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Dancehall artiste, Mr Lex, was arrested and charged with rape in New York on October 17th . Mr Lex, aka Christopher Palmer was arrested after a woman reported to the police that he sexually molested her. He is now out on bail. It is alleged that on Thursday night while the woman was in her room at a hotel in Queens, New York, the deejay forced himself on her. The police arrested Mr Lex the next morning.

The deejay will appear in court on November 2. When contacted by THE STAR yesterday, Earlton Clarke, Mr Lex’s manager said that the deejay was innocent of all charges…we have all faith in the judicial system. He also said Mr Lex knew the young lady and had the highest regard for her and her parents.

According to Clarke cannot leave the United States until his court appearance, would be working on some musical projects. “He was up here voicing and working on some tracks when this thing happened. It just affected everything. He is still in shock about it because nothing like what they said (are alleging) happened,” the manager said. Full Story: TheJamaicaonlineSTAR

Mr Lexx’s single for ‘90210’ soundtrack

Mr Lexx’s single, Hold the Line w/featuring American singer Santigold and was produced by Major Lazer is to be aired on Beverly Hills 90210: The Next Generation. The single was selected by a music supervisor on the production team for the current series to be included on the soundtrack for Season 2 of 90210. The episode the air date is unknown. The video for the song was nominated in the ‘Breakthrough Video’ category of the MTV Video Music Awards on September 13.Mr Lexx recently concluded a tour with Santigold.

Gramps Morgan to appear at the Soul Train Awards Nov. 3rd

Belize PM confirms Rapper Shyne is fighting deportation from US

Rapper, Shyne, was given an early release from prison in the United States last week. His father, Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow has acknowledged that his son is resisting plans by US authorities to deport him. He the rapper remained in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in New York.Shyne, AKA Jamal Barrow has changed his name while in prison to Moses Leviy.Full story cariblifecentral.com

Bounty on Marijuana charged

Dancehall DJ Bounty Killer was arrested and charged by the New Kingston Police in Jamaica with possession of ganja. The Jamaica Gleaner report that Killer was stopped by police while driving along Knutsford Boulevard in Kingston. He was allegedly smoking marijuana and also had a small quantity of the contraband in his vehicle.

He appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court and pleaded not guilty to drug charges. He has three other cases in the courts. His up coming court date on this arrest is November 17.

Dance Artist Ce’Cile’s Music for `keeping Up With The Kardashians’

The Jamaican reggae/dancehall diva Ce`Cile music will soon be heard on the reality show, `Keeping up with the Kardashians. Ce`Cile is currently enjoying the success of her hit single `Hot Like We`( #1 on the German Black Music).

The agreement with the producers of the show covers the use of Ce’Cile’s tracks for the hit reality television series which is aired on E!: Entertainment Television and on `The Real World`  `Road Rules` and `Extreme / All-Star Challenge’, currently airing on MTV Networks. The agreement was reached with Bunim-Murray of Los Angeles, California, the leading producers of reality TV docu-dramas in the USA and President of Jamstar Productions, LLC.

`Keeping up with the Kardashians` is entering its fourth season on E!: Entertainment, and will premiere in November 2009. Real World/Road Rules Challenge recently began its eighteenth season on MTV.Source:CaribWorldNews.com`

Ce’Cile drops single

Ce’Cile dropped her latest single, ‘Anything’; it became one of four songs by female artistes on the Feminine rhythm created by Don Corleon. Ce’Cile wrote the song it was released recently.

Anything is a song about a woman doing anything for the man she loves, including cooking, washing and cleaning. “It’s a very nice ‘man’ song like Waiting,” said the dancehall diva referring to the hit song from her last album. “I’m giving all love to the men for 2009.”

Ce’Cile says the song could make its way onto an album set for the international audience. “I may put it on the Japan album…not sure ’bout the New Style album yet, but if it’s hot, maybe,” she said. The New Style album is set for release in March 2010.Tifa’s Why, Kris Kelli’s Never Give In and Denyque’s Pieces are on the rhythm. Full story: JamaicanonlineStar

Dean Fraser lauds Bradshaw

Legendary Jamaican saxophonist and producer Dean Fraser, has lauded the late Sonny Bradshaw as one of Jamaica’s greatest ever musicians who was like a father to him. “He was one of the greatest trumpet players, composers, arrangers, and teachers,” Fraser said of the late musician. “All that, would be who Sonny Bradshaw was.”

