Monday, April 18, 2005

Yes, We Went Both Nights (Yohimbe Brothers)

April 8 & 9: The Yohimbe Brothers @ Blue Note

The last time The Yohimbe Brothers were playing in New York, I was languishing under the weight of my (now finished) dissertation and I, exhausted, overslept! So now that they are back from their European tour it was good to catch them. We hadn't seen Latasha (on vocals and electronic vocals) for a minute. Although Keith had seen Vernon Reid a few times in recent years, this is my first time since the 80s. I wondered how different Yohimbe Brothers would be from Living Colour. It is, happily, very different. Now, Living Colour was probably my favorite band in the 80s. Back in 198? (89, perhaps?) Keith and I went to see LC in Nashville. We were two of about 5 black visibly people in the audience and we knew all of the others. We had seats towards the back, but we felt like it was our right and duty to make our way up to the front, and the white fans in the audience (even the crazed ones we overheard plotting to cut off one of Corey Glover's braids for their personal collections) moved out of our path when they saw who we were. I thought Living Colour was for me and so The Yohimbe Brothers' difference from Living Colour is a happy difference because I love loving a new sound.

YB is good and rock but also jazz and hip-hop -- not in a forced way, but in a very natrual way. What I love about seeing bands is hearing the ways that different people come together to make one sound. I loved seeing the band members' personalities. I loved hearing what each individual did, and in the case of YB, every member was so good at what they did. We went both nights. The first night the audience was dead. The second night it was packed and DJ Spooky and Daniel Bernard Roumain were there. But I had a great time both nights--came home & woke up singing basslines and imitating Latasha Nevada Diggs' strategically placed, electronically altered caws. (Maybe you had to be there?) Latasha was sick and losing her voice but she still rocked it. I don't have a lot to report here, obviously, just a lot of sweating. Sweat, sweat.


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