First/Last-Meshell Ndegeocello

June 17, 2012

Photo courtesy Charlie Gross

“Meshell has changed. So has her music. It’s more peaceful, freer. Her new album, Weather, cloaks itself in the colours of autumn, full of in-between shades and hues and with a certain mildness to it. The singer has let her feelings carry her along. Meshell has never been scared of sharing her most intimate thoughts in explicit or colourful terms that always come from the heart. As ever, she is true to herself. But Weather’s folk sensibility and pregnant acoustic melodies make this a supremely accessible album.
“For a long time I was at war with everyone else. I dug my heels in, I fought hard. That’s all over now. I have my opinions, but they’re no longer a source of conflict with the rest of the world.” On Weather Meshell’s usually deep vocals slip into a register more like a whisper, sharing secrets about subjects that are straightforward, almost light-hearted. She has pared down her style to something like pop. “I started to write this album on the guitar and you can hear it. The final atmosphere’s gentler.”

Meshell brings her tour to Pittsburgh one week from tonight for a free gig at Hartwood. I want to thank her for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • “For You”, Prince.
  • Your last album bought?
  • “Spooky Action at a Distance”, Lotus Plaza.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Changes by the day but today it is “House of The Rising Sun”, Nina Simone’s blues album.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • “Crystal Ball”, Prince.
  • First concert attended?
  • Parliament Funkadelic, ‘Landing of the Mothership’ at RFK Stadium.
  • Last concert?
  • Jonathan Wilson at SXSW.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • ‘Controversy Tour’, Prince at the Capital Center (It wasn’t sold out and I felt like the only person in the room).
  • Least favorite concert?
  • I get something out of all of them. Any thoughts,
  • experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Iron City Beer, The Andy Warhol Museum and The August Wilson Center. I can’t wait to see them all.

Thanks, Meshell. You’re going to love the Hartwood stage. Probably nothing like playing to a rolling field of happy fans.