Haitian Music in a Stone Church
Collider 3! A look at the artists.
Brattleboro? WTF (you must be thinking to yourself) are you doing asking me to drive up to Brattle-B for music.
Well, you might have noticed the lack of independent music venues in Northampton (ahem). The entertainment monopoly has quartered off the town and its all but boycotting world music.
So its like guerrilla warfare. We have to build up a covert presence around the enemy and attack from all sides. :)
That means from Easthampton, and from the Hilltowns, yes, and also from the colder, northern cities of Greenfield and Brattleboro.
Actually, the real reason I'm trying to get you to Brattleboro is that the newly renovated STONE CHURCH is FANTASTIC. State of the art sound+light, a dense historic vibe, delicious craft beer on tap, and a dance floor that tops any of the rooms we have in the Valley.
a kind of manifesto (part 1)
COLLIDER THREE is around the corner. and its going to be some crazy business. but you may not know it yet, because the line-up this time is super under-the-radar. so let me break it down for you with a bunch of hyper-linked youtube videos:
MDOU MOCTAR is a force of nature. If you've been googling him, you'll notice his band plays two kinds of sets: either Niger picnic-style with a djembe + battery-powered amps, or fully electric with a drum kit: the preferred wedding music in hardscrabble Agadez. also the preferred dance music for Grange Collider. this, for example. and it shreds. its become cliche by now to say that these Tuaregs "shred like Hendrix." whats closer to the truth is that the Kel Tamashek people discovered guitars and electrified their music in the 70s, just as Dire Straits and Jimi Hendrix tapes started washing up on African shores.
Why this? Why right now?
A year or so ago Red Baraat played the Iron Horse. It was one of only a handful of world-music shows that came through our town that whole year, and it did not disappoint. The place was packed -- on a Wednesday -- and by the end of the night everyone was beaming, drenched in sweat. If you aren’t familiar with Red Baraat, you should be. They’re based in New York and they embody a local sound made global: hard-driving Bhangra, reconfigured with a score of other genre influences into the kind of party that the entire world can dance to.
A few months later, still fondly remembering that night, I saw Red Baraat booked to play in Hartford. A group of us went down to catch the show. This was a larger venue, on a Saturday night, with a much smaller crowd... and the vibe was funereal. There were maybe fifty people tops, and the band (bless their souls) still pushed through their set even once the mood had set like concrete.
Moral of the story? Hartford is the bigger city, but Northampton has more heart.