From Michael Kang:

Calling all freaks, poets, musicians, dancers and artists far and wide - this means you! Greetings from Capetown where the days are long and comfortably warm, and the water is cccccccoold! Here at the tip of the African continent, the waters of the Indian Ocean mix with the Atlantic and diverse cultures try to make sense of how we are all supposed to get along while we are engaged in this great human "race." Having never stepped onto South African soil, I wondered how it would all be now that the grip of Apartheid has been legally loosened some decade or so ago. Well, in some ways it's not so different than all the race issues we face in the US, except that the have-nots seemingly have very little here. The coloured people comprise more than 80% of the population, yet most are economically confined to living in townships where the government is working at providing more services even though the task of achieving equality seems a rather distant pipedream. The big difference here is that the leaders seem to really want to address the imbalance of wealth.

Surfing in Capetown :: Photo by Michael Kang
I have been staying at the house of someone I met at the beach the second day I was here. I had been enquiring as to the availability of bio-diesel in a few random conversations with people that I had met who happened to work in the oil industry. Lo and behold, I get into a post-surf conversation with this guy Eugene, and he happens to be a bio-diesel manufacturer and his wife is an environmental scientist with two kids going to a Waldorf school. They have taken me into their home in Kalk Bay, a little artists' town on the False Bay side of the Cape. It really has started to feel like I have lived here for years. In fact, Capetown is known throughout South Africa as the "chill zone," and the pace definitely reflects that. My days are mostly filled with a morning cup of tea and then I'm off to check the surf at one of 50 or so surf breaks that are within an hour's drive from here. The first day I arrived, I looked at the crystal-clear turquoise water in anticipation of a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean. It was 30 degrees Celsius in the air but a whole different story in the water. In the summer, howling SE winds cause upwelling on the Atlantic side, dropping the water temps to around ten degrees. In other words, fucking freezing - the type of freezing where your hands and feet go numb in about 20 minutes. Needless to say, it has been full booties and hood since that first brutal introduction. As for the quality of surf, I would have to say that Capetown has the highest quality/variety of waves of any place I have ever been. I definitely plan on coming back to SA for the surf alone.

Baboon in Capetown :: Photo by M. Kang
In a few days, I will be launching into the true reason for my trip to Africa: an in-depth exploration of Mozambique and Zimbabwe with my friend Chris Berry from the band Panjea. We will be seeking out whatever musical gems are on offer in some more remote locations and recording locals with the intention of writing songs with them and more or less immersing ourselves into some of the musical traditions. Although Capetown has some amazing musicians, there isn't as much of a traditional music scene, although a lot of the music I have heard is infused with a variety of different distinctly African flavors. I definitely have some new music for you all to listen to when I get back.

The last thing I have to share with y'all is that I highly suggest all of you leave the Unites States at some time soon to remove yourself from the "psychic net" our government has craftily woven over our psyches. I imagine that I am preaching to the converted, but when you get away to see other parts of the world, it becomes painfully obvious how insane our way of life is in the US. Even though most people will take you at face value when they meet you, it's obvious that the whole world is watching us in disbelief and amazement at the seeming apathy that has stricken our society. The concept of not voting is pretty foreign to most South Africans. I try to persuade the people I meet that there is a silent revolution happening in the States that is gaining strength, but the more I say it, the more I realize that it's time for all of us to really stand up for what we believe in and manifest change. I know that many of us are doing exactly that, and I just want to let you all know that I will be here to help in any way I am able.

Sending love from the tip of the landmass that birthed us all.

One love!

Check out Kang with SCI performing "Sometimes a River" from last year's Wakarusa Festival.

