Enigmatic singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green, who visits Harrah’s Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 16, can be as charismatic as he is unconventional.
You never know what you’ll get from Cee Lo Green, which is one of the many reasons he is different than most of his peers in the world of music.
When Green was slated to perform at the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference three years ago, he didn’t make it and at the last minute was replaced by Janelle Monae, who can do no wrong. Just ask Grammy winner (for best new artist) Fun.
Green, who will perform Saturday, Feb. 16, at Harrah’s Event Center, was booed at the Coachella festival in 2011 and at Lollapalooza that same year after hitting the stage late and performing a brief set, which he said wasn’t his fault.
Not many artists get booed these days. That’s unusual and so is Green, who isn’t talking at the moment but that makes sense. A concert promoter recently accused Green of trying to swindle him out of $250,000, and he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman last summer. So it makes sense for Green to keep it quiet, but even when things are good the singer-songwriter is typically on the down-low.
Things might be a little weird for Green right now but the reality is that he puts together some great shows when the conditions are right for him. He has a great pop touch. Just check out “Forget You,” the relentlessly catchy single that pushed him into another echelon and tax bracket. Even his cover choices are stellar. Green delivers a terrific version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Who knows what he’ll do in Atlantic City? Everything that Green has touched ends up different from the rest, particularly the critically acclaimed Gnarls Barkley, the offbeat pop-rock neo-soul act, which winks at former NBA legend Charles Barkley.
Gnarls Barkley is left of center but the public bought it. You don’t have to be mainstream and predictable to sell.
Once upon a time, rockers, rappers, blues artists and funk masters were out of control. Green has more in common with the shamanistic Jim Morrison than the rapper Common. He is a deep, complex dude in an era filled with sheep.
“I’m bored to tears by so much of what I see today,” Public Image Lmtd. and Sex Pistols vocalist John Lydon was quoted as saying. “What is there to like right now? I know exactly what I’ll get when I go to a show. But there are a few exceptions who break the rules or make their own rules. There are a few exceptional writers and performers out there and that’s who I want to see more of. I want to see performers willing to take a risk and perhaps, most importantly, not care of what the public, critics or anyone thinks. How great it would be if someone went up on stage with their own convictions and they didn’t care about being booed. They just did what they wanted to do. There’s not enough people like that out there today.”
Lydon could have been talking about a maverick like Green, who follows his own agenda. He doesn’t pay attention to anything but his craft. It’s about his albums and his concerts and nothing more — except for his gig on the NBC show The Voice.
How does a guy who does just what he wants score the song of the summer of 2010, which was the smash hit “Forget You”? The tune emanated from cars, stores and is featured at ballparks. Gwyneth Paltrow covered it during a Glee performance. It’s a fun, feel-good song.
“Anytime you have some success, that’s a good thing,” Green said during a 2011 interview. “You never take that for granted. You have to appreciate it. You look at a lot of recording artists and their success was so fleeting. Anytime it works out for you, you have to hold on to that time because it goes quickly.”
Who can say if Green will craft another hit? All he can do is continue to make new music. It was improbable that Green would land where he did, considering his luckless childhood.
“I was born to perform,” Monáe tells Atlantic City Weekly. “When I grew up [in Kansas] I did everything I was supposed to do. I did well in school. I did what I had to do around the house and I focused on music.”
“Anytime you have some success, that’s a good thing,” Green says. “You never take that for granted. You have to appreciate it. You look at a lot of recording artists and their success was so fleeting. Anytime it works out for you, you have to hold on to that time because it goes quickly.”
‘I’m an old soul that likes classic music, vintage clothes and older women. I don’t think I have the same goals as many of my peers.’
We have pulled out some of the best music we raved about this year in our “Raves & Faves” section, plus, we’ve added a few albums we loved this year, but didn’t have the space or time to rave about. Check the videos at the bottom!
Here, off the top of my head, a few memorable moments of the decade — some terrific, some tragic: September 11th; global terrorism; war in Iraq and Afghanistan; Hurricane Katrina disgrace; the boom and bust of the real estate bubble; global economic collapse; the advent of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iPods and iPhones; BlackBerrys; Barack Obama — our first African-American president; the collapse of the recording industry; the national trend of the shutting down of mom and pop stores; Al Qaeda; the Red Sox (and Phillies) finally win a World Series; the Swine Flu; reality TV; Radiohead, Kanye West and the return of the single (albeit in MP3 format); the Bush era (urgh); Bob Dylan’s triumphant return; downloads; Mac vs. PC; Britney Spears smooches Madonna; the death of Michael Jackson; layoffs, plane delays and increased airport security; hybrid cars; credit card debt;The Wire and The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO; the Coen Brothers; Lost; Atlantic City’s boom...
This Is Reggae Music On Sunday, Aug. 20, the Hilton brings Reggae Sunsplash, Jamaica's biggest party, to town. Since 1978, the event has been to Jamaica what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans. Much of the country's culture and cuisine will be flying in to AC, including art and craft work, as well as almost any type of animal that you can eat jerked or curried. The music line-up will feature Maxi Priest, Toots and the Maytals, Third World and England's UB40. Longtime UB40 band member Terence "Astro" Wilson explains how the band's reggae music came out of Birmingham, U.K. back in the late 1970s. "Where we lived the clubs, pubs, dance halls kept reggae music in the air non-stop from Friday to early Monday morning," he says. "We would sneak out and hear those bands. When we started our band there was no question about playing reggae; there was no second choice." Astro says he's excited about the new emerging reggae stars like Sean Paul, but would like to see more "new bands coming out," too. Maybe one will form at the Hilton on Sunday. -- Raymond Tyler DJ Expo Returns to AC The International DJ Expo is heading...
Among the A.C. Debuts: Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Madonna, the Who, Mariah Carey, The Pier at Caesars, Gnarls Barkley, Shakira, Cirque du Soleil Delirium, the Strokes, Chris Brown, Wolfgang Puck, ...
The Flaming Lips are holed up in their Oklahoma City "compound" building a life-size UFO from scratch when bassist Michael Ivins phones in to chat about the group's upcoming gig at the House of Blues...
The Deftones are back where the band needs to be. The underheralded thinking man’s metal band, which will perform Friday, March 8, at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, is back on its record-an-album and follow with a tour cycle.
Q&A: The Bachelorette
A Fiery Poet’s Life
Double Take: Phil Phillips
AC Ballet: The Dance of Dracula
The Power of Song