There are albums dedicated to personal pain, or political protest, love, death, nostalgia, rage. There are those that are simply fun, glossy, the soundtrack to a good time. Some are exploratory, a musical journey, shapeshifting soundmaking, a new way to do an old thing. An artist can make a choice about concept and content, or heed a vision, follow their muse or their manager. But in times so extreme and overwhelming, when there is no known expression for the feeling, no satisfactory direction for art or action, then they might take refuge in a process, a ritual, something familiar, the shape and sound of which recall another time altogether, so that they can weather the present long enough to call it the past. Some albums are testimony, some confessions, and some are escape. “Ventriloquism”, the latest album from MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO, is a place, like its process, to take refuge from one storm too many.
Musically, Ventriloquism has the hallmarks of all of Ndegeocello’s work, lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and in these eleven covers, we hear them layered over one another. Ndegeocello filters “Tender Love” through a folky, Californian filter and brings Vaudevillian accents to “Sensitivity”. She recreates Smooth Operator in five, and turns “Private Dancer” into a sultry waltz. The reimagining affords not just a new musical experience but also a comment on the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music.
“Early on in my career, I was told to make the same kind of album again and again, and when I didn’t do that, I lost support. There isn’t much diversity within genres, which are ghettoizing themselves, and I liked the idea of turning hits I loved into something even just a little less familiar or formulaic. It was an opportunity to pay a new kind of tribute.”
This album was recorded in Los Angeles with the familiar family of partners and players that Meshell has worked with for years. Chris Bruce plays guitar, Abraham Rounds is on drums, Jebin Bruni co-produced the album and plays keys. S. Husky Huskolds engineered while Pete Min mixed and mastered. Lasting and collaborative relationships with her fellow musicians is among the most important parts of music making for Meshell, prompting her to say on more than one occasion: “Meshell Ndegeocello is a band”.
Directions & Parking
A special preferred parking rate of only $5* is available for our patrons in our designated garage.
7th Street Station Parking Garage
Enter on 6th or 7th Streets between N. College and N. Brevard Streets.
*The $5 rate is applicable when parked in the garage after 5pm on weekdays, Mon – Fri. If parked in the garage before 5pm, the $5 rate is void. There is no time restriction for the weekend, Sat & Sun.
GETTING AND USING YOUR PARKING PASS WHEN YOU ARRIVE
- Pull the garage entry ticket when you arrive at the designated garage. You will need this to exit!
- Purchase a $5 Blumenthal exit pass at the theater or purchase in advance online. If you would rather purchase by phone, please call 704.335.1010*
WHEN YOU EXIT
- Insert your garage entry ticket into the yellow slot. Amount due will display on the screen.
- Insert your Blumenthal exit pass in the same yellow slot, with arrow pointing at slot.
- Gate arm will rise and screen will display “drive safely.”
*Pre-paid parking is not available day of show.
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square seats 730 and has become a showplace for live performances.
Uptown’s only historic theater, McGlohon Theater was originally the First Baptist Church sanctuary. The venue was carefully restored and opened in 1980. With its stained glass windows and Byzantine dome, this historically designated space makes each event a memorable experience. McGlohon Theater features the orchestra (stage) level and the balcony level.
The theater is named in honor of the late, legendary jazz pianist Loonis McGlohon of Charlotte.