2007 Best Music Poll Winners

World Music Act

Boston Afrobeat Society

You’ve gotta love — or at least like — any band with a song called “So Long Donald Rumsfeld.” The 12-piece Boston Afrobeat Society is a throwback, in a way, to the Afro-pop of the late ’80s and early ’90s — to the grooves and frenzy of King Sunny Adé and Fela Kuti, but also to the electric-guitar-and-rhythm-frenzy of early ’70s electric Miles Davis. Like Kuti (who they name as a musical and political hero on their MySpace page), the band favor long horn lines over funk grooves (those horn arