I thought I good way to end 2008 and to start 2009 would be to refresh a post I did back in August on some of the places the Black rock community gathers online. Therefore, without further ado, this is what I submitted for my Blackpower.com column this week.
“So where can I find Black rock in my area?”
I was asked this question on my blog a few months ago. I quickly banged out a couple of lines in response, pointing the person to some sites that came immediately to mind. But after I'd sent it, I realized there was so many more resources that were worth highlighting. After all, it's important for people to know that the inspiration for this column comes from a vibrant, evolving community, one that supports, nourishes and challenges me everyday. It's one I'm proud to be a part of, and one that I hope you might consider checking out if you want to get a sense of the size and scope of the next big cultural wave that's heading for our shores.
Like the artists and their supporters, it's fair to say that Black rock—whether you want to call it that, or Afro-punk, Ghetto Metal, whatever–is everywhere. But, rather than focus on what's happening in specific cities, I'll point to some communities and destinations online. Here's a chance for you to take the red pill and, like Neo, find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes.
BLACK ROCK SOCIAL NETWORKS
- Afro-punk. This is a well-known destination and thriving online community thanks to James Spooner’s film and the festival that was inspired by it.
- URB Alt (http://urbalt.ning.com). This social network just launched this past summer, but is an outgrowth of the festival of the same name. The festival has been in NYC for the last three years, and is expanding to other US cities in 2009 and has its eyes on events in Africa.
- Afropick. Representing Philly's Black rock scene. Afropick also does regular offline events.
- Unofficially Afropunk. Based out of Alabama, this seems to be an active online community based on comments to the blog posts.
- BFN Rock. A site that's part of Black Folks Network, a group of sites devoted to the celebration of Black culture.
- The Black Rock Coalition. Heading into its 25th year in 2010, the BRC is a mainstay. They’re on MySpace, and recently launched a Web 2.0 site called SlaveToTheIsm. The BRC also does a weekly newsletter that advances shows nationally and internationally, which you can sign up for by sending the BRC an email to brcmembersinfo [at] aol.com. Also, start checking out the artists who are their friends on MySpace and I’m sure you’ll find some you like.
- Soul Patrol. Bob Davis has been supporting the full spectrum of Black music for more than a minute.
- Primordial Punk. Reclaiming culture, pure and simple, this community focuses on Black women who combine punk and tribal in their beauty aesthetic.
- Ghetto Metal. Where the hip hop community rocks out, thanks to the support of Bazaar Royale, M-1 of Dead Prez, and rapper DMX.
- AllAboutGeorge. For a while George maintained the blog blipster.info, but has since folded everything into his personal blog, which covers a wide range of interests that include Black rock.
- Audiologo. Fellow traveler audiologo thoughtfully covers a wide range of Black alt culture here, including music, literature and visual art.
- The Couch Sessions. Founders Stone and Rome focus on underground hip hop and R&B in the DC music scene but also have good ears for rock and alternative music. They're good brothas who know and love a lot of sounds, and they're not afraid to share them with their readers.
- The Electronic Mayhem of Jack Davey. The irrepressible Miss Jack Davey of the group J*Davey (keep an eye out for their major label release in 2009) blogs here.
- Riffs & Revolutions. Michael Gonzales shares his all-abiding love for a broad range of Black music here on this site that’s part of Uptown Magazine.
- Stuff Educated Black People Talk About. I recently learned that a number of this site’s readers are interested in Black rock. And I dig their tagline: "Having our assumptions challenged is how we grow intellectually." Amen.
- Writing is Fighting. No, this is not Ishmael Reed's blog. Rather, my girl Laina Dawes covers rock and metal from her perch up north in Toronto.
These publications focus on emerging/underground/left of center/hipster artists, and you can occasionally find articles on convention-defying Black folks.
Chances are, if you’re open, you’ll find a lot of artists that you’ll want to follow. Send ‘em friend requests on Facebook or MySpace. Better yet—particularly for the artists who aren’t based in your area—you can set up a free account on Tourfilter. That way, you’ll get email alerts when you they hit clubs in your area.
Now, I’m sure I’ve left out some great resources. First, my apologies. Second, chime in below in the comments section and let everyone know what they are.
Beyond that, it’s up to you to be adventurous in the New Year. The community is here and there are a lot of places for anyone and everyone to join in.