June 20, 2007
At first I used to regard claims of Ivorian music being superior in entertainment value to Congolese music as absurd, but now…well I still do :-D. It’s just that more than ever before you West Africans out there truly believe the hype. When I speak of music I’m referring of course to Soukous and Coupé-Décalé (C-D), musical genres born in DR Congo and Cote D’Ivoire respectively. Although C-D is a lot younger than Soukous, it has grown in popularity as quickly as it took the Spurs to handle the Cavs (can you tell I’m a NBA fan:-D). Ok you get it, in just a few years it has spread like the plague, to the point where you can now hear shouts of “travaillement”, “pan pan saute-mouton”, “Saga-citer” – and other cries typical to a C-D tune – in Soukous songs. Despite its rise in popularity (there’s even a Coupé-Décalé work-out DVD out there!), I maintain that it is absurd to think that it is taking over from Soukous since the former heavily borrows in style from the latter. In fact you can often hear some Lingala phrases in C-D! I’m not hating though, it is very fun to dance although I must admit to my initial reluctance to catch the fever. Perhaps what makes C-D fun is the fact that there so many variants out there such as Décalé Chinois (Chinese Décalé), grippe aviaire (bird flu), Drogba-citer (after the Ivoirian footballer) etc. much more ways to express yourself than just Ndombolo for instance:-D. Today at almost every African party, it is a must for DJs to have a Soukous and a C-D play list. It’s just not an African party without those 2. Still, my loyalty remains with Soukous. Ok…maybe I’m a little biased being Congolese and all, but what do you think?
You can watch clips of Coupé-Décalé and Soukous here.
June 15, 2007
Jazz songstress Cassandra Wilson is holding her after-Summer Stage-party at the Shrine in Harlem tonight. Come hang out if you got nothing better to do. Shoot, there’s no cover charge so what you got to lose? :-). See you tonight, if not you all have a great week-end ;-). Below is a clip of Cassandra doing a cover of Bob Marley’s Redemption song.
May 24, 2007
Nothing special to do this week-end in the Big Apple, aight come party then, but you better come prepared lol. Get your Soukouss and Coupé-Décalé moves on lock, check out the videos below for inspiration. See y’all this Saturday @ LAVA GINA or The Shrine maybe ;-D.
Soukouss aka Lingala aka whatever you wanna call it.
Coupé-Décalé aka…man I don’t know, there’s so many variations out there lol.
May 18, 2007
It is with reluctance that I decided to skip my Thursday evening routine – which consists of pick-up basketball games at UNIS (UN International School) – to go and check out the 1st open mic ever at the Shrine. I didn’t know what to expect of the event since attendance had been so-so and the fact that the establishment was pretty new. Still, I opted to drop by anyway to lend support. So there I was standing by the bar along with a friend of mine (well, my roommate actually), ready to be entertained. Basically the event was divided in 3 segments: Spoken words, stand-up comedy and live music performances. Although we were more interested in the live performance bit (we both play guitar), we were (at least I was ;-)) pleasantly surprised by the acts of a certain Earl (poetry), Shanelle Gabriel (poetry) and a stand-up comedy act which name I can no longer recall (sorry). But if you were there, it’s the dude with the scuba diving joke! The only live performance I Read the rest of this entry »