Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Burnin’ up the Second Rome

Last week, the eclectic purveyors of Type 1 music, the Cornel West Theory, finally had the launch of their first record proper, on one of the best local labels going right now, Sockets Records. Not only was it a packed house, (and with only one group on the bill, none the less), but both parties were honored to have Dr. West himself present. Not able to simply stay in the crowd, he was also participating in the festivities.

After Timothy Hicks, the “official” spokesperson of the Cornel West Theory, took a moment to explain the creation of the ensemble, Dr. West gave their introduction.
The very minute he stepped into the light, an electric crackle filled the room, and expanded like a massive Tesla Coil as the night went on:

the Cornel West Theory record release show Vid#1 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

The atmosphere the group creates, from the sincerity of their political message, to their passionate theatrical performances, to their audience participation, instantly mobilizes the attendees creating a very magnetically charismatic environment. All of which is embodied in Dr. West, who, midway through the set, (after being dragged onto the stage to break down some dance moves like a twenty-five year old James Brown, for which, not being able to capture on film, I will never forgive myself), took the stage to poetically send out some of his beliefs while the group acted as his backing band. It was the most powerful peak of the night, and the entire room unified under the blanket of his words:

the Cornel West Theory record release show vid#2 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

The Cornel West Theory, in keeping with its collective style flow, lets many people get involved in telling the story. A number of pieces read like group spoken word, only pulled off with engaging success, and most certainly entwining itself with the music. These tracks have a family feel where everyone grabs the mic to participate:

The Cornel West Theory record release show vid#3 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

All in all, it was one of the most successful record release show I’ve seen in a long time. I spoke with vocalist and the provider of the electronic spine for the group, John Wesley Moon, afterwards and he said the group was taking its time to figure out the next step. They will be planning a tour for the Second Rome album, but they’re waiting to see the initial reaction. From there, they’ll decide where the band is at, and how to push it to the next level. If the rest of it goes anything like this night, I’m sure they will have no trouble at all.

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