Here is an afrobeat update for those of you following that train with me:
I am REALLY into this band Extra Golden. They are a collaboration btw African and American musicians and they have basically created the cock rock of Fela-style afrobeat groovalicious guitar-heavy music. They are great. I saw them today at the prospect park African guitar festival, though I have been into their albums for a month or so.
To my inexperienced ears, the first record, OK-Oyot System, sounds more traditional. You can definitely hear African pop sounds - the kind that Paul Simon lovingly ripped off, and you can hear straight-up Fela worship too. You also hear a blend of American soul singing and traditional African singing in the space of the same number. It's refreshing and familiar at the same time. It'll make your hips move.
The second album has some different musicians on it due to the untimely death of a major force from the first record. Hera Ma Nono has more of a funk and soul edge to it. The drums are bigger and there are more guitars. Drischord, who was visiting me from out of town recently, thought it sounded like Phish. He was hilariously off the mark, but I must admit there is a slight resemblance there, at least in the sense that this is joyous, rocking and unsubtle. But unlike Phish, Extra Golden does not need to fake the funk.