Film/TV Aug 29, 2010 at 11:00 am


TV Carnage was yesterday. :-(
As long as Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra is still alive and touring, watered down indie rock with a slight hint of afropop like Vampire Weekend has no nope of laying claim to any kind of afro-honky crown.

Nice try, Schmader. Given this and your love for Lady Gaga, I can only assume that something is seriously amiss with your musical taste buds.
I am pissed that Central Cinema didn't announce this event on their FB stream....and you guys totally got the wrong day......I really wish I knew about it yesterday .......ugh

don't forget to post something about the Everything Is Terrible this Saturday!!!!
Yeah, Schmader, before you go around liking certain musical artists, you really need to check in with kitschnsync to make sure they're the right ones.
Graceland is not white people ripping off black music. It's one white guy ripping off a bunch of Mexicans ripping off black music.

Los Lobos wrote most of Graceland and Simon gave them nothing for it. Not even a word of credit.
Stupid VW. Why can't they pretend to be poor like everyone else does?
Vampire Weekend CANCELLED tonight, after making four thousand people wait for over an hour after the second act. People were pissed! At least Beach House and Dum Dum Girls were good.
Wow. The communication was TERRIBLE. After STANDING for over an hour after Beach House (who, along with the Dum Dum Girls were actually good) some guy finally announced that the show was canceled. Gonna get my refund.
Just saw "The Other Guys".

Didn't really get the message until the end. Won't spoil it, but I think people are moved.

Where is the rest of Slog today?? I am having Slog-drawl, it's tragic. This forcing me to a. read, b. get a life. Cripes.
@5, no, a guy in Los Lobos claims they wrote one song on "Graceland", on which they were given performance but not writing credit. And it's the weakest track on the record. The South African stuff is what made that record, and Los Lobos had nothing to do with that. I think their beef is with the record company as much as anyone.

"Graceland" is a complicated, problematic, but very, very good record. Simon didn't rip off anyone, but he did bring some fascinating musical (and political) issues to the public eye -- an American public eye that still to this day wants to see whites, not blacks, from South Africa; Dave Matthews has vastly outsold all the black African musicians put together. But that's what white folks like to hear, white folks like themselves. It's not Simon's fault that more people bought "Graceland" than any real mbaqanga records.

Interestingly, the African musicians Simon brought to New York don't agree with the "stealing" idea -- Phiri says "we used Paul as much as Paul used us". "Graceland" was THE record that brought African pop to Western ears. It drove a lot of people, including me, to check out the real thing, which has led to a lifelong appreciation. Start with "The Indestructible Beat of Soweto" or "Zulu Jive" and then start moving north -- you'll run into all kinds of ideas you might have heard before, but bounced back in new ways -- American music comes from Africa, but also most African music is American African-originated music brought back again, with a stop in Cuba and/or Brazil on both journeys -- see Congolese rumba, for instance. It's fascinating stuff (the original "kwassa kwassa" or soukous is rumba).

The worst thing Simon ever did was help engender the terrifying "World Music" genre, which collapsed a thousand different musics into one Peter-Gabriel-scented mush. To my mind, there's nothing uglier in your iTunes than the persistence of the "World" genre, as if mbaqanga has anything to do with bossa nova or banda or Serge Gainsbourg.

The only real problem I have with Vampire Weekend is that they seem pretty disengaged from the source of what they're doing. But they understand what they're doing with it; as cultural appropriators, I don't think they're any more offensive than people who eat at taco trucks. It's not like they're pretending they're not white people. They're a pop band, doing what pop bands do. And the sounds, they're good. Even if neither they nor their critics seem to understand that mbaqanga is a different thing than kwassa kwassa.

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