Entries tagged with: Antibalas

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Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ Moody Theater in 2011 (AUS) (more by Tim Griffin)

Afrobeat authority Femi Kuti and his band The Positive Force are slated to tour the US in 2013. That tour kicks off in the beginning of January, and will hit NYC on January 26 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale today (10/17) at noon with a general on-sale starting Friday (10/19) at noon.

Femi and co.'s most recent album, Africa For Africa, was released in 2010 in the UK and France, and in 2011 in the US. You can take a listen to that album in its entirety, via Spotify, at the bottom of this post.

In related news, Fela Kuti is being celebrated in NYC during CMJ with a show on Thursday at Littlefield with EMEFE, Mokaad, The Funk Ark, The Rainbow Children, and DJ Monk-One. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

In more related news, Brooklyn's Antibalas (a band modeled after Fela's band) has some upcoming dates this December, culminating ina hometown show on December 14 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple with Red Baraat. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (10/19).

Lists of all known Femi Kuti tour dates, all Antibalas dates, and a stream of Africa For Africa are below.

Continue reading "Femi Kuti announces tour; Fela being celebrated during CMJ; Antibalas playing shows (dates)"

words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray

If you're just joining us, also check out part 1part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4. Part 5 begins here...

David, St. Vincent and the gang on stage in Houston
David Byrne

Nashville, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas

Arriving in Nashville, a few of us head straight to the local "meat and 3." Three sides of vegetables should not be taken as a sign that this is a diet-conscious tour. In the South, vegetables function as napkins for grease rather than repositories for vitamins.

After a long night of honky-tonking with the crew, we file in to play the historic Ryman Auditorium, which for over thirty years housed the Grand Ole Opry. Our show is great, but the horn section isn't quite ready to pack up their cases. One of the best things about touring is bumping into friends who are also on the road. By happy accident, Antibalas is also in Nashville, performing at a venue nearby our own. Several Antibalas band members played on "Love This Giant," and a few of them are in bands with other people in our party. At the end of their set, all eight of our horns join them for Fela's "Open and Close":


Next up is Austin. Jon has a biologist friend teaching at UT so we ride our bikes over to campus to hear her give a lecture on sexual selection. We learn some truly fascinating facts about animal courtship behavior, such as the seduction technique of the Australian bowerbird. In an attempt to find a mate, the male bowerbird builds a highly complex and elaborately decorated hut, which he then presents to his sweetheart as a nuptial gift. But sex isn't all romance. As if we needed further proof that bedbugs are the most disgusting animal on the planet, we learn their reproductive habits. Apparently when ready to mate, the male bedbug grows an intermittent organ that he then uses to randomly stab the female through her exoskeleton.

Learning about sexual suicide can build up quite an appetite. After the lecture, we get in a cab and head to the best restaurant of tour yet: Uchiko. Executive chef Paul Qui won season 9 of Top Chef and the food does not disappoint. The jar jar duck is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, Star Wars: Episode One reference notwithstanding.

supine playing
David Byrne

In my experience, Austin audiences are usually very receptive and this time is no exception. Several people speak of the St. Vincent song "Cheerleader" as one of the show highlights, in part because of its choreography. The movements for this song are quite simple: lie supine on the floor and play. But as anyone who has ever played a brass instrument knows, it is really hard to play while lying down. Breathing is more labored, as is forcing air through a horn. Also, water tends to build up and flow back down into the mouthpiece. But the visual effect is stunning

In Dallas, I get some time by myself and take long bike ride to the Dallas Museum of Art. This museum holds quite a few works by contemporary masters, many of which I have never seen before. Of particular note are a series of early post-impressionistic Piet Mondrian landscapes juxtaposed with some of his later Neo-Plasticist works. The stylistic differences between the two are striking and provide a perfect example of an artist completely abandoning one style for another.

David, Tony, Mary-Anne
David Byrne, Tony, Mary-Anne

The Dallas show turns out to be the 100th David Byrne show Tony and Mary-Anne, a couple who we have seen at several stops along this tour. They have seen every incarnation of David's bands since 1978. They met when David, from the stage, spotted Tony with a homemade Talking Heads t-shirt. David invited him backstage because he liked the shirt, and Tony subsequently went on to design some t-shirts for DB. After the Dallas show we all cheers Tony and Mary-Anne and jump on the bus for San Diego.

Stay Classy,


David Byrne and St. Vincent play Santa Barbara, CA tonight (10/11) at the Arlington Theatre. The rest of their tour dates are here. More photos from Brian Murray are below.

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent (part 5)"

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings at Williamsburg Park - 8/18/12 (via Naja Rosa Koppel)
Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and their Daptone labelmates Antibalas shared a bill for a free show at Williamsburg Park last night (8/18). Antibalas were celebrating their new self-titled album, which came out earlier this month via Daptone. They were followed by a great set by Sharon Jones and her band that left people wanting more, and included a cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," like Sharon's sets have in the past. A video of them playing "Longer and Stronger" at last night's show is below.

This summer's Williamsburg Park shows continue TONIGHT (8/19) with another great double bill of My Morning Jacket and Shabazz Palaces. Tickets for tonight's show are still available. MMJ will return to the NYC area for three shows at Port Chester's Capitol Theatre in December.

Video below...

Continue reading "Sharon Jones & Antibalas played Williamsburg Park; My Morning Jacket & Shabazz Palaces play tonight (video)"

Lower Dens @ Glasslands in April (more by Joe McCabe)
Lower Dens

today in NYC
* Val-Inc @ The Stone
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* David Dondero @ Joe's Pub
* Spryo Gyra @ Blue Note
* Langhorne Slim @ The Bell House
* Holy Ghost! DJ set @ Marquee NYC
* The Japonize Elephants @ Barbes
* Mike Lee & New Tricks @ The Stone
* WAR @ Queensbridge Park
* Heliotropes, The Loom @ Union Pool
* Lower Dens, No Joy @ Bowery Ballroom
* Los Amigos Invisibles @ Le Poisson Rouge
* MNDR, Javelin, Delicate Steve @ the Intrepid
* Elzhi, Sene, 41 Strings, Joe Cool @ SOB's
* Outside, Artifact, Doggiesatnight @ Zebulon
* Slavic Soul Party @ Jewish Museum
* Deleted Scenes, The Spinto Band @ Mercury Lounge
* Death Cab For Cutie, Surfer Blood @ Wellmont Theater
* Way Yes, Strange Shapes, Rimar, Railbird @ Pianos
* Shady Hawkins, TinVulva, Mannequin Pussy @ 285 Kent
* "secret headliner," Grand Rapids, Shark? @ Cake Shop
* Trabajo, 100 milkteeth, Y/Y, Body Building @ La Sala
* DJ Rockin Rob, DJ Biz Markie, DJ Cash Money @ Crotona Park
* Here We Go Magic, SINKANE @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Kayo Dot, Triple Cobra, The Big Con @ Bowery Electric
* Lotus Plaza, Hollow Stars, Warm Ghost @ Knitting Factory
* Lorelei, The New Lines, Mansions and Junipers @ Glasslands
* Electric Six @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise - The Harbor Lights
* Dolores Boys, Insect Ark, Hot Tub Panorama, Ice Balloons @ XPO 929
* Soft Black, Island Twins, Weird Rivers, Makeup Monsters @ Shea Stadium
* Eric Andre, Mike Dobbins, Mr. Muthafuckin Exquire @ Santos Party House
* Grasshopper, Alan Watts, Warcries, Kel Valhaal, Future Shuttle @ Big Snow
* Angel Haze, Carrie Wilds, King Leo, Venus X, Covert Kids @ Santos Party House
* The Parlor Mob, Kelle Calco & The Colored Boys, Carleigh Jade @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Sarah Barthel of Phantogram (DJ), Punches (DJ), Sean Glass (DJ) @ Hudson Terrace
* Kids & Explosions, Heloise & The Savoir Faire, Wolf In a Spacesuit @ Mercury Lounge
* Eugene Mirman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kristen Schaal, OK Go & more @ Williamsburg Park @ 9pm
* Thank You Good Night free comedy w/ Erin Lennox, Nate Fernald, Joel Walkowski, Adam Sokol, Mike Lawrence @ Cake Shop

Lower Dens headline a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom tonight, and were officially added as the opener for Beach House at Summerstage on Monday.

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Some movie called The Dark Knight Rises makes it debut in theaters tonight at midnight.

"Summer of Sam" screens in Tompkins Square Park.

"Slumdog Millionaire" screens in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Passion Pit made a video for "I'll Be Alright" from their new album Gossamer which you can watch below.

Antibalas, who play a free show with Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings in Williamsburg Park next month, have made their first ever video for new song "Dirty Money." You can watch that below.

Meanwhile there's a free show in Williamsburg Park tonight with Eugene Mirman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kristen Schaal, OK Go & more.

