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The pioneering Platinum Pied Pipers give neo-soul its due; "The Club Scene" at the Endup is the real deal

In the words of Billy Joel (OK, not really): "Everybody talkin' 'bout the new sound/ Funny, but it's still just soul to me." And so it is to the Platinum Pied Pipers , pioneers in the genre oft referred to (and derided as) neo-soul. The group consists of Saadiq and Waajeed; the latter co-founded Detroit's influential Slum Village, which helped blur the lines between hip hop and soul, something the PPPs continue to do with a deft and discriminating touch. Their debut album, Triple P, is a musical microcosm of the Motor City; elements of rock and house commingle with the usual suspects -- hip hop and soul music -- and everyone gets along famously. They even pull off an ambitious Brazilian-flavored cover of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" on this double LP, which also features guest vocals by former Slum Village MC and (longtime superproducer) Jay Dilla and gifted songstresses Tiombe Lockhart and Georgia. Get soulful in any number of ways with the Pipers at Mighty this Thursday, June 2; call 626-7001 or visit www.mighty119.com for more info.-- Ross Viator


Sometimes a club bills itself as the "party to be at, and be seen at," a motto that usually tells me a joint like the always-classy Sno-drift bar is trying to attract a sausage-fest, ladies-drink-for-free crowd. And if that's your poison, have at it. But when Juanita More uses the old adage, you know she means it. What's so nifty about More's "The Club Scene," aside from said posturing, is its improvisational mix of music. The DJs generally play whatever fancies them at that moment -- something that could go very right or very wrong. That is to say, DJs Derek B, Dave Peterson, and Juanita herself don't act like DJs-cum-pedagogues spinning only the most critical and significant rare sounds that sired whatever genre of music. (Which, in another setting, can be thrilling. But when you're high and on your fourth Corona at midnight? Not so much.) What you hear are amiable dance beats ranging anywhere from '70s hits to M.I.A. to En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" (a song whose video -- one that courageously combined the effects of four Funky Divas bearing witness to bigotry with the couture of Jean Paul Gaultier and a runway -- did more to inform a teenage me about racism than The Bluest Eye or The Invisible Man ever could). The "Scene" starts this and every first Saturday of the month at the Endup; call 357-0827 or visit www.juanitamore.com.-- Brock Keeling

 
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