Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pon Di Wire

Reggae news and views from around the world.
(This column runs weekly Wednesday at

Wayne Wonder & Taurus Riley appeared at SF Apple Store Friday June 8.

What’s Elephant Man sound like en EspaƱol? Find the answer on Kat deLuna’s techy commercial dance single “Whine Up” (Epic). Actually Ele’s verse is in English, but the single is 100% Latin-Caribbean heat!

The reggae world (and possibly CNET) is abuzz with news that Bob Marley’s Exodus was reissued on June 4 as a limited edition USB memory stick by Marley’s official artist website. The special format celebrates the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking album, which includes hits such as “Waiting In Vain,” “Natural Mystic” and the epic title track.

In what seems to be a rapidly growing segment of the internet – Caribbean entertainment news – MoraFire joins Nowadayz and YardFlex, One876 and others providing the latest news and gossip from Jamrock. Their latest installment features video interviews with Tony “Dutty Wine” Matterhorn and Mr. Vegas. The site, of course, has generous commercial sponsorship by the Caribbean’s biggest corporate patron, Western Union!

The respected Reggae Vibes Hot’n’Fresh buzz chart lists the following titles in the top 5 positions for this week: 1. Alborosie “Kingston Town–Remix” (Forward Recordings), 2. Beres Hammond and Buju Banton “I'm Gonna Do My Best” (Penthouse), 3. Natural Black “Teach Dem” (prerelease), 4. Collie Buddz “Give Me Da Love” (Massive B), 5. Wayne Marshall “Give Me Strength” (Fresh Ear). With embedded MP3 players alongside the chart listings, visitors can make up their owna mind about the week’s new offerings!

VP Records will release reggae Wayne Wonder’s newest album Foreva this July 30. A follow-up to his 2003 smash release No Holding Back, Foreva features the single “Again” and includes a gimmicky remake of the Thompson Twins 1984 classic “Hold Me Now” produced by No Doubt’s Tony Kanal.

The California reggae concert calendar is rapidly filling up with announcements of tours and local shows by TOK (Thursday, June 14, Club Six, San Francisco), The Ethiopians & The Maytones backed by The Expanders (Wednesday June 27, The Dub Club, Los Angeles), Sister Carol, Rob Symeon, Run 4 Cover, DJs Mikey Assassin (Friday June 29, World Beat Center, San Diego), Junior Reid (Saturday July 7, Shattuck Down Low, Berkeley) plus Beres Hammond, Luciano, Morgan Heritage, Richie Spice and Tanya Stephens (Sunday July 29, Reggae Sunsplash Tour, Santa Barbara Bowl). Big up Reggae Russ for his listings!