African music site Afropop.org has started a monthly mixtape of their favorite tunes and this is the debut. "Afropop Worldwide March Mix" includes a track from the new Les Nubians album, "Veuillez Veiller Sur Vos Reves (J Period Remix) f. John Banzai." Chill out with this mix, including music by Femi Kuti from his forthcoming album plus some great new Strut records.
A few weeks ago we announced the release of a comprehensive box set of Fela Kuti recordings, hinting at upcoming vinyl on Knitting Factory Records. Now the time is here: vinyl box sets are available stocked with the same recordings as the digital Power Show Batch, albums carefully selected by Questlove of The Roots, plus a ton of extras. Those include restored vintage vinyl label artwork, a 12-page color booklet with liner notes by Questlove, album descriptions by British music journalist Chris May and a recreation of the 1986 concert poster from Austin, TX.
If you haven't already, get your Fela on with The Power Show Batch. Get it in physical or digital format on Fela.net.
Enter our contest to WIN the vinyl boxset from Knitting Factory & Giant Step.
The forthcoming release of The Best of the Black President signifies the rebirth of Knitting Factory Records. Earlier this year, KFR licensed the 45-album Fela Kuti catalogue. Over the next 18 months, they will release remasters of all the Fela CDs in unique digi-packs with the original artwork, as well as certain releases on vinyl for the first time in North America. KFR will also be giving the first official release to the entire Koola Lobitos catalogue- this was Fela's highlife band which he fronted through the 60's.
The Best of the Black President, to be released October 27th, compiles thirteen of the most popular Fela compositions, all fully remastered. It will be released in two forms, one as a deluxe version including a bonus DVD.
In addition to The Knitting Factory Records reissues, the first ever official Fela Kuti website has been launched (Fela.net), and a Broadway musical (Fela!) opens in November at Eugene O'Neil Theatre. Also keep your eyes peeled for Felabration events happening across the country and the world in mid-October, to celebrate the birthday of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
By Mawuse Ziegbe
In a city of screeching hype, blasé insiders and tepid stage shows, I'm always on the hunt for that ol' razzle dazzle. So many thanks to Blitz The Ambassador who threw down one of the best shows I've seen in forever. He's a New York via Ghana MC who rocked the Knitting Factory with a whirl of sweaty, rumbling energy. Flanked by a dapper band, Blitz shamed the lot of these pansy-ass rappers, growling his rhymes, rocking an African drum solo and paying homage to the greats of hip hop all within the first five minutes. Amanda Diva also performed and I liked her song about how being a female MC can suck. But she was all types of average (and dressed in an unnecessary amount of neon) compared to Blitz.
Chester French isn't so much old New York glamour as it is teen movie recklessness. When the Star Trak duo (who met at the grimy halls of Harvard University) took the stage at Puma's 60 Anniversary party at Williamsburg Music Hall, I felt like an extra on the set of Can't Hardly Wait and the faux nerdy girl was about to make her debut as a hottie. I mean, there were actual balloons and people in the corner necking. Bedecked in preppy flannel they played over 40 minutes of their vaguely offensive hip-pop-rock including "Jimmy Choos" and "She Loves Everybody." They're like if Ben Folds Five scored '60s surf movies.
At Fila's sneaker launch party on Madison Avenue, I checked out some new-school glamour for narcissists who are easily amused by spinning thingys. This company called Fauxcialite had a rotating platform where patrons spun and took photos. Later, they projected animations of people trying to look fabu while keeping down whatever exotic libations that were dished out at the event. So, I guess there were new, sparkly hi-tops I should have been cooing over but I spent most of the time giggling every time a life-sized projection of me making drag queen poses splashed against the wall. It was grand.
Thursday night at The Box, I was able to experience a dizzying conflation of several types of New York glamour: bridge-and-tunnel bottle-poppers, foreign-based Euro-tossing dandies, cavalier in-the-know Downtowners and their freeloading friends (I'm obviously of the latter). The last time I went to The Box, Sting was milling about the bar and one of the acts included a woman dry-humping a mannequin. This time the cabaret show was way more 42nd Street than I was ready for. I appreciated the camp factor of the giant dancing vagina decorated in magenta sequins and marabou feathers. And the topless aerialists were pretty fun. But when the tranny picked up the Jack Daniels bottle with her...um...and then, er, drank out of it...and um...I think we're done here.
Going into this holiday season of parties and warm fuzzy moments, just remember this: whether it delights the senses, massages the ego or induces nausea, be thankful for any performance that will make some new memories.