The Meters (from left: Leo Nocentelli, Cyril Neville, Ziggy Modeliste, Art Neville and George Porter Jr.) circa 1972.
(Charlie Gillett/Redferns/Getty Images)
The Meters (from left: Leo Nocentelli, Cyril Neville, Ziggy Modeliste, Art Neville and George Porter Jr.) circa 1972.
(Charlie Gillett/Redferns/Getty Images)
Remembering Art Neville, Streaming Alternatives, Apple's Excel Graveyard, Megan Thee Stallion, A$AP Rocky...
Matty Karas, curator July 23, 2019
quote of the day
I didn't make a lot of money. Maybe we did make it and didn't get it. I don't know. But it don't matter. My life is happy, I'm happy, the people that are closest to me are happy. Don't worry about the other part.
Art Neville, 1937 – 2019
rant n' rave

We've lost three New Orleans legends in the past month and a half. DR. JOHN, DAVE BARTHOLOMEW and now ART NEVILLE, keyboardist and driving force behind two of the city's most celebrated groups, the METERS and the NEVILLE BROTHERS. Can someone please send IRMA THOMAS some police protection?... When you think of New Orleans funk and R&B, there's a good chance you're thinking of something Art Neville was at least partly responsible for before you've even reached that ampersand. This LEE DORSEY classic? Dr. John's signature single? The studio band on both is Neville and the Meters. British rocker ROBERT PALMER trying to summon some New Orleans voodoo? That's the Meters, too. That LABELLE song? Yup. And then their own records. And that WILD TCHOUPITOULAS album. And the Neville Brothers' career. Art Neville was the eldest Neville and the eldest Meter, and he was forging a pretty good career as a New Orleans R&B singer when most of them were still in school. He then put together Art Neville & the Neville Sounds, which at various times featured almost everyone who would join him in his later groups, including his kid brothers. Working frequently with producer ALLEN TOUSSAINT—they were the house band at his studio—the Neville Sounds, who morphed into the Meters, perfected the stripped-down, syncopated grooves that came to define their own city while influencing everyone else's. (The sample on this A TRIBE CALLED QUEST jam? You bet. AMERIE's "1 THING"? Why, yes.) You think of the Meters as an instrumental band, but there are a lot more vocal tracks than you might remember, many voiced by Art. You think of the Nevilles as a vocal band, perhaps, but their grooves could, and did, set several bayous on fire. Both figured out how to transcend their city without ever really leaving. Generations have danced as a result. RIP... The three most successful singles in the history of the BILLBOARD pop chart, each spending 16 weeks at #1, are MARIAH CAREY and BOYZ II MEN's "ONE SWEET DAY"; LUIS FONSI, DADDY YANKEE and JUSTIN BIEBER's "DESPACITO," and do I even have to say it?... Entirely unrelated: Here's an attempt to quantify the biggest one-hit wonders of every decade starting with the 1960s (hello, HANK LOCKLIN) through the, um, 2010s (I have some bad news for you, PORTUGAL. THE MAN)... ETSY agrees to buy music marketplace REVERB for $275 million and I'm really really hoping an explosion of homemade guitar pedals and craft synthesizers follows... GIBSON returns the OBERHEIM synthesizer trademark, which it bought 31 years ago, to its original owner, TOM OBERHEIM. Gibson, which sought bankruptcy protection a year ago after several misfires outside its core guitar business, has been trying to get back to that core, so win-win.

Matty Karas, curator

July 23, 2019