Mayer Hawthorne, Saturday, 4:00 p.m., Fisher Green Stage: There's something about neo soul that's always irked me. And there's definitely something awry when contemporary acts go too far in trying to recreate the sounds of the '60s. Thankfully, Ann Arbor, MI's Mayer Hawthorne strikes the right balance of updating Motown soul with enough dashes of hip-hop to make his music interesting. Read our profile of Hawthorne from our Bumbershoot preview to learn more about it. If you want to hear some of his music, just two days ago, he released this remix of his song, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" and it's worth a listen. Regardless of his nifty production tricks, watching him live is where you'll be able to tell if he's worth a damn or not.
Sly and Robbie and the Taxi Gang, Monday, 9:15 p.m., Fisher Green Stage: Hands down, Sly and Robbie were the backbone of reggae music in the '70s when the genre was at its best. They supplied the drum and basslines for some of reggae's greatest musicians, from Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown to Gregory Isaac's and Burning Spear. We've got a profile on this duo as well this week, but regardless of that, listening to their contribution to classic songs like "Revolution," just warms my soul. Check out a video of them performing that song after the jump.
D. Black and Spaceman, Sunday, 8:00 p.m, EMPSFM Sky Church: If you listen to D. Black's newest album, Ali'yah, you'll hear an enormous amount of growth on a spiritual and lyrical level that has a lot of people in the city intrigued. The rapper once glorified the street life, but now that he's married, has a daughter, and heads his own ministry, he no longer curses in his raps and instead challenges boys to become men. It's the type of hip-hop that parents can take their children to, but not so watered down that fans of good lyricism will appreciate it as well.