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Preview: NPR People: Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang : NPR

Oliver Wang is a music writer, scholar, and DJ based in California. Since 1994, he's written on popular music, culture, race, and America for outlets such as National Public Radio, Vibe, Wax Poetics, Scratch, and The Village Voice.

Last Build Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2018 NPR - For Personal Use Only

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings' 'Soul Of A Woman' Is A Testament To Fortitude

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Throughout their career together, Jones and her band gave listeners something to feel with every recording and every performance. That's still true on their final album.

Sunny And The Sunliners' 'Mr. Brown Eyed Soul' Is For The Loved And Lovelorn

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:37:00 -0400

The prodigious San Antonio band's new anthology is a tempting selection of its most enduring singles, from the era that helped propel the band from Texas locals into national stardom.

Kendrick Lamar's 'DAMN.' Is Introspective And Unforgiving

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:00:00 -0400

If To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar's ornate jazz-funk experiment, played like billiard balls scattering after the break, then DAMN. wraps its focus inward: tight and layered, like a bundle of rubber bands.

Review: Chicano Batman, 'Freedom Is Free'

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The Los Angeles band's distinct sound includes touches of Rio de Janeiro's tropicalia, Lima's cumbia, and American soul and funk.

Songs We Love: Lee Fields & The Expressions, 'Never Be Another You'

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 09:00:01 -0500

Most of Fields' songs have been about love won, fought over and lost; it's a testament to his talent that each new one can feel like he's singing his heart out for the first time.

A Queen Among Kings

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:39:00 -0500

The fiery singer, whose work with The Dap-Kings helped inspire a soul revival, died Nov. 18 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Music Review: 'We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service,' A Tribe Called Quest

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:35:00 -0500

The group's new album — its first in 18 years — was recorded before the death of founding member Phife Dawg last March and was just released this month.

Review: The Frightnrs, 'Nothing More To Say'

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:00:00 -0400

Singer Dan Klein died of ALS earlier this summer, but at least his rocksteady band was able to see its collective vision through on this one sublime album.

Simple Idea, Spooky Result: Latin American Ballads Get A Ghostly Makeover

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:29:00 -0400

Frankie Reyes is a Los Angeles-based artist who remakes classic Mexican and other Spanish-language ballads and waltzes using a vintage synthesizer. His new album is called Boleros Valses y Mas.

Songs We Love: Lady Wray, 'Do It Again'

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 13:17:00 -0400

With a production team consisting of two seasoned retro-soul veterans, Nicole Wray's solo act shepherds '60s and '70s R&B styles into the present.

Behind The Black Power Goddess: Betty Davis' Early Demos Released

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:45:00 -0400

Betty Davis was already gaining attention as Betty Mabry in the late 1960s when she met Miles Davis. He produced legendary sessions for her that have never been released — until now.

Songs We Love: Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, 'Was Dog A Doughnut'

Fri, 27 May 2016 09:24:10 -0400

The steel drum tradition is unfairly maligned. The mysterious Hamburg group takes Cat Stevens' pioneering electro jam and replaces synths with steel.

'James Brown: Live At The Apollo Vol. 4' Is A Marvelous And Mysterious Time Capsule

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:59:00 -0400

The 1972 concerts at The Apollo were recorded but, inexplicably, never released — until now. They show a side of Brown content to turn the show over to his collaborators.

Songs We Love: J Dilla, 'F*** The Police'

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

#TBT to a 2001 track that surprised fans not with its title or message, but with the ferocity of Jay Dee's production.

Songs We Love: Million Dollar Ecstacy, 'Burning Inside'

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:30:19 -0400

#TBT to a Bay Area garage studio in 1987 and an outsider boogie funk new wave disco fusion that was downright prescient.