Upcoming: Irie fest heats up
Hey, what's wrong, buddy? Not feeling so irie? We've got just the solution for your West Indian deficiency: the Irie Music Festival , which ships a chunk of the Caribbean to the T-dot this weekend (August 4 to 6) for the fifth straight year. This year's fest will be another steaming musical roti, as political pop UK reggae icons and Reggae Sunsplash stars Steel Pulse headline the Irie Day Ontario Place festivities along with guitarist Ernest Ranglin and dancehall champion Sugar Minott on August 4. That's not all. The Word Magazine-run event spills free flava into Nathan Phillips Square for three days, bringing in incredible acts including DJ George Nooks and Grammy-winning gospel choir Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale . Bring a towel and water, as Leroy Sibbles , reggae/singer/writer/producer and Heptones founder (who'll go down in history for coming up with some of the genre's most resonant bass melodies) is also playing.
I ask Sibbles, on the phone from Jamaica, how he came up with his famous low-end riddims.
"Oh boy! Couldn't answer that one!" he laughs. "I can't tell where these things come from. If I tell you that, I'd have to tell you where inspiration comes from, and I can't do that."
While he says he only worked with Lee "Scratch" Perry as part of a contract with Island records ("Lee's vibes are not really my vibes"), he does credit Studio One (pretty much Jamaica's version of Motown) as his alma mater.
"Studio One scene was a great scene. That's where I developed my talent as a singer, bass player, arranger, songwriter, you know?"
So is he truly one of the most important architects of reggae music, as all the articles on him would suggest?
Sibbles laughs. "I would say so." For details and sked, go to www.iriemusicfestival.com.
Beastie Boys fire blanks
Just so you're not misled by the title of their new DVD (Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!), which hit store shelves July 25, the Beastie Boys did not, in fact, shoot that. It was actually Beastie fans who filmed their sold-out 2004 Madison Square Garden show, part of their international tour supporting To The Five Boroughs. Mike D , MCA , and Ad Rock gave audience members 50 cameras and let them go apeshit. The result is an epileptic seizure of a hiphop show -- the film's four editors go rapid-fire with the cuts for the entire performance. "We wanted to just do something interactive with our fans," says a momentarily focused Mike D, trying to explain the flick's concept (in between jokes about the trio's new plan for a "human car wash") at Toronto's Soho Metropolitan hotel.
The most awesome part of Awesome is the intro, with David Cross playing their fabled uncle Nathaniel Hornblower. But are they actually friends?
"We kick it on the beach," says Ad Rock.
"And you played badminton with Ben Affleck last week," accuses Adam Yauch.
"That's not serious," frowns Ad Rock. "But I was recently on the beach with David Cross."