Anjali and I are playing Seattle tonight for the first time in quite a while. We’ve had all sorts of unpleasant experiences with the promoters and DJs up here but it seems like we actually found a group with some good energy. We’ll have to see how the night goes but it feels good right now. When we arrived late last night we were looking through the weekly papers and learned that Panjabi MC was playing that night. Panjabi MC?! How did we not know about this? We saw his show when he played Seattle a couple years ago. Strangely enough he started out that show with a “Puerto Rico” chanting track which was very odd coming from him. Even more odd that he was playing it in a place like Seattle and not New York. He had an excellent hype man, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name. Panjabi MC was far less capable of commanding the crowd. At one point a huge mass of Indians had mobbed the stage at the Showbox. Panjabi MC tried futilely for 15 minutes or so to try to get the group of dancers to clear the stage. “C’mon peepsh,” he kept saying. “C’mpn peepsh thish ish Panjabi Mshee.” He didn’t prove himself much of an MC aka mic controller, because the crowd took forever to leave the stage despite incessant pleas. His set is now almost entirely forgotten since the drunken escapades of a friend of ours were far more diverting. I do remember that he played several of his hits.
Last night we drove by Neumo’s to check on the show, see if it was sold-out, etc. It had been cancelled. Nothing was going on at all. Hmmm. Anjali had been texting DJ Rekha to see if she knew anything about this show. She texted that he had been in the UK the day before. I wonder when his new album is supposed to come out. Several years ago we introduced Rekha to a book called “Folk Instruments of the Punjab.” It comes with a CD of sound samples of all sorts of Panjabi folk instruments. When PMC say Rekha’s copy he wanted to get his own in order to finish up his new album. We shipped him a copy quite a while ago so I wonder how much longer we will have to wait until his new album finally becomes available.
Many non-Indians probably don’t know that he released an album called “Steel Bangle” strictly for the Indian community. However he has not yet followed up his mainstream “Beware” album. That album itself was a collection of old tracks that had none of the futurism or excitement of his last couple Indian releases. I’m really hoping he steps it up on his next one with some real next level shit.