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    Sublime Frequencies at the Silent Movie Theatre

    Sublime Frequences at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, California on August 6, 2013.
    Sublime Frequences at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, California on August 6, 2013.

    Los Angeles, California
    August 6, 2013

    Sublime Frequencies is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently through all channels of academic research, the modern recording industry, media, or corporate foundations. Sublime Frequencies is focused on an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience inspired by music and culture, world travel, research, and the pioneering recording labels of the past including Ocora, Smithsonian Folkways, Ethnic Folkways, Lyrichord, Nonesuch Explorer, Musicaphone, Baronreiter, Unesco, Playasound, Musical Atlas, Chant Du Monde, B.A.M., Tangent and Topic.”

    To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the label back in 2013, the founders, Alan Bishop and Hisham Mayet, held court at the Silent Movie Theatre in LA to present two videos. One was shot in Africa–it was either The Divine River or Vodoun Gods On The Slave Coast–and featured plenty of traditional music, scenery and glimpses of the local ways of life. One of the main things I recall is that numerous audience members winced when some villagers cut open an animal that was hanging upside down. I can’t remember the other video. Hey, it was five years ago. Sue me!

    Alvarius B performs at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, California on August 6, 2013.
    Alvarius B performs at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, California on August 6, 2013.

    Next, Alan Bishop climbed up on stage under cover of his alter ego, Alvarius B, to belt out a bunch of tunes from his massive songbook and tell a few funny stories, as well as a profane joke or two–all within a thick cloud of cigarette smoke. Who the hell does he think he is, Rod Serling? It should also be noted that AB sung a version of Bob Dylan’s “Wanted Man” with his own lyrics that were far more funny and witty than Dylan’s original. After the show, I moseyed out back to the merch table, where I talked to Hisham Mayet for a few minutes. He is very nice…and tall. I’d venture to say if Hisham stood on his tip toes, he could look a cyclops giraffe straight in the eye. The guys had at least a couple of dozen LPs on offer, but I already had ALL of them–except for three volumes of The Secret Museum of Mankind on the Yazoo label. So, I grabbed a couple of those. All in all, a happy night it was for this mega Sublime Frequencies fan!

    Words and photos ©2018 Arcane Candy.

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