Levi Stubbs

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I just learned this morning that Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops and easily my all-time favorite Motown vocalist, passed away on Friday at the age of 72. Levi was just the absolute fucking best. It’s really easy to take the Four Tops for granted, given their ubiquity on oldies radio and the fact that, in many ways, they exemplified the sound of the Motown production machine more than somewhat more idiosyncratic acts like Marvin Gaye or Smokey Robinson. But goddamn, you listen to Levi on prime Tops tracks like “Bernadette,” “Shake Me Wake Me (When It’s Over),” or even late-period inconsequentialities like “Are You Man Enough” (from the soundtrack to Shaft In Africa), and you realize the man just sang with absolutely everything he had all the time. Nobody sounds more real, more heartbreaking, than Levi Stubbs. I miss him.

April 18, 2018

Thinking about how discourse has changed on social media as the result of a few design decisions, and how that's changed the musetech conference backchannel.

December 22, 2015

A eulogy for the only music streaming service I've ever truly loved.

March 2, 2015

Some further thoughts on 'relevance' and why chasing it is trouble for museums.