Old-school trance: Ustad Irshad Khan


There's no official word from the Phish camp yet, but the band's singer Trey Anastasio let the cat out of the bag onstage during a Columbus, Ohio, show this past week.

The group will be performing a millennium New Year's Eve blowout at the 2000-acre Kirton Ranch, northwest of West Palm Beach in Okeechobee County. While rumors of the concert (tentatively slated to run from December 29 through January 2) have been swirling for several weeks, Okeechobee County Sheriff Ed Miller attempted to single-handedly torpedo plans for the show via near-hysterical comments to the Palm Beach Post. In one interview he declared, "If someone called in a bomb threat -- or worse than that, an anthrax threat -- we would have an estimated 60,000 people sitting out in a cow pasture that I would have to evacuate." Anthrax fears aside (ahem), Phish is actually hoping for at least 75,000 folks to show up, in order to set a new Guinness world record for the most people wriggling to a particular dance in unison. Presently the record stands at 74,000 gettin', um, funky with the macarena. Phish hopes to lead their followers to immortality with their own patented "Meatstick dance" that comes off looking like something between the hokey-pokey and an impersonation of Pee-wee Herman. While the sight of 75,000 hippies boogie-ing in sync may leave you cold, there are worse New Year's fates looming: Both Gloria Estefan and Puff Daddy have scheduled dueling affairs for downtown Miami.

Leave the Blow Pops at home, kids, this Thursday's edition of Beatcamp at the Mission is going to be dark, dark, dark. British drum and bass heavyweight Doc Scott spins, and his pioneering singles from the early '90s are widely credited as the template for today's ominous techstep sound. Expect clanking, metallic grooves with drum loops burrowing down like wormholes.

If nothing else, Ho Chi Minh had one of the best names of any local band of late. While the joke (or tribute to the North Vietnamese leader's graceful, Zenlike poetry, if you prefer) wears a bit thin the farther north from Miami you travel, here in Dade it seemed to suit perfectly the trio's fuzzed-out Bo Diddley-on-antidepressants approach to rock. The group is no more, but ex-Minh singer/guitarist Alex Diaz (a.k.a. Xela Zaid) soldiers on, and his shambling guitar strumming and winsome tone is no less intriguing. Diaz performs Friday, August 6, at the Wallflower Gallery, along with the ButterClub. Between sets be sure to let your eyes wander: A host of local artists have their work featured on the gallery's walls.

Jakob Dylan. Rufus Wainwright. Femi Kuti. Ravi Coltrane. To that body of sons struggling to create music under the weighted legacy of legendary fathers, add Ustad Irshad Khan. As the son of sitar master Ustad Imrat Khan (as well a the nephew of another titan of classical Indian music, Ustad Vilayat Khan), Irshad has the obligatory big sandals to fill. Fortunately Irshad is more than up to the task, and his numerous recordings ably capture his circular, trance-inducing style. Indian music has been tapped as a source element for everything from neopyschedelia to drum and bass. This Saturday, August 7, however, you can get your fix of the real thing, unsampled and unadulterated, when Irshad Khan performs live with Shabaz Hussain at the Fort Lauderdale Main Library Auditorium (100 S. Andrews Ave.). The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $15-$25. For more information call 305-388-1340.

Kulchur's love/hate relationship with WDNA-FM (88.9) continues. We'll overlook some of the conservative programming purges of years past in light of the station's most recent endeavor: the wonderful lineup of the Jazz in Film Festival. Twenty-six different films examining the diverse world of jazz -- from the traditional to the avant-garde -- screen at Coral Gables's Absinthe House Cinematheque, beginning this Friday, August 6. Some obvious highlights include a series of '30s and '40s cartoons featuring Betty Boop dueting with Cab Calloway on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (the 'toons are gratis if you bring a kid along; bachelors are hereby instructed to round up the neighborhood strays); a retrospective of Duke Ellington's celluloid moments, Saturday at 9:00 p.m.; Wim Wenders's already-a-classic Buena Vista Social Club on Monday at 9:00 p.m.; and an artful documentary on free-jazz maestro Ornette Coleman on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The canon opens a bit for the Miami debut of Hellhounds on My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, a raised-eyebrow take on the Mississippi blues legend and the bizarre mythology that has sprung up around him courtesy of crazed fans and hagiographical rock critics. Kulchur has yet to see the movie, but director Robert Mugge (who will be on hand to introduce the picture Sunday at 9:00 p.m.) is the man responsible for the delightfully skewed Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise. Here's hoping Hellhounds carries on in that offbeat vein. For a full schedule of the festival, see Calendar Events, or call WDNA at 305-662-8889.

Send your music news, local releases, and general gunk to Brett Sokol at 2800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137. Fax to 305-571-7678 or e-mail brett_sokol@miaminewtimes.com


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