Created in a Mexico City hotel in 1997 by founder Martin Perna, Antibalas (the name means "anti-bullets") give trance-like, epic performances that are equal parts dance party and political rally. This 2004 album by the 13-piece Brooklyn troupe is a sprawling pinnacle of the band's six years of gradual evolution. Moving ever further away from an orthodox interpretation of their hero — Nigerian demigod, Afrobeat founder and AIDS victim Fela Kuti — Who Is This America? has a catholic mix of styles, with touches of '70s-era New York salsa, African highlife and both early- and late-'60s Miles. From the intense, polyrhythmic title track, with its tight James Brown horn section, to the heavy groove of "Pay Back Africa," to the haunting melodies of the closer, "Sister," the record builds a convincing and moving arc. Accentuated with occasional words in Spanish, English and Yoruba proclaiming a message of love, peace and political resistance (the powerful "Indictment" manages to rip the entire Bush cabinet while extolling everyone from Robert Kennedy to Noam Chomsky), this remarkable album was purposely timed for release before the 2004 election. It might just be the greatest musical legacy of George W. Bush's reign.
By Ben Fong-Torres on 06.30.09 in Icons
Born in Brooklyn in 1941 and raised in Los Angeles, Harry Edward Nelson III became Nilsson in the mid '60s, when he began writing and performing - singing and playing piano and guitar. He recorded for RCA, an American...
By Mary Kinney on 02.06.15 in Features
For all of NYC's history of folk music, a giant metropolitan city with no recent rural history to speak of is an odd place for a comeback to take place.
By Marc Hogan on 11.07.14 in News
Yellow Ostrich are about to come full circle. The Brooklyn band (and alum of our sister site's eMusic Selects program) announced today it will play its last show on December 8 at Brooklyn's Glasslands Gallery. The Alex S...
By Judnick Mayard on 09.13.14 in Features
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.'s iconic debut Ready to Die, Judnick Mayard shares her memories of growing up in the borough then and now through the lens of the album.