Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pan African Music Festival: A Review

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 12:03 PM

What’s that? You like shaking your ass? Me, too!

There is one problem, though: They didn’t teach such things on the goat farm that was my childhood home, and it wasn’t until I reached the big city of Green Bay (population 96,000 back then) that I realized the joys of ass-shaking, especially group ass-shaking. But it was already too late for me, and the alternative clubs only played Depeche Mode and Echo and the Bunnymen back then, which meant a lot of people in eyeliner watching themselves dance in floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

But salvation has come my way, in the form of a series of Pan African concerts that kicked off last weekend. Plant Djembe started things off with traditional songs from Guinea and other African locales. The air conditioning was broken,and the sweat came in pools, but the dancing kept up through the set. I felt guilty staring at everyone’s asses (eek!) but it was mesmerizing, so I kept watching. And now, here in the privacy of my westside hermitage, I’m listening to Gibson’s recommendations and trying to emulate what I witnessed. It is wonderful, and my cats are scared.

Key Ingredients of African Soul and Kafi were next. They had professional ass-shakers, which put the previous gyrations and jiggles to shame. Their reggae-meets-African-pop brought the dancers back, the temperature began to climb, and I accidentally kicked my iced tea over while chair-dancing.

The organizers said the concert was the first in a series of concerts featuring local African acts. My ass is already begging me for more of this stuff, and I will likely appease it. Come dance with us sometime.

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