Every home should own music from Fela. So here it is Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music by Fela Kuti & Africa 70/ Nigeria 70/ Egypt 80, Koola Lobitos and the Fela! Band (from the musical) with special guest Femi Kuti Out 1 September 2014 (view trailer HERE).
A film by Alex Gibney
In UK cinemas 5 September 2014
Plus special preview screening 4 September at the BFI London (part of African Odysseys season)
Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney returns to UK screens this autumn with ‘Finding Fela’, an utterly compelling and hypnotic portrait of visionary Nigerian musician and social activist, Fela Kuti. ‘Finding Fela’ is the story of the man who created the musical movement Afrobeat, and who then went on to use it as a form of political protest against the Nigerian dictatorship, becoming a revolutionary, hero and legend.
Capturing the essence of the documentary film from a musical perspective is the ‘Finding Fela’ soundtrack. The double album includes 15 of Fela’s classic tracks, together with an interpretation of “Zombie” from the Fela! Broadway musical, and a never-before released, magical live version of “Colonial Mentality”, recorded at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos by the cast of the musical and featuring Fela’s son Femi Kuti on saxophone.
It was in 2011 when the hit Broadway musical Fela!, directed by Bill T Jones, made its way to Lagos. It would become the first Broadway musical ever to perform in Nigeria. The show’s instigator and main producer, Stephen Hendel, wanting to document this historic journey, approached Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Dark Side, Enron, The Smartest Guys In The Room, The Armstrong Lie, etc.) who agreed to come on board as director. A film crew from Los Angeles, led by producer Jack Gulick, accompanied the eighty-strong group of cast and technicians to Lagos where a local film crew were also engaged. Hundreds of hours of footage were shot of the preparations, the opening at the Kuti family’s New Afrika Shrine, and at the capacious Eko Exhibition Hall where the full production was to receive a triumphant reception.
However, it soon became clear that, fascinating as documenting this ground-breaking journey may be, the story could not be told without also examining the life, times and bravado of its central character, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. So began the making of ‘Finding Fela’ which explores both his extraordinary courage in the face of implacable opposition, and his exceptional musicianship, told through the eyes of musicians, friends and family members and those that knew and admired him, from near and far. The result is ‘Finding Fela’, the definitive documentary depicting his life and legacy.
Fela created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan-Africanist politics to the world. The power and potency of Fela’s message is completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom.
To tell the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the son of a middle-class, well-educated Nigerian family who transformed into musical icon and “spiritual guru”, a man who lived in a sprawling compound and married 27 women in a mass wedding, director Alex Gibney cuts in interviews with family, friends and bandmates; with incredible footage culled from 1,200 hours of film; and then weaves in scenes from the Broadway production of Fela! during its run in Lagos. The result is a colourful and breathtaking film that comprehensively reveals the life of a man, who was both a musical genius and political activist but also unpredictable, explosive and above all enigmatic.
‘Finding Fela’, which made the Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, will be in cinemas in the UK from 5 September. The official soundtrack album will be released on 1 September.
‘Finding Fela’ Track-listing:
1: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Jeun Ko Ku (Chop ‘n Quench)
2: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Opposite People (edit)
3: Koola Lobitos – Highlife Time
4: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Lover
5: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Viva Nigeria
6: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Upside Down (edit)
7: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Egbe Mi O (Carry Me)
8: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Johnny Just Drop (edit)
9: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Vip Pt 2 (Live In Berlin)
The Darth Vader Toaster ($45) used the power of the Force (electricity) to transform regular bread into delicious toast, complete with the Star Wars logo on one side and a picture of the Dark Lord of the Sith on the other. But the best part is the toaster itself. It’s shaped just like Darth Vader’s helmet. It will be available July 2014 but it can be pre-ordered now for $45 at BigBadToyStore.com.
Yasiin Bey, formerly Mos Def, remade himself by working his lines on TV (last season’s Dexter), on Broadway (A Free Man of Color), and now in fashion—he’s a collaborator at N.Y.C. shop Ale et Ange. The jacket, shirt, hat, and pants are all Ale et Ange.
Regarding the name change, Yasiin told GQ ”I began to fear that Mos Def was being treated as a product, not a person, so I’ve been going by Yasiin since ’99. At first it was just for friends and family, but now I’m declaring it openly.”
The Q&A is short, sweet and definitely worth the read. Check it out now at GQ.
To commemorate the final film release in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Stussy is releasing a special collaboration T-shirt collection in conjunction with the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” from ZOZOTOWN
The Swivl is kinda like having your own camera crew! Just stick your iPhone or Android (under 11mm thick) in the stand, and it’ll follow your every move via a small sensor that you wear. Now, you can shoot video of yourself or your friends without worrying about who’s going to hold the camera.
Rapper Murs Kisses Another Man to Call Out Hip Hop Homophobes
A new video has California rapper Murs wearing a “Legalize Gay” shirt and kissing another man, but ending in a murder-suicide intended to call out homophobia. In a video for “Animal Style,” Murs takes on the role of Roderick, a closeted high school student who hangs with a homophobic crowd. He’s in a secret relationship with Jonathan, another high school student. “Boyfriend Roderick kept his secret closeted, Scared to come out into this world of zero tolerance,” Murs raps. “Wanted Roderick to follow him, He see him in the halls but Rod would never acknowledge him.” When Jonathan tried to make his feelings public it leads to the violence in the last scene: “Shot him right between the eye, then turned it on himself because he refused to live a lie.” Rappers Will Smith and Jay-Z came out firmly in support of marriage equality after President Obama’s announcement. Then T.I. seemed to do the same. And Frank Ocean came out in a song on his new album, Channel Orange. Murs said hip-hop culture needs more people to speak out. “With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender, really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?” he wrote on YouTube. “And finally, I just felt it was crucial for some of us in the hip hop community to speak up on the issues of teen suicide, bullying, and the overall anti-homosexual sentiment that exist within hip hop culture. I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. Even if it came at the cost of my own comfort.”