The Vaccines have a video for their new single "Teenage Icon" which you can watch below as well.

Death Cab For Cutie and Surfer Blood play Wellmont Theater in NJ tonight.

There's a secret show at Cake Shop.

You can also check out a new Freelance Whales track below too.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Thursday?"

Field Report at BV SXSW 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield) Field Report

Tonight (7/17) is the first show for new Brooklyn venue Williamsburg Park featuring Counting Crows, We Are Augustines, Field Report, and Kasey Anderson & the Honkies. Tickets for tonight's show are still available. Maybe this isn't the most exciting start for the venue, but there are a lot of cool shows coming up, including Refused with Off! on Wednesday (7/18), a big outdoor edition of Eugene Mirman's "Pretty Good Friends" with "special guests" and OK GO on Thursday (7/19), Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Antibalas on August 18 (FREE), Bob Mould playing Sugar's first two albums on September 7 (FREE), David Byrne & St. Vincent on September 29, Animal Collective on October 5 and more. All upcoming Williamsburg Park shows are listed below.

If you're a fan of Field Report (aka former Justin Vernon cohort Chris Porterfield) but would like to see him in a more intimate setting, he's also playing an early show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday (7/21). Tickets are still available and we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter are below.

Continue reading "Williamsburg Park opens tonight (check out the full schedule) ++++ win tickets to see Field Report at Mercury Lounge"


As mentioned before, Anitbalas will open for Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings at the free Williamsburg Waterfront show on August 18. Before that the Brooklyn ensemble are playing a few shows on the West Coast. All tour dates are listed at the bottom of this post.

Antibalas' Williamsburg Park show is a record release show for their new album which is out August 7 on Daptone. It's their first album in five years and you can check out "Sare Kon Kon" from the album below.

The half decade since their last album has been spent working on the Tony-winning musical Fela! -- many of the members also in the show's house band. The show's been on a world tour and returns to Broadway July 9, 2012 to August 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and tickets can be purchased here.

Song stream and tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Fela! returning to Broadway; Antibalas streaming new track, playing shows (dates)"

POP Montreal

POP Montreal is returning to Montreal this year from September 19 - 23. The initial lineup was revealed and it includes Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, David Byrne, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter, I Break Horses, Hot Snakes, Dirty Three, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Cate Le Bon, Bertrand Burgulat (!), and more. The full initial lineup is listed below and many more announcements to come. Early Bird tickets are on sale until June 30, when regular sale begins.

Meanwhile, Montreal will be getting the Ohsheaga Festival even sooner.

Initial POP Montreal lineup below...

Continue reading "POP Montreal initial 2012 lineup revealed (Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, David Byrne, Tim Hecker, Hot Snakes & more)"

Sharon Jones at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Tamara Porras)
Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have a bunch of shows and festival appearances scheduled this summer and they've just announced that they'll be playing Williamsburg Park on August 18 with openers Antibalas. That show falls directly in between the Jane's Addiction (Aug 17) and My Morning Jacket (Aug 19) shows at Williamsburg Park. No word on an on sale yet but keep an eye on Ticketmaster. UPDATE: It's a free show, folks!

In other news, openers Antibalas, who have been busy for the last few years with the Fela! musical, are set to release their first album since 2007. The self-titled LP is due out August 7 on Daptone Records.

All Sharon Jones and Antibalas dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Antibalas playing Williamsburg Park in August; Antibalas prepping new LP"

this is the actual show flyer, and a screenshot of Little Shalimar's Facebook...
Union PoolUnion Pool
Union Pool

My first guess, based on multiple clues above, is The Phenomenal Handclap Band, though then I don't get what the secret is all about. Who do you think is playing with Little Shalimar and Tit n Twat at Union Pool tonight (7/12)?

UPDATE: Antibalas, who also plays Fort Greene Park today, makes much more sense (thanks Andrew)


The Stepkids will release their debut LP on September 27th via Stones Throw, and have provided a new video for "Wonderfox" to tide us over. View director Henry DeMaio video's of spacey Steely-Dan-goodness below and/or stream samples of the psyche-funky grooves at the Stones Throw site & two full songs at the Stepkids site. Stepkids will play a FREE show in NYC next week (July 12th) supporting Antibalas at Fort Greene Park.

Where: Fort Greene Park
When: Tuesday, July 12th, 6 to 9PM
Join Antibalas for a free homecoming in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. The band is excited to be back home and playing to their friends and family. It's been awhile, so make sure you don't miss the show!

Joining Antibalas that evening will be DJ Frank Gossner (VOODOO FUNK) and an opening set by The Stepkids.

The show is one of a handful of dates scheduled for the the Stepkids, all of which are below with that new video, and album details...

Continue reading "The Stepkids album info, new video, free show w/ Antibalas (and other dates)"

Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch

After cancelling his string of East Coast shows and a few with Neil Young earlier this year due to complications from lung cancer, Burt Jansch is back out on the road and will play The Bell House on December 15th (tickets) and two shows at Iridium on December 20th (tickets still available for for the 8PM and the 10PM). As with the previous cancelled tour, the Pegi Young Band is out with him, though they drop off before the Iridium dates.

In related news, Neil Young will get the royal treatment at Carnegie Hall on Feb 10th as part of a benefit for Music and Arts Programs for Underprivileged Youth. The show will feature a gang of artists paying tribute to the music of the giant, including Patti Smith, Living Colour, Devotchka, Bettye LaVette, Bebel Gilberto, Aimee Mann, The Roots, Cowboy Junkies, Antibalas, St. Vincent, J Mascis, with "additional artists to be announced". Tickets are on sale.

Full tour dates are below, as well as some video taken the other night at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia.

Continue reading "Bert Jansch is now on tour w/ Pegi Young --- Neil Young is being covered at Carnegie Hall (dates)"


Tickets are still on sale for DJ Shadow's upcoming show at Irving Plaza. And I have a couple of pairs you can win. Details below.

Tickets are still on sale for the Shearwater/Damien Jurado/Anni Rossi show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. And I have a pair you can win. Details below.

"WITNESS' 6th Annual Focus for Change Benefit Dinner & Concert" goes down on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Co-Hosted by Peter Gabriel, there will be performances by Antibalas, Jimmy Cliff and Sheryl Crow. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, will be there too. Click the link to get your $750 tickets.

Fistful of Mercy is Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper & Dhani Harrison, and you can catch them at the Apollo Theater on November 17th. Tickets are still on sale.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the upcoming Girl Talk shows at Wellmont Theatre and Terminal 5.

Tickets go on sale at noon for Gang of Four's show at Webster Hall.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the Interpol show at Radio City Music Hall.

Iron & Wine Radio City tickets are on sale now.

Tickets go on sale at noon for the Tokyo Police Club/Two Door Cinema Club show happening at Temrinal 5.

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band play Terminal 5 on 2/12. Tickets are on sale.

Pete Yorn and Ben Kweller play Terminal 5 on 3/11. Tickets are on sale. Way before that you can catch Ben Kweller on his own solo tour which is underway now.

Bindlestiff Family Circus has been added as an opener to the New Years Eve Drive by Truckers show at Terminal 5. Tickets are still on sale.

UK band Peggy Sue are worth getting to Terminal 5 early on November 19th. They open that date for Kate Nash. Tickets are still on sale.

Randy Newman plays Town Hall on March 5th. Tickets are on sale.

Ray Davies plays the Beacon Theatre in NYC with the Dessoff Chamber Choir on Wednesday, November 24th, two days before his previously announced NJ show. Tickets are on sale.

Lia Ices, full of CMJ buzz, plays Mercury Lounge on 12/14. Tickets are on sale.

Rural Alberta Advantage play Mercury Lounge on 1/12. Tickets are on sale.

Contests below...

Continue reading "Peter Gabriel, Randy Newman, Ray Davies, Josh Ritter, DJ Shadow, Interpol, Girl Talk, Fistful of Mercy, Lia Ices & other tickets"

sometimes Superhuman Happiness dresses up
Superhuman Happiness

Superhuman Happiness, the afro-funk outfit headed by Antibalas's Stuart Bogie, kicks off a weekly Monday residency at Coco 66 tonight (10/4). The regular shows will have guests - some confirmed on the venue's website are Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on October 11th, comedian Matt Higgins on October 18th, and Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery on November 1st.

The Coco 66 show tonight (10/4) will be after (presumably) the free "Music of Fela!" concert at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 at 6:30pm (that's cause trumpeter Eric Biondo, Stuart and others play in both bands).

A video of Matt Higgins improvising with Stuart Bogie and drummer Miles Arntzen and Stuart Bogie's Superhuman Happiness at Public Assembly in 2009 are below...

Continue reading "a Superhuman Happiness residency & free Fela! reminder "


Kniting Factory Records, in the process of reissuing all of Fela Kuti's catalog, is hosting at re-release party for 7 CDs (that contain 14 albums) that they're calling "Na Poi" releases (named after his '72 LP/song) tonight (5/10) at Knitting Factory. It's free and there will be music from the Fela Un-Dustrial Complex DJs.

Other upcoming Fela-related events include the after-party for this year's Obie Awards, which will have Antibalas playing a set at Webster Hall on Monday, May 17th. Tickets are on sale. Fela!, which won an Obie for its Off Broadway run, is nominated for 11 Tony awards this year.

Between those, Antibalas & Fela! band member Stuart Bogie plays with his group Superhuman Happiness at Pianos on Friday May 14th.

And don't forget about Antibalas for free in Battery Park, Femi Kuti at Lincoln Center, and Fela drummer Tony Allen at BAM Metrotech and Stuy Town Oval this summer.

Videos are below...

Continue reading "upcoming Fela events - Antibalas at Webster Hall & more"

people watching Sonic Youth in Battery Park (more by Jason Bergman)
River to RiveR

The 2010 River to River series of free summer shows in NYC is slowly being announced. As previously mentioned, Genesis member Steve Hackett is playing Rockefeller Park, the Bang on a Can Marathon returns to the World Financial Center in June, kids will be crowding into Battery Park on 4th of July, The Old 97s play South Street Seaport the same day, and other bands play South Street Seaport on other days. Rockfeller Park is located at the north end of Battery Park City, and will also host free shows by Beth Orton and Burning Spear this summer. Castle Clinton, also located in Battery Park, has so far announced Antibalas. Free movies on "The Elevated Acre" at 55 Water Street so far this year include "The Muppets Take Manhattan". Those and other free Battery Park events announced so far, below...

Continue reading "free shows in Battery Park - intitial summer 2010 schedule (Beth Orton, Burning Spear, Antibalas & more) "

Los Campesinos! @ Sound Fix in 2009 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Los Campesinos!

tonight in NYC
* Antibalas @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Hanson @ Gramercy Theatre!
* Child Abuse, Grooms, Skeletons @ Glasslands
* Figeater, Ty Citerman, Kaoru Watanabe @ Zebulon
* Greg Peterson, Elephant Micah, PG Six @ Cake Shop
* You Can Be A Wesley, Ravens & Chimes @ Union Hall
* Los Campesinos! & Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Irving Plaza
* Amanda Blank, MNDR, Pacific Theater @ The Bell House
* Reverend Vince Anderson & His Love Choir @ Union Pool
* Semi Precious Weapons, Nico Vega, Breedlove @ Bowery Ballroom
* Friends Academy, Noxious Foxes, Dead Meadow's "Three Kings" Screening @ Pianos

Dead Meadow played a tour-ending show with Imaad Wasif at Bowery Ballroom last night. Tonight they screen their new DVD for free at Pianos.

After lots of volcano-related drama, Los Campesinos! ended up playing a Saturday afternoon show at Maxwell's. They kicked off their rescheduled tour with Cymbals Eat Guitars in Boston last night. They continue at Irving Plaza in NYC tonight.

The National is streaming live from the Greene Space today.

The new New Pornographers album is streaming at NPR.

Gogol Bordello are playing Brooklyn Bowl tomorrow and tickets just went on sale.

There's a really expensive benefit at Brooklyn Bowl tonight with Antibalas (and Geologist). Flyer below.

Band of Horses and Grizzly Bear will share a bill at the Williamsburg Waterfront this summer.

A Grizzly Bear song is in a new Washington State lottery ad. Watch it below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Monday?"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Fela Kuti - Water No Get Enemy (MP3)


Fela!, the musical based on the Afrobeat pioneer's songs and life, has been running on Broadway since November - this upcoming November it'll be expanding to London's National Theatre - with its two Broadway leads (who alternate nights now) splitting US and UK duties.

The show is more of a concert with a story than a typical Broadway experience. It's a worthwhile night (if a bit expensive, though you can usually find discount tickets), and it goes without saying that the music is superbly performed by the house band, comprised of mostly Antibalas members. Though it's seated, prepare to get up and dance: the strongly encouraged crowd participation is one of the show's more unique aspects (check it out in the video below).

Fela Kuti's complex and often controversial views (on politics, women, AIDS) are condensed for the purposes of the show, but the amount of drugs, sex and politics included is still considerable. And it's hard to argue with New York mag's assertion that "if you don't spend a portion of Fela! staring at the amazing asses onstage, you're just not doing your job." The show has also raised a larger debate about authenticity and representation with regard to Fela and his music. A big feature in the Voice last fall discussed some of those issues at the start of the Broadway run (the show tightened up considerably from its Off Broadway version). Another more recently written good read is Afrobeat blog's response to the claim of one Times critic that the show is culturally insensitive..

Information on discount tickets can be found here.

A big implicit part of the show is the continuing Afrobeat revival outside of it. Around NYC, Antibalas and its associated acts have been central to that. Those groups, that include Amayo's Fu-Arkist-Ra and Ocote Soul Sounds, play sporadically around town. One of them, Stuart Bogie, sax player for Fela! and Antibalas, and his band Superhuman Happiness performed last night at Union Pool, for a show with Nomo, In Tall Buildings and Natalie Bell.

Off stage, Knitting Factory Records is in the process of reissuing Fela's catalog, and it'll be releasing an original cast recording of the Broadway show on June 8th, the tracklist of which is below. Their first Fela disc was a best-of compilation, which came out last fall - a track from that is above.

There's also a Record Store Day-only 10-inch EP of Kuti's "My Lady Frustration" and "Wayo" on the A-side and "Lover" + "Eko" which you should at least be able to find at Sound Fix.

Outside of those Brooklyn-centric Fela-influenced acts, there are also two of Fela's sons, Femi (who toured North America last summer) and Seun, who lead their own bands. Femi Kuti and the Positive Force will be back in the US for a tour this July - that includes a July 12th show at New York's City Center. Ticket info TBA.

Videos of Fela! the musical and Fela the performer, cast CD tracklist, and all Femi tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Fela! still on Broadway & going to London, the soundtrack & actual Fela CDs coming soon, Femi Kuti touring this summer"

Sharon Jones @ Brooklyn Bowl on December 30th (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Sharon Jones

The release date for Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' new album, I Learned the Hard Way, has been moved up almost a month, from the original May 4th to April 6th. Jones will be dueting on this Saturday's SNL with musical guest Michael Buble (wait, what?). They'll do the song "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" off Buble's October 2009 album Crazy Love. Sharon also sings on the album version (which I did not realize until now). That song is embedded in a video below.

Sharon's Dap-Tone labelmates Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens will play a Haiti benefit at Knitting Factory Brooklyn on Monday, February 1st. They join the Antibalas-related group Amayo's Fu-Arkist-Ra (which will be bolstered with members of Chico Mann & Fela! cast members), Ikebe Shakedown and DJ Rich Medina. Tickets are on sale. Flyer below...

Continue reading "Sharon Jones duets & playing SNL with... Michael Buble? ++ Naomi Shelton, Fela! cast & others doing Haiti benefit @ KF"

Ocote Soul Sounds (Martin from Antibalas, left)
Ocote Soul Sounds

Mondo Mundo Festival, put on by the booking agency of the same name, is happening at Hiro Ballrom Saturday, January 9th. Ocote Soul Sounds, the world jazz/soul-funk group with Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma and Martin Perna of Antibalas (and frequent sideman for TVOTR, Scarlett Johansson, Celebration, Dragons of Zynth and others), headline. The lineup also includes Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely's varied folk-rock, electronica-influenced instrumental jams from Burkina Electric, Lebanese-born singer-songwriter Abaji and DJ Angola. Tickets are on sale. We also have a pair of tickets to give away. More info is below.

Speaking of Antibalas, we just mentioned that Antibalas's Knitting Factory residency would be continuing into 2010, but those shows have been canceled for now (stay tuned for new dates later in 2010).

You can still see Fela! on Broadway though (starring members of Antibalas in the band). In fact, you can see it for free or cheap(er). We're giving away TWO pairs of tickets to see Fela! (in addition to the pair of tickets to the Mondo Mundo Fest), and we have an exclusive discount code that will get you tickets at a reduced rate should you choose to pay for them.

Details on all of that, with a streaming NPR story, a flyer, and more info on Mondo Mundo, below...

Continue reading "Mondo Mundo Festival this weekend, WIN tickets to that and to FELA! (featuring Antibalas whose residency is cancelled)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Charlie Hunter - High Pockets and a Fanny Pack (MP3)

Charlie Hunter

Charlie [Hunter] has wrapped up the recording of his next record titled 'Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid.' The lineup includes Eric Kalb (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, John Scofield) on drums, Curtis Fowlkes (Jazz Passengers, Lounge Lizards, Bill Frisell) and Alan Ferber (Don Byron, Kenny Wheeler) on trombone, and Eric Biondo (Antibalas, TV On The Radio) on trumpet! The official street date for the new album is January 12th!
Guitarist Charlie Hunter's residency at Brooklyn's Rose Live Music starts tonight (1/5) and runs through the month of January. Tickets are on sale. The shows coincide with Hunter's new record Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid, a track from which is posted above.

