Remember the color-coded Homeland Security Threat Level system?
Remember how it made you feel?
My latest project is called Enkutatash እንቁጣጣሽ. It’s a participatory music performance transforming security threats into spiritual renewal. It debuts on Thursday September 11th, the Ethiopian New Year (Ethiopia uses its own calendar system) in Washington D.C. Continue reading ENKUTATASH እንቁጣጣሽ
I first heard of Go-go back in the mid-nineties. I was visiting relatives in Virginia and attempting to explain jungle, the music that had me so excited at the time. After listening to my description, one of my aunts said: “Oh, you mean Go-go?”
I’ve since heard fascinating stories about the Washington D.C.-based sound from them, as well as Ian MacKaye and a few other DCers who witnessed Go-go at the heights of its popularity. Percussion-heavy live bands operating like DJs by vamping out current radio hits, long long performances, issues of segregation and public space in the predominantly black scene, the many struggles of a genre that never quite broke through beyond the D.C. area. There was a lot going on…
Earlier this year some of the Anthology of Booty sisters took me to a nice 2nd-hand vinyl shop in DC where I had the chance to sift through old Go-go 12″s. More than anything, they felt like artifacts, little durable reminders of a much larger, harder-to-hold-onto moment. Those 12″s left me wanting to hear more about the histories of Go-go and those of the people and places where it took root.
A 1980s BBC documentary on Go-go was recently uploaded to Youtube. I hope it lingers… Here’s part 1: