Arrive early, stay late, if you can find the time, for Amnesty International's Awakenings II concert this Saturday (see "The Calendar"). Forget knowledge, human rights, freedom, and all that. Dig the groovy music, man/woman. First up, at noon, is Dore Soul, a mega-promising band of wild youth from Browardland. At the end, about midnight, the ever-improving radical-roots-reggae-in-a-funky-hip-hop-progressive-style band Le Coup closes. In between for your Lincoln you get Basic Humans, Spike Lynn (acoustic), the Itch, Wet Flower, Transition (acoustic), Question Reality, Sinful Lust, Paul Roub (acoustic), Slang, Plastic Nude Martini, Rooster Head (acoustic), I Don't Know, Livid Kittens, Josh Joplin, Collapsing Lungs, and Skin Tight.
Yes, we do celebrities: Apparently I'm not the only one who was hearing great things (before the glowing reviews) about the play Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at Washington Square -- Prince popped in the other evening for a little thespian action and power regeneration.
Time flies -- Reggae Report magazine celebrates its ninth anniversary with the new issue. Nine years. Peter Tosh is on the cover, and stories about the late legend inside are well worth a gander. Also check the letters section -- the missives from Zimbabwe are a trip. I never get letters from people in Zimbabwe.
Attention mentions: Picasso Trigger is now called Halo. There exist two other bands in America calling themselves Picasso Trigger. "Apparently," the band notes, "the only three or four people to have seen the movie Picasso Trigger happen to also be in bands. So much for obscurity." The name change also brings new meaning to the title of the band's release -- Picasso Trigger Is Dead (already reviewed in these pages, positively, and due out this month). See 'em live this Saturday at Plus Five with the Bellefires and Vesper Sparrow. Arthur Barron sets up jazz shop this weekend at the Music Room of the News Cafe. And the amazingly successful SoFlo-born Saigon Kick finds time to slip in for a show tomorrow (Thursday) at the Edge. There's a hot rumor they'll appear on David Letterman's show some time fairly soon.
Sometimes we clear up rumors rather than start them. If you caught teevy's best drama show, Northern Exposure, a few Mondays ago, you'll recall the scene in which Maggie and Mike are talking in the saloon and a country tune is playing on the jukebox. Good ears noticed that that was "Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)" by our homeboys the Mavericks. Way cool. And let's also inform all that TCA has opened a Nashville office behind the Mavs' continuing success.
Butthorn of the week: Those who conspired to ban the Body Count/ Exodus/D.R.I./Pro-Pain concert in Broward County. Yes, Cellar Door and the Edge and the Broward Sheriff's Office deny the show was moved to Miami Beach's Cameo Theatre because of political pressure from some entity in Broward, the national capital of censorship and an embarrassment to Florida and the nation. From two independent sources I learned that someone -- and I'm not saying it was Nick Navarro -- told the Edge that if the club booked the metal show, there'd be "problems." But nobody from the Edge or Cellar Door, or even Ice-T himself, would go on the record and take a stand against this bullshit. Funny that a tour stop in Boston, another famous censorship stronghold, was canceled. Kids, don't ever record a song called "Cop Killer." At least not until you live in a free country.
The media circus: A big butthorn to the hacks at the Miami Herald. On November 30 (this year) the fat daily reported that Miami Beach was re-examining its policy of allowing city officials to accept free event tickets. "Mayor Seymour Gelber has been pushing for change since March, when the Miami Herald reported on a decades-old city policy...." Funny that New Times reported way back on September 19, 1990, that Beach honchos were getting freebie front-row ducats. Guess it takes some folks a lot of time to catch up.
The media circus update: Certainly you are well aware of our tendency sometimes to use a bit of poetic license in our music criticism, and certainly you know that Michael Bolton didn't really call Todd Anthony to tell him he was changing his ways. But for the sake of Mr. Bolton, his management company, his record label, and his fans, let us point out the fact that the crooner's "conversation" with us was not real. Of course, you knew that.