Archive for the ‘dancehall’ Category

My Favorite Shows of 2016

December 23, 2016
quntronandmisspussycatrecordbar

Quintron and Miss Pussycat at the RecordBar, 10/9/16

2016 was a great year for live music in Kansas City. It was such a great honor to cover so many quality shows this year. Here is a rundown of my favorite gigs of the year.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat at RecordBar

The garage rock insanity and sweaty mayhem of New Orleans-based Quintron and Miss Pussycat at RecordBar was my favorite show of 2016. Backed by the drumming of the robotic Drum Buddy, the strangely funky grooves and interplay between organist Quintron and percussionist/puppeteer Miss Pussycat had the crowd dancing hard all night. Some songs sounded like if you played “96 Tears” underwater while drinking a bunch of NyQuil. It was weird, wonderful and complete perfection.

Femi Kuti and the Positive Force at CrossroadsKC at Grinders

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Femi Kuti and the Positive Force at CrossroadsKC at Grinders, 7/9/16

The eldest son of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti honored his father’s legacy while pushing the sound into the future at CrossroadsKC. Backed by a 14-piece band, mufti-instrumentalist Femi smashed through two hours of politically charged songs with infectious grooves. The musicianship was topnotch and the messages of empowerment and unity are needed now more than ever.

M83 at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the MidlandArvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

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M83 at the Midland, 6/1/16

M83 delivered a high-energy set of indie-pop at te Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. The new material of Junk worked really well live meshed seamlessly with their classic tracks. The production and lighting was also top level. It was a glorious evening of French-tinged indie rock.

Here’s a snippet of the classic “Midnight City,”

Yellowman at Prohibition Hall

mcandyellowman

Yellowman and McClain at Prohibition Hall, 7/22/16

Reggae-dancehall legend Yellowman smashed KC with an epic performance this year. He came at 1:30 in the morning and he smashed through nearly two hours of classic tunes. King Yellowman was Jamaica’s top-selling artist of the ’80s, but his live show proves that he is no nostalgia act. Something isn’t purely nostalgic when it is right in front of you, blowing your mind. Yellowman’s set was hard-hitting blur of blazing reggae vibes, lyrical dexterity and calisthenics. All hail King Yellowman!

McClain Approved: Garmiani “Bomb A Drop.”

March 22, 2016
garmiani

Garmiani (image via http://www.salacioussound.com

When the weather gets warmer, my taste in tunes starts shifting back to my love of dance music. When it comes to dances tunes, I’m looking for forward momentum and quality production.  It’s always fun to see what new tracks stand out from the pack and really grab my attention.

Garmiani is a Swedish bass DJ and producer. I love the dancehall-trap fusion vibes of his track “Bomb A Drop.” He samples Ding Dong’s “Badman Forward Badman Pull Up,” but amps things up to a whole different level. It sounds like the kind of track Major Lazer should still be creating. The production is a bit left-of-center in places, but the tune still goes hard. Garmiani really brings the energy and “Bomb A Drop” sounds like a hard-hitting summer anthem in the making.

Dancehall Forever: How I Became Passionate About Reggae-Dancehall.

December 13, 2015
Damian Marley

Damian Marley at Crossroads KC.

Like most people, Bob Marley was my first introduction to reggae. His impact on music and viewpoint is on a whole different level. However, being in New Orleans really helped ignite my passion for reggae-dancehall. NOLA has long had a strong reggae scene.

The first time I walked into Reggae Night, upstairs at the Dragon’s Den, people’s lifeless bodies were being carried down the stairs from overheating. It was an intense scene for sure, but I knew it must be one heck of a party. The Wednesday night DJ sets spun by DJ T-Roy are about hot, sweaty dancehall mayhem. It was always great to see what gets the crowd hyped up. Those old school Buju Banton tracks would always get the crowd moving. “Good Body” always hit really well.

Thursday nights at the Blue Nile, also hosted by T-Roy) start out on the more chilled out reggae tip. The dancehall vibes get turned up at the party goes late into the night. I made it to the end of reggae night once. It wrapped up at 6 am.

Being a fan of reggae-dancehall can be conflicting sometimes. The lyrics can be uplifting, thought-provoking and positive. However, at times, the lyrics can be really slack, disrespectful and trashy. This can sometimes happen within the same song.

To me, a lot of the beats and production in reggae-dancehall seem much fresher than in other genres. Many artists freestyle their verses over the riddims, which is always great to see and adds to the energy of the song. It’s interesting to see what different artists do with the same riddim. How they put their own spin on the track and what lyrical themes they address.

Attending reggae nights in NOLA also sparked my interest in DJing reaggae-dancehall. It’s a lot of fun to mix and great to see how people respond to the tunes. You can listen to my mixes here.

The quality vibes created by reggae-dancehall are unparalleled. The energy and joy is so infectious and wonderful.

Here are some of my favorite tracks:

Pressure “Love and Affection”

Jah Cure “Sticky”

Vybz Kartel “Go Go Wine”

Richie Spice “Di Plane Land”

Collie Buddz “Come Around”

Mavado “So Special”

Buju Banton “Champion”

 

 


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