Eric Biondo, who plays with Charlie, is also a member of Antibalas, who are continuing their Thursday night residency at Knitting Factory Brooklyn into 2010. They're on the schedule for January 7th (tix), 14th (tix), 21st (tix), and 28th (tix). Members of Antibalas play in the Broadway musical Fela!, which is currently selling tickets into June 2010 (we're rooting for it in light of the news that 10 Broadway shows are closing this month alone)...

...[Fela!]producer Stephen Hendel knows that developing audiences for Fela! isn't going to be easy: He needs to sell three times as many seats a week as he did off-Broadway. So he's enlisted rapper Jay-Z and superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith to lend their names as producers. He hopes Fela! will become a hot ticket, like it was off-Broadway.

"Suddenly, we were just sold out," he says. "Celebrities calling every day, world-famous musicians. We had no tickets. We'd squeeze them in."

Jones says he's already hearing good word of mouth when he stands at the back of the theater.

"It's a fun evening," he says. "Even with all the things that go down in that second act, I heard some people describing it as 'uplifting' the other day. Uplifting? Well, it ends with people bringing coffins into the theater, but I guess that's ... I've also heard people say, 'It made me want to go out and be an activist!' Well, that's good." [NPR]

More on Fela! here.

All Charlie Hunter tour dates and album info are below...

Continue reading "Charlie Hunter kicks off Brooklyn residency (w/ new album), Antibalas extends theirs (while Fela! continues on Broadway)"

by BBG

Antibalas in Philly on 6/6 (more by Tim Griffin)

Much like The Roots, who they shared the stage with at The Roots Picnic in June, have been doing lately, Antibalas will play a NYC residency. Theirs will take place at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn over four Thursdays in December (they exclude Dec 24th), culminating in a New Years Eve show. Tickets are on sale for the 12/3 show, the 12/10, the 12/17 and the New Years Eve show. Antibalas is also scheduled to appear at the Winter's Eve Festival on 11/30 along with Joy Behar. Yes, that one.

Fela!Members of Antibalas are also notably a part of the Broadway musical FELA! based on the life of the Afrobeat legend, and produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith/Jada Pinkett-Smith.

A provocative hybrid of dance and Broadway musical, FELA! features the Afrobeat music of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a book by Jim Lewis... arrangements by Aaron Johnson and Antibalas with direction and choreography by Tony® Award winner Bill T. Jones...
FELA! uses stirring Afrobeat music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), to tell the story of Kuti's controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones's visionary staging, FELA! is the most original new musical on Broadway.
Lots of familiar faces on stage during the show which also includes Knitting Factory and Questlove (one of the producers) in its credits. Head on down to catch it at The Eugene O'Neill Theatre, but before you buy, make sure and use Antibalas's discount code FE4NFP9. Questlove (via Okayplayer) is running a promotion too.

Some related videos below...

Continue reading "Antibalas are playing mutliple shows @ Knitting Factory & are in the Fela! musical (for which they offer a coupon)"

photos by Tim Griffin

The Roots

Philadelphia's City Hall just announced that the Roots are playing the Fourth of July! The hometown band has been added to the bill with Sheryl Crow for the city's massive free concert on the Ben Franklin Parkway, Saturday, July 4th, beginning 8:30 p.m. It's the largest free concert in the country. The Roots play first; then Sheryl Crow for Philadelphia's "Life, Liberty & You" concert. A huge fireworks show will follow the concert.
That'll be the second big outdoor Philly show this year for the Roots -- the band hosted the Roots Picnic on June 6th at the city's Penn's Landing. That daylong fest included a headlining set by Public Enemy (with the Roots and Antibalas guesting). It wasn't their only performance of the night...
The Roots opened the entire concert with a mini-set. How sick are these dudes that they even open up for... THEMSELVES?!?

The Roots picnic is a tremendous bellwether for so many things. Asher Roth, Kid Cudi, and Santigold are that next-next shit. I think all three of them will be in the business of making music for a good long time.

The Roots picnic also gave me a chance to see Philadelphia again in a new and different light. That city is once again rebuilding itself with a signature sound played by musicians who have dedicated their lives to their craft. [XXL]

The band shows no signs of slowing down this summer and beyond. They continue to impress as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, often collaborating with the show's musical guests. Their Highline Ballroom residency has been extended into November. And they're scheduled to be at most of the Rock the Bells shows, including stops Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, L.A., San Francisco and NY's Jones Beach Theater.

