Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I've had the privilege of seeing two phenomenal shows lately. On Sunday, May 9th, Miss Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings played at Kings Barcade. They were at Local 506 in Chapel Hill the evening before and the scenesters were a-buzz. This was a show not to be missed.

I didn't quite know what to expect, despite the fact that Mr. X had played their new CD for me earlier in the evening. Evidently it just went in one ear and out the other because I didn't even remember hearing it. The same certainly cannot be said about the show. Sharon Jones is an old-school Tina Turner-style soul wailer. She has a helluva voice, and she knows how to work the audience. She whooped and hollered, shimmied and shook while her backing band (three horns, drums bass and two guitar players -- one of whom, my friends and I agreed -- was really hot) kept a tight groove going. Even the most jaded scenesters were sweating and dancing their asses off. I found out later that after most of us left, the band came out and did another full set.

This past weekend was Artsplosure, the downtown Raleigh music and art festival. We missed Bobby Rush, but were just in time to see the Charlie Hunter Trio. Mr. X has seen them before, and he's a huge fan. I had never seen him before, and hadn't listened to much of his music. I did know that he plays both the bass and the melody on a crazy eight-string guitar. I can barely manage either of those, so I can only imagine the skill and discipline it takes to keep it all together.


Now I know dancehall is taking over America: The new Skippy commercial features a bunch of animated elephants dancing around a Carribean scene while another one toasts over a dancehall beat. It's a good marketing move on Skippy's part. What's better to eat when you're stoned than a peanut butter sandwich?

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