Lee “Scratch” Perry @ Sonar Tuesday 2/17 $18


Lee “Scratch” Perry, the so-called “Godfather of Dub Reggae,” is set to play Sonar tomorrow, and while I’m not necessarily a huge fan of his music, his live shows are legendary (mostly due to his being insane), and the scope of his contribution to music is undeniable.

He didn’t invent dub, as such, but certainly played a major role in its genesis, and is considered the face of the genre, much like Bob Marley with roots reggae…except that Marley didn’t hardly contribute shit to reggae’s creation.  And that I actually enjoy listening to Marley’s music.

Frankly, dub is not something I listen to on the regular, just a Dillinger track on a mix here, a Linton Kwesi Johnson poem there, a Steel Pulse remix yonder…but I’ve been dying to see this 72-year old schizoid for years now, ever since I first heard his production work on “Police and Thieves.”

If you’re interested in seeing a mash-up of George Clinton, Wesley Willis, and Toots Hibbert, this might be something to check out.  The show is only $18, doors are at 8, and Sonar is my favorite venue in town.

Opening for Perry are Baltimore-based roots rockers Fasimba Sound, Silver Spring white people Lionize, and holyshit-inducer H.R., frontman for reggae-punk untouchables Bad Brains, with his Human Rights band.

I’m guessing H.R. is leaning more reggae than punk these days, but if he can muster half the impact of the last time I saw him (with Bad Brains), I’ll probably be late for work on Wednesday.  And probably Thursday.

Here’s a video of Junior Murvin’s 1976 recording of Police and Thieves, as produced by Perry. I won’t subject you to The Clash’s cover.

PS- Living caricature Andrew W.K. produced Perry’s latest album, Repentance. WTF. Bonus points for both.


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