I’d never been to Dearborn. When the first Arabic billboard (an ad for At&T) greeted me, I smiled so wide I scared myself. The second billboard was an Army ad, and I almost stepped out of the car and threw something at it.
I went to the Arab American National Museum last night to see Burnt Sugar, an afro-hip-hop-funktastic band with 10 members and a maestro. They were so tight! My only complaint is that it was in a seating venue. But we all bobbed and rocked out in our seats. The guitarist had an I Heart Beirut sticker on the back of his guitar.
One of the things I love about music, especially good live music, is that it locks you into the present moment. And that’s a really good place to be, especially if you’re an artist. When I lived in Austin, I loved going to shows when I was writing, because I would get into the music and then it would float me along and I would discover new things about plot, characters, scenes.
Yesterday was a big writing spurt day, but then I hit a wall, so I thought going to a show would help. During the first few songs, I was stuck and I felt lost, and the crazy loud improv horns and drums were completely mediating that feeling.
But then, at some point in the second half, I let go, and that’s when the good ideas came.
The band consists of 2 horn guys, one of whom also does computer drums and effects, a flute/music box guy, an upright bassist, a guitarist, two vocalists, a drummer, a keyboard player, and a bass player. Their maestro stands in the front, middle, and dictates which instruments, including voice, go when. The result is jammin’.
All in all, a badass band and a great show.