Ari Up Punky Reggae Birthday Party This Sunday Looks Sadly Spectacular


Three-day weekend ahead for most of us, which is another reason to file over to Sunday night’s spectacularly loaded tribute to too-soon departed Ari Up at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Even without the excuse, there’s so much planned to honor the riot-grrrl ancestor on the eve of what would have been her 49th birthday. Just look at this list from the press release:

WHO: Participating artists, led by Musical Director Ira Heaps, include original and current members of the Slits, including Tessa Pollitt, Hollie Cook, Neneh Cherry and AnnA Ozawa; Bruce Smith of PiL and the Slits; members of Brave New Girl; Band Droidz; legendary Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas; Afrobeat superstar Wunmi Olaiya; Felice Rosser (Faith); Dee Pop (Bush Tetras, Radio I-Ching); Lizzi Bougatsis (Gang Gang Dance); Afro-Punk avatar Tamar-Kali, King Django; Honeychild Coleman; Barbara Gogan (The Passions); Sherleen Nubro; Lisa Samuels and many luminaries from the punk and reggae worlds backed by Ira Heaps and the True Warriors performing classic Slits hits, dancehall and previously unheard originals by Ari Up. Lyrical Readings and Remembrances by Michael Patrick McDonald, Greg Tate, Sara Marcus (Girls To The Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution) and Angela Jaeger (ex-Pigbag).

There’s also a promise of never-before-seen video footage, along with “surprise guests.” Given that John Lydon’s site initially broke the news of Ari’s passing (he’s “shacked up” with Arianna’s mom Nora) and his Public Image Ltd. comrade Bruce Smith will be there, Johnny Rotten is an educated guest guess. But really, if you have any respect for punk history, you’ll be there anyway. Tickets available here.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 11, 2011

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