Tag Archives: Living Colour

Hey, Remember Living Colour? Sure You Do.

Living-Colour-by-Bill-Bernstein

You remember “Cult of Personality,” of course, especially if you had MTV in 1989. The 10-second preamble from Malcom X. Vernon Reid’a million-candlepower vamp, searing instantly onto your brain. Frontman Corey Glover’s whirling dreadlocks. His burly soul-sanger wail, lithe but authoritative, though he was not yet twenty-five. His unfortunate yellow bike shorts. (Look, it was the 80s. Axl was wearing them, too.)

“Cult of Personality” went to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Garmmy for Best Hard Rock Performance. But its real achievement was to embed a message of political skepticism in a mainstream hit for the first time in a long while. (Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” became an even bigger smash that same year.) Continue reading

Live Last Night: James Hunter and Ryan Shaw

james-hunter-autograph

Reviewed last night at the Birchmere; showed up on Post Rock and in Thursday’s Paper of Record.   My all-new, all-earlier deadline makes we write things like this:

“If melisma is The Force and Mariah Carey is Darth Vader, then Shaw would be Obi-Wan Kenobi, a steady, beneficent presence who uses his potentially destructive powers for good.”