I don't know what you did to start your weekend, but I went to see Emefe, the 10 to 12-person Afro-Beat collective surrounding Miles Amtzen.
I spent all morning writing it up, so if you want more, you'll just have to see what I said at Blurt.
Emefe + Mammal Dap 8/31/13, Northampton MA
Dates: August 31, 2013
Location: Iron Horse, Northampton MA
BY JENNIFER KELLY
You don’t even realize the show has started until it has. Sometime in the complicated set-up for Emefe – 10 players, two drum stations, stacked keyboards, two guitars, a bass, a four-man horn line — all the shaker gourds have disappeared. Now towards the stairs that lead down to the bathroom, a syncopated beat has started to pound, a snaky conga line has formed, the bell-ends of trumpet, trombone and two saxophones are swinging side-to-side as the non-plugged in members of Emefe swagger in to “Stutter,” the opening track from their self-released album, Good Future. People in the audience are already sucked in to a swaying, blatting, stop-start Afro-beat groove before they have time to think about it. You can’t imagine how a sound this large – forget that, a band this large – will fit on the tiny Iron Horse stage. In fact, they’re taking up most of the dance floor, stomping and shaking in a circle, horns facing inward, a bleating, fluttering, agitated sound rising out of the center.