Mardi Gras arrives around the moment winter starts to feel long, a party to remind us of what it feels like when the good times roll and a happy release before Lent, the old Christian countdown of the dark hours before dawn. The Chinese New Year, tuned to the moon, happens this week also. It’s a time when a lot of natural energy, internal existential force, has been bottled up long enough to start building pressure and the parties act like a release valve, a little bit of effervescence before the big explosion of life that comes in spring.
Reggae may be summertime music– beach tunes and festival sounds– but the bands who make our scene are on the road all year round, playing clubs packed full of college kids from Brighton to Santa Cruz. Just last week The Green, boys from Oahu, got snowed out in Boston and this week they’ll be coming to our snow-covered town to play with SOJA. It will be a great show and our correspondents will be sure to report back in one way or another about how it goes down.
With the new Rootfire we’re mediating a conversation that takes place across the globe. I’m sitting here in the coldest snap of winter listening to The Specials, because that ska riddim and the mixture of happy anger they designed to get through the bleak English ‘80s are feeling alright. It would be fun to hear from some of you out there– from the Southern Hemisphere to the West Coast– about what’s feeling good to you right now. What kind of party do you plan when the pressure drops on you?