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I will write reviews of music and films/videos, dvds I view and hear about, old and contemporary. My tastes are not very mainstream. They never were.   

Recently I viewed a dvd documentary called FEMI KUTI LIVE AT THE SHRINE shot during a night live at the Shrine in Nigeria.  The video was made by Raphael Frydman.  I checked it out from the local library. I liked it because I liked Femi’s music.  His music mixed Latin, funk and African influences into it.  It was very danceable. I heard a few songs  of injustice. I like this style of music already so his music was easy to like.  Femi had a large band with a lot of guitarists, drums, congas and Afro women dancers who danced Afro dances.  Femi is the main singer and writer of his songs.  The documentary followed him behind the scenes before the performance at the Shrine.  Also the documentary shot scenes of the town where the Shrine is located.  The place is poor; yet, Femi and the people he employs in his troupe band feel so optimistic. Structurally it is edited a night live at the Shrine, cut in with an interview with Femi about his thoughts, his life, what he thinks about music, why it is so important to himself.  He said all he has is himself.  Music is very important to him.  Other people were interviewed as well, what they thought about Femi.  There were shots of the crowd at his concert.  They went wild:  throwing plastic chairs into the air where the audience was located.  The audience threw empty plastic bottles at the stage.  I said at least the bottles were not glass.  At one point during the performance, Femi made comments about the audience’s behavior: you drink too much.  You suck breasts too much….and other things….just like that as if he expressed, calm down and cool it. He was not mean when he said it, but he was very upfront about it, which I like about people when people are frank.  When he ended the performance, people liked him so much that they came onto the stage and said: Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go.  From what I have seen  and observed of documentaries about music performances, this presentation especially the crowd’s reaction was a little different than a North American music performance and audience reaction.

Once I attended an outdoor Alice Cooper concert held somewhere in Southern California in the late 70’s.  Lots of people attended.  I tried to get close to the stage to view him, but the closer I walked and stood near the stage, the more crowded it became.  Peoples’ bodies pressed physically so very close to each other. A wave was produced with all the bodies being moved.  The people verged upon being very off balanced.  I could feel my body being pulled or swayed in directions I did not want to follow because I was being pushed.  I felt as if I could almost fall down. It felt dangerous because people could have been crushed from the weight of being so physically close to each other. Fortunately things did not get out of hand, but I felt it could happen.

I read inside the jacket about Femi’s back story.  His mother was an activist for womens’ rights.  His father was a singer/performer, too.  So this activism runs in the family.  Lately I have not been feeling very positive about my life because I am in a reexamine stage. Seeing that documentary brought me up: to be thankful for what I have.  Corruption is all around in the world.  Although, a lot of world thinks North America is free of that, they do not know until a person lives here. First Nations/Indian people know that. Even though this dvd was released in 04, it is one of the better made documentaries about Afro music.  

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One Comment

  1. Hi!
    My name is Jessika!


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