JamBase | Africa
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[Published on: 4/4/06]

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bestpheeling starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 04:29PM
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Kang thanks for keeping it REAL brother. Your email put a big smile on my face. Sing those guys Under African skys for me. Try smacking your lips at the monkeys. They will love you. See you this summer in Orgeon.

twist2piper starstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 05:48PM
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didn't Trey and Dave already do this?

jahrome17 starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 07:07PM
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Kang is the man. I wish more people from the states would go overseas and work with people around the world - especially those in extreme poverty. We're so spoiled here in America...

livejamfan starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 07:15PM
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Great story, can't wait to read the updates from Kang himself, I love hearing first hand information from musical heroes like Michael! I do get the opportunity to travel outside of the US for my job quite a bit, and I completely agree with him on the rest of the world's perception of us, and his take on the US government. Be afraid, take action, and make a difference. This is a great country, but we have to keep it free and not let the machine take over. Music has the power to change everything.

kimmiet319 star Thu 2/16/2006 07:27PM
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sounds awfully familiar............... hah.

dcgrayjr starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 08:17PM
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Coooool feature. This sounds pretty amazing, what a journey. Wow I am psyched to keep reading about the travels, keep the text and photos flowing Mike! Hope you all make a stop/stand in NYC on your way back home.
Happy Trails,
Dave Gray

alfrescoesquire starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/16/2006 08:26PM
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Kang & Berry, Kudos to you both! I cant wait to hear what you bring back, we all know it will be special. Thanks to Jambase for sharing this story in real-time, keep up the good work! peace

To all: Take note of sir Kang's advice, remove yourself from the 'psychic net' and do it quickly, he's definetly on to something.

To twist2piper: Whats your point? I didnt realise it was a contest for who could spread music and culture first. You should listen to your elders and keep your mouth shut unless you have something positive to say. THINK

jerryonjay starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 12:31AM
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Thanks for the story Michael . Now when is the 4 day celebration in Zimbabwe because I am currently in Thailand and would love to come for that on the way home ! And cheers for your suggestion for everyone to leave the U.S at some point in time to get another "view " It's truly amazing . I am proud to come from America , but disagree whole heartedly with most of the views of the current administration .
Peace Jay , please E:mail at

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 06:32AM
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So what if dave and trey did this? I think it's great for musicians to travel to the land where music began! twist2piper sounds angry about artists going to africa. What up with that? p.s. String Cheese is the best band on the planet.

tomjsci starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 08:23AM
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JamBase, this is a treat! An email from Kang from S. Africa? Wonderful pieces of wisdom from the man.

bestpheeling's mention of "Under African Skies" took me back to Halloween '05 in Madtown, WI. Placed neatly amidst a string of covers in the second set of that show, I encourage everyone to track it down and give it a listen.

Souljive starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 09:55AM
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Rightious, Brother- Please do not only spread Positive Vibrations from our "silent revolution", but also bring some back for us to share in -from the other side of this Global Community.
Enjoy yourself & safe travels, man.

climb starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 10:30AM
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wow, that right there is the reason I have followed String Cheese around all over the country to hundreds of shows. These guys have such an understanding and compassion for the world that surrounds them, and it shows in all they do. You can feel it buzzing in the air at their shows. It's absolutely true what Mike says about how we as Americans seem to forget sometimes, in our day to day lives, the truly important things in life and just how lucky we really are. It does help to get out of the country and experience these things first hand. Mike, hope you and Chris have an amazing time, enjoy the surf! Thanks for being a true human being, hope to see ya in the summer! One Love to all!

RealityRules starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/17/2006 11:50AM
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The psychic net catches indiscriminately. One way to be free of it is staying true to a vision that goes beyond just self serving ambitions. Kang - as long as you never settle for mediocrity you will be the message wherever your travels take you. The music will just reflect an open mind. Bring it on.

calicheezer starstar Fri 2/17/2006 04:45PM
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It looks like No Spring Tour! Winter Tour Was a nice 3 shows. Maybe they need a break from each other. Its good they get a rest - they were getting rather stagnant. SCI is killer , they just need a break.

