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

Music >

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.

He recorded the song that began to establish his significant place in dancehall, “Alms House” in 1992. The tune became a big hit in the dancehall, followed up immediately by “Music is a Mission” and the massive hit “Tour.” By 1993, he was voicing tunes which became increasingly conscious, such as “Prophet” and “Cold Blooded Murderer.” *

Capleton is a house favorite at the Flamingo Cantina, a venue known for bringing the hottest acts and “good vibes” straight from Jamaica to 6th Street in Austin. Tickets are going fast for tomorrow night’s show so be sure to pick some up before they’re gone. And, come hungry, because Winston’s Kitchen in the Flamingo, will be serving up some delicious Jamaican cuisine.

* Biographical information taken from Wikipedia.


286913-250Friday, October 25 I SUEDEHEAD / 2,000 TONS OF TNT / SAN DIEGO CITY SOUL CLUB DJsSan Diego, California

“I ain’t got time for negativity, it will get you nowhere.” For prolific Birmingham (UK) musician Davey Warsop these words aren’t only his aphorism but also the very essence of his music. With his newly formed soul/pop group Suedehead, positivity runs deep within the rhythm and grooves. Warsop, known to most as the vocalist/guitarist for UK pop-punk band Beat Union, found his second calling with Suedehead while working as an engineer at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa, California. What began as a loose side project quickly became serious when rock n roll icon Mike Ness asked the band to open up for Social Distortion after he heard the group’s rough demos.

“I was engineering some demos for Social Distortion, when Mike asked to hear some of my own music I had been working on,” says Warsop. “A few months later, Mike asked if my band was ready to play some shows with him. I said yes, obviously, and rallied the band together in a matter of weeks. After those few shows we had so much fun that we decided we had to keep playing. So if it weren’t for Nessy, we may not have even become a real band.”

Comprised of an all-star lineup that includes Warsop, Greg Kuehn (TSOL, Berlin), Korey Kingston (The Aggrolites, Hepcat), Chris Bradley (The Distraction) and Mike Bisch. The Orange County based mod squad call on an eclectic background of influences including UK pub rock legend Elvis Costello, mod punks The Jam, new wave pioneer Joe Jackson as well as the UK’s Northern Soul movement and the classic sounds of Motown.

Also on this bill is San Diego’s great “skinhead reggae” band 2,000 Tons of TNT. Borrowing its name from the Trojan Records reggae staple by the G.G. All-Stars, the group interprets the funky, organ-driven rhythms of late 60’s and early 70’s Jamaica and Britain through a 21st-century North American lens. Their debut album Reggae Mysteria was self-released in July 2012 to international acclaim. A follow up full-length is scheduled to be released later this year.

This show is sure to be a hit with San Diego’s mod, skin and scooter scene especially with San Diego City Soul Club DJs spinning rare Northern Soul between the bands. Get suited up in your best gear, polish up your dancing shoes and get tickets ’cause they won’t last long San Diego!


149592-250Saturday, October 26 I Fifth Annual Masquerade MacabreNew York, New York

The folks over at Gemini & Scorpio know how to throw a party. In fact, their parties have become something of legend for those “in the know” in the Big Apple. This year’s Halloween party promises to be no different and is sure to have something for everyone.

I know. Some of you may be thinking: “Yeah, great Jimmy. But this is the Mid-Week Beat. Where’s the music?”

Well, I’m glad you mentioned that because these parties always feature some of the best and most eclectic musicians around and this year’s got some gems in the lineup like circus composer Sxip Shirey, back from a hit season of LIMBO at London’s South Bank Center, with beatboxer Adam Matta and other special guests. Sxip grew up in Athens, Ohio and started experimenting with found sound composition and extended instrument techniques when asked to compose music for Ohio University’s modern dance department.  This eventually took him to New York City where he has been performing in venues ranging from underground clubs in Brooklyn to a TED Talk, to Europe and to the Sydney Opera House.

This is Sxip’s only scheduled NYC appearance for the forseeable future so don’t miss this true visionary.

** WARNING! This video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised. **

That not enough for you? Well, how about mind-blowing hip-hop brass band PitchBlak. PitchBlak Brass Band is a Brooklyn-based 10-piece band whose style and sound represents hip-hop from the 1980s to present day. A collective of young musicians, composers and artists, PitchBlak embodies the contemporary and vibrant undercurrents of New York City. PitchBlak’s members have incredibly diverse musical backgrounds, allowing them to infuse hip-hop driven music with funk, rock, jazz and classical genres, resulting in a style as fresh as their dreads, shades and dashikis—rich brass harmonies, lyrical hooks, tongue-twisting raps, and rhythms that make your blood race.

** WARNING! This video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised. **

Also scheduled to appear is DJ Joro Boro, a self-described “crunk charlatan born in Bulgaria.” Joro Boro hosted MoGlo (Modern Global) on Radio New York 91.5FM, has toured with Balkan Beat Box, and has performed with artists ranging from Bassnectar to Tinariwen. He also established himself over seven years as the resident DJ in the Bulgarian Bar (Mehanata) in New York City, ending his residency in 2007.

The night will also include dark burlesque by Kat Mon Dieu and will be hosted by twisted maniac Zeroboy as Baron von Doom. Fantastical face & body painting will be done by Painteresse Elyzabeth. Frighteningly accurate fortunes will be told by practitioners of the occult arts. Absinthe and other mind-altering potions will be provided by The House of St Eve and cheap drink specials will be happening all night long with crazy maple pecan bourbon William Wolf.

So, as you can see, this event should not be missed. You will not find another event in New York with entertainment of this calibre. I guarantee it. This event is pretty darn close to being sold out so I would get your tickets NOW!

Oh, and of course, costumes are required. The hosts ask that you draw your inspriation from: “macabre carnival, aberrations of nature, cabinet of curiosities, dark Victoriana, evil funhouse, steampunk, Jan Svankmaier & Brothers Quay films, Freaks, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Think dark & creepy. Or dark & funny. Or whatever your Halloween costume happens to be.” Remember, if they have to ask what your costume is, it’s not a costume.