Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Urban: Sets and the city

April 7, 2005 from
by Martin Johnson

'Urban" is one of the silliest adjectives in the music industry, a business full of foolish terminology. The industry reserves the term for music that seems characteristic of the black neighborhoods (never mind, the large non-black, suburban constituencies enjoyed by many rappers and R&B singers), but most music reflects some part of the city in some way or another...

...Zap Mama's latest recording, "Ancestry in Progress" (Luaka Bop), is "urban" in the industry sense in that the group works with Ahmir Thompson and Richard Nichols of the Roots, and Erykah Badu makes a guest appearance, but to me the music is urbane, redolent of several city regions such as Jackson Heights, Flushing and the Lower East Side, that energetically bustle in different languages. Wednesday and Thursday, Zap Mama plays S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick St. Showtime is at 9; tickets are $22/$25 DOS. For more information, call 212-243-4940.
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