missee starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/18/2006 02:16PM
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Ghandi once said "We must be the change we seek in the world." With your actions and your words, Kang, you truly are.... Thanks for life changing music, energy, and inspiration...
Molly, Portland, OR

funkpie starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/18/2006 03:21PM
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well articlulated Mr. Kang. although i've never been outside the US except for a trip in the caribbean to venesuela, i imagine the entire world is (was) in disbelief at this country's, the beacon of democracy and hope, actions. people all over the world really have probably gotten the simplistic notion that the people really rule this country, however nieve that is. but seeing what is happening really makes us, the pubic, look terrible. silent revolution? did you use the 'R' word? no revolution has ever been silent. i know from my stand point, i'm not afraid to burn a bridge or 2 anymore to stand up for what i believe now, even though in the past i was afraid to speak out. no more. i don't care. i'm past the denial and greiving stages over this empire. the map in on the table if you care to look. it's too bad we've squandered the chance to really do a collective good (in a global sense anyway). there is always opportunity to improve your community anyhow. people can always be inspired. great article. i'm glad i'm not the only one thinking this way. it's too easy to think, 'wow my thoughts must be extreme. no one else thinks like this, i must be weird'...well, that thinking is part of the 'psychic net'. i realize and acknowledge that i'm one of the 'haves', but i also realize i could be one of the 'have nots' in a snap of the finger. we all could be. what can i do about it? start locally.

jerryonjay starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/19/2006 06:26PM
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So anyway ,
I want to go to Zimbabwe seriously if someone knows when the festival will take place . I'm in Thailand right now but want to go there on the way home , chance of a lifetime , I think please E:mail me

jhflock starstarstarstar Mon 2/20/2006 02:06AM
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Kang & Berry,

I don't know if you will get this or read this. But I can at least try. I can go on and on about 3rd world countries, democracy, NGO's donating money, ect as I am a US Peace Corps volunteer here in Kenya. But for my own personal reasons sometimes being away from America you definatly come to miss some of the things that helped you escape or ease the bad days....Good live music is mine....I would LOVE to see if you guys can come to Kenya whether ít's Nairobi, Mombasa (the coast), or Lake Victoria to play in Kenya as long as you are this way and on this continent (some us stipulations prevent me from traveling to see you or else I would). I would say if possible please keep me posted as to when and where (via a personal e-mail :) or just posting to jambase. If you are here I can tell you all about the issues Kenya faces (as well as some other volunteers I know who would love to see you as well).

If unable to come, Hakuna Matataa, I will see you guys in the states come 2007 or 2008.

Safari Salama,
Jim Flock

summerslove starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/20/2006 09:18PM
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m.kang...blessings to you (and chris) as you travel w/ the intent to gather ancestrial tribal resonance in IS time for our awakening..esp. in the opens our chakras...our feeling of belonging to all that is..our passions, creativity,logic,love for ourselves and others..our voice...our knowing..our spirituality..the joy and happiness that shines as we dance...may music continue to be a means to awaken us, unite us, remind us,help us create our dreams... we are all here to celebrate our one love..thankyou for activley participating in the change we seek...i dance for this awakening...for more than enough love all around the is wants its place...our thoughts and words create our reality..use our minds and actions for what we unites vibrationaly reminding us we are making music dance.....continue on m.kang....everyone....looking forward to updates along the way..very cool jambase for this space...looking to the spring so we can hear the vibration and dance in our dreams...know that my heart lifts you all up on this journey...loving summer

jimi089 star Tue 2/21/2006 07:56AM
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What a poorly written and contrived article. Regardless of the reality of what Kang and Berry are doing, "Kayceman" did a very poor job of conveying this. An "ancestor" took Berry aside and told him to go back to America? Maybe an "elder" took him aside, but I wonder how an ancestor did so. Romanticzed, idealized drivel.

chefbyrne starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/22/2006 08:01AM
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Yes, its true that dave and trey did this a few years back, but they weren't the first either! To all you punks that are knocking kang and chris ,your the ones preventing the revolution! Wake up! We all need to bridge these gaps between our cultures,at least they are out there doing it! Kang & Chris, from the bottom of my heart, THANKYOU. I recently heard a quote: I may be preaching to the choir, but not everyone in the choir is singing. RAISE UP YOUR VOICE AND BE HEARD!! Its time to end the madness. Peace and Love to ALL of you.

gifthorse76 Wed 2/22/2006 09:04PM
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Traveling to third world countries only makes me appreciate America more. Some are just a total disease infested combat zones and others are controlled by a corrupt elite who use the same bullshit socialist catch phrases in this article to control everyone’s resources and property. They all have beautiful safe enclaves carved out for tourist who infuse their pathetic economies with money while telling themselves how adventurous and open minded they are. Truly spoiled people are the ones who don’t know how lucky they are. America rocks! String cheese shows are boring.

