Who knew 1970s busing yielded some positive benefits? Well, in the case of L.A.’s Fishbone, it certainly did. The flagship band of the West Coast Black Rock Coalition wing, beloved by artists from the late Miles Davis to OutKast, has long persisted as vital pioneers of Stateside ska, striving tirelessly toward an equivalence of diverse styles and visions. Sadly, ‘Bone’s adherence to 2-Tone as well as P-Funk, Marley as well as metal, was not in step with the sort of crossover prized in the ’80s beyond the country’s then-hip underground. And the band—despite an aesthetically fruitful run at Columbia back in the day—has mostly suffered for their liberation struggles. While their scene buddies in Red Hot Chili Peppers and No Doubt have dominated the globe with the form they patented and perfected, veteran Angelo Moore and his partners continue to be sidelined by plantation radio syndrome (the odd surfacing in mainstream-aimed projects like Idlewild aside). But never count out this long-lived outfit’s spirit of sonic possibility and the impact of its influence. With Natives of the New Dawn and Heavy Mojo.
Sat., Nov. 29, 8 p.m., 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 19, 2008