When I saw these guys a few years ago at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, Oregon, it was an incredible show with incredibly looking local people, it felt like I was at home. However, Katchafire were nowhere close to home but they were on tour in the U.S. before they would return to New Zealand and my sister has seen them a number of times over the years. This time, they find themselves in Vail, Colorado for the GoPro Mountain Games and I’m sure a lot of people had their GoPro’s to record some nice footage. Fortunately, there was some footage of Katchafore performing within the #JamInTheVan and we all know how good that can be. Check out their performance of “Love Letter”.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of The Police, and have been for a long time. I was lucky to have seen them during the Synchronicity tour in Honolulu at the Aloha Stadium in February 1984 at what would be their last American show before they split up. The group would return later on but I was able to see them at their most successful period and as they were falling apart from one another.
While “Message In A Bottle” was the first Police song I heard and enjoyed, the power of “Roxanne” was strong and it not only became one of the band’s staples in live shows, but Eddie Murphy used it for a joke during one of the scenes in his first film, 48 Hours.
While they had released a few other singles before “Roxanne”, it was the song that caught the attention of many people, including American audiences. 37 years after its release, DJ Platurn handles the song with a new edit, ready for you to check out, with or without a red light on.
While the song is full of Auto-Tune, Jahmeil’s “Gain The World” shows that this reggae artist has what it takes to make good music and keep it going for a long time. If you like what you hear, say show and also show some support too.
I’m unable to post the player here so if you want to hear the tropical flavors of Kin Cayo’s “Our Ship”, you have to head there yourself. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it’s only a click away.
Considering how much music Sizzla Kalonji has recorded and released in the last 15 years, it almost doesn’t matter what he does but Sizzla finds himself in a very good place with the release of Born A King (Muti Music). He knows how to balance the romantic songs along with songs that may require a political or social stance, and he never reaches the level of being slack the way he used to. This means it’s family friendly music, good enough for those who care when he speaks out but pleases those who enjoy it when Sizzla is a gentlemen, perhaps why he calls himself a king for this effort. “Give Jah Praise” will definitely make people happy who enjoy it when he gets into a deep roots vibe. What people will also find a joy is hearing two acoustic versions of songs that have fuller versions earlier in the album, for “I’m Living” and “Got What It Takes”. He continues to go through his different methods of singing, including brief excursions into Auto-Tune but they’re not as heavy as they were about eight to ten years ago. How Sizzla will mature in the coming years is unknown but as long as there are fans showing him support, he is sure to continue his passion for many years. Perhaps seven new albums by this time next year? We’ll see.
Tipare is a singer based out of Aukland, New Zealand who has made a very powerful pop song with very obvious reggae overtones, to the point where if she allowed it to have a dub mix, it would hold together in its own way. As for “My Decision”, it’s a song about knowing someone whom she likes but is seen with another woman, she she decides to live life in her own way to feel the love she would like to be close to. The video at first seemed a bit weird, almost just random images of her around different locales but finally we see her lip-syncing, which oddly enough I wanted to see. She lures the viewer in and im the words of Kwest The Madd Lad, boom: there it is. Tipare directed the video herself with help from photographer Tamara Azizian. This is sure to be massive around the Pacific Rim and elsewhere.
My Decision from TIPARE on Vimeo.
When Richard Branson saw the success Chris Blackwell was having with the reggae music he signed for Island Records, Branson felt he would like to start his own reggae subsidiary as well, and be created Front Line Records. Front Line: Sounds Of Assembly (Virgin/Universal) is a great 5CD compilation putting together some of the best music by the best artists from one of the best eras of reggae music, so if you’re also a fan of dub, rock steady, and other sub-genres, you’re going to love this. If you’re someone who has ever collected some of the box sets released by Trojan Records, this one is going to feel that way with the amount of music that’s on here. Sadly, Front Line only lasted for under two years but in that time they released 46 albums and 26 singles, yet that’s a lot of music in that short lifespan.
The artists on here are amazing, with works from Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, The Abyssinians, The Mighty Diamonds, Keith Hudson, U Roy, I Roy, Sly Dunbar, Culture, Tapper Zukie, Jah Lloyd & The Black Lion, Prince Far I and many more. For four of the five discs, each one has over 20 songs to go through and while you may be used to a Trojan box dedicated to a specific theme, this one goes back and forth between roots reggae and dub throughout, going through not only the diversity of Jamaica’s music but also how well stocked Front Line Records wanted to become. This is the perfect album to listen to in its entirety on a Saturday night, or take time to go through each disc one by one. It’s not only great reggae, but great music period from start to finish, and Front Line: Sounds Of Assembly will be worth the experience felt.
A fellow Polynesian is being featured here at ThisIsBooksMusic.com, and her name is Leilani Wolfgramm. Upon seeing the name, I had wondered if she was related to any of the Wolfgramm’s that are the members of the Minneapolis pop/R&B group, The Jets. No word on a connection with them, but Wolfgramm makes some very good music, so her Tongan power is strong in all that she creates, especially in this video for “Empty”. You may find out more about her by heading to LeilaniWolfgrammMusic.com
Captain Planet has a new album, his second, coming out on October 7th called Esperanto Slang
(Bastard Jazz Recordings), and what you’ll hear on it is his new collaboration with Brit Laurén called “In The Gray”, which has now been turned into a video.