jerryonjay starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/24/2006 06:19PM
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String Cheese boring ? You MUST be one of the old ( 50's like myself ) Dead head who hasn't woken up to the fact that Jerry really has passed away . You don't know how to look at "gifthorse" in the mouth . Enough negativity , go see Rat Dog now there is some boring music

LisaB32 starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/24/2006 08:11PM
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Thanks Jambase, Michael & Chris for helping build a "psychic net" of our own to counterbalance the fear-based net that seems to have so many trapped. Or perhaps instead of a net the thing we are building is a grid. Not keeping us locked in as a net can, but acting as a base from which we can draw energy and support. As the saying goes, only Love can conquer hate! Spread it freely and widely...and be sure to allow plenty into your own heart. Much Love, LisaB

BrandyCiaccio starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/24/2006 11:42PM
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I am in Tanzania right now. When anyone, especially people with access to the masses choice to speak out about what is going on on this continent they are truly doing a great service for the people of Africa. There is so much unrest and poverty on this continent and it is really important that people try and raise awareness. Africa needs so much. Not just tourist $ but also infratructure like santitary sewage systems, clean wells and other things Americans cannot even imagine. Right on Kang and Barry for getting it together and doing something that really matters. If all of us who spend so much $ going to shows just put a fraction of that $ towards helping people over here it could make a huge difference. Peace and love, Brandy

pokycheese starstarstar Sun 2/26/2006 10:40PM
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First off-gifthorse76 you obviously aren't a true jamband fan-as any true jamband fan would have seen that Cheese is going insane in their recent shows. Good article-indeed I do think that Trey and Dave did it, but who gives a crap-can't someone elso do it and be ok? Ok article. Hats off to Kang for rockin' my socks off everytime I see him, and for trying something new.

gifthorse76 star Wed 3/1/2006 03:09AM
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Hey pokycheese, are their any other regulations I need to know about to be a “true jam band fan”? Because seriously I’d like to get qualified as soon as possible. BrandyCiaccio on the other hand has a really good point, anything that helps Africa is a good thing. It just kind of irked me that people are asking for the help and resources that America can provide while damning the system that makes it possible. Sorry if I came across a little too harsh, I know that Michael Kang is trying to do a good thing and should be commended for it. String Cheese shows are still boring though. Primus, Ween, MMW, Allmans, Yonder Mountain are where it’s at.

summerslove starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/1/2006 11:14PM
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***** i think we are all having ceremony w/ whatever vibration we cocreate when we go dance and suport the music we choose to resonate with..we are fortunate to have so many love suporting bands here in usa...i want to celebrate w/ a world of love suporting music ceremony makers to dance think speak... create the art of our dreams... in the ancient energy of love peace unity...with harmony and suport..creating hope together we will live in our oneloveness on earth enjoying her elements of beauty....i would love to dance in more love at as many panjea shows as i can...i will be selling some of my silk art at a few love..suport...intrigue...wish you could describe the landscape and synchronistic connections that are coming together... creating the magic you desire...i have a mbira.. in the simplist garden form now i am going to make the time to play w/ it...may the ancient knowing be heard to awaken all of those who want love for peace....summer

Him starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/8/2006 05:53AM
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Great letter Mike ! Thanks for staying in touch w/ us.
I've been really getting into a band from Asheville, NC named TOUBAB KREWE , they spend time in Mali learning and their sound is Amazing ! West African music with a JamBand blend.
Check these boys out.
Kindest Thoughts,

kirby3482 starstarstarstar Wed 3/8/2006 04:28PM
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I just saw Toubab when they opened for STS9 in Chicago. They were great and really bridged some traditional west african rhythms and instruments with rock, reggea and jam. Great article and hopefully this trip will counteract some of the trance sounds that cheese has been slowly infusing more and more into their shows.


rivertrancegpt starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/8/2006 07:49PM
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Mar 31 2006 3:30P
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village, WY
Apr 1 2006 9:00P
Knotty Pine Victor , ID
Apr 4 2006 9:00P
Fox Theatre (with Liquid Soul) Boulder, CO
Apr 6 2006 9:00P
Mesa Theater (with Liquid Soul) Grand Junction, CO
Apr 7 2006 9:00P
Bellyup (with Liquid Soul) Aspen, CO
Apr 8 2006 9:00P
Quixote's (with Liquid Soul) Denver, CO
Apr 9 2006 9:00P
Sunsation Festival Copper Mountain, CO

summerslove starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/10/2006 11:37PM
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zowe time must be moving fast and what ceremonial delight music making love dance assembly you are all having along the way...i'm energetically joining you...i did tonight.....we are one earth music dancing love peace harmony celebrate high vibe delight cocreate ..we are one earth love seed growth...sending surrounding light and magic...for your carpet dimples are soar from your fun...may it continue all the way back to here.....i set a seed of love upon that sacred mt....and did some powerful creative dancing...for together let the ceremony carry on.....for there to always be an earth tribe dancing making music...casting our creative offerings lets compost this energy and grow it for our re-usable energy source.....hope for happiness......a covering for chris and others...more than enough love and hold his ceremony where ever is needed to vessle his passion and spill it over ... good seed for the earth...lets see our united love and celebrate passion together in an uplifting creative celebrating way...i want to umbrella down from the sky and join you all...phisically....loving summer

jerryonjay Sat 3/11/2006 08:19PM
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Mike and company need to come and visit here in the mountains of Thailand as you won't find nicer people . Check out Pai, Thailand .
Peace , Jay

standingtaller starstarstarstarstar Tue 3/14/2006 10:52AM
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MK, it is so killer what you are doing over there. You and Chris are not only educating this isolated American, but I can only imagine what eye you are opening withing yourselves to make more musical magic. SCI is tops!

gifthorse76 starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/17/2006 02:04AM
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Oh man, this is great. I mean it would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. The idea of these guys going off to Africa to escape “isolated” America’s “psychic net” only to receive death threats bolstered by a truly racist, state run propaganda “newspaper” is too good to be true. This just really shows that the true bio-degradable fuel that anti-American sentiment runs on is the commonly found element: know as bullshit. I really shouldn’t take the time to write mean emails and I hate to piss on someone’s parade like this, but does anyone else see the irony or am I really just a dick.
Love Gifthorse

dannymo Fri 3/17/2006 09:09AM
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who will be the famous rock star who will visit the once great country of America?? call to attention the ills of the fallen society. help the poor and displaced of this evil administration. bono, mr. kang where are you???? help us before we implode!!

gifthorse76 star Tue 3/21/2006 12:25AM
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Dannymo:Kang lives in America and seems to enjoy living better than say about 98% of the world, playing music and traveling. Bono like Kerouac, Dylan, and Garcia before him thinks of America in a loving, romantic light. I think the last time I saw him he was speaking at Bush’s national prayer breakfast. Just because you disagree with the current administration’s policies doesn’t mean our society is imploding. Sure we’re not perfect, but we are the next best thing. You should get out of your college dorm room that your parents pay for more often, and go see other countries. Just go south of the border to Mexico they have awesome farm land, tons of oil (second largest importer to the US behind Canada and ahead of Saudi Arabia) and a huge labor force. A huge labor force where millions leave their homes, and families, break the law and risk their lives to work the hardest most thankless jobs our country has to offer. Try telling one of those guys how bad our country is as he’s mailing his extra money back home to support his relatives that weren’t lucky enough to get across the border.

dannymo star Tue 3/21/2006 04:56PM
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gifthorse: as a 37 year old father of two it's been quite some time since I've seen the inside of a dorm. If you really don't see that we are indeed imploding you must be on the right side of society. Bet your parents have framed pics with all the Bush's. I have travelled outside this country and just spent a week in southern Mexico. I just get tired of all the posturing and apathy.

