Music, Video & Entertainment

The Last Don X 2010 Reggae Film Festival

Locked up since last summer after just one screening in Kingston, DiMaggio: The Last Don by the Rickards Bros. has spent more time on a stored hard drive than flickering across the faces of unsuspecting audiences, and for good reason.

Besides the fact that it is headed to the NY Television festival in the fall, we wanted to be sure that every audience from Kingston to New York are as surprised by the film (which is actually a television pilot) as the KOTE crowd was at Redbones last year.

Surprise, after all, is just another weapon of the underdog in an arsenal that included just one camera, one microphone, zero lights and a twelve dollar tripod. So, what’s it really all about?

Well, the official line is that it’s a documentary-comedy-drama which draws upon material gathered by mic-ing local record producer Josef Bogdanovich, AKA The Last Don, and interviews with the people who know and work with him – musicians, businesspersons, media and regular working people.

Unofficially, some suggest its like watching a speedier, more foul-mouthed Larry David tearing around Jamaica promoting dancehall while flipping everyone the proverbial bird. A flattering description we think, but Larry David this ain’t.

Check out the second public screening of DiMaggio: The Last Don at the 2010 Reggae Film Festival tomorrow at the Cove, 2 Winchester Avenue, New Kingston (11 p.m.). But please, no ganja smoking as decent people will be there.

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Music, Video & Entertainment

This is Stone Love at The Tropics Nightclub in 1985…


 
Picture this: You are in this place and all around you are people rocking slowly to the sound of Ken Booth’s version of Everything I Own.

All the girls’ man are locked down with their women; then there’s the steppers with their hands cocked as if they are holding an M-16; the hopefuls across the line pointing to the single women across the lawn to let them know their intentions for the night; and the apprentice struggling with two cases of Guinness for the Dads and his crew. 

All of a sudden there is a change in the music, and Cancer takes to the mike bigging up all the hot steppers. The slow mourning sound of Black Uhuru General Penitentiary flows from the dual 18-inch speakers in the column of boxes positioned in the four corners of the lawn. Continue reading

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Music, Video & Entertainment

The cancer in Jamaican music

Sherman

Jamaican music has caught up to the politics of country to be a broken wasteland of noise that is filled with incompetent, narcissistic people who have no allegiance or care to anything but themselves. The thing is that everyone wants to act like this just happened when it didn’t. This cancer of noise has been spreading and slowly eating away at our music for over 15 going on to 20 years.

In the early 90’s when a lot of dancehall acts started interacting with American labels, a lot of the producers, musicians, artists and managers took the money and didn’t invest in quality music but instead short changed the music. Talk to someone like Sly Dunbar and he will tell you about a lot of so called reputable producers/musicians that got free work from their peers, with the idea of reciprocity. They did not credit a lot of their peers that worked on their initial projects and those that did get credit were credited as work for hire; and a lot of favours weren’t returned for the initial free work. Continue reading

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Music, Video & Entertainment

Works in Congo but why not in Dancehall?

BALOJI feat. KONONO n1 – KARIBU YA BINTOU from BALOJI on Vimeo.

The first time you watch this, turn off the volume. Instead, imagine Dancehall as the soundtrack and ask: ‘Why can’t local videos be this good?’. The budget doesn’t look prohibitively expensive, perhaps only the talent of the crew. Come to think of it, the wrestling footage does resemble Thursday Night at the Fights, which we’re told is returning this month.

Also from the same source, the Ghettobassquake blog, is this video for the tune Bazooka by Lisbon-based group Batida, which uses documentary footage to tell the story of Angolan child soldiers. In that case, imagination = the $ of access to a film archive.

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Music, Video & Entertainment

Racquel Jones: the acceptable face of poetry, 8pm tonight

racquel jones
Racquel Jones, poet

Part of Reggae Month, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (yes, there is one) is holding a series of free concerts every Wednesday.

Tonight, 8:00 pm, is Dub Night at Edna Manley Arts College on Arthur Wint Drive.

And the line-up is impressive: Sly Dunbar, Earl Chinna Smith, Leroy Wally, Uprising Band, Ras Takura, History Man, Oku Odour and FIRST’s very own Racquel Jones.

See you there…

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