Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Matisyahu at the Beaumont

Sometimes it is just inevitable that you'll miss shows that you want to see. Tonight is going to be one of them for me (see also: Cash, Lack thereof). Matisyahu is playing at the Beaumont Club in Westport.

I'm especially upset to be sitting this one out because I'm completely curious as to what this show will look like. For those who haven't heard of him before, Matisyahu is both an incredible reggae artist and a Hisidic Jew. I can't quite wrap my head around what it will all look like in person. While Matisyahu isn't exactly catering to the Mitzvah circuit, the actual process of playing religion-inspired music in the midst of such a secular venue and crowd is intruging to me for a number of reasons.

I've been doing some reading on him and I have to admit, I'm amazed at the dedication it takes to maintain his lifestyle on the road -- including giving up stage diving because of the chance he might come in contact with a female in the process or not playing shows on Friday nights so he can observe the Sabbath.

The whole thing adds up to a pretty unique experience, I'd imagine. So I'm sad I'll have to miss out.

From very informative feature in the Washington Post:
"I don't see myself as a religious musician. I'm not trying to make myself more marketable or more mainstream. My music, and my message, is more marketable. It's emet, it's truth. And I feel like that's for everybody."
-- Matisyahu

I've been listening to Live at Stubb's quite a bit recently. "King Without a Crown" is an amazing song. The more you listen and absorb his music, the more it becomes clear that his songs and their messages are truly universal. Reggae is a genre that benefits greatly by trumpeting a strong message, with the emergence of Matisyahu as the "Hasidic Reggae Superstar," the genre has found a very powerful voice.

Matisyahu || King Without a Crown
Matisyahu || Chop 'Em Down

The new album Youth comes out next week (March 7), so I imagine this is just the start of the talk about a pretty solid artist.

(Photo by Helayne Seidman for The Washington Post)

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