Music Is the Weapon: Fela documentary from 1982
November 5, 2008 3:57 PM   Subscribe

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.

Here's a snooty and poorly written New York Times review of the film, which aired on PBS in 1985. Not especially worth reading, necessarily, but included here for historical purposes.

The film is available for purchase as part of this 2-CD, 1 DVD set, or from Netflix.
posted by flapjax at midnite (22 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Most excellent; must watch.
posted by everichon at 4:07 PM on November 5, 2008

REALLY looking forward to this. Saw Femi Kuti and Antibalas at Metropolis In Montreal on Canada Day 07. On mushrooms.
posted by gman at 4:15 PM on November 5, 2008

Yes! This is a great documentary. Thanks for posting the links to it here.
posted by yertledaturtle at 4:18 PM on November 5, 2008

I love Fela. I saw Femi (his son) about eight years ago and I swear to you I saw a Nigerian dude who was so psyched and excited and transported by the music that he levitated in the air and rotated through three full circles. I wasn't on mushrooms.

Expensive Shit is one of my favorite albums.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2008

Excellent, thanks.
posted by Wolof at 4:22 PM on November 5, 2008

If you like Fela, you should check out Brooklyn's own Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - who, in many ways, pick up where Fela left off.

Their shows are intense -- you WILL dance your ass off.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:27 PM on November 5, 2008

Thank you. Thank you.

Sometimes I wonder what we are doing here, us human beings. This is why, this is what it means to be human.
posted by Xoebe at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2008

Thanks for the links! I'll check this out later.

Antibalas (roughtly translating to "anti-bullets," sometimes leaving off the Afrobeat Orchestra on their name) are indeed fantastic. Part of Antibalas joined TV on the Radio on their last album. And speaking of Femi, he provided some vocals on the new Thievery Corporation album.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:03 PM on November 5, 2008

WHOAH. Thank you.
posted by unSane at 5:50 PM on November 5, 2008

The first Black President. Obama won because I was blasting Fela's music from my car all week :)
posted by mike3k at 6:32 PM on November 5, 2008

Femi also provides vocals on this track by Rachid Taha.
posted by mike3k at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2008

I love a good Fela show.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:57 PM on November 5, 2008

Seun Kuti is really good, as well.
posted by stifford at 8:21 PM on November 5, 2008

Antibalas was also the band for Fela!
posted by oaf at 10:10 PM on November 5, 2008

Best Best of the Web
posted by not_on_display at 4:31 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this post!
posted by languagehat at 6:02 AM on November 6, 2008

Much appreciated.
posted by vporter at 8:53 AM on November 6, 2008

If you like this DVD, you might also enjoy Konkombe, about Nigerian pop music, the two Fela live-performance DVDs, and Femi's live DVD. Oh, and Ginger Baker in Africa.
posted by box at 9:03 AM on November 6, 2008

Baltimore Afrobeat Society.
posted by zoinks at 8:40 PM on November 6, 2008

Thank you thank you thank you.
posted by tamarack at 10:49 PM on November 6, 2008

Fela (9 seconds in): I will be president of this country.

I would still vote for Fela. That guy was great.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:50 AM on November 7, 2008

I admit it, I would favorite any post involving Fela.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:48 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

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