September 17, 2010

Category: Grooves

Tamar Kali’s “Black Bottom”


Dang, I missed you! I hope y’all missed yourselves some Hotness. It’s been a very interesting time. Got hacked, but I’m back. Instead of starting off by venting, lamenting, celebrating and reliving the last six weeks, I thought I’d do what I usually do when jump-starting relationships, I talk about music– the communal salve that connects and instantly brings us all back to the middle again. While experiencing both online and offline challenges and revelations, what kept my inner fire burning was music. I listened to Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid especially her “Cold War,” Nneka’s Concrete Jungle and Tamar-kali’s Black Bottom. Black Bottom, I must admit for me, is some extra special testimony just because I’ve known Tamar for more than 10 years and know what she’s gone through financially, psychologically and professionally to produce and release an independent album. Pretty much what I’ve been going through to maintain and expand theHotness… a whole frickin lot!

Don’t get the title twisted, Tamar-kali’s Black Bottom ain’t no booty badunkadunk jive. It’s riveting rock, stunning strings, and visceral vocals. I’ve been preaching about this Brooklyn homegrrrl for awhile now. Remember when I said:

She embraces her femininity, pierces it with non-conformist buckshot, dips it in ancestral blood, kisses it with Oshun’s honey and then hurls it into the atmosphere, gyrating as she watches it sprinkle down like nuclear fallout on her audience members. Mesmerized. Seduced.

Well I meant every word of it!

Black Bottom opens with “Pearl.” This song is a beast! It’s hard, un-cut smack for rock-n-roll, afro-punk fiends. The drums and guitars thrash and crash, but there’s this undulation of musicality and melody that runs along the bottom feeding off of TK’s vocals like catfish in murky Mississippi back water. This juxtaposition is what typifies Tamar’s sound and indeed the sonics of this CD.

Another one of my favorites “Hollow” affirms what I’ve known all along—Tamar-kali knows how to compose and arrange. This Geechee Goddess has a thing for strings— guitars, violins, violas, cellos… you pluck it, she can arrange it. On “Hollow” she masterfully entangles the strings into a synergistic sound that will amp and amaze you.

My other two joints that I keep on repeat and helped me through to the other side of cyberspace happiness are “Caught” and “Maimed.”

But enough of my verbiage you can check her out for yourself:
TONIGHTat Joe’s Pub for the Black Bottom Revue Grand Finale. Showtime is 11:30pm.
Here’s a discount code for $3 off (JPTIXB3).

I’ll be there!

BTW– if you can’t make the show at least show your love and buy Black Bottom here.

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