coming up in March. He initially agreed to come perform “The Devastator” to open the show, but when we came closer to the point when rehearsals were starting, he was already starting to get too weak to perform. A few months ago we took a trip down to visit Stormy for a final interview with Ben Poster and Kyle Obriot, the documentarians behind the Downriver Revival film. We were surprised to see that he was still strong and healthy looking, although his sense 0f humor was starting to slip away. We’ll post some clips from the interview when we can get them editted.
Stormy had a pretty long career in the local Chicago scene. After his first record as Stormy was issued, he produced a few sessions on other people, including “Psychedelic Soul” for Saxie Russell and a few tracks on El Anthony (formerly of The Passions). He formed the group The Lost Family and issued a single 45, “Pretty Face” backed with “Blow Your Mind”. It was issued a few times and must’ve sold somewhat well locally. He attempted to release an LP on the group but they broke up before it was released. Saborian and the Los is the name he chose to release the material they had recorded under. “The Los” was actually a typo, it was intended to read “The Lost”. Its distinctive name and cover (shot in front of Chicago’s Planetarium) made it a local curiosity but didn’t sell well anywhere else. He continued recording in the late 1980s and 1990s, issuing a few CDs and producing a few other local artists. Nothing managed to breakthrough for Stormy, but he never stopped trying. We always loved to get a call from Stormy. He will be missed.
Filed under: Methodology, Syl Johnson, Twinight | Tags: Bronzeville, Kid Rock, Linda Yu, Oprah Winfrey, Public Enemy, Syl Johnson, Wu-Tang Clan
Last week Numero took a field trip to Syl Johnson’s Bronzeville home to interview him about his life growing up in Mississippi and his early musical memories and experiences. It took awhile for us actually sit down with him and talk since we were totally blown away by the sheer amount of eye candy on the walls of his home.
Here’s the record room with platinum LPs from the likes of Public Enenmy, Wu-Tang, Kid Rock and a 10,000,000 sold cassette of Syl’s self released Twinight comp!
We were equally floored by Syl’s wall of fame in the hallway which includes headhsots of an early 80’s Oprah, WLS afternoon anchor woman Linda Yu (check this great video of her from 1994) and a photo collage of Syl with some random elderly people who we thnk came with the frame.
On our way out the door we were pretty excited to see a actual stock share of the Twinight Record label made out to Syl Sylvester (Johnson) Thompson back in 1968. More to come on the name change in the liner notes to the box set coming atcha’ in 2010.