According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
Forty eight, uh-huh, count 'em, FORTY EIGHT Fela records are now available for streaming. Make you hear this one!
"In Calabar they have over two hundred inches of rain a year. This night they proved it. Everybody got soaked. It's a wonder no one got electrocuted."
Seven intense minutes of Fela Kuti and The Africa '70 performing in a night club in Calabar, a small Nigerian port city, in 1971, filmed by Ginger Baker. Seven years later, in one of their last performances before The Africa '70 disbanded, they performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival: V.I.P. (Vagabonds In Power), Power Show, Pansa Pansa (part 2), Cross Examination of the African Colonial Soldier.
Fela! is a musical based on a period in Fela Kuti's life when the musician faced off against Nigerian government soldiers. The musical was off-Broadway for a month in 2008, and about a year later opened on Broadway, running until January of 2011. Nominated for a number of awards, the musical presented a number on the 2010 Tony Awards show, where it won 3 awards. The show is now touring, including an opening in Nigeria just before the recent elections. If you can't catch it touring, the Broadway cast recording is streaming. Bonus: M.O.P (Movement of the People), Fela's 37 minute long song for the political party he founded. [more inside]
Rich Medina, one of New York City's most talented and innovative DJs and procuders, has put together "The King Meets The President In Africa", a ten-track mashup of Fela Kuti and Michael Jackson. Download it for free (if you're willing to trade an email address), or listen to all of the tracks on on the site's homepage. [more inside]
Fela: Music is the Weapon is a documentary film from 1982 featuring a wealth of live concert footage (from his club in Lagos, "The Shrine") as well as interviews with the legendary Nigerian singer, bandleader and social critic. Here's part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. [more inside]