• Miss N

    A South African Music Takeover in NYC

    With the Chicago Marathon done and dusted, my attention turns back to focus on the wonderful Ubuntu series that has taken over New York City, most specifically, Carnegie Hall. The opening night reception was lovely – it was already going to be an incredible evening with just the lineup alone, but to sit inside the hallowed space of Carnegie Hall and listen to Vusi “The Voice” Mahlasela and Hugh Masekela bring their songs to an American stage, with special guests, was beyond what I’d hoped it would be. Backed by a supremely talented band – Mongezi Ntaka on guitar, Bakithi Kumalo on bass, Ian Herman on drums and Francis Fuster…

  • Miss N

    Sound & Vision at the Lincoln Film Center

    I was walking on the Lower East Side the other night and a poster kept grabbing my attention, yet I wasn’t familiar with what I thought was the name of a band or a new album on it, so I carried on walking by. The following night, near Union Square, the same poster caught my eye. Turns out there’s a reason it was calling me. The poster was trying to tell me about a documentary that’s showing at the Lincoln Center as part of their Sound & Vision music doccie fest. Called Spier and Shield, it is directed by Petter Ringbom. The doccie had its world premiere at Hot Docs in Canada earlier this year,…

  • Music

    Fetish – Little Heart

      All Time Low, the first single from Fetish off the first studio album the group has recorded together since 1999’s So Many Prophets, offers a glimpse into the life Little Heart breathes into the band that was once South Africa’s top alternative rock act – becoming the first local band to be signed to EMI’s Virgin imprint, and supporting acts like Skunk Anansie and Placebo on their tours. A band that, back then – through Michelle Breeze’s arresting voice – gave shape and sound to feelings not often expressed on the South African music landscape. Despite a decade between their last performance and the two reunion gigs performed in…

  • Miss N,  Music

    Lira, meet New York. New York, meet Lira

    She’s already made legions of South African hearts happy with her soulful voice and striking stage performance so it’s only natural that Lira would want to extend a little of that love to the rest of the world. Her 4 albums (and DVD shot in 3D) have all sold platinum and above in SA. She’s making her American debut with shows this week, in celebration of the US release of the Lira EP today. A 14-song album will be released on 31 January 2012 (my birthday!) with Feel Good being her first radio single release. Lira is playing SOBs tonight, with support from Zim saxophonist extraordinaire Max Wild. If you’re not in NYC,…

  • Miss N

    RIP Syd Kitchen

    Lost in the headlines of Elizabeth Taylor’s death, was the sad news that legendary South African musician Syd Kitchen had died too. The Durban-born and bred guitarist had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and passed away on Tuesday night. He was a true stalwart on the local music scene, if somewhat underrated, and someone who influenced many that came after him. Since the 1970s, he performed all over South Africa, and the world, and he gave us a number of albums that each contained the musical yarns he spun on his guitar. His collaborations with fellow musician Madala Kunene were a treat to watch. A fitting tribute is…