I heart Jozi: I found music ... when I learned to switch my radio off

2011-12-07 11:27

I have always been a radio fan. Back in the good days of Yfm, I’d be tuned in the whole day, with my earphones tucked inside my school jersey, hiding it from the science teacher.

Needless to say, I still have no idea how to balance those darn atoms and complex compounds.

After working on campus radio, I was sure my union with the medium was signed, sealed and delivered.

But sadly, as with so many unions, we hit a bumpy patch we couldn’t quite get over.

Youth radio stations opted for gorgeous models who might look good on the webcam but do absolutely nothing for content on air instead of the strong and even controversial personalities that kept listeners tuned in.

My radio started sounding like nothing more than an extended advert for events the station sponsored, and diversity on their playlists has now turned to the same ten tracks playing on high rotation on every station.

But all is not lost for the music lover. All you need to do is get out more and tune into a different frequency. The live music scene is really where the beat is at.

This past weekend was a live music delight. In two days I watched ten live acts, both local and international.
At the Party People Reunion I bobbed my head and rapped along to the likes of Bahamadia, Masta Ace, J-Live and Kev Brown.

With each track I turn to a hip-hop junkie near me to share stories of the first time you heard a jam and how, with better sound, the bass would kick a little harder.

Sunday comes and, tired from last night but still keen to jam, we lazily search Facebook for any event chilled enough to cater to my weathered body but a vibe worthy of a Jozi sunset.

Main Street Life has really gained a reputation of being the IT place for anyone’s hangout and Sunday’s party certainly lived up to it.

For R25 or a donation of non-perishable food and clothes we had MXO, Kabomo and Love Glory jamming away into the sunset.

After that, a short drive in town led us to a star-lit performance by afro-soul and jazz artist Khethi and eclectic soul, mbaqanga and hip-hop band Impande Core.

It’s the festive (read: party) season and this city’s live music scene has really come to life again. I’ve fallen in love with local music all over again and it’s all because I found the off-switch on my radio.

Top live music venues in the city:
» Main Street Life – 282 Fox Street, Jhb City
» Urban Zulu – Cnr Fox & Kruis Street, Jhb City
» Shikisha – Miriam Makeba Street, Newtown
» Drill Hall – Cnr Plein and Twist Street, Jhb City
» Kitchener’s Carvery – Cnr Juta and De Beer Street, Braamfontein
» O.S.T. – 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown
» Katzy’s – Cnr Oxford Road and Biermann Avenue, Rosebank
» Odd Cafe – 116 Greenway, Greenside
» Kulture Noir – Grant Avenue, Norwood

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