Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I've mulled it over for a couple days, after seeing something about a new documentary about Fela Kuti. What would be the best way to introduce people unfamiliar with Fela to his music and his rather radical career? Some of you already know him well. Where to start, right? There's just so much to digest. For those of you unfamiliar with him, pick any of the links below and get acquainted. With percussion heavy grooves as funky as James Brown's seventies stuff, the politics of an underdog with a mind all his own living in a corrupt state, and a cocksuredness worthy of Mick Jagger when he mattered, there's plenty to delight and entertain. You may want to dig further. You should dig further. Yeah, there are a few warts, but he's an important figure for you to know nonetheless. The nerd jive will continue at a later date.

Fela Kuti - Chop and Quench mp3 at Online Nigeria
Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit mp3 at Review Stalker
Fela Kuti and the Africa 70 - Who're You? mp3 at Dusted
Fela Kuti - Zombie mp3 at Truants
Ginger Baker with Fela - Tiwa mp3 at Likembe
Fela - Live in Lagos, early 70s at YouTube
Fela - Live in Berlin, 1978 at YouTube Two hours
Finding Fela - Documentary trailer at YouTube
Finding Fela - Profile and documentary review at SF Examiner
Fela Kuti at Wikipedia
Old posts here about Fela (once on the page, scroll down)


Espen E. said...

Every year (‘round about September) there’s an international film festival here in Bergen (http://www.biff.no/english/?language=english), mainly focused on documentaries, and the one in 2014 had «Finding Fela» on the program. Would have seen it too, but at the movie theater I discovered I’d either left my Visa behind, or lost it on the way. Shit! So, I ran back and worked up a frantic sweat looking for it, finally gave up, found some cash instead, and returned to the theater – cursing myself and my immediate surroundings –
only to find I was at the wrong fucking venue! At this point – 10 minutes from showtime and facing another jog to get to the right place – I convinced myself that it probably wouldn’t be worth it – after all, I’d seen Paul McCartney name-dropped in the ads.

(Went home and ordered «Ginger Baker in Africa» on DVD. Still haven’t watched it though.)


Tom G. said...

Ooh, E, that "Ginger Baker in Africa" is a bit boring in places, but it's really good, especially the footage of Fela. The boring part, the traveling across the desert part, just puts Baker's pilgrimage in perspective. Total respect for anybody that fiendish.

And I know what you mean about the McCartney name drop. Feh. Decidedly not a fan in these parts. "Finding Fela" also appears to lean to heavily on the "Fela!" musical footage, or so I read in that review, and that kinda sucks. Nevertheless, I'll probably get it just to see the old footage.