Saul Williams Slams New York

Saul Williams has got hyphenates -- and lyrics -- for days. The spoken word artist-slam poetry champion-author-actor-musician has won acclaim across genres, and recently released Volcanic Sunlight, his fourth album.

A departure from his firebomb punk-noise-rap opus The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, Sunlight is a surprisingly danceable, upbeat affair that is more concerned with love, Bollywood samples, sticky disco beats and finding joy in life, rather than exploring America's complicated history with race. Williams recorded the album after he moved to Paris, which might account for the change in mood.

Whether he's talking about dancing or war, Williams remains a uniquely intense performer, fiercely committed to every word he says and always looking to engage the audience in a thought-provoking dialogue.

He's also a nifty dancer, because the man is complex. (He has so many superlatives that we can't be blamed for missing one above.) You can fully appreciate Williams and all his multitudes when he plays the Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Feb. 17 and Maxwell's on Feb. 20

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