Je t'aime | July 6, 2009


asa > asa
asa, chimamanda ngozi adichie, wunmi, afrobeat, the thing around your neck, the jackson 5 in africa, imagenation
opened for Les Nubians and Oumou Sangare at Central Park Summerstage yesterday. I've been digging her for a few months after sampling her debut album on a friend's iPod, though I never copped it. A pint-sized little thing, her voice and presence are larger than life. What I can only call a cross between Lucky Dube, Fela, Wunmi, and Tracy Chapman -- whatever that means. Something old and something new in her style. She'll be playing @ Le Poisson Rouge tonight, you should check her out.

the thing around your neck > chimamanda ngozi adichie
I caught a book reading by Chimamanda @ 192 Books in Chelsea a few weeks ago. When I say caught, I mean ran frantically from work and stood in the back of the room catching my breath as her words dripped like honey into my ears. It seems unfair that someone can be so young, so beautiful, so talented, and so warm -- speaking with me later on, as she signed my book, about our mutual friend (author Marie-Elena John Smith) who co-taught her writers' workshop in Lagos.

Her latest is a collection of short stories that contemplate what it means to be an African in America, set in -- amongst other places -- New York City. So wonderful how the familiar can become foreign just by seeing through someone else's eyes. Definitely worth a read, though I almost choked up a lung paying $27 (!) for the hardcover.

the jackson 5 in africa > imagenation
Next week I will be checking out The Jackson 5 in Africa, a rare, never-before-seen documentary brought to New York City by ImageNation. It seems that the collection of African investors who funded the film ran out of money before they could finish it (it clocks in at 50 minutes). They never had a strong impetus to show it until now, given the recent death of Michael Jackson that prompted ImageNation to request a special public screening. I can't wait to see mikey jackson get down to some djembes. My homie Funmi will be on the 1's and 2's spinning some MJ classics after the show. Check out a film clip on YouTube.

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