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The Mid Week Beat: Dancehall, Mod Soul and a Hip Hop Brass Band!

Some FlamingoCantina_Capleton_webgood stuff coming up this week kiddies! We got a legendary Jamaican dancehall artist in Austin tomorrow night, an excellent night of mod soul and vintage reggae in San Diego on Friday and a Halloween masquerade of legendary proportions in New York on Saturday.

If you live in or near any of these towns, do not miss these shows. I got to say, being stuck here in Seattle, I’m a little jealous. Anyone want to buy me a plane ticket for the weekend?


Thursday, October 24 I CapletonAustin, Texas

Capleton, is a force to be reckoned with in the fast-moving world of dancehall reggae. Fame and success are hard to obtain and easy to lose. Fans can be fickle, and trends change in the blink of an eye, leaving most entertainers with painfully short career spans. Only a rare few can remain relevant from year to year, holding their audience’s attention and leaving them crying for more. Capleton’s lyrics are deep, precise, and thoughtful. His stage shows are nothing less than dynamic, explosive performances. But his remarkable staying power and longevity may be Capleton’s greatest gift.

Capleton was born Clifton George Bailey in St. Mary, Jamaica. As a youth, he was given the surname of a popular St. Mary lawyer and friend of the family, Capleton, as a nickname by his relatives and friends. As a teenager, he would often sneak out of his home to catch local dancehall acts, eventually leaving St. Mary for Kingston at the age of 18 to work on his career as a dancehall deejay.

When Capleton first arrived on the scene in the late 1980s, slackness and gun talk were the dominant lyrics in the dancehalls. The pre-Rasta Capleton had a string of hit songs from “Bumbo Red” to “Number One on the Look Good Chart” and “No Lotion Man.” In 1989, he got his first big international exposure. Stewart Brown, owner of a Toronto-based sound called African Star, gave the untested artist his first break, flying him to Canada for a stage show alongside Ninjaman and Flourgan.

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“Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum!”

Cabaret” the musical had its Broadway debut at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 20, 1966. The show opened to rave reviews and became such a hit that it inspired a 1972 film and countless productions across the globe. It won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Original Score and continues to win awards to this day. In 1998, the Broadway revival won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical and in 2007 the London revival of the show won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production. Certainly one can’t think of Liza Minelli without thinking of her Academy Award winning role as Sally Bowles and the 1968 London production helped launch the career of dame Judi Dench, in her role as Sally.

The story is set in Berlin in 1931, the late period of Weimar Germany, a period of flourishing artistic creativity, following Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 and preceding Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. During this time, Germany became a center of intellectual thought and artistic innovation as documented in the paintings of Otto Dix, the films of Fritz Lang, the music of Kurt Weil and the sexually-progressive cabaret culture that spawned Christopher Isherwood’s novel “Goodbye to Berlin” which would later be adapted into the musical “Cabaret.”
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An Explanation of Steampunk

Steampunk is blowing up!

The sci-fi / fantasy-based subculture that most had never heard of 2 years ago has become a full blown national movement.

Brown Paper Tickets sells tickets for a ton of these events and it seems like steampunk-themed events have increased significantly over the last year. This last November in Seattle, the second annual SteamCon more than doubled their venue capacity and sold-out almost instantly, attracting hundreds of girdled and moustachioed attendees (complete with vintage goggles, top hats, and mechanical talking parrots) from the world over.

So, what is Steampunk? SteamCon’s vice-chair Diana Vick described it as “Victorian science fiction” in a recent the CityArts article, “Steampunk Frontier:”

It should be set in the Victorian era, roughly 1837 to 1901. Whatever technology is being used, it should run on steam. Clockworks or mechanical power sources work too. Steampunk has a few common themes – exploration, mad science, invention, transportation and alternate histories. If you’re looking at something that contains something from each of those categories, you can be pretty safe in calling it steampunk.

Here’s a great YouTube video about a recent exhibition at Oxford University that does a great job at explaining the artistic aesthetic surrounding SteamPunk.

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A Steampunk New Years in London

Karen from the UK office sent word about an amazing New Years event in London being held at a top secret location that will only be revealed a week before the event. Mysterious! This Steampunk-inspired evening of circus performance, live music, and cabaret boasts an interactive game element that encourages guests to “unlock the secret of the Eve of Tomorrow.”

Performers include burlesque stars Miss Polly Rae and Kitty Bang Bang, Big Band swing orchestra My Gosh Marvellous, Olivier Award-winning illusionist Marisa Carnesky, and much, much more. Event organizers White Mischief and Boom Boom Club encourage costumes inspired by Aristocrats, Inventors, Scientists, Dandies and Dieselpunks and even offer a 20% discount for a rental costumier! According to the counter on their website, they’ve sold 80% of their tickets. The other 20% are available here.


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