Paul Weller: Modfather follows path of Godfather of Soul

Paul Weller performs at The Apollo in Harlem on July 25, at Webster Hall in NYC on July 26, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on July 27, at the Royale in Boston on July 28 and at Union Transfer in Philly on July 31.
Paul Weller performs at The Apollo in Harlem on July 25, at Webster Hall in Manhattan on July 26, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on July 27, at the Royale in Boston on July 28 and at Union Transfer in Philly on July 31.

Paul Weller’s four-city, six-concert East Coast summer tour begins with a performance at Harlem’s storied Apollo Theater. In many ways, the soul and R&B mecca is ground zero for Weller.

“So many of our heroes have played there,” says Weller one day after arriving in New York City. “Historically, so many people who have influenced us played there. You can feel it; it’s very special.”

Despite the former Jam and Style Council frontman starting his musical career during Britain’s mid-1970s punk movement, Mod, be it style or music, is a constant in his life. Soul and R&B from the likes of James Brown and Tamla Motown fueled the Mod scene. But it doesn’t limit, or even totally define him. His latest album last year’s “Sonik Kicks,” is a stylistic freefall through psychedelic rock, beat pop and even a touch of rockabilly, and the energy of these new songs belies both his 55 years and almost 40 years making music.

“I’d hate to think I’d get to any age and think I knew it all. Because that is impossible,” says Weller. “I ’m trying to put over something different to people, maybe challenge people and do a different record. Not entirely, just in places. It’s just to try and keep moving on and challenge myself as a songwriter and musician, and take my audience along with me as well. It’s like this whole thing: music and life entwined is a journey. You’re looking at different aspects and different places you can go as a writer and as human being.”

His ever-changing moods

For these shows, his only U.S. shows this year, Weller and his band mix in songs from his whole career, and the boundlessness of “Sonik Kicks” makes for easier weaving in and out of his musical timeline.

“They all work, really; I try and pick things that I can still do justice to,” Weller muses. “Some things are just of their time. I pick things that I feel a connection to. It’s difficult because you are never going to please everyone. People want to hear old stuff. I try for balance. There’s so many songs, it’s more about what you’re going to leave out. I try and please as many people as possible while pleasing myself as well.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.