Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Titans of Music Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Exodus” Album


By Shelah Moody





Ziggy Marley and Tom Morello 



Photos Courtesy of Tuff Gong Worldwide, copyright 2017

On Nov. 1 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, titans of reggae, rock, R&B, blues and New Orleans funk joined Ziggy and Stephen Marley in an all-star celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Bob Marley and the Wailers’  “Exodus” album.
 Released in June, 1977, “Exodus,” inspired by the 1976 assassination attempt at Bob Marley’s Kingston, JA home, which led him to leave Jamaica and take refuge in England, was hailed by “Time” magazine as the album of the century.
 The sold-out Exodus 40 Live concert was orchestrated by Bob Marley’s eldest sons, multiple Grammy winners Ziggy and Stephen Marley, in collaboration with bassist/producer Don Was.



Stephen Marley and Cyril Neville 

  They put together a true movement of Jah people; a revolutionary dream band featuring Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers) on percussion, Terence Higgins (Dirty Dozen Brass Band) on drums, Ranoy Gordon and Lamar “Riff Raff” Brown (longtime guitarist and keyboardist for Stephen Marley), organist Ray Angry  known for his work with Christina Aguilera and Ja Rule) and Peter Stroud (known for his work with Sheryl Crow and Don Henley) on  lead guitar.



Aloe Blacc

 Each of the special guests on the Exodus 40 Live bill brought their own interpretations of Bob Marley’s music to the stage, some smooth and charismatic like Aloe Blacc’s version of “Waiting in Vain” and some introspective, like Jim James version of “Turn Your Lights Down Low.”
In one poetic moment, Stephen stood behind Cyril Neville and played the electric guitar as Neville sang the lyrics of Bob Marley’s “Guiltiness” in his raspy, wisdom-soaked voice.
“Whoa to the downpressor/they’ll eat the bread of sad tomorrow.”
Decades before “Exodus” was produced, Jamaican artists drew inspiration from the New Orleans R&B and blues artists they heard on the radio, hence, the evolution of reggae music.
In another poetic moment, Stephen and Ziggy rocked their electric guitars as Citizen Cope, eyes closed, sang a soulful version of “Heathen,” complimented by the sensual backing vocals of Briana Lee and Maiya Skyes.
In a glorious crescendo, during Ziggy and Stephen’s performance of the “Exodus” title track, special guest Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine delivered what will go down in history as one of the most bad-booty guitar solos of all time.


   Tom Morello 
 
  Morello made his guitar whisper, then talk, wail, then shout, then scream. Then, he flipped over his guitar and played it with his teeth. On the back of Morello’s guitar was a hand-written sign with a clear message.
“Fuck Trump.” 
The audience went wild. There was one more message scrawled on the front of Morello’s guitar: “Arm the Homeless.”
Social media lit up with comments about whether blatant political statements were appropriate at a reggae concert. Lest we forget, reggae music is peace music but it is also protest music as well as a catalyst for change.
“Exodus was a natural theme for Marley,” Vivien Goldman writes in “The Book of Exodus: The Making & Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album of the century.”  (Three Rivers Press, 2006). ”Its issues of power, betrayal, hope disillusionments and the search for serenity were all uppermost in his mind as he created the ‘Exodus’ album with the Wailers. The Book of Exodus deals with leaving familiar oppression behind, braving the unknown and letting faith guide you to a better future.”



   The Exodus 40 Live concert followed Tuff Gong Worldwide’s release of “Exodus: The Movement Continues…” a restatement, reissue, 40th anniversary edition of Bob Marley & the Wailers classic. Old school reggae fans will be glad to know that this version is also available on vinyl and cassette at Urban Outfitters for $12.99.
“It’s been 40 years since the release of the original ‘Exodus’ album, so we decided to do something very special: give the listeners a brand new perspective by mixing the album from scratch once again; the only difference being I am now the mixing engineer and it’s 2017, not 1977,” Ziggy writes in the album’s liner notes. “Along the way, I’ve discovered many gems in the original sessions, whether it be instrument parts that were not used, alternate vocal takes, alternate takes of songs, etc.”
On June 18, Ziggy Marley and the LA Philharmonic performed a beautiful, classical version of the song “Exodus” at the Hollywood Bowl in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary.
For more information, go to www.ziggymarley.com and www.tuffgongworldwide.com.

Listen to the music of Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley on Streetwise Radio!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Eminem vs. Agent Orange: A True American Horror Story By Shelah Moody

 Check out Shelah Moody's report Eminem Rips of  Donald Trump
                                                                      click image above

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wallace Is back on Streetwise Radio with a new song, Black Lake.




