Entries tagged with: Antibalas
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.
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...
Sharon Jones @ Brooklyn Bowl on December 30th (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
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...
Ocote Soul Sounds (Martin from Antibalas, left)
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...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Charlie Hunter - High Pockets and a Fanny Pack (MP3)
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.More on Fela! here.
"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]
All Charlie Hunter tour dates and album info are below...
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.
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...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.
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.
Some related videos below...
photos by Tim Griffin
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 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.
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]
More pictures from the Roots Picnic & all tour dates are below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"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.The also performed the album at the 2008 Pitchfork Festival. More pictures from Saturday's show, below...
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.
"After 10 years, Williamsburg Live-Music Haven and Mediterranean Eatery Shuts Doors"
Black Betty (spreetaper)
"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...
by Andrew Frisicano
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.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.
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
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...
photos by Ryan Muir
Holly Miranda @ Zebulon
Holly Miranda, known most for her part in the Jealous Girlfriends, has at least four NYC shows coming up. Tonight (2/13) you can catch her at Southpaw, part of the Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival, with Motel Motel, The Canon Logic, and Ro Agents.
Wednesday (2/18) she opens for White Rabbits at the the first of their two shows at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are on sale. Ravens & Chimes are also on that bill. Bell and Polite Sleeper are the White Rabbits openers on Thursday.
Fast forward a month: Thursday March 12th you can catch Holly at Zebulon in Brooklyn (that's the venue I last saw her in, and where the pictures in this post came from). Tall Firs and Sharon Van Etten are also on that solid bill.
A month after that: Holly Miranda is opening for Nada Surf at the Bell House on April 15th. Tickets are not yet on sale.
Holly has a solo album coming out some time soon (probably when she finds a label to release it) . It was produced by TV On the Radio's Dave Sitek and Celebration's Katrina Ford. Holly said,
..its been a truly magical journey and a family affair, for sure. between katrina and dave producing, sean (of celebration) playing everything with ivory (including a pipe organ in baltimore we sent him to with a midi recorder), stewart and eric (from antibalas) killing it with the sax, trumpet and clarinet, and i think by the time we are done every member of tv on the radio will appear on the album..how sweet is that. plus katrina and i sing two songs together. OH and brendan (from ludlow lions) sings and plays on 'forest green oh forest green' ( a song we wrote together years ago)... there may still be a few guest appearances still to come.More pictures and all dates below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"It's been 10 years since Tibet was the hot issue in the rock community, but some stars still carry the torch. One of the biggest forums for this activism is the annual Tibet House benefit in New York, where an eclectic group of artists bands together to salute Tibetan culture.More pictures below...
This year's concert, held [Tueusday] at Carnegie Hall, started off on an energetic note, with Antibalas raising the sedate crowd to its feet. After playing a song, they were joined by Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, who wowed with an energetic cover of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," before performing one of her own songs, "Emma." Antibalas then exited stage right, while bluesman Keb' Mo' joined Kidjo for one more tune.
Curator Philip Glass then took the stage to introduce his son Zack, who was performing with the Patti Smith Band. The younger Glass played two pleasant, mainstream folk-rock tunes, the furthest thing possible from his father's experimental compositions. He was followed by Vampire Weekend, who played with a string quartet and debuted a new song that sounded even more influenced by Paul Simon's "Graceland" than its previous work, as well as "M79" from its self-titled debut.
At this point, the tone of the show changed, with the elder Glass perforing an original piano composition with the string quartet. The piece was lovely, but felt out-of-place after so much upbeat rock. To add to the discombobulation, the National, who played two excellent new songs, followed Glass.
...Patti Smith, a fixture at many Tibet House benefits, took the stage with her daughter Jesse accompanying her on piano.... [full review @ BILLBOARD]
Steve Earle @ City Winery (more by Fresh Bread)
Tibet's Communist Party-controlled legislature has voted to create a holiday to mark China's defeat of a pro-independence uprising 50 years ago in the Himalayan region, calling it a day of liberation from feudalism, state media reported Monday.The lineup for the 19th annual Tibet House benefit concert at Carnegie Hall is now: Antibalas, Steve Earle, Angelique Kidjo, Keb' Mo', Philip Glass & Zack Glass, The National, Patti Smith & Jesse Smith, and Vampire Weekend. Tibet House is also claiming that they "are expecting other artists to join the line-up soon". Get your tickets to the February 3rd show at Carnegie Hall's site.
The 382 legislators attending the session unanimously voted to designate March 28 as "Serf Liberation Day," the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Legqog, director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Regional People's Congress. Like many Tibetans, Legqog uses a single name.
The politically sensitive date marks the flight of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India as Chinese troops attacked in March 1959. On March 28 of that year, Beijing announced the dissolution of the Tibetan government and the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region under Communist rule.
China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, while many Tibetans say their land was virtually independent for centuries. [AP]
Antibalas is also playing a couple of full shows at Southpaw in Brooklyn a few days earlier.
Busta Rhymes is playing BB King's on March 10th. Tickets are on sale.
Comedian Marc Maron is performing at Union Hall in Brooklyn on January 15th. Tickets are on sale.
Note that ALL the NYC-area Morrissey shows are going on sale at 11AM on Friday (not noon).
Have you listened to Jaydiohead yet?
Radiohead think Max Silvestri is funny... his Internet Thing anyway. Video below...
DOWNLOAD: The Phenomenal Handclap Band - Testimony (MP3)
In the midst of popular electronic-based production teams such as Justice and DFA, Embassy Sound Productions (ESP) emerges with a fresh approach to dance-oriented rock and roll, using live instrumentation to evoke the intricate arrangements of Norman Whitfield, Quincy Jones, and Phil Spector as well as the pared down beats of contemporaries like The Neptunes and Danger Mouse.I was going to list a whole bunch of keywords that come to mine when listening to the The Phenomenal Handclap Band, but I think they have it covered. Maybe throw in 'B movie soundtrack' (I mean that in a good way). Their unsigned, unreleased album also features contributions by (in addition to who they already mentioned) members of Antibalas, Oakley Hall, the Dap Kings, Amy Winehouse's band, Diamond Nights, Persephone's Bees and Apollo Heights. The people in the picture (can you name any?) are the core group of the band. So far the collective has only played one show. Tonight (Thursday September 25th) is their second. I think there will be 12 people on stage. Details below...
ESP is Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, two New York underground club DJs who became restless with the concept of playing other people's music. Having been involved with and disenchanted by the local rock and roll scene, they began to focus on producing.
Their initial projects resuscitated the respective careers of two veteran soul acts (New York's Joe Bataan and Brazil's União Black) and garnered critical acclaim, leading Daniel & Sean to set their sights on The Phenomenal Handclap Band, a supergroup comprised of a "who's who" of the indie rock and underground soul scenes. Members of such diverse bands as TV on the Radio, L'Trimm, Calla, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mooney Suzuki, and Sí Se all contribute their individual talents to the album.
The Phenomenal Handclap Band sound is an anthemic, dancefloor-oriented blend of progressive rock, disco, electro, and '60s soul with sprinklings of hip hop-styled orchestral breakbeats and moody, synth-heavy hooks.
[that's the description written on their MySpace]
Michelle N'degeocello, The Nosiettes, The Dirtbombs, Tamar Kali, Bermuda featuring Antibalas Horn Section, Little Jackie, Sophia Ramos, and much more.....
Antibalas @ Langerado Festival, Florida, March 2008 (CRED)
At 3am on Friday, February 15, 2008, music producer Scott Harding was the victim of a car crash, returning home from a late night mixing session. The cab he was riding in was broadsided by a stolen car; the impact crushed Harding's T5 vertebrae, leaving him partially paralyzed. Scott's condition is serious and like many dedicated musicians he is without health insurance and is facing very large medical and legal fees. [Scotty Hard Trust]Antibalas also just announced three more NYC shows at S.O.B.'s and Southpaw. All dates below......
Celebration @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC - Nov 28, 2007 (CRED)
One down, two more Celebration shows to go. Celebration & Holy Fuck remixed each other. Listen and download, below....
The Brooklyn Academy of Music is letting the commoners in. More details below...
"Every Saturday this August, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents free New World Music concerts, featuring a diverse roster of international artists on historic Governors Island. Hop on the free ferry with a picnic and enjoy the sun." This Saturday the series kicks off with a free Antibalas concert. More details HERE, and below....