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thoughts on the jazz fest

the panic!

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it goes:

Pete Philly & Perquisite > Zaki Ibrahim > Rus Nerwich and the Collective Imagination > Mos Def

those dutch mofos were nothing short of mindblowing. the energy was fierce, intense and they played one of the most rounded innovative, dope and fun sets you could expect from a hip hop group. slaapstaad made for a kak audience though.

Zaki. my god this woman is beautiful. i was jarred and rooted solid to the spot when she came onto the stage dressed in white smiling and you could see that gap she has between her teeth. when she said shed lost her voice i couldnt be mad at her. she was on point too. played with this dope mofo on the wheels of steel. cat was rocking these hella fly gold headphones (we later negotiated a price in the beer tent) spinning out hot shit after hot shit. toronto stand up!

Rus and em. you already know whats its like Under the Poetree. Souljah and Kanyi took it home. Rus kept up. band was proper.

Mos Def. nigga please. awful, horrible singing.  contrived existential shit with a heavy tone of Miles Davis fanboyism that bored me halfway to sobriety (and then i refilled!) . artistic and notably pretensious, and so horribly sung it took away from Glasper who werent half bad. but thank you anyway, Mos. by that time i was already 12 deep in double jacks and i had to find Zaki Ibrahim - and failing that that girl i used to go to school with - so we could. . .er, discuss the show. so i lit a jay and went hunting for beezy's and what should i find but a whole army of them! collectively hating on Mos Def as they migrated towards Long street, eager to wash away the bitter taste of disappointment with healthy doses of tequila and sin. yes please!


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well i guess on some of what your saying...

pete philly were my performance of the weekend. tight. tight. TIGHT. they represented those boys. the synchronicity in everything. performance, presence, delivery, energy and how the set was constructed. it was well created without feeling overly rehearsed, even though it screams serious work having been put into. slick without losing essence. the combination of the different elements smoothly meeting and strengthening each other, consistently sustaining the performance. perquisite and his cello. mr double ba**. pete philly a finetuned instrument himself. this is what it looks like when you know what youre doing. and doing it. they were at a jazz festival yes, so they upped their game but did them. it was thorough. its a pity they arent part of the johannesburg session. really its a pity. and its a pity about where you are meaning less light on you. because. hollands pete philly and perquisite you guys. anywhere on any platform. the next.   

zap mama is a queen. the end. what a whopper of an intro. what the. diva. diva. diva. it was fabulous, colourful, audacious. drama. ladies in big bright hats. with slick 'the future is here' moves to boot. shes such a free spirit. but a focused one. and strong artist but a strong woman too. it was very evident who was in charge there. the band itself didnt seem very cohesive, not quite a tight unit. had elements of seemingly adhoc, but then again this is zap mama. and shes crazy beautiful. now i dont know what that means really. her vocalists slash dancers seemed a little fearful of her. they were being hollered at live as if in training. she covered a range of material from her wide library of sound, which had people journeying. her miriam makeba tribute was well executed, with pa**ion and fervour. with honesty and feeling. doing justice to a legacy and her own schooling. and old girl can dance. taking off cute shoes and attempting to fly. slipping slightly and getting up with a smile.
throaty and mysterious, flirting with definition, i find that theres a purposed spirituality that underpins her self and her work. and it makes zap mama a wholistic experience. in being, maintaining her very powerful and distinct musical energy. something makes you think busi mhlongo, erykah, les nubians. bold, untamed and open. was just great to see her. 'you listen in your own way' she says. beautiful woman and beautiful soul.

zaki is the sweetest gangstar boo if ever there was. shes the real. she gives you her on stage. she just shined on a big platform. was great to see and experience her in a wider space. jazz festival or not she fit right now with her honey blend of hip hop soul. nothing quite like the whole team in that white and those angel wings. her energy, her heart, her smile, her song, her message with its feet firmly on the ground. and can we get a soul clap for our brethren and the headwarmaz main man one1kind for being a priceless picture behind the mic on background vocals for zaki. 'youre the maaaan, youre the maaaan'. dude youre the man. there are surprises and then theres that. rabbits out of hats for sure. that dj was having the time of his life aswell wasnt he. i wondered on her not fleshing out her setup for this and incorporating some live instruments. i mean it was fine but maybe that would have been quite a good opportunity for a more fluid and dynamic sound. bopping up an down, it got quite late for me - i was taking more than one for the team mel. chuckle. i certainly wish her more and more. and then some. shes makes my heart smile.

rus nerwich and his collective imagination. well that souljah, please stand on the hills and shout. the people must believe. wow. he was killing it. kanyi. killing it. her delivery is beyond gotten better. beyond. she just grabbed a hold of the moment and turned it into a fist boy. her delivery was on point. and i just cant help but feel like shes more than ready to claim her space. and i wish her nothing but the best. hayi uyasibetha isixhosa sham. i think the bands got potential. im not sure if thats the vocalist they need though. technically superior she is. very obviously well trained, even for performance. im just not sure if she becomes a part of whats going on there. i just couldnt help feeling that its someone else theyre looking for. a different energy. but then again what would i know.

sigh. mos def. i dont know. after a well functioning machine of a weekend of never having to wait that long. that waiting an hour. squashed. losing your people. stakes being high. had me already toe tapping. that wait alone. is where i begin. it got out of order. and then i think of all the people who could have but didnt wait. who said no, i want to see him at the jazz. who caught planes, buses, with money they dont have. paid accomodation. food etc etc. all the people who said no, i want to be part of that moment. thats how i want to remember. that place was packed. packed. people were fighting. only to walk out and look into the faces of a most subdued energy. i walked away with a love supreme in my ears all of the next day, somehow still feeling unfulfilled, and the understanding that mos def is a very talented man. gifted. well rounded. also perhaps that as it turns out he is actually quite good looking. not very photogenic then. and walked away tripping about the drummer. this is what i walked away with.   

what i found though is that i couldnt be a part of the experience. i had to stand outside it in order to appreciate it. it didnt bring me in. i couldnt sit inside of it. i gave him a chance even as i stood there wondering like he cant be serious. i stood outside and made peace with the art that was now on offer. and maybe this is why im able to say at some place it was good. but not that good for me. the experiment included. didnt mind him doing his thing and singing where he felt, but now on what i was actually given i just cant seem to bring myself to a place where i can concede being satisfied. id be lying. even in its chosen format. the man CAN perform. is tight. but still.
i keep wondering if maybe i could see it again. like could it grow on me. like unclear with the shades of what the phuck. i dont seem to know. and i dont know if we go to shows to learn that many new things about the people we love. we go to be astounded yes, but we go for ourselves. you go to theatre to watch. you go to a live show like that to experience, to lose yourself. yes i came with expectations but i think we're allowed. some of these tracks soundtracks to some definitive moments in our lives. growing into ourselves to this sound. maybe we should be pulling ourselves towards ourselves but we didnt ke. and there we were. ready.

fact is we never got to have a moment when that was the moment. however many years later. as an artist i do think you have the responsibility to give people some of what they want in balance to that which you have become and want to share. so many veteran artists know this and understand it. this could have been done better in its fullness. jazz festival withstanding, an artist, especially one of mos defs recent calibre has choices to make. choices that are given to you. choices that must respect you and your growth ASWELL as the audience. mos def was packed because he is mos def. not because he has arrived to some other people who now take him seriously when they werent before. it was packed because of those tracks. that was also a space. a first time. who is to say what kinds of people would have/should have been there. they were there. they paid those monies boy. and that shouldnt be disrespected. there is a balance that was attainable that was missed here. i still think we have the right to feel like it wasnt everything it could have been. versatility and all. other acts did things we didnt know. but they had opened us to it. its not always just a show. its a give and take. a sharing.

im glad the free concert was better. and joburg do enjoy. its on us broers.

he didnt do travelling man. sorry. i care. and im not even amongst those who are biggest fans
- soul activist. poet. flower. fairy -


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 :-[ he blushes. he turns a shade of maroon. he smiles. he thinks about how much fun the weekend was. he smiles. he remembers seeing some AG regulars having lots of fun. he smiles. he remembers wearing angel wings. he smiles alot (no homo).

you know how we do... been steady rubbing those shoulders with the rest of us, so don't act all modesty blaise on me.

he regrets not seeing more acts.. he exits ;)
I put Religion, Opression and Weakness underground and when i looked down i felt myself begin to GROW.