More pictures from the Roots Picnic & all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Roots - free 4th of July show in Philly, more Highline shows, Rock the Bells (all dates) & the Roots Picnic (pics) "

photos by Tim Griffin

Public Enemy
Public Enemy

"The marquee event [at this year's Roots Picnic - June 6, 2009 in Philly] was Public Enemy's performance of their epochal 1988 album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, performed for only the third - and, they have said, the last - time on American soil, and the first time with a band.

Public Enemy's Chuck D famously called rap music African Americans' CNN, an analogy that bodes ill for the exhumation of a 20-year-old album. But fueled by an expanded Roots lineup that included a horn section from the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat orchestra Antibalas, Nation sounded like anything but old news. Chuck D's stentorian voice has lost none of its power to command, and Flavor Flav washed away years of reality-TV embarrassment, seeming more like a sharp-witted jester than a fool.

Rather than approximating Nation's sonic thicket, the Roots added melody and depth. The prison-riot saga "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" gained a funk guitar riff and blaring horns, with ?uestlove's snare hits ringing out like rifle shots.
[Philadelpha Inquirer]

The also performed the album at the 2008 Pitchfork Festival. More pictures from Saturday's show, below...

Continue reading "Public Enemy performed 'It Takes a Million' w/ Antibalas & The Roots @ the Roots Picnic in Philly - pics"

"After 10 years, Williamsburg Live-Music Haven and Mediterranean Eatery Shuts Doors"

Black Betty (spreetaper)
Black Betty

"Bud Schmeling and Sandy Glover, owners of Black Betty, announced the long-time Williamsburg boite and eatery will close its doors, effectively Monday, June 15th 2009."
The sad news came a month after the owners posted a message to MySpace stating that they needed money, but that "Black Betty is not closed, nor closing. We have signed a new 10 year lease..." According to the new statement (which you can read in full below), the lease "was renewed for 10 years at the end of April 2009, however the lease was also offered to other perspective candidates under more lucrative terms..." Long story short, it is closing.

Lots of changes on that block. Black Betty is right across the street from the in-development Knitting Factory Brooklyn (ex-Luna Lounge) (which we still don't have an official update on, though all signs and rumors point to the place re-opening some time this summer, possibly as a seated venue).

Say goodbye to Black Betty by having a drink and/or seeing a show there one more time (or for your first time). Options include The Phenomenal Handclap Band, who played Southpaw last night, and who are playing there tonight (May 13). Full schedule, including Antibalas, and full goodbye note, below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn bar/club Black Betty closing (June 15) - final schedule includes Phenomenal Handclap Band (TONIGHT)"

by Andrew Frisicano

The Roots

The Roots announced the line-up for their 2nd annual "Roots Picnic" in Philly...

The Roots (2 sets), TV on the Radio, The Black Keys, Public Enemy (who will perform It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, backed by Antibalas and The Roots), Antibalas, Santigold, Busdriver, and Dirty Magazine featuring Zoe Kravitz.

On the second stage: Asher Roth, Writtenhouse, Back to Basics - King Britt & Dozia, Dave P. (of Making Time, etc), Kid Cudi and more.

Saturday, June 6th, 2pm
@ The Festival Pier, Penns Landing
Philadelphia, PA

Questlove-founded site Okayplayer is running a pre-sale with $5 off tickets (using password 'EARLYBIRD') until Thursday (3/19) at 10pm. Then the general sale starts Friday (3/20) at 10 am.

Last year's event featured Gnarls Barkley, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Santogold, Deerhoof, J*Davey, Diplo, Esperanza and The Cool Kids.

In addition to being the new band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," The Roots play at Highline Ballroom tonight (3/19) as part of the band's ongoing series of gigs at the venue. Beginning next week Questlove will host his own Thursday night residency at LPR through May 28th. More information on those and other shows in our previous Roots rundown.

Down at SXSW, half of The Black Keys (a.k.a. Dan Auerbach) played last night (3/18) - you can still catch him at Bill's Place on Friday, March 20th and at The Mean Eyed Cat for a Saturday (3/21) afternoon show.

Full press release and poster, plus Public Enemy with The Roots and Antibalas playing "Bring The Noise" on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" below...

Continue reading "Philly's Roots Picnic - 2009 lineup, presale ++ Fallon video"