Future soul singer and songwriter Wallace Gollan’s musicality is as deep, complex, rapturous and compelling as the dark ocean that stretches across from her origins of Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia where Wallace now resides.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Michael Franti, Malo and Bay Area Artists Denounce Hate @ Peace, Love and Understanding Concert

                                             

By Shelah Moody
On August 26, the Bay Area’s top concert organizers and musicians came together for a Peace, Love and Understanding concert at the Civic Center Plaza in response to planned rallies and gatherings of hate groups in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA.
Although they claim to be a free speech advocacy group, the right-wing Patriot Prayer organization has attracted neo-Nazis and white nationalist groups who latched onto their rhetoric and recently clashed with anti-racist, anti-fascist groups in Charlottesville, VA. Patriot Prayer’s leader, Joey Gibson, a Donald Trump supporter who has denied his group promotes racism or violence, planned a rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco, and then a press conference in Alamo Square. Both events were canceled due to safety concerns, and Patriot Prayer moved their “press conference” to Pacifica, CA.


                                                               
     Michael Franti and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

On Aug. 25, the eve of the planned Patriot Prayer rally, San Francisco mayor Edwin  Lee, along with civic and community leaders such as London Breed and David Chiu, held a noontime Unite Against Hate Rally on the steps of City Hall and vehemently declared that SF was a city of compassion, tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. 




Civic Center Plaza was probably the safest place to be in San Francisco that scorching Saturday afternoon, as thousands of people peacefully gathered for an afternoon concert featuring the bluegrass band Brothers Comatose, R&B /funk band Malo and Michael Franti and Spearhead as well as poets, speakers, visual and street performers. Mayor Lee, who attended Peace, Love, and Understanding, greeted Franti with a hug backstage and celebrated the city’s victory in driving the “hate” out of San Francisco that day.




Harry Duncan and Mark Penne as volunteers.

“Audrey Joseph and I decided that we wanted to have a peace rally, and Nick Hellman wanted to, also,“ said Peace Love and Understanding producer Dawn Holliday. “Great minds got together, knowing that Audrey and I could produce it. I called three bands and they all said yes.”
Holliday, incidentally is the producer of one of San Francisco’s largest and most popular festivals, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which was founded by venture capitalist Warren Hellman in 2001.
“The vibe here is fantastic,” Holiday said, backstage at Peace, Love and Understanding.  “I like large crowds of happy people. Everyone here is having a really good time. Since we scared the alt-right out of San Francisco, we are enjoying San Francisco for ourselves. 





“Fear and hate don’t exist in my world,” said Holliday. “I think that if you keep fear out of your heart and hate out of your heart, it spreads to other people. You just can’t be afraid. If you feel hate, you drive it to you, if you feel fear; you drive it to you. You can’t live in that state. You have to live in a more open place.”
For years, Holliday worked for famed San Francisco concert producer Bill Graham, who would have loved the Peace, Love, and Understanding event, Holiday said. 
“(Bill) probably would have had a bigger stage and fancier lights and stuff,” said Holliday. “But this is what you’ve got when you have an all-volunteer staff.”
Indeed, the Peace and Love Gathering was probably the safest place to be on Aug. 26. Sharpshooters were positioned on the rooftops of buildings near Civic Center Plaza, which was surrounded by a layer of police officers. There was no violence or injuries reported at the concert, and the only commotion this writer noticed were paramedics rushing to the aid of a woman with an injured toe. 
“We don’t have the luxury of fear, said Kate Kendell, Peace, Love and Understanding’s guest speaker and emcee, Kendall is executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco.
“Fear puts people in a fetal position, and that’s not going to help anybody,” said Kendell. “If you are not out there on the front lines doing what you can, you are complicit in the carnage, particularly in communities of color, immigrant communities, and Jewish communities. We have to all come together, especially folks with privilege, especially white folks, to say, no, that is not going to happen on our watch. We are not gonna be ruled by fear, we’re gonna be ruled by power and fierceness.”
Kendell said that the Peace, Love and Understanding Concert was Pulled together in five days. 
“There are folks who pretty much gave up their day jobs for a week to make this happen,” said Kendell. “Because we wanted to stand in that gap and say no, the Nazis aren’t coming to town without us having a response. Hopefully, this event will be a galvanizing moment for people to continue and to deepen that conversation that this country has never really had around racism and the structures that support white supremacy. Those structures have to be dismantled, and that’s never going to happen if we don’t confront our past and pledge that we want a different future. “ 
Fear and had did not stop Peace, Love and Understanding’s headliner, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Michael Franti, from strolling into the audience with his acoustic guitar and hugging and kissing fans and supporters. https://youtu.be/w0gbtRSpG8s.
From 1999-2013, Franti produced the free Power to the Peaceful Festival, which started out as an event to draw attention to the cause of imprisoned activist Mumia Abu Jamal,  at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. 
After the Peace, Love and Understanding concert, Mayor Lee sent an open letter to San Francisco City employees, thanking public safety agencies who worked tirelessly to keep the city safe including police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, 911 emergency dispatchers, and deputy sheriffs.
“This weekend, San Francisco stood together to reject hate and violence, “ said Mayor Lee. ‘Throughout our city, the themes of love and compassion were on full display. There were zero injuries related to the demonstrations on Saturday, despite the potential for violence that we have seen in other cities when similar protests have been held. This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. We proved this weekend that the legacy of that movement remains strong, half a century later.”



Friday, August 25, 2017

Reggae On The River 2017 Highlites To Be Featured On Streetwise Radio 420 Show



Assassin (aka)Agent Sasco) Rips it up at Reggae on The River 2017.
Check out the special with many artists and interviews on Big Splif420 Reggae Show Starting Monday, September 4th at 4 pm and 10 pm Pacific

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Streetwise Radio Exclusive: Fantastic Negrito



Streetwise Radio Exclusive: Fantastic Negrito
Acclaimed Roots Music Artist and Oakland Resident Wins First Grammy Award
By Shelah Moody and Carmelita Harris

“There’s good in the old Oakland, there’s good in the new Oakland. Let’s make a sandwich. Let’s make a new baby. Just to survive? Yeah. The seeds were planted long ago. Let’s watch the tree grow.”—Fantastic Negrito.
Fantastic Negrito is bringing the glory back to Oakland, CA.
On Feb. 12, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles,  the 49-year old singer/songwriter/.guitarist won his first Grammy, in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category,  for his 13-song masterpiece, “Last Days of Oakland.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzuIF-QSqNE.
After R&B star Mya announced his name, Fantastic Negrito made the hero’s walk from his seat to the stage at the 59th Annual Grammy’s Premiere Ceremony. First, he thanked his entire team, including guitarist Masa Kohama and bassist Cornelius C. Mims, as well as the City of Oakland for helping him get to this point.
“We didn’t have a record company, we did this right from our living room with a lot of heart and a lot of soul,” said Fantastic Negrito, in his Grammy speech.  “We’re so glad that it resonated with people, and I’m very grateful.”
Born Jan. 20, 1968, Fantastic Negrito was given an equally grand name, Xavier Amin Dphlepaulezz. His story is indeed a living blues, told through albums such as “The X Factor (Interscope, 1996) (as Xavier) Fantastic Negrito (Black Ball Universe, 2014). “The Last Days of Oakland”  (Blackball Universe, 2016) is a journey from Oakland’s proud history as a hub for the working class, black militants and black artists and it’s turbulent present vis a vis gentrification, poverty and police brutality.



On a bright spring day in Oakland, Fantastic Negrito hosted an art show for Kenyan artist Omiiroo at his loft in the city’s fashionable Jack London district. After greeting all of his guests, the humble and regal musician sipped a cup of tea and sat down with Streetwise Radio for a few words. First, I asked Fantastic Negrito for his reflections on the recent passing of bluesman James Cotton, but, he’d just received news that another music icon, Chuck Berry, had died at 90.
“He was a king, a legend, a genius, a very under-appreciated lyricist and an influential guitar player who so many people borrowed from,” said Fantastic Negrito.  “A showman. The architect, really, of rock and roll. The beginning. Black roots, straight up.”

Streetwise Radio: Have you ever performed any of Chuck Berry’s music?
Fantastic Negrito: I’m not good enough to play Chuck Berry. I don’t even fake it. Who was not influenced by that “Johnny B. Goode” lick? It’s as American as apple pie, amongst other things. It’s iconic. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, every lick that Chuck Berry played, he lifted off Chuck Berry; he will tell you that himself. I don’t think that we can ever say enough about people like Chuck Berry or Little Richard, not just because of their artistry, but because of the obstacles that they had to face. I love Chuck Berry dearly and everything about him influenced me; the way he dressed, the way he performed; his authenticity. He’s one of our heroes and our community should really know who Chuck Berry. I don’t know if we’ve done a good enough job of uplifting our heroes, musically speaking.
Streetwise Radio: So, what was Grammy day, Feb. 12, 2017, like for you?
Fantastic Negrito: It was a very exciting day for me and a very exciting day for the city of Oakland and the Bay Area. I felt proud to represent my city and it was a great honor to be chosen by the Recording Academy.
SR: What happens to an artist the moment you walk off stage with your own Grammy Award?
FN: Generally, you go backstage and you have to some press and take a few pictures. But I had to get on a plane and go to France, so I didn’t really get to enjoy the festivities and the after parties. I literally picked up the Grammy did a couple interviews and then it was off to a tour; five cities in France and two cities in the U.K.
SR: I first saw you play at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco when you led a group called Death from Sex in the late nineties. Was that considered alternative music or black rock?
FN: I don’t like genres and labels. I think they are ridiculous. I think that either you have material that is compelling and that reaches people or you don’t. I think genres are often a good place to hide; and I don’t wanna hide from anything. I don’t think about genres when I’m writing. I don’t think about Grammys and awards. I just want to make the connection with humanity. I think that’s what the language of music is all about. I call what I (do) black roots music for everyone. It’s really what we’re all playing. The music came from people who came here on a slave ship; our ancestors, their suffering and their strength perseveres and it meant something. (The music) really touched the lives of the world. In every aspect of music, you hear it.
SR: On that note, what inspired your Grammy winning album, “Last Days of Oakland?”
FN: Artists…I mean, what are we doing if we are not looking around and observing and singing about it and creating material that’s a reflection of the times that we live in?
SR: “Rant Rushmore” is a compelling song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49dZVqdTJdw
FN: Yeah, I like “Rant Rushmore.” It’s a love song. It’s a song about the discomfort of love; perhaps the darker side of love, perhaps the things that we don’t want to talk about but are probably the pillars of love, which are the uncomfortable parts of love.
SR: What other songs on “The Last Days of Oakland” are the closest to you?
FN: I like “Scary Woman,” that’s a good song. I like “Lost in the Crowd;” that’s special to me, like “About a Bird.” I like “Working Poor.” I’m biased. I think it’s a pretty good record.
SR: So, tell us about the space that we’re sitting in now.
FN: This is Black Ball Universe. It’s a collective-art, music, film. I started it about five years ago because we needed something good. In order to do that, it took many minds coming together to create and to come up with something that’s powerful on all those levels. Currently, we’re in the office of Black Ball Universe. It’s not the studio, but it’s my work space.
SR: What inspires you to keep the art movement going?
FN: I come from a big family; I’m the middle of 14. I don’t know any other way. You just get it done. What more inspiration do we need than our existence and our surroundings and our humanity? I believe that anything can be done. That’s the way I live. I only know the way of perseverance.
SR: Were you born and raised in Oakland?
FN: I was raised in Oakland, but I was born back east, in New England. My people came from the south like a lot of our people. They’re from Virginia. My dad’s side is Caribbean, from the Bahamas and African, from Somalia. That’s what I was told but I never confirmed it.
SR: You are setting a tone fashion wise with the Fantastic Negrito sense of style. Where does it come from?
FN: I do design. I do pick out stuff that I like to wear. I think that my style comes from a deep sense of dignity. I get stuff from second hand stores. Wherever I travel, I go to second hand stores. These pants I have on now were 10 bucks. The jacket was 15. My whole outfit probably cost $50. I don’t believe in making designers rich. Style is important. People judge you based on your appearance. We all know that it’s extremely important in America. If I wear a certain pair of shoes, they can determine what I’m gonna write or how I’m gonna perform. There’s a dignity that comes from my dad, I’m sure. He was a fine role model for fashion. Dignity was big for my dad; he was born in 1905 and had his own demons.
SR: What advice would you give to young artists who aspire to be where you are?
FN: For the youth, I say, keep high standards; that’s number one. Also, it will be over really quick; that means your youth, so take a deep breath, relax. What you don’t know is that what you are going through in your youth is such a tiny part of your life as a human being. I know it’s heavy, but keep high standards and walk towards the light. Associate yourself with people who are doing things. You are about as good as your friends are. Take a look around; we are all about as good as the company we keep. I care about writing good songs; I don’t really care about awards. I care about connecting with people and that’s what’s important. A Grammy is great, and I like the fact that other people are excited about it.
Follow Fantastic Negrito on his website: www.fantasticnegrito.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fantasticnegrito/
Instagram:@fantasticnegrito
Twitter:@musicNegrito


Check Out Video Fantastic Negrito - In the Pines (Oakland)
https://youtu.be/Bp_rRCNnUkk