Although the MACROTONES aren't niche snobs who get aggravated with the “world music” label often thrust upon them, vague pigeonholes hardly do justice to this Charlestown 10-piece, which romances any number of micro-scenes on a regular basis. Originally formed three years ago as an Afro-funk collective built to break authentic grooves à la Antibalas, they've evolved into a hybrid fit for freaking fans of jazz, boom-bap, roots reggae, and acid-worthy jam bands.
Few Boston bands can look back on as crazy a year as Ethio-pop consort DEBO BAND — two trips to Addis Ababa and Zanzibar, a scene-busting residency at the Western Front with guest stars from both coasts in several languages, and a debut EP, Flamingoh (Pink Bird Dawn), that dropped in September. A full-length is brewing, but let’s celebrate the sly perfection of Flamingoh’s closer, “Lantchi Biye,” a dusty update of the East-meets-West parlor jam made famous in Ethiopia by pioneers Mulatu Astatke and Tilahun Gessesse.
It's a funny thing about live music. Where's the added value
over a recording? Sometimes it's being in the physical presence of a hero.
Sometimes what you're seeing helps you hear - the instruments and gestures that
create the sound. And sometimes it's the thrill of being part of an audience.
Certainly in pop and jazz, where
just about everything comes through an amplifier and PA, you can't beat the
purity of sound and the controlled environment of recordings.
Best known for the stomping blues and Appalachia-tinged roots rock of his Tarbox Ramblers, MICHAEL TARBOX takes a bit of a detour with his new solo disc. A decidedly more acoustic affair — recorded in Nashville and filled out with the occasional piano, pedal steel, fiddle, and trumpet — My Primitive Joy puts Tarbox’s voice and acoustic fingerpicking front and center, along with his shapely, dark, fateful songwriting.
1. “LET IT WHIP,” DAZZ BAND [SUPER SOUL TRAIN ANTHEM]2. “LOVE WHIP,” REVEREND HORTON HEAT [S&M, TEXAS-STYLE]3. “THE WHIP,” THE ETHIOPIANS [SWEET MELODIES FROM JAMAICA]4. “WHIP IT,” DEVO [DEVOLUTION LOVE]5. “WHEN THE WHIP COMES DOWN,” THE ROLLING STONES [TAKE-IT-OR-LEAVE-IT RELATIONSHIP ADVICE]