One of music’s qualities is said to be the universality of the language (s) spoken by songs.
It is one quality that is supposed to signify the unifying characteristics of music. What is interesting though is the fact that music consumers’ tastes or perception about one music style (genre) or another tends to create some sort of division between certain groups of people.
While the pace or mood from one music to another may be different on a superficial level; most songs from supposedly different genres blend seamlessly, complement or fuse well and sound almost similar at certain points. Perhaps, for example, it is the separatist mentality -propaganda if you like- that has many among us swearing that xiTsonga pop music is worlds apart from what is commonly known as electronic pop music. The singing or phrasing might be different but there are definitely commonalities in these music styles.
Coming to a Jo’burg music venue soon is a concept said to be about bridging the gaps between musical genres and putting the spotlight on the similarities of music. Across The Bridge Sessions is series of concerts, curated by producer Dan Roberts of Stoep Studio. The sales pitch out there is that each of the sessions will be structured around a theme and feature a mix of emerging talents interacting across a variety of musical genres. Food that reflects the theme and theatrical staging of each session will form part of the event.
First on the bill is a four piece rock outfit The Black Cat Bones with Zolani Mahola who is lead singer for Afro-pop group Freshlyground. Zolani and The Black Cat Bones have already jammed on a couple of songs at this year’s KKNK. The spontaneous initial collaboration will no be formally presented as a full set exploring the roots of Blues, Soul, Funk and Rock. Mahola is one artist who rarely shies away from collaborations as she has already done some live performance work with artists like Karen Zoid.
The Black Cat Bones have been active on the SA live music and festival circuit. An MK Award (2013) for Best Live Act is one of the recognitions they have received so far for their performance efforts.
Openig the show is The Runaway Train Cult, a band that is said to play Gypsy Folk Jazz.
Big spotting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, have often been punted as some kind of catalyst to unite people. The disadvantage of such occasions is that they happen only once after a while. On the other hand the arts, music in particular, does have to wait for a big occasion to unite people. It will perhaps be through the universality of music that strong cross-cultural bridges can be built in South Africa.
The first Across The Bridge Session is on Friday, 27 June 2014 at The Bassline in Newtown. Tickets are R150 per head and are available online at www.pnptickets.co.za or https://www.facebook.com/basslinejozi/app
STILL on happenings in Newtown; a mailer dropped in early in the week announcing the re-opening of doors at Carfax in the cultural precinct. That instantly brought back sweet memories of past events and happenings at the Horror Café and a place where African music used to live – Shivava Cafe. Apparently there was no scandalous reason (it would seem the previous owner was sort of bored) that led to the closing down of Carfax in the first place. While the opening of the Orbit in Braamfontein was a much welcome development; it would not harm to have another live music and jazz joint opening within Newtown. Pop culture and music audiences will surely be pleased with the return of Carfax.
The Dirty Rotten Tequila Festival is the event that will usher-in the new era of CARFAX on June 21. The event starts at 2pm and runs until 4am the next day. Performing are Shadow Club, The Velves, Tidal Waves, Naming James, Black Cat Bones and The Cable Stealing Gypsies. Also on the bill are DJ Hawkward, GL!TCH, TWELV, Mr Green and Ella G.
Apart from music there will be a small scale market featuring craft beer stands, tequila tail stalls and flash pizza’s.
Tickets are R100 at Nutickets and R120 at the door.
Pre-Sale Tickets are available online from www.Nutickets.co.za