×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mayer Hawthorne Lends Throwback Feel to KCRW’s Apogee Sessions

KCRW’s Apogee Sessions, named after the Santa Monica recording studio where these intimate performances/chats take place, remain one of the more sought-after tickets in a town where live music is so ubiquitous it’s almost bewildering.

For one thing, they’re largely invite-only affairs, which makes them hard to take for granted. They’re also highly concentrated — not just in terms of capacity, which is 180 people max — but also the shows themselves, which are usually over not much more than 90 minutes after the doors have opened.

The latest installment, which took place Monday night and will air April 8 on KCRW, featured retro-soul frontman Mayer Hawthorne, who mixed select cuts from his upcoming studio album, “Man About Town,” his fourth, with material from previous works.

If one were to draw a parallel between Hawthorne and the heroes who influenced him, it would lead directly to Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, whose webcast, “Live From Daryl’s House,” featured Hawthorne singing a lush version of “A Strange Arrangement,” the title tune from his debut LP, in a 2011 episode. It was as if Hall was passing the baton to a younger version of himself.

Like Hall’s, Hawthorne’s voice is pliable enough, managing to hit the falsetto notes on such tunes as “Designer Drug,” a bonus track from Hawthorne’s third studio album, “Where Does This Door Go” and “Cosmic Love,” a kind of slow-burn track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Curtis Mayfield record. Hawthorne’s five-piece band, including JimiJames on backup vocals, ably transitioned from R&B to reggae to rock, with the singer at one point quoting Brenton Wood’s “Just Gimme Some Kind of Sign” as a way of cementing the evening’s throw-back feel.

As is his wont, Apogee host Jason Bentley made this a fanboy lovefest, peppering Hawthorne with questions both professional and personal, making it clear he’s been following the Ann Arbor, Mich., transplant’s career since he first surfaced in 2009.

“When I’m deejaying, my ultimate goal is to get people to move,” Hawthorne told Bentley about a profession he practiced for 10 years before launching his career as a solo artist, and which he continues to hone at such events as the just-wrapped SXSW music fest in Austin, Texas.

“It definitely helps when I put my albums together,” Hawthorne added about the discipline. “Every song transitions into the next. I sequence them as if in a deejay set.”

More Music

  • Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Liz TrinneariHeartRadio

    Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello Tease Footage from Their 'Senorita' Video Shoot

    Camila Cabello’s heart, or commercial instincts, may still be south of the border, judging from the title of her new duet with Shawn Mendes, “Señorita,” which hits digital services at midnight Thursday night. Prior to making the announcement Wednesday, both performers had busied themselves on social media teasing fans about their first collaboration since “I [...]

  • Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in

    Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' for Netflix

    Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix. George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts. Denzel [...]

  • 'Dreamgirls' Uk Premiere at the Odeon

    Mathew Knowles Says Beyonce's Career Benefited, Kelly Rowland's Suffered From Skin Tone Bias

    Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, addressed the perceptions of skin tone outside of and even within the African American community in an interview with SiriusXM, saying that his daughter’s career was “affected” by her lighter skin, and that the effect might have been the opposite for Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland. In the interview with “The [...]

  • Vivendi Chairman of the Supervisory Board

    Vivendi 'Not in a Hurry' to Sell Universal Music Group

    Yannick Bollore, chairman of the supervisory board of Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi, implicitly extended the projections for the sale of UMG by around six months in a interview today. He said Vivendi is “not in a hurry” to wrap the sale and is “very confident” it will find the right partner to purchase [...]

  • Riverdale Alladin Avengers Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations

    The nominations for the 2019 Teen Choice Awards have been revealed, and voting has opened for the top movies, TV shows and music that has dominated the last year. “Avengers: Endgame” and “Aladdin” are the top contenders in the movie category with nine and five nods, respectively. In TV, “Riverdale,” “The Flash” and “Shadowhunters” each [...]

  • Processed With Darkroom

    Concert Review: Billie Eilish Mesmerizes New York Audience on a Suitably Spooky Night

    It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for a concert by music’s fastest-rising star than an open-air, rooftop venue beside New York’s East River, with the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges illuminated behind the stage and stunning panoramic views of the harbor and the city everywhere else. It’s mid-June, school is about to let out [...]

  • Big Deal Music Names Jamie Cerreta,

    Big Deal Music Names Jamie Cerreta and Casey Robison Co-Presidents

    Big Deal Music Group today announced a series of promotions among its senior staff, naming Jamie Cerreta and Casey Robison (pictured above, right and left) co-presidents. The announcement comes from Kenny MacPherson, who is assuming the new role of Chief Executive Officer. All three executives will continue operating out of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content