Hey all, CM here. I had a blast tonight. I kicked it off on 4th Street, where most of the ethnic restaurants are. I couldn’t think of a better way to begin a world music and culture fest than sampling some Indian food from Bombay House. After dinner, I headed immediately to Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, which was outstanding. Most of the time, there were five guys on stage playing Indian drums - the only one I was able to recognize was the tabla. During the performance, there was a man dressed straight from Bollywood, who was balancing a pitcher of water on his head while standing on nails and swords (at different times). I’ll be honest, it freaked me out. I was really impressed by the music, as I am a huge fan of Ravi Shankar (THE master of sitar), and the tabla sounded a lot like Shankar’s tabla player(s). Using my very broken Hindi skills, I was able to determine that their songs were about dirty little lemons and balancing water on someone’s head. Yeah…
Afterwards, I caught up with IDS photographers Jacob and Coline, and we went to the Bluebird to listen to MC Rai. The music, which was in Arabic (lead singer Mohamed Chaous is Tunisian and his drummer is Israeli), and was very pop-y and easily danceable. I had fun embarrassing my escort, Nathan, with my killer Indian dance moves. Anyway, we got to speak with Chaous after his show, and he, like BBB, was very open to just sit back and speak with us about his music. I’ll post all the transcripts from my interviews up here on Sunday, when I go through them and get my notes all organized.
Another favorite act was Amazones, the BEAUTIFUL women drummers from Guinea Africa. Two members, from Queens (NYC) and Jamaica, were kind enough to speak with me about the sacredness of the drums, and how the goal of Amazones is to beat the stereotypes of women drummers away (pun intended, again; and yes, I know, I used the same one earlier). They had some very beautiful things to say to me about their drumming and the group, but again, my interview transcripts will be here on this blog by Sunday evening.
I also briefly watched 17 Hippies, which was bouncy but okay to listen to (too many drunk people for my taste), and I think I bumped into Javier Garcia backstage when I was chatting with the ladies from Amazones. I was almost trampled by March Fourth, the 35-piece marching band that’s leading all the parades being held this weekend. I also drew on the sand mandala, doodling “salaam” in Arabic (it means “peace”) and drawing a little peace sign next to it (I’ll put a picture up here tomorrow, when I get time). I had a blast tonight, but again, drunk people can ruin good vibes. So, please, stay sober tomorrow night, for your own sake. Brian will have more to add tonight on his thoughts. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment and tell me what YOU thought about Lotus tonight.
Posted in 2007 Lotus |