gifthorse76 starstarstarstarstar Tue 3/21/2006 09:28PM
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Ahhhh Touche Dannymo I guess I was kinda grasping at straws on that one. No offense, and I’m personally getting tired of all the posturing and apathy as well. I think my little blogs on this article might be an example of why politics and music don’t mix. I know that in the sixties (back when you were young) (just kidding) the two were irrefragably interwoven into the collective consciousness of that generation, but now I like to think that these shows and sites just celebrate awesome music for it’s own sake. Great music and loving friends should transcend the polarizing bullshit that permeates all aspects of our everyday life. I’m proud to be American for reasons too numerous to list hear. I’ll bet that you feel the same. So if I see you at a show like High Sierra or someplace, there’s nothing left to do but smile smile smile. Take it easy and good luck this semester those sociology classes can be a bitch.

dannymo Wed 3/22/2006 04:32PM
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gifthorse: that sociology comment had me pissin' with laughter!!! I was wrong about you. You are welcome in my camp any time.

summerslove starstarstarstarstar Thu 3/23/2006 11:40PM
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gifthorse and guys just demonstrated an excellent practice of love for peace....i had written you this while i was dancing to gd in alpine valley movie.......we should practice accepting our differences living harmoniously kind stimulated creative dance with music love.....truly music brings us together...ahhhhh i breath in love...hey michael lets dance

summerslove starstarstarstar Mon 4/3/2006 11:36PM
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everyone following the dream of bridging the gap.......remember we are all rooted from... in love....keep it dancing with music.......what if we could all contribute to creating the golden age?......what would you want to include in it ?......i send you a wishing star of hope.....loving summer

standingtaller Thu 4/6/2006 07:01AM
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dannymo and gifthorse's dialogue is further proof that we live in divisive times. "isolated americans" means americans that do not travel to other lands. unlike europe or africa, where many countries share borders, we get states, which all have the same fast food chains and big-boxes. kang and berry are getting out, experiencing things outside our borders, our news channels and our pop culture.

This is necessary to broaden the mind politically, socially and creatively.

gifthorse should be shamed for throwing the illegal immigration issue out there, right smack in the middle of times when 11 million undocumented people are up for citizenship, regardless of their colonization ways. you, dannymo’s kids and me will feel the brunt of a class shift as our national infrastructure cracks trying to support so many people with social security, healthcare, etc. that became citizens, suddenly, by this legislation. I appreciate the work they do, but is it worth the .99 value meals and rampant home building growth that cheap labor brings? Are we supporting an unsustainable life style by the sweat, blood and tears of my Mexican brothers?

it is the evil of all politics, dems and cons (which are similar to the warlords of africa), that are breaking us down. be educated, escape through a wonderful culture of music supported by jambase and please try to expand your political comments from the clichés offered by cnn.

cloudhidden Thu 4/6/2006 11:00AM
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nzou samanyanga means elephant, with big horns I think. Nzou means elephant for sure...

seizetheday61 starstarstarstarstar Thu 4/6/2006 06:07PM
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I know Tofo and Inhambane and to think that you guys were jamming out on the beaches and at Dino's is painful but must've been so amazing. I saw there was recording info, I want to get copies of that music, I can only imagine how that must sound! Mozambique is brilliant. Cool to see you were in Capetown, too. Hope it was as amazing for you as it always is! Cheers!

Youngstar Tue 4/11/2006 12:55PM
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Standingtaller... I agree with some of what you say, but for the love of God don't get sucked into Alex Jones' bs. He is a disillusioned nut job.

adamlubow starstarstarstarstar Sat 5/6/2006 01:03PM
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I checked out the opening show of Pangaea and Kang last night in NYC- great show. 2 hour show, no break. Excellent energy (despite Kang being jetlagged from just getting back to America that day). Pangaea seemed tight and well rehearsed, especially with all the backup vocals going on. Horns were really crisp. Jams were long but moving- I think on only one did it wander off. Kang added a good electric touch to the jams.
I'm writing all this for anybody who's out on the route of their tour. They're playing really small venues, makes you feel really a part of everything. Band hung out after to show too. Was a great time.
Go see them!!!

jerryonjay starstarstarstarstar Mon 5/8/2006 01:42PM
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Panjea in Philly .
We went up to Philly to check out Panjea with Kang but unfortunatly Kang was a no show , wasn't clear why he wasn't there but the show was good anyway . I would like to hear more about his influence at the other shows .