February 25, 2016 |
February is, of course, Black History Month in the United States, and with that come worthy explorations of African American heritage, politics, art, and culture. In our North American neighbor Jamaica, February also happens to be Reggae Month, a celebration of Caribbean island sounds. This year, rather than focus on the more familiar strains of, say, dancehall, lovers' rock, or the sweet traditionalism of Bob Marley, it's dub and dub-oriented music that's in the spotlight with a number of old (but remastered)
September 10, 2015 |
Tribe of Fools' Zombies . . . With Guns contains all the elements Philadelphia Fringe audiences have come to expect from this ensemble: dynamic choreography, great sense of humor, generous helping of hometown in-jokes (is Whiz v. provolone Philly enough for yiz?), and a ridiculous premise with a heart of gold. But this year also brings something unexpected: a dark side. Full disclosure: I'm not exactly a casual observer of this genre. My ambient zombiverse includes all the usual books, films, and TV shows, plus I've logged more than 800 miles on my "Zombies, Run!"
November 21, 2014 |
RESISTANCE is futile. Legalized pot is coming. How does Tattle know? Because according to London's Channel 4 News, the family of Bob Marley has teamed up with a private-equity firm to launch Marley Natural. Once Wall Street sees potential profits and tells politicians to jump, the politicians answer the perfectly applicable, in this case, "How high?" (Marley Natural, by the way, was the reggae king's favorite strain of weed, but the brand will also include skin creams, lotions, balm and accessories.)
July 30, 2013 |
Born in Trinidad in 1983, trumpeter Etienne Charles melds the calypso music of his home with fiery bebop playing and R&B-inspired grooves. On Saturday night, Charles led a seven-piece band at Germantown's LaRose Jazz Club through music so exuberant that near the end of the evening, he admitted, "Some of you may be wondering if we ever play anything slow. " The boisterous crowd hardly seemed to be in the mood for ballads, but Charles didn't have anything quite that melancholy in mind anyway; instead, he tapped his blue-and-red suede loafers to count off a mid-tempo rendition of Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down Low," during which solos were passed around the band in a round robin over a sunny reggae beat.
July 13, 2012 |
IF THIS HAD HAPPENED 40 years ago, instead of Tuff Gong, Bob Marley may have been nicknamed Barnacle Bob. A tiny bloodsucking parasite that infests fish on Caribbean coral reefs has been named after the Jamaican reggae icon. Arkansas State University marine biologist Paul Sikkel discovered the parasite a decade ago. But it was only recently that he named it "Gnathia marleyi" as an homage to the singer. Sikkel says he named the Virgin Island-dwelling crustacean out of "respect and admiration" for Marley, who died in 1981.
April 21, 2012 |
Music Rodrigo y Gabriela. It's hard to believe that it's been 11 years since album-buying audiences first got a taste of Mexico's Rodrigo y Gabriela — or Rod y Gab as they're affectionately known — when the duo's Foc was released. Now, they offer their first-ever run at Cuban arrangements on the new Area 52. "We have to just play what we like and break all the rules, ours and everyone else's," Quintero says. "We do metal. We can shift to "Take Five" and jazz. It's all a fusion in every sense of the word, what we do. Personally, though, we would like to think that there is alien life out there.
December 9, 2011 |
If you're an amazing athlete, musician or artist, staying in school may not help you with your career. But most people aren't one-in-a-million talents. They need an education. Jay-Z gets that. So even though he didn't graduate high school, he's not recommending that as a path to wealth and fame. Beyonce 's husband announced yesterday that he will perform two shows at Carnegie Hall in February to benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of NYC. "Education is super important," he said.
May 20, 2011 |
When locals talk about gumbo, they're not always referring to the Louisiana stew laced with meat and veggies. They're talking about Philly Gumbo, the area's tastiest musical ragout of New Orleans parish-based soul, blues, reggae, and dense funk. After 31 years and running, they have finally made a CD, titled Come and Get It - but the fact is, adventurous listeners have made Philly Gumbo a topic of conversation for all of those 31 years, possibly a record when it comes to local bands.
February 10, 2011 |
LITTLE BAY, Jamaica - I'm sitting in a small Jamaican fishing village that was once home to Bob Marley - and I'm thinking of Cairo. I came on a long-planned vacation to a friend's seaside cottage in hopes of escaping from the world, but I'm fixated on the Egyptian revolution. Since there's no TV or Internet here, and it's hard to phone Cairo (as I've been doing nonstop for the last two weeks), I can't follow every new development. So my thoughts are reverting to past revolutions I've witnessed, to see if they provide any clues to an Egyptian outcome.
February 8, 2011 |
Two notable British singer/songwriters, a passel of duos, Bob Marley's last concert and a bunch of worthy music videos have captured our ears and eyes this week. THE LONG AND SHORT: Brooding British balladeer Bobby Long has been working these parts solo for a couple of years, building quite the following with his darkly romantic folk poetics. Now comes his debut album with a band, "A Winter Tale (ATO, B+) , sometimes fleshing out his cryptic tunes with weightier arrangements.