Review: A Conversation with D’Angelo at Brooklyn Museum

Posted by The G on May 22, 2014 under Encounters with G, G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

D'Angelo

D’Angelo

One of the most reclusive figures in music came out of hiding last night on May 21, 2014 as the Red Bull Music Academy hosted “A Conversation with D’Angelo” at the Brooklyn Museum.  The auditorium was packed with fans, like me all who thought we’d finally get some of our questions answered – namely “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS?!”

Nelson George and D'Angelo

Nelson George and D’Angelo

Music critic Nelson George moderated the conversation and it was super fascinating, even though extremely light on subjects such as the two solo albums D’Angelo has released over the last 20 years, 1995’s “Brown Sugar” (which was mentioned very briefly) and 2000’s “Voodoo” (which was discussed for much less time than D’Angelo’s first band – I.D.U. which stands for Intelligent, Deadly, Unique).  Name-checked during the conversation were Jesse Johnson, Alan Leeds, Prince and Questlove (who came up to the stage twice to help fill in D’Angelo’s stories).  It was also amusing that D’Angelo smoked cigarettes on stage inside the auditorium of a museum!  This is the second time I’ve seen someone smoke cigarettes near art (the first being Courtney Love).

D'Angelo and Questlove

D’Angelo and Questlove

The most fascinating fact of the night had nothing to do with D’Angelo’s music and instead it was about Sly Stone (of Sly and The Family Stone).  D’Angelo mentioned that he’s met with Sly and Sly’s played him some of the “vast amounts” of unreleased music that he’s consistently recorded over the years including Sly’s experimentation with Auto-Tune, but D’Angelo said that he takes the vocal enhancer to a whole new level of weirdness – and could we expect any less from Sly?  Will those Sly songs ever see the light of day?  We have no idea.  Will any new studio material from D’Angelo ever see the light of day?  We have no idea.  Though I thoroughly enjoyed watching the talk, I learned less about D’Angelo than is on his Wikipedia page, which was not just disappointing, but it left me scratching my head wondering why “the elephant in the room” (aka “why has there been no new music in 14 years aside from a surprise concert here and there over the years”) was not the focal point of this discussion.

Until there is new music, at least the world has the classic “Voodoo” and “Brown Sugar” albums to help us groove and make babies to.  Any time you want to release music, the world is ready, willing and waiting!

Apparently the conversation was streamed live over the internet and I am not sure if it will be archived for later viewing, so check Google.

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