Jul 22, 2004

Arrested Development

Digital Rotation:
Beatles: Abbey Road

In other news... I saw Arrested Development in a free show that they give last night in Brower Park in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I was there about 5 minutes after 7 PM, and they'd already started (fighting the power and the preconceived notions of C.P.T. all in one svelte move, it seems). It was a great show, actually - much the better since it was so close to home, there weren't millions of people there, it was a mixed crowd, and it was free. The set list was as follows, from when I got there:

1. Teach a Man 2 Fish
2. Dawn of the Dreadz
3. Fishin’ 4 Religion
4. Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself Again) – Sly & the Family Stone cover
5. Ease My Mind
6. Afrika’s Inside Me/Tennessee
7. JAM
8. Natural
9. Redemption Song - Bob Marley cover
10. Raining Revolution
11. Revolution
12. Music, Life, Dance, Up!
13. Nighttime Demons?
14. Mr. Wendall
15. JAM w/ New Song
16. Song by group Lifesavers
17. Bass Solo (w/ cover of Billie Jean)
18. Mama’s Always on Stage
19. Everyday People

It was a good time, actually, and I'm really glad that I got to go and check it out. I think they just finished restoring Brower Park, and you kinda got the feeling that it would be a nice site for events like this - and that it was a community that could really use a solid public space. There was a good mix of local residents with obvious outsiders; the casual hipster and hip-hop peacenik mingling (could we call it "hipster-hop"?) with the resident community - mainly black, but there were also some latino, asian, and even arab american mothers in the audience.

It has been 14 years for AD as a unit, they went through their own drama and break-ups (would have been great to see dionne farris join in, but some cuts don't heal so quickly, or even at all). I don't think that they bring something incredibly new and exciting to the stage, but it's good to hear songs that you can sing along to, good to feel somewhat connected to others in the great and mixed congregation that music so often convenes in public spaces. And when Speech sang Redemption Song, I could feel a new appreciation for a song that already speaks to me, and I thought about how is so much more music about freedom, liberation, and hope than just the freedom rock of the 60s that I've been thinking about over the past few months.

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