I have to say, 2013 has been a great year for me in terms of being able to enjoy QUALITY, LOCAL music. Went to a great show the other night to see and support Toussaint the Liberator, who put on a fantastic show at The Haven, in Jamaica Plain. The Haven seems to be a pretty popular JP neighborhood favorite. It’s quaint and very rustic Scottish, a small back-to-the-walkway bar, muted lighting, vintage spritzer bottles, signature drinks and Sean Connery.

The entertainment space was very narrow but still gave a great view of the performance area. Prior to me knowing it was a Scottish bar, I requested a Guinness and was abruptly told, “This is a Scots bar, and we have Bell New Haven Stout, which is better than Guinness.” I could feel my face tighten up as I grimaced at his blasphemous allegation. I accepted the challenge, it sipped well and I was pleased but, I’m certainly not giving up my 1759 Club Card.

Anyway, back to the music.

I was so amped up after the event it reminded me of when I see my Brother A.M.B. (African Man Born) perform and how I see him put in work and he works hard to be the best. Every time I see or hear him perform, I learn something. On this night, Toussaint was the teacher who liberated our minds from the confines of the times.

“The Gaza Strip is underwater!” Who knew? I haven’t read it in a paper or seen it on the news. The less coverage there is the less investigation will go into the “flood gates” that have been opened on the already poor people of Palestine.

There is so much potential to learn from conscious artists, be it Poetry, Hip Hop or Reggae Soul, if you can learn something from it, you should support it. With Hip Hop artists like AMB and OFats, poets like VCR and Art Collins, the multi-talented Toussaint the Liberator and the other gifted performers in and around this City, there’s absolutely no need to tune in to the mainstream minstrels that pollute the radio waves.


I have a very diverse artistic taste but, I am more than happy to support the artists, photographers, musicians, poets and anyone who pushes positive, educational and thought provoking vibrations into the world and into my head!



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