Bandikoro/Coming Soon: Substance

Note: If you want to skip to the Bandikoro video, it's at the bottom of the post!


Hi. I'm getting back into this blog. It's not easy to stick with it. My sister already asked why, whenever I make a video where I'm talking to the camera, do I look wasted. I almost scrapped the host vid, but if I do I'll never do another one. And for the record I'm not wasted in this video. I don't know why I come off like that, must be some kind of defense mechanism. You'll know when I'm wasted.
     There are two reasons for this blog. One is to get all this footage--these tapes that I've shot over years and years--out into the light so they can be seen by people. Otherwise why shoot anything? Hours upon hours of footage that, when I shot it, I couldn't wait to edit and screen and have a party and blah blah blah, plans and plans. At this point, if I really edited everything into something decent it would be my life's work. That's actually an interesting prospect...spend the first half of your life amassing the footage, and then ringing the bell--no more shooting, what you have is what you have, see if you can find the meaning of life in it.
      I could also get rid of it all and start over, which is kind of exhilarating--starting fresh, not being bogged down in the past. But I forget my past so easily anyway. I think there's a middle ground, and of course all the people that are in the videos need to see them. Going back and writing about the videos ends up feeling kind of memoirish, so the flip side is that I gotta make new videos, new music, talk about new things, not the same old things. Basic cycle of life, right? Or restocking the fridge and the co-op.


   Playing with Bandikoro was a pivotal moment in my life. I was living in Mexico, on the beach, with no job, but living comfortably off music. I had never imagined that would be possible without hitting the big time. Just the act of going there with music as the reason, I had never given that to myself.
    Bandikoro started years before, with these guys camping on the beach and playing West African music, playing at a restaurant in lieu of rent. Scrappy, exciting days I imagine. Getting chased around by cops, living on the edge but having a family that you're sharing the music with.
    By the time I got there, everyone had a place to live, and they had added drumset and keyboards and a beautiful singer from Sweden who wrote songs, could sing in Wolof, English, Spanish, or Swedish. And she could dance and play instruments too. The band was playing fusion, adding reggae and other more modern styles to the centuries-old West African traditional music. There were drums, bass, keys, balafon (traditional West African marimba), two djembes and an accordion. There were 3 couples in the band. Then was my high school buddy Mike and me.

   The concert posted below took place @ Acabar in Tulum. Man I haven't even talked about Tulum. What a crazy place. Anyway, Acabar was the best hang on the strip--live music a few nights a week, travelers from all over the world. Kind of a coke scene mixed in there, which was wack, but not too prominent. For the record that's not my scene at all. Panda, the drummer in Bandikoro, started bartending there soon after I arrived, and it was a takeover. The shows that we played there were great.
    I'm sorry that the sound isn't great, that's a source of shame in some of these concert videos, but if you can get over that, the music's pretty hot.

"Past"Box of TapesComment