Sometimes I get lucky. I was super lucky this past Thursday as I got to attend to the SF Symphony Spring Gala. This is an event I wouldn’t think to attend but the opportunity to see an innovative and truly talent artist like Monae with a symphony was a rare opportunity. Her music is theatrical and cinematic and I knew with the SF Symphony it would be a great performance and experience. It was an impressive sight to see the whole symphony on stage along with her band of talented musicians.
Monae was amazing. She has such a great voice and puts on an excellent show. Her love of theater comes through in her dynamic performances. The energy she brings to her singing and dancing makes her so much fun to watch. It is so exciting to see her dance moves. You can see the James Brown and Michael Jackson in her moves.
She opened with Smile, a beautiful poignant song based on the instrumental from Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. I wonder if she is basing her interpretation on Michael Jackson or Nat King Cole. I have a lot of questions for her. I would love to Terri Gross her for more than 15 minutes.
The best part for me was her beautiful introduction to the song ‘Cold War’. She dedicated to those in the audiences that working to being their own unique person resisting the pressures to conform and appreciating themselves for who they are.
Below is the video for ‘Many Moons’ from her first album ‘Metropolis: The Chase Suite’. I knew I would really like the album once I learned the album was built around Metropolis the 1927 silent film. I love the aesthetics and the message of the film. The film is perfect since social inequality in the U.S. is at an all time high and very similar to the social conditions of 1927. I was glad to see she continues to use the Metropolis concept and aesthetic in QUEEN with Erykah Badu.
To support Arts in the Schools Grant Program, the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council is putting on The Big Draw Chalk Festival May 10 & 11th, 2013 in Downtown Pleasanton. It is an opportunity to watch professionals create chalk drawings and make your own.
The amazingly creative group I work with put together this great video for The Big Draw. It is under a minute and charming.
Follow us on Twitter @PleasantonArts#drawninchalk#pleasanton#chalk
Share the video and post it on your friend’s FB pages especially if they live in the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore area.
Hey Kids! Check out the piece in the SF Guardian about Surya Dub coming back. You can tune to Kush and Maneesh on Monday, July 23, 2012 when Surya Dub takes over Off the Beaten Path.
Brownout is on a West Coast Tour appearing at the Elbo Room this Friday with support by DJ Oz & Chucha Santa Maria. I caught some of their set at the Roxy. They sound real good & tight together which can be hard for six or more musicians to accomplish. If funk is your thing you will probably dig Brownout.
For the new A Tribe Called Red Album click here:
If you have ever gone to a Pow Wow and ever wanted to remix the Pow Wow drummers, this is the album for you!
Tijoux’s new album ‘La Bala’ is due to drop at the end of this month. I haven’t previewed the whole album but thus far the few tracks I have heard sounds good. In particular the track with Jorge Drexler was a pleasant surprise. One, I love his voice – he is one of my music crushes. The track features both Drexler & Tijoux singing and then Tijoux goes to rap. It doesn’t sound like her other songs but it is a nice departure as their voices sound great together.
Below is the video to one of the tracks from the new album called ‘Shock’. It is a song in support of the Chilean student protest in 2011. The video has been out for a bit. Students are protesting (and have been protesting for years, starting during Bachelet’s tenure) the educational system. Secondary and higher education available in Chile is mostly private making education accessible to those with money. I think it is a good idea to take a look at the educational system in Chile especially for us here in the US and in particular California. As the tuition – excuse me – fees at the UC and CSU system continue to skyrocket as state and federal funding disappears. (Repeal Bush tax cuts for the rich now damn it! Hello occupiers!?) Education and knowledge is an amazing luxury and privilege. The right to an education is a human right. It is what makes a society strong. Instead people languish, we miss out on a new genius and innovations. As our educational system continues to slowly devolve, we will continue to limp into the 21st century with no vision.
Check out Li Saumet’s performance – her energy makes for a great show. Check out Bomba Estereo whenever they perform near you. go to their site to download ‘Cumbia Sicodelica’ – http://bombaestereo.com/
First check out the video!
Now that the archive is no longer available on the KPFA site, I am updating this post with the interview as originally aired.
Here is a bit of the interview with Zuzuka that didn’t air on Oct 31st. The first part, she talks about the cover of Katia Flavia she performed at Tormenta Tropical in September 2011. The song is by Fausto Fawcett, a man with a mad crush on Farrah Fawcett. She talks about her love of Fernanda Abreu. In the second one she shares her musical influences.
Here is the Fausto version:
And Fernanda’s version (this is the semi official version and not the unofficial soft porn version also available on youtube:
Check out the video – very timely along with great images.