"I would say, being black and being a punk rocker are pretty similar".
September 17, 2007 1:57 AM   Subscribe

Afro-Punk - The Rock n Roll Nigger Experience.

Here's director James Spooner's site.

Spooner's Wikipedia page.

Spooner's MySpace page, where you can catch a trailer for his brand new drama, a story of, you guessed it, a black punk: "White Lies, Black Sheep".

Spooner's IMDB page.

Afro-Punk's IMDB page.

Here's something on "White Lies, Black Sheep", which just premiered a few days ago at the Toronto Film Festival.

Here's the bittorrent.com page for Afro-Punk.
posted by flapjax at midnite (37 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's not Afro-Punk, I'll tell you what Afro-Punk is.

kidding. I'm kidding. Nice post, flapjax
posted by psmealey at 2:16 AM on September 17, 2007


Heh heh. AFRO-PUNK IS DEAD!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:18 AM on September 17, 2007


Tamar Kali rocks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:31 AM on September 17, 2007


Great movie. Terrible music, but a great movie. One of the best documentaries I've seen in ages.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:07 AM on September 17, 2007


I grew up listening to both Soul (Cameo, Parliament, and The Brothers Johnson) and Rock (Iron Maiden, Y & T, Triumph).

Thanks, a bunch, for this post.
posted by mistersquid at 4:45 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Always liked Living Colour, "their music is a creative fusion influenced by guitar-based rock, funk, heavy metal, free jazz, hardcore punk and hip hop...Living Colour grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, an organization started by (among others) guitarist Vernon Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music."

Their excellent Cult Of Personality and Glamour Boys.
posted by nickyskye at 5:38 AM on September 17, 2007


This looks like it's going to be great, doubly so because it's on Google Video and not YouTube. Why do so many film-people insist on splitting up ttheir stuff into ten minute chunks, each with a comment board full of fuckwits that found Myspace too much of an ivory tower for the intelligentsia?
posted by bunnytricks at 5:40 AM on September 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


I grew up listening to both Soul (Cameo, Parliament, and The Brothers Johnson) and Rock (Iron Maiden, Y & T, Triumph).

Me too. Anybody who gets seriously into rock and roll is eventually going to find themselves immersed in black american music. Pretty much every serious music head I've ever known of any race has gobbled up everything that they find and like based on where the music leads them. I remember an old cubemate who grew up on the Southside of Chicago, who said that him and his friends used to listen to Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, Mandrill...and Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad. I've also known tons of punk rockers who were into the Ramones, Blondie and ....Run-DMC.

Being surprised that somebody of any race might like any kind of music is just reinforcing stereotypes: 'White people listen to this, Black people listen to this.'
posted by jonmc at 6:20 AM on September 17, 2007


You know what punk rockers never do?

Call themselves "punk rockers."
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:42 AM on September 17, 2007


Undisputed champions: Bad Brains
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:45 AM on September 17, 2007


(A close second?)
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:49 AM on September 17, 2007


The opening is great; I can see why jonmc has his hackles up already. :) Thanks, flapjax, bookmarked for later. And White Lies, Black Sheep looks interesting, too.
posted by mediareport at 7:02 AM on September 17, 2007


"I remember an old cubemate who grew up on the Southside of Chicago"

I hear it's the baddest part of town.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2007


....and if you go there you best beware...
posted by item at 7:13 AM on September 17, 2007


I remember an old cubemate who grew up on the Southside of Chicago, who said that him and his friends used to listen to Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, Mandrill...and Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad.

If you've ever seen interviews with any of the architects Detroit Techno, people like Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, you'll hear them talking about how their biggest influences tended to be white European synthesizer bands like Kraftwerk, Soft Cell, Tears for Fears, etc. Its probably impossible to create a completely original form of popular music, but the really interesting variants, IMO, tend to occur when people from divergent cultures and backgrounds take something that's dramatically different from what's happening in their immediate environment, and you get that cross-pollination or synthesis that gives birth to a whole new genre and pushes the form forward.

That said, the thing that strikes me most about this film is how alienated many of the young people who appear in this film are from both a black community, but also from the white suburban communities that seems to have spawned most of them. Listening to them reflecting back on how their white friends see them as the one 'safe' black person to have around so that they can feel all multicultural and non-racist, while they just see all other blacks as 'niggers' was heartbreaking. Particularly that cute indy girl with the glasses, whose (black) mom used to tell her that she shouldn't date black men because they just take drugs and couldn't afford to support her. While she was obviously struggling to rescue some sense of pride, it seemed to me that mom had infected her on a fairly visceral level.

This was such a sharp, interesting and honest film on so many levels, it deserves so much more of an audience than it's had to date. I'd never even heard of the damn thing until this morning.

I still find the music unlistenable though. Afro Punk? I'd rather rock rough and stuff with my Afro Puffs
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:53 AM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Always liked Living Colour, "their music is a creative fusion influenced by guitar-based rock, funk, heavy metal, free jazz, hardcore punk and hip hop...Living Colour grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, an organization started by (among others) guitarist Vernon Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music."

Fuck yeah! Their appearance on SNL was mindblowing. I'd really like to hear a remastered version of Vivid because listening to it now, the production is pretty flaccid.

Also, one of my best memories of hearing music and consciously telling myself "I like them. I have to get their album." was after seeing the Brothers Johnson on T.V. doing "Strawberry Letter 23." If you're a guitarist and you can learn the interlude from that song, note for note, it can be used in tight situations when you're on stage and have no idea what to play next.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:01 AM on September 17, 2007


tend to occur when people from divergent cultures and backgrounds take something that's dramatically different from what's happening in their immediate environment, and you get that cross-pollination or synthesis that gives birth to a whole new genre and pushes the form forward.

Actually, I kind of see the case I mentioned in a different light. It dosen't take the world's most attuned ears to hear the similarities between "Supernaut," and "Super Stupid," or that "Maggot Brain" guitar pyrotechnics would definitely appeal to the average Zep/Deep Purple fan. That in the end, a lot of superficially different styles are actually more alike than they are different.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 AM on September 17, 2007


Come to think of it, the mid-70's did have quite a bit of unseen crossover from what I've seen. Plenty of nominally R&B acts rocked hard enough to appeal to the arena rock kids (P-Funk, Rufus, Cameo, Tower Of Power, early Commodores) and many rock bands corssed over enough to be cited by hip-hoppers as influences (Kiss, Aerosmith, Zep, Mountain). When Run-DMc recorded 'Rock-Box' I thought the musical miscegenation would start happening all over again, but it hasn't panned out that well yet, since today's music scene is so Balkanized.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on September 17, 2007


I interviewed Spooner a few years ago during the pledge drive at my station. He couldn't have been nicer, despite the fact that we were interviewing him live at the base fof the UCSC campus wearing only our underpants.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:35 AM on September 17, 2007


Good doc. I've been wanting to see this. It doesn't really pick up until the 30 minute mark and I wished it was structured better. It felt like it was a work-in-progress but I enjoyed it all the same. As someone who always felt like the only Asian guy at the punk club, I can relate.
posted by cazoo at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2007


Nobody remembers Follow For Now.

The videos don't do them justice. Live, these guys could tear your face off. Unfortunately, their big-label debut came out like a week before Nirvana released Nevermind, so that was that.

And I feel compelled to at least mention in this thread the scary awesome spiky beauty that is Candiria, though they're more of a metal band now than the jazz/hiphop/death metal hybrid they used to be.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:22 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


The first three Funkadelic albums are THE SHIT.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:18 AM on September 17, 2007


Bad Brains are on tour EVEN AS WE SPEAK!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:03 AM on September 17, 2007


The Card Cheat's website - chock full of wicked good Canadian off-the-radar music tracks/mp3s - is also the shit!
posted by humannaire at 11:39 AM on September 17, 2007


Thanks, humannaire! Although I should add that my site is pretty low on the Afro-Punk.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:25 PM on September 17, 2007


Come to think of it, the mid-70's did have quite a bit of unseen crossover from what I've seen

Sure take Andre Williams for example an album like Silky
is country/western as done by a someone known for his R&B work. Which is very cool I think.
posted by nola at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2007


All though that album was not from the 70s but you get what I'm saying about artist crossover.
posted by nola at 2:13 PM on September 17, 2007


Only Black Man In South Dakota
posted by nola at 2:15 PM on September 17, 2007


Cameo was a great band mistersqid. Still play them all the time. Can't get into the Gap band anymore for some reason.

fishbone
posted by vronsky at 2:30 PM on September 17, 2007


....and if you go there you best beware...

and if you go down there you better just beware

This correction brought to you by the Flapjax Accuracy In Lyric Quoting Foundation.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:45 PM on September 17, 2007


Pull the trigger
The rock and roll nigger
Is bigger than Jesus
On a bumper sticker
posted by The Deej at 4:07 PM on September 17, 2007


the original afro punk (god I love him)
posted by vronsky at 5:49 PM on September 17, 2007


thanks
posted by es_de_bah at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2007


1) You know who else was a fan of afro punk?

2) Your favorite afro punk band sucks.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:00 PM on September 17, 2007


Living Colour were about as "punk" as Faith No More. In fact, Living Colour WAS Faith No More. Aside from the lead's spandex biker shorts, they weren't even very interesting.

Fishbone was interesting. Fishbone was not "punk."

Bad Brains completely kicked ass. Punk as fuck.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2007


vronsky wins this thread for linking to Charley Pride.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:36 PM on September 17, 2007


Nobody remembers Follow For Now.

I do, I do! I went to high school with Chris Tinsley (the guitarist), sat next to David Ryan Harris in English 201 at university, and went to every single show they played in Atlanta. Whenever I see Harris on stage playing backup to John Mayer, it feels like a great miscarriage of justice.
posted by likorish at 5:23 AM on September 18, 2007


« Older Bent fruit   |   15 000 miles to go. By bus. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments