Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Last night was my first night in Johannesburg and I headed straight from the airport to see BLK JKS.

"We've come to you all the way from South Africa," Mpume joked with the crowd between songs.

The JKS are back in Soweto after touring for six months in support of their Secretly Canadian release, After Robots.

Here at ground zero, the boys sound different from when I heard them last at Santo's in New York.  The songs are mutating.   Each tune has its own goals, logic, paranoia.

After only a day in Johannesburg, I don't see exactly how BLK JKS are a by-product or a reflection of "life in South Africa".   But maybe that is what's being celebrated here -- the surprises, the disconnect, the self-determination of the art itself.

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