D’Angelo: Black Messiah

“Dude, don’t go around telling everybody, but that’s where D’Angelo lives…”

The house, set back from a quiet street in a nondescript micro-neighborhood in the newly developed forestland southwest of Richmond, VA, was built in the vaulted exurban style. Not quite a McMansion, but big enough to prevent any comparison …

by   |  04/22/2015  |  Comments (1)

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Brooklyn Bowl

BROOKLYN, NY—“Well well,” Karl Denson opens the third and final night of the band’s tour opening run at Brooklyn Bowl. The first two nights had been packed, highlights including a guest appearance from Big Daddy Kane and Rahzel on Thursday and Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville on Friday.

The group launches into …

by   |  03/12/2014  |  Comments (2)

An Interview with DJ Williams: American Upstart

It’s a quiet June evening in Richmond, VA, as a tall, dark-skinned guy with a guitar case strides into the Mint Gastropub, located in the Fan district, near Virginia Commonwealth University. The patrons, dressed in upscale casual attire, sip expensive drinks as the guitar player quietly sets up his gear. …

by   |  03/05/2014  |  Comments Off on An Interview with DJ Williams: American Upstart

What It Do: Truth Will Out

Politicians—successful ones, anyway—have an uncanny ability to hide their dark side from the public eye. Whether you’re talking about a megalomaniacal bully like Chris Christie or a narcissistic grifter like former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, their public personas are carefully crafted to obscure the true nature of the individual holding …

by   |  02/05/2014  |  Comments Off on What It Do: Truth Will Out

What It Do: Traffic

The recent net neutrality decision by the Appeals Court in D.C. has sparked a fair amount of concern among people who believe the internet should remain the open platform it is today. For those that missed what it was all about, the court vacated the FCC’s Open Internet Order, arguing …

by   |  01/29/2014  |  Comments Off on What It Do: Traffic

What It Do: I, Human

In I, Robot, the 2004 movie based on the work of science fiction author Isaac Asimov, the antagonist, a super-powerful artificial intelligence system, determines that in order to follow the first “Law of Robotics”—that a robot must never harm a human being or, through inaction, allow any human to …

by   |  01/22/2014  |  Comments Off on What It Do: I, Human

What It Do: American Dynasty

Last month’s controversy over the statements of Phil Robertson, one of the yuppie-turned-redneck stars of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, dominated the airwaves and the internet, becoming yet another proxy battle for the strange tribal antagonisms that plague our society.

Sarah Palin and her cohort sprang to immediate, outrage-generating action—apparently before actually …

by   |  01/15/2014  |  Comments Off on What It Do: American Dynasty

What It Do: The Payoff

The Facebook debate was annoying, but not entirely unexpected. After I posted the Mother Jones article referenced in last week’s column (detailing the aggressive rental property acquisition strategy currently being enacted by private equity firms), an acquaintance employed by the finance industry took offense to the article’s assertions.

His basic …

by   |  01/01/2014  |  Comments Off on What It Do: The Payoff

What It Do: The Delivery

The housing crisis of 2008 wiped out a staggering amount of wealth, especially among minority and low-income Americans. Millions who had finally attained the multi-generational aspiration of home ownership and nominal suburban stability found themselves desperately clinging to whatever shreds of their lives remained, staying with family (if they were …

by   |  12/25/2013  |  Comments Off on What It Do: The Delivery

What It Do: The Set-Up

During the financial crisis of 2008, a tsunami of home foreclosures—mostly from within the subprime lending market—caused seemingly apocalyptic toil among the financial markets, even causing the venerable investment firm, Lehman Brothers Holdings, to crumble into a cloud of bankruptcy and destroyed wealth.

For those unfamiliar with subprime lending, it …

by   |  12/18/2013  |  Comments Off on What It Do: The Set-Up


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