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Music, Hear This Skerik's Bandalabra: Show Preview

Skerik's Bandalabra: Show Preview

A resurgence of interest in Afrobeat music in recent years has produced a Broadway show about Fela Kuti, revived long-retired West African bands, and produced a slew of new, Afrobeat-inspired bands. The four-piece Bandalabra conjures elements of Afrobeat — complex…
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Dining, Eat Never Stop Partying: How to Disregard Your Day Job and Go Out Like a Pro All Week

Never Stop Partying: How to Disregard Your Day Job and Go Out Like a Pro All Week

Partying on Friday and Saturday is easy — anyone can do that. Going out during the week is much harder. The big venues close down, and the bookings become more sporadic. But this difficulty shouldn't dissuade you, as an entire…
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Music, Hear This Ginger Baker: Show Preview

Ginger Baker: Show Preview

Had rock drummer Ginger Baker keeled over dead from a heroin overdose during his late '60s stint with virtuoso power trio Cream, his work with that band alone would have earned him membership into the Rock and Roll Hall of…
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Calendar, Night&Day The clothes make the country

The clothes make the country

Nigeria has produced some of the most enduring music, literature, and artwork of the past 50 years. Think Fela Kuti and his Afrobeat music. Think Chinua Achebe and his bevy of books, including the iconic Things Fall Apart. And think…
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Music, All Shook Down The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend

The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend

Summer in San Francisco -- what's not to love? The weather's perfect, spirits are high, and the city's clubs are humming with activity. There's a lot going on, so to help you get better acquainted with the local nightlife, we've…
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Music, All Shook Down Femi Kuti Is More Focused Than You

Femi Kuti Is More Focused Than You

Olafela Olafemi Anikulapo Kuti (Femi for short) is the son of a legend, a position of great magnitude that can tend to overshadow his own significant achievements as a musician and political activist. He's the spitting image of his late…
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Music, Hear This Show preview: Femi Kuti

Show preview: Femi Kuti

Olafela Olafemi Anikulapo Kuti (Femi for short) is the spitting image of his late father, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who recently became the subject of a Broadway musical. And while we never had the chance to see Fela onstage,…
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Music, Hear This Zion I

Zion I

Oakland rap crew Zion I delivers MC Zumbi's deliberative rhymes over revved-up soul and spastic scraper beats engineered by AmpLive. The pair takes a generous view of technology's role in creating and spreading music. "Keep on downloading!" Zumbi told fans…
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Music, All Shook Down Weekend Pick #1: Fela B-Day Celebration

Weekend Pick #1: Fela B-Day Celebration

It's hard to think of a more iconic artist than Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The founder of Afrobeat, who famously proclaimed "music is a weapon," was both a voice of progressive social change--and often uncomfortably-honest socioeconomic critique--and a musical visionary.…
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Music, All Shook Down Les Nubians Chill Out in Stern Grove

Les Nubians Chill Out in Stern Grove

Yesterday was definitely a day to be outdoors. With thermostats pointing north, inside was the last place anyone would want to be. And why would you want to, anyway? It was nice outside. Hot damn, summer in the city.…
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Music, All Shook Down Never Can Say Goodbye

Never Can Say Goodbye

I'm not trying to be cynical or morbid here, but Michael Jackson's death was the best thing to happen to him in years. In death, Michael lives on forever. He has now joined the ancestors, among them musical icons…
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Music, Hear This Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti

Antibalas is usually given credit for kick-starting the Afrobeat revival; that honor actually should go to Olufela Olufemi (Femi) Anikulapo Kuti. The eldest son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, his 20-year career attained critical mass in 1998 with the release…
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Music, Sila & the Afrofunk Experience celebrates Obama

Sila & the Afrofunk Experience celebrates Obama

While Sila and the Afrofunk Experience were recording their second album, Black President, in the Bay Area, tribal warfare was threatening the safety of band leader Victor Sila's family in the small Kenyan village where he grew up. The pointless…
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Music, All Shook Down Experience Afrofunk: Sila Drops New Album

Experience Afrofunk: Sila Drops New Album

San Francisco's favorite Kenyan Afro-groovester, Victor Sila, has just released Black President, his second album with the Afrofunk Experience. I'll admit to being a bit biased--Sila is a friend of mine, and I wrote his bio--but I really like…
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Music, Reviewed NOMO

NOMO

The Detroit-based instrumental group NOMO used to get tagged as an Afrobeat band, but that label was always too narrow. On two previous full-lengths — 2004's self-titled debut and 2006's brilliant follow-up New Tones — the eight-or-so-piece ensemble mixed homemade…
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Music, Seun Kuti contends with complicated family ties

Seun Kuti contends with complicated family ties

When a son enters the family business, there's sometimes a built-in price tag. While some folks are proud of the kid for maintaining a fine institution, others will accuse him of taking advantage of a parent's reputation. But if your…
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Music, Hear This A tribute to the "James Brown of Nigeria"; Robert Pollard inaugurates the Year of the Liver

A tribute to the "James Brown of Nigeria"; Robert Pollard inaugurates the Year of the Liver

For almost four years, L.A.'s Afrobeat Down has dedicated itself to celebrating the life of Fela Kuti, the notorious "James Brown of Nigeria" who crafted the sound known as Afrobeat. Not content to be just a cover band, the group…
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Music, Afro-Beefs

Afro-Beefs

Afrobeat has its origins in conflict. Using his thrilling musical hybrid of American soul, James Brown-style big-band funk, jazz, and the traditional West African pop genre Highlife to address and resist everything from colonialism to military violence, Fela Anikulapo Kuti,…
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Calendar, See/Be Seen Planet Party

Planet Party

FRI 12/31 San Francisco has a lot to offer revelers looking to party this New Year's Eve: live music, dancing, theater, performance art, DJs, fireworks, and more (see Page 82 for a complete list). In fact, there are so many…
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Music, Reviewed Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti

This is something of a wet dream for us Bay Area folk, a captivating mix CD of songs by the late Nigerian Afrobeat bandleader Fela Kuti put together in an ultimate DJ set by Chief Xcel of our own home-grown…
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