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I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.

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Monday, June 7   >>

MAXWELL / JILL SCOTT AT THE STAPLES CENTER LAST SATURDAY NIGHT

I cannot begin to explain how amazing this night of music was. While I do frequent the live music scene because it's a great way to spend a night out, the real agenda in my own mind is going to see and hear what works for my own artistic gain. And, last Saturday night, it was everything.

It was like neo soul royalty were catering to my every sensibility. Genuine performances, harsh melodies, driving gospel vamps, nasty chord substitutions, and an overdose of confidence made up these overwhelmingly good sets.

You know the kind of crafty songwriting that gets your heart beating fast? Well, that was pretty much the whole night, and just when you thought their live arrangements couldn't get any more over-the-top, they just kept. on. surprising. By the end of the night, I was literally exhausted from all the emotion the sets sucked out of me.

Best off, Maxwell and Scott are artists who acknowledge their craft is nothing without their bands. I've never seen that much tribute to backing musicians. Gives us probable-back-up pros some hope that we're still appreciated.

I can't remember the last time I had so much post-show excitement. It's like high school again, discovering what's possible, and what's untapped.

And, in the same way Jonsi's set at Coachella lit the fire under my ass to start a new band (our first meeting is next Monday!), the Maxwell/Jill Scott set has my phone ready to call a soul singer colleague (The Kim) from a few months ago and see if we can make some magic happen.

I think we will.

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Said the LA Times: "Maxwell and Scott have both outlasted the 1990s neo-soul trend that launched them to become bastions of sophisticated urban pop [...] This music was very polished, but always felt organic [...] At the set's end, Maxwell let his band members introduce themselves, sending home the message that human interaction was what made this music so hot." Yes.