Bradshaw died at 83 on October 10, he suffered a stroke while visiting the United Kingdom in August. Fraser said it was a bit surprising that Bradshaw passed.

Fraser joined Bradshaw’s band at age 15 years old. His music teacher, Babe O’ Brian of National Volunteers Organisation introduced him to Bradshaw who would eventually help shape his career. He was like a father to me. “He basically taught me…to be a professional in music… to learn about singing, about percussion, and (to) learn another instrument.”

Fraser who had been speaking to Bradshaw’s widow, legendary jazz singer Myrna Hague, offering support and comfort says his passing will inspire some musical works in the future. But for now “I just want to deal with what has happened right now.”

Fraser says Bradshaw was still making great contributions to the Jamaican music landscape at the time of his passing. “A great man has passed and we will miss him,” he said. “Nuff respect Sonny Bradshaw.” Full story: TheJamaicaonlineSTAR

Broadcasting Commission Set to Make Case Directly To Music Industry

Cordell Green, Broadcasting Commission Executive Director, outlined Broadcasting Commission guidelines on musical content at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) General Meeting on October 20.

The new stricter guidelines implemented last year created controversy for and against the guidelines by broadcasters, disc jockeys, artistes and citizens.  Many felt the new stricter guidelines was tantamount the censorship.  Some argued that there perceived favouritism towards soca over dancehall. The Broadcasting Commission maintained that main concern is monitoring and regulating output, to protect the nation’s children against potentially harmful material, rather than being judgmental.
Tasha T had real good summer. She performed on shows with Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, John Holt and Ken Boothe. On the recording front, her latest single “One More Try”, a George Michael tune. The Toronto based Sing Jay has been making steady strides with her career and when the producers of Terry Linen (Uplifting Music) heard her, the union produced some special works one of which is the cover of this classic song.

Tasha has added her own inimitable style to this version and like “Hold Me”, which dominated the charts earlier this year; “One More Try” is bound to do the same. Engineered by Toronto’s own Danny Maestro at the “Bulletproof Studio” and once again, background vocals performed by her sister Jonika Lewis (watch out for her in the near future) and Jamila Jendayi (good talent from out of New Jersey). This combination looks set for great things. Listen to “One More Try” on www.myspace.com/tashat76

Blak Ryno jailed for attacking neighbour

Dancehall artiste Blak Ryno was charged with two charges of unlawful wounding and assault occasioning bodily harm by the Police. Blak Ryno is scheduled for court on October 21.

Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” Remix ft. Jamaican Beauty Tiana

Media House Production artiste – Tiana collaboration w/Hip Hop star Pitbull on the remix of “I Know You Want Me” which was creatively done by DJ X (Cash Flow). I Know You Want Me was added to several disc jock playlists in Jamaica and the UK. Tiana did a live interview with Daddy Turbo from (ICR FM105.7) on the Reggae & Dancehall link up show – one of UK’s hottest radio shows
Sophia Heads to LA to shoot ‘Gimme That Good Love’
Singer Sophia Brown shot the video for her latest single “Gimmie That Good Love” in Los Angeles California. The video was directed by Kai Morrison who has done work for T-Pain and Pink.

According to Morrison plans on taking a new approach to “Gimmie That Good Love”. “I plan on using modern elements in this video; I want it to have a lot of energy and motion so as to keep it interesting”. Brown did a show in California on October 21st with Michigan & Smiley. Source: one876entertainment.com

Gays launch protest against Sizzla

Sadeke Brooks

Members of the gay and lesbian community are again making their voices heard when it comes to reggae artistes with anti-gay messages. First it was a slew of concert cancellations for Buju Banton on his North American tour to promote his latest album Rasta Got Soul, as members of the gay community aggressively picketed every venue the ‘Gargamel’ was slated to perform. They got the upper hand as Buju conceded to a meeting with a group in San Francisco last Monday. However, Buju made no promises about changing his opinions on the taboo community.
Now fellow Rastafarian reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji is facing the latest verbal outbursts on his European tour. Late last week, a concert venue said it would cancel his show in Denmark if he did not change his anti-gay stance. However, the threat was later withdrawn.
The artiste, whose real name is Miguel Collins, was scheduled to perform at the Danish venue Pumpehuset last night. The Copenhagen Post claimed Sizzla said he was a ‘role model’ for young people in Jamaica and stood by his anti-gay stance. He was quoted as saying he only signed the Reggae Compassionate Act so he could continue performing in Europe. However, Sizzla replied shortly after on Pumpehuset’s website saying he was misquoted.

“It is clear that what I have said has been misconstrued in an interview I had given since I have been on tour. Some who are interviewed, granted interviews in good faith, others may have other motives or axes to grind but I have none,” the statement said.

Equal rights and justice

It continued: “I believe in peace, equal rights and justice for all mankind and malice towards none. The Reggae Compassionate Act was signed with that belief and it will not change. Me signing the Reggae Compassionate Act is my unflinching belief and commitment towards its goals. In all my shows that I have done so far, I have not wavered from that commitment, which will stand to a lasting testimony.”

When contacted, Sizzla’s publicist, Olimatta Taal, confirmed on Sunday night that the concert was still scheduled for last night. Sizzla was not available for a comment but Taal says she speaks on his behalf.

“It is evident that Sizzla and other artistes in the reggae industry are being attacked. These organisations have protested concerts and used the press as a tool to push their agenda. Many concerts have been cancelled as a result of their actions and lots of money has been lost. There is a bigger picture that I think these organisations are not looking at,” she told THE STAR.

She added: “Sizzla and the other reggae artistes are all products of a strong, rich Caribbean culture with certain values and principles. They have all been moulded by environments that are a marriage of love and hate, poor and rich, Christian and Rasta, peace and violence. They use reggae music as a way to express themselves, be the voice of the voiceless and the marginalised. Most times the topics they discuss and sing about are controversial but that is the beauty of reggae music and its mother Rastafari. ”

Buju Banton’s meeting with the gay group in San Francisco has received mixed responses. While some said it was overdue, others questioned his moral mettle.

Buju, who recently relinquished a portion of his estate in an out of court settlement with long-time domestic partner Lorna Strachan, said in the meeting they spoke and he listened and he spoke and they listened. One of the gay activists noted that Buju’s views were shaped by Jamaica’s homophobic behaviour and anti-buggering laws.

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch wrote to Prime Minister Bruce Golding urging action to stem endemic violence against gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Jamaica.

Just last week, during the debate on the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Golding reiterated that the country’s Parliament would not recognise same-sex marriage or union while he was in power. “I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimization or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions,” Golding declared at the debate last Tuesday.

Taal pointed out that Jamaica’s views on homosexuality is not unique and that the gay community is being selective with its demonstrations. “The whole world is torn around the issues of homosexuality and homophobia but reggae music is the scapegoat with reggae artistes as the targets,” she said. “The lovers and supporters of reggae music must stand up and unite to protect reggae artistes and reggae music, which are misunderstood.” Source: TheJamaicaonlineSTAR

British Lovers Rock Star Louisa Marks Dies

Louisa Marks, a British lover’s rock singer best known for her work between the mid-1970s and early 1980s has died in The Gambia on Saturday, October 17th from unconfirmed reports of either a stomach ulcer or food poisoning. Mark was voted top female reggae vocalist of 1978. Her 1975 single “Caught You in a Lie” is regarded as the first lovers’ rock single, a style of reggae music noted for its romantic sound and content. Marks was born in Shepherd’s Bush, London in 1960, and had her introduction to the music business via talent contests held at the Four Aces club in London where show won for ten consecutive weeks.  Sound system operator and record producer Lloyd Coxsone provided dub plates for the contestants to sing over at the contests and provided the fifteen-year old Marks with her first recording session, at Gooseberry Studios, where she recorded a cover version of Robert Parker’s “Caught You in a Lie”, on which she was backed by Matumbi, the single also being released in Jamaica by Gussie Clarke.  “Caught You in a Lie” is considered the first lovers rock single.   It gave her an instant hit with reggae audiences, and was followed by “All My Loving”.

After leaving school, Mark resumed her musical career working with Trojan Records house producer and A&R manager Clement Bushay, releasing “Keep it Like It Is”. She stayed with Bushay for further releases including her rendition of Michael Jackson’s  “Even Though You’re Gone”, “Six Sixth Street”, and her debut album Breakout (1981), released on the Bushays label.   She was unhappy with the album, and did not record again for over a year. Mark returned to the studio in 1982, recording “Mum and Dad” (arranged by Sly & Robbie).  Mark was voted top female reggae vocalist of 1978 ahead of Marcia Griffiths.  Source: West Indian Times.net

Stevie Faces ‘Tell It Like It Is’ tearing up London

Stevie Faces launch of his 16-track CD Tell It Like It Is in London at the Hypnotic Wine Bar on Norwood Road in Herne Hill. The 16-track album officially hit the stores in the UK on October 1, and the USA and Canada through distributors VP Records.

Singles have been getting massive rotation in Jamaica and the UK, from the album include: I Wanna Wake Up With at the #7 spot on Richie Bs Jamaicas Music Countdown, #7 on the Stampede Street charts, #18 on the Hitz 92 charts and #15 on the US Virgin Island reggae charts. Also #9 on both the New York top 30 Reggae charts and the South Florida charts.

In the UK Stevie Face is #1 On BBCs Three Counties Radio Reggae Rest Your Love On Me #1 and the #1 on London Lightening FM with In The Living Years.  Tell It Like It Is is gaining crossover appeal R&B Hip Hop stations like London’s Choice FM and Bristol’s UJIMA FM garnering heavy rotation for Coming Home and Tell It Like It Is, respectively.

Coming Home is #8 on Choice FM Reggae charts and ‘Tell It Like It Is’ is #2 on UJIMA FMs Reggae charts. Tell It Like It Is, the album debuted at #1 on UK Reggae Chart in and the Dub Vendor Reggae chart. New tracks favored from radio jocks and the streets are In The Living Years, Naw Leggo Jah and Since I Met You Baby.

The online sales are also doing excellent by Zojak Worldwide distribution, allowing Stevie, the new Prince of lovers’ rock, coveted top banner spot on iTunes Europe, in the company of the likes of Black Uhuru Black Sounds Of Freedom and Bob Marleys Lively Up Yourself. Stevie just returned from to Jamaica from promoting his new album. He appeared on CVM’s Onstage with Winford Williams recently. ‘Tell It Like It Is’ will be available in Jamaica and the Caribbean through Streetz Music and Bootcamp Records following an official launch next month. Source: West Indian Times.net

Mojo Morgan Drops Million Dollar Check

Now as a solo recording artist Mojo Morgan has dropped a new single dubbed “Million Dollar Check”, the first official track off his upcoming album “The Next Generation” due out spring 2010on the Gedion Soldiers Entertainment Label. Earlier this year Mojo took the international mainstreams by storm with “Got Mojo” a rock / hip hop inspired song which opened a number of doors for him while making its way onto several top ten charts in New York, South Florida and Germany.

Mojo is featured on several riddim compilations including the Automatic Riddim with a song dubbed “River Nile” and the “Rain Drop Riddim” with the smash hit “Why Oh Why”. Other hot singles currently in radio rotation is “Herbsman Anthem” featuring the legendary music icon Peter Tosh, “Rude Bwoy” and “Imagine”

Serani No Games Video Premiered On Vibe.Com

Serani world premiere of his Billboard hit single She Loves Me on www.vibe.com (Oct 16, 2009). The video is ready to rock BET, MTV and local TV stations. Fans are awaiting the release of Serani’s album No Games on October 27.


By Richard Fu

Carolyn Cooper of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica explored the interplay between reggae and Reggae has evolved from a gritty, rhythmic invocation against social and political injustice to a pleasant, sappy background music accompanying commercials, according to Carolyn Cooper, a professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Cooper, who delivered a lecture in the Haldeman Center on Friday, said that despite reggae’s many changes in form and style, in pure form it remains the heart and soul of Jamaica and its people.

Reggae will also be forever marred by advertisements promoting heritage tourism in Jamaica that distort the true beat behind a music some have now labeled as belonging only in elevators, Cooper said.

Cooper acknowledged that heritage tourism, for all its flaws, is an indispensable part of the Jamaican economy — reggae has the power to fill Jamaica’s empty hotels and support its local businesses with capital from visitors from all over the world, Cooper said.

Cooper also emphasized the major pitfall of “reggae tourism”: The promotion of Jamaica as a tourist hotspot, the natives as exotic locals and reggae as mainstream pop only further connects the Jamaican population with an economic scheme that cannot serve as a permanent solution.

“Americans go on vacation to escape the mundane banalities of their lives,” she said. “Most Jamaicans can’t afford to do that. They envy your ability to escape your boredom and turn theirs into your pleasure.”

The issue, according to Cooper, isn’t that tourism is wrong, but that advertising agencies are promoting Jamaica in such a way that it is challenging the nation’s identity.

It sometimes seems as if it is more about the tourists than the people, Cooper said, as natives often cannot even obtain seats to popular reggae festivals.

Cooper illustrated the tension between the “real” Jamaica and the Jamaica featured on glossy brochures with the example of Damian “Junior Gong” Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock.” The grim, ominous track, Cooper said, “militantly contests the Jamaica Tourist Board’s appropriation of [Bob Marley’s] disquieting ‘One Love’ as an unambiguous anthem of social harmony: ‘Come to Jamaica and feel alright.’”

Cooper said that the tourist board, in promoting Jamaica as a place of peace and harmony, naturally does not want the world to hear the gritty underbelly of reggae.

For example, Bob Marley’s original lyrics for “One Love” were quite dark. “Is there a place for the hopeless sinner/who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?” he wrote.

Bob Marley’s lyrics, Cooper said, represent an attempt to find true peace and harmony in Jamaica while acknowledging that the nation is marked by economic instability, high crime rates and other social blights.

Reggae in its raw, unaltered form unflinchingly deals with subjects ranging from religion to love, sexuality and poverty, according to Cooper. “It is a rhythmic resistance against the system of exploitation of people,” Cooper said.

The challenge, Cooper pointed out, is to tap into Jamaica’s tourist income without dehumanizing the people and marginalizing the culture.

Cooper suggested, however, that not all is glum: For all the waves of tourism and commercialization, Cooper said, reggae remains intrinsically Jamaican and continues to serve not only as a source of a pride, but as an outlet for the local Jamaicans.

Cooper remarked that just as jazz and rock-and-roll, while still influential, are no longer regarded as the “popular” music of our era, reggae too will become “old people’s music” one day. But for now, it remains the authentic manifestation of Jamaica’s culture, a resounding affirmation of the Jamaican people’s creativity and inspiration.

STORY OF THE SONG: ‘Jamaica Ska’ lifts beat over barbed wire

Mel Cooke

Keith Lyn recalls that when he first heard ska at Chocomo Lawn in west Kingston, there was a lot of barbed wire around. It was a place that he was warned not to visit, but followed his musical heart and went along with Byron Lee and Ken Lazarus. There he heard ska for the first time, being performed by the Paragons, Heptones and “a whole bunch of guys we did not know” and the sound grabbed him.

“It got us going, just like how dancehall got people going,” Lyn said.

“We (Byron Lee and the Dragonaires (BL&D) wanted to see if we could do it, but we were known as an uptown band,” Lyn said. And ska was known as “‘ghetto music’, as they called it”. At the time BL&D included songs from the US Top 40 in their repertoire, plus some Latin music. “Ken Lazarus and myself went down there repeatedly after that,” Lyn said, the two getting involved with a number of groups from the area as Lazarus chipped in musically and Lyn did the same vocally. Lyn had joined BL&D in about 1962 and got into ska a year or two after.  Infectious

“It was infectious and we started playing it. We were touring and we decided we were going to introduce our Jamaican music to the States, so I and Ken Lazarus sat down one day and we wrote Jamaica Ska,” Lyn said.

It was written at Lazarus’ home on West Road, near Hagley Park Road. “We sat on the step, a little wooden stoop kind of thing, and we worked it out and did the whole thing, Jamaica Ska,” he said. This included the dance, Lyn saying “we had a part there telling people how to do the ska, with some little movements. Ronnie Nasralla, who was the band manager then, choreographed some steps. That’s how you get this kind of thing (Lyn demonstrates the scissors style hand movement associated with ska) and the ‘row your boat’ and ‘ride your horse’ and that kind of thing”.

The lyrics emphasised the ease of the movements, comparing them to dance steps from the United States.

“Ska ska ska.  Jamaica ska, Ska ska ska, Do the ska, Not many people can Cha Cha Cha, Not everybody can, do the Twist, But everybody, can do the Ska, It’s the new dance, you can’t resist,Ska Ska Ska,Jamaica Ska”

And it was to the Unites States that BL&D took Jamaica Ska, including an early morning audition for the Ed Sullivan Show that did not exactly show the band at their best. Still, Lyn says “we introduced the dance at places we played like the Manhattan Centre, upstate New York – wherever we played we tried to introduce this new Jamaican music”.

Lyn says he is not quite sure, but believes Jamaica Ska was one of the first international ska hits. It made the soundtrack of Back to the Beach (with some changes to the horns). It was also a part of BL&D taking the Ska sound over the barbed wire in west Kingston to uptown at the Glass Bucket Club on Half-Way Tree

Road and places like the Sombrero on Molynes Road and the University of the West Indies. The uptown crowds did not resist the ‘ghetto sound’, Lyn saying “they loved it!” “We had the place rocking with that,” he said.

Lyn was also featured singing in the James Bond movie, Dr No, people doing the Ska in a nightclub scene. Two weeks ago, Lyn had an extremely gratifying Jamaica Ska moment on a visit to the Holy Trinity High School. When the students heard that he is a singer they asked of what kind of songs. He assured them that they know one of his songs and they responded, “I don’t think so.” But when he asked if anybody knew “Ska, Ska, Ska” they picked up on it and sang word for word. “Chorus and verse! (plus they did the horns part),” Lyn says, beaming. He links their familiarity with the song to its inclusion in last year’s gala at the National Stadium, 500 students doing a choreographed dance to Jamaica Ska.”I fell in love with the kids down there,” Lyn said, laughing.

He is disappointed, though, that not many bands are playing ska in Jamaica regularly, although many performers utilise a closing ska medley. On the other hand, there are hundreds of ska bands in the US, usually infusing some rock-style guitar solo into the music. Fishbone has done a popular version of Jamaica Ska.

Still, in the earlier days of ska there was something about the feel of the music that was well-nigh impossible for foreigners to replicate. “They sent people from Atlantic Records to try to capture the sound. They couldn’t get it. They sat down and wrote it note for note, counting bars, counting this – couldn’t get it. They played something that sounded almost like it but it wasn’t it,” Lyn said. “The feel was the important thing.” Source: Jamaica Gleaner .com

Dancehall deejay Erupt has been the success of his “Click Mi Finger” single which ruled Jamaica in 2007 and made its way to the U.S. Billboard charts in late 2008/early 2009. Below we’ve featured three brand new Erup remixes, done on recent popular hip hop beats – specifically Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” and Jay-Z’s “Death of Auto Tune” & “Run This Town“. Listen out also for a special “Click My Finger” Remixed EP that will be available soon. Source: Dancehall.Mobi.com

Ska, dub bands a hit in Japan


YOU have no way of predicting what will or won’t happen in your lifetime. But really, I had no idea of experiencing one of two recent ‘firsts’ in the context that I did, even though it’s not quite surreal or even unbelievable that I did.

The first of the firsts was seeing Mighty Crown, the Japanese sound system play. Not so out of this world. Mighty Crown has made a name for itself, and it is widely known that the Japanese are into Jamaican music. The place was a packed auditorium in Japan’s southern Fukuoka City. With the selectors’ mastery of patois, though interspersed with Japanese, and the audience’s ‘forwards’ for any given tune, only consciousness separated this from a dance in Jamaica. ‘E—verybody can do the ska.’

The second of these firsts was seeing live ska and dub bands. in Japan. Like I said, it is widely known that the Japanese are into Jamaican music. But for a while, I’d thought that that was restricted to reggae and moreso the dancehall variety, until a few weeks ago when someone introduced me to the Fishmans, a Japanese dub band that was formed in the 1980s. My mind started to open up a little.

Well, the irony is obvious. At least to me. Live ska and dub bands? In 2009?

Perhaps it’s my youth, but I associate ska with Sunday afternoons. I see it as an old kind of music that isn’t made anymore. The stuff Mighty Crown plays you can hear on the radio any given day. But you don’t hear a DJ say that a ska song has just dropped. Similarly, nobody gets down doing the ska in your regular Saturday night party.

So when I saw an ad for a certain Chris Murray in concert in the comparatively small and rural Kumamoto City in southern Japan, I expected some kind of new age love song affair, not a full-on concert dedicated to a form that I thought only existed on records. Or at Rae Town on a Sunday night.

Equally, when I saw ordinary guys walking around in T-shirts that say ‘Dub Explosions’ at the concert, I kind of didn’t really expect that the music they play could be described as exactly that.

The show had three acts – title act Murray, Dub Explosions and a ska band called Bon Deluxe, whose lead singer dubbed them a ‘country band’.

Dub Explosions opened with what seemed like their all – a truly engaging set, dedicated wonderfully as dub is, to drum, bass and contortions of sounds.

Murray, a Canadian-born ska singer/guitarist, closed with a decent performance, which was punctuated with that distinctly Jamaican version of the word ‘alright’ – ‘Aaright’! He even performed Peter Tosh’s Mawga Dog and dedicated a song to the Skatalites.

But it was the middle performers, the country band Bon Deluxe, who with a mixture of originals and covers, had the entire place moving. Murray even called them back on for a few numbers to close his set.

Bon Deluxe, with their diminutive front man, had everybody dancing, even a few friends who had accompanied me, to music a couple of them had never even heard before. As it turns out, e—verybody can do the ska…! Source: Jamaica Observer.com

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