Live: Gonjasufi Presses On in the Midst of Technical Chaos

Better Than: Watching the corny parts of the “Watch the Throne” tour.

Hip-hop has always flirted with spirituality. The S.p.o.o.k.s. and Wu-Tang embraced a Buddhist vision; M.C. Hammer, God’s Property, and P.M. Dawn charted with Christian themes; and the 5% Nation attracted many gifted creators of beats and rhymes. But what’s most different about the combination of yoga-dharma, Sufism, Rasta altruism, and hip-hop purveyed by Sumach “Valentine” Ecks (a/k/a Gonjasufi) is the psychedelic aspect. Continue reading “Live: Gonjasufi Presses On in the Midst of Technical Chaos”

Lady Madonna Storms Philly

As I write this Thursday night, I can hear Madonna singing from Yankee Stadium through the window of my Harlem apartment. In fact, the sound mix on “Girls Gone Wild” and “Papa Don’t Preach” gets so good that her vocals cut like a Samurai sword across a perfectly balanced backing track and the audible appreciation of the crowd. The concert seemed to start just as Vice President Biden ended his televised speech at the Democratic National Convention. Continue reading “Lady Madonna Storms Philly”