Hey funkateers! The incomparable Nikka Costa has recorded a session for Daytrotter. She performed “Head First,” “Nylons in a Rip,” and “Pebble to a Pearl.” Download the session (and many other great ones) for the bargain price of $2/month at Daytrotter.
Top: A photo of Nikka Costa that I took. Bottom: Janis Joplin's "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama" album cover
A few years ago, I was in Los Angeles seeing one of my favorite performers, the one and only Nikka Costa. Her music, if you don’t know it, it soulful and funky. I’ve often tried to describe her sound to people as what you’d get if James Brown and Janis Joplin had a musical baby! If you’ve not heard Nikka’s music, I urge you to fix that immediately! I was in the front row watching Nikka Costa deliver a goose bump inducing performance of her song “Push and Pull.” (A video from Nikka performing “Push and Pull” in New York will be coming soon, so stay tuned!) In the middle of the song, I couldn’t help but feel that Janis Joplin’s spirit was ever present in the room with us. I took out my camera and snapped a photo of Nikka Costa living completely in the moment. When I reviewed my pictures after the concert was over, I couldn’t believe the similarities between my photo (pictured on top) and the cover of Janis Joplin’s “I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama” album cover (as pictured below). Needless to say, the photo became my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.
I was fortunate enough to meet Nikka Costa last week when she performed another amazing show in New York and I was able to tell her the above story as well as having her sign my photo! Yay for me! Thanks again to Nikka Costa for always putting on a great show and for signing this photo which is already framed and hanging proudly in my house.
On July 14, 2011, I was at the Highline Ballroom in New York seeing the always amazing Nikka Costa perform. I was kickin’ it in the VIP section when I looked to my right and saw that Adam Lambert and his friends were standing inches from me. Bonus! If you are a new reader to According2g, you’ll see on the “Encounters with G” section that amazing experiences like this one happen to me all the time. Bookmark the site and check it daily – you never know what kind of crazy things I’ll get up to! But I digress… All of us danced all night long to Nikka’s music, which is one of the closest things you can have to a religious experience, according2g. Nikka’s got the soul, Nikka’s got the funk and she’s an electrifying performer. Adam Lambert, whose hair is working it in ways I can’t even describe in words, was so cool when we chatted. As he was with friends, I didn’t monopolize too much of his time, but as you can see above, he was cool enough to pose for this really cool photo as you can see above. Adam is working on his 2nd album and I am hoping there’s a Nikka Costa collaboration on it. Fingers crossed! Thanks again Adam. Hope you had as good a time as I had!
I’m just going to say it – I think Nikka Costa is one of the best live performers around. Since her 2001 album “Everybody Got Their Something” was released, I’ve seen Nikka live at least 10 times in multiple cities and every time, she is amazing! It was no different when she kicked New York’s ass on July 14, 2011 at the Highline Ballroom. If you’ve never heard her music, you must remedy that immediately! She packs the funk of James Brown and has the soul of Janis Joplin. Nikka hit the stage around 9:15 PM and delivered the goods for nearly 2 hours. She played an even mix of tracks off her latest 3 albums and also included songs from her new EP “Pro*Whoa!”
You’ll be seeing a video of “Push and Pull,” coming soon, so stay tuned – you won’t want to miss it. Seeing that song performed is akin to a musical religious experience for me. She hits the notes and I think the song is one of the most beautiful tracks of the new millennium. For most bands, a song of that magnitude would be the closing number, but not for Nikka Costa. She sandwiched it in a powerful run of songs that included the new song “Pro*Whoa!,” “Like A Feather” (which had everyone in the crowd clapping along during the chorus), the new song “Nylons in a Rip,” and “Can’tneverdidnothing.” Nikka played percussion for a little bit, engaged the audience (which included Adam Lambert in attendance) with sing-a-longs and even got down on her knees to plead on the funk!
You do not want to miss Nikka Costa when she comes to your town! She’s got funk that’ll kick your butt and have you begging for more. Her new EP “Pro*Whoa!” is available online and for the Youtubers out there, she’s launched a channel called “Nikka’s Box,” where she uploads exclusive performances that sometimes feature special guests. After the show was over, Nikka signed copies of “Pro*Whoa!” and I think it’s safe to say, everyone in attendance danced away into the night with a smile on their face.