Someone's been very kind to me today: I received a package in the mail chock full of Bonnie Prince Billy bootlegs and singles! Very exciting day, and how perfect is it that it's drizzling and grey out? It's ideal for BPB listening, at least to me for whatever reason.
That's not to say his music is depressing though. It can be dark, but for the most part for me it's actually uplifting and really almost unbeatable. It's got a loose feel to it, a risky feeling. Feels like everything's on the brink of falling apart, but it never does. Fantastic.
In case you are unaware, Bonnie Prince Billy goes under many names, so his albums can be difficult to find and collect. Some of these names/projects include: Palace, Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Bonnie Billy, and Will Oldham (his real name). He also collaborates often with others, like Amalgamated Sons of Rest, Matt Sweeney (that's Matt in the pics on the left and below), David Pajo and, more recently, Tortoise. Oh yeah and he just contributed vocals to a record by Scout Niblett as well! You can see how it's tough to keep up with the guy. Oh yeah, and some of his best songs can be found on out of print 45s.
These bootlegs I just got are from the I See A Darkness and Ease Down The Road period. I LOVE I See A Darkness, and Ease Down the Road is a solid record for him. He's put out so many, you see! His output can be fairly staggering to the uninitiated. I'll try to break down a few of my favorites at the end of the post.
R.I.P. to reggae great and South African musician Lucky Dube. Yesterday evening around 8:20PM (October 18th), Dube was gunned down and killed, reportedly in front of his own kids, in the Johannesburg, SA suburb of Rosettenville. Police are calling the murder part of a botched hijacking in which the artist was reportedly dropping off his son and daughter at another family member's home. Reportedly two gunmen approached Dube's car and opened fire, killing the artist but not harming his children. The kids apparently had already just exited the vehicle, then ran to get help after witnessing the shooting from afar.
Lucky Dube was one of South Africa's most successful reggae recording artists and started out his career doing traditional African Zulu music as a Mbaqanga artist in the eighties before switching up and doing reggae music full time. His rich catalog includes 21 albums, both Mbaqanga and reggae, including last year's reggae album Respect. He was only 43 years old and is survived by seven children and his wife Zanele. His full name was Lucky Philip Dube (pronounced doobay) and his mother named him Lucky apparently because he was born in poor health, yet survived.