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Antibalas afrobeat orchestra June, 11


The baritone saxophone is the sexiest musical instrument-deep and gravelly, it's never played at a frenetic pace, and provides a funky rhythm in a way few instruments can. Bach never wrote an aria for the baritone sax-aside from the fact that the instrument hadn't been invented yet, it's just not possible. The baritone sax just speaks to something deep, something fundamental, something the opposite of Bach's cerebral melodical twitches.

Antibalas has a fantastic baritone saxophone. It also sports a deliciously hot horn section, grooving drummers and funky guitars. Defying the laws of space and gravity, the band fit 12 members on the Neurolux's small stage last Saturday.

But besides tight musicianship and decent stage presence, Antibalas brought the sexiest human organ to the music and to the Neurolux: the brain. Antibalas isn't merely a compulsively danceable Afropop/funk band, Antibalas has a message: Our current political system is messed up. The dreadlocked lead singer and other band members railed against Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney and people who feel comfortable using the word bitch but fear the word feminist. Whether you agreed with their politics, it was a refreshing change from the typical lyrics of heartbreak relentlessly sung by so many bands. The crowd loved it.