August 3, 1998 |
Even reggae music has room to grow. The genre's true artists know it's not enough to sing piously of God and freedom across a simple trance rhythm. As Steel Pulse demonstrated again Saturday at the Teva Spirit of Unity festival at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the most meaningful reggae is made by those willing to push the form a little further.
February 16, 1995 |
Like those dearly departed Presidents, Bob Marley won't be around for his birthday party, a celebration generally more fun than Abe Lincoln's--at least until "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" becomes a cool reggae song. Marley, who died in 1981, would have been 50 years old today.
February 15, 1992 |
Steel Pulse singer-guitarist David Hinds has a special label for the reggae band's San Diego concerts. "Operation C.C.," Hinds said. "San Diegans are a crazy crowd ." "The time before last in San Diego, we played at a block carnival where they blocked the streets off," Hinds said, referring to the band's 1990 Michelob Street Scene performance. "We had to stop playing after half an hour. The crowd broke the stage down. They are a hungry crowd, hungry-plus."
July 13, 1991 |
When the British reggae band Steel Pulse went prospecting for American gold and platinum a few years ago, its music turned to tin. Last week, on the first of two nights at the Greek Theatre, Steel Pulse's reggae elements seemed bronzed: preserved mementos that had taken their last steps years ago. Though regaining some of the infectiousness and toughness that have been lost on recent recordings, Steel Pulse's performance was static and predictable, musically and thematically.
August 11, 1990
Steel Pulse is the latest addition to this year's annual Michelob Street Scene. The popular British reggae band will appear Sept. 7 on the Worldbeat/Reggae Stage, at 7th Avenue and J Street. Of the more than 40 acts scheduled to perform at the two-day event, Steel Pulse is one of the best-known. The group has been touring relentlessly for 15 years, and, although none of its albums could be considered a smash, record sales have been quite respectable.
June 4, 1989 |
Between the death of Bob Marley, the murder of drummer Carlton Barrett and legal entanglements restricting the group's activities for years, the Wailers Band has faced plenty of trials by fire. But there's little evidence of the reggae sextet's indomitable spirit on this undistinguished comeback album. The songs (all written or co-written by singer-guitarist Junior Marvin) steer a nondescript commercial course that echoes Steel Pulse and UB40. Only "Reggae Love" and "Irie" pack any kind of groove punch, while the lyrics are nebulous social protests or generic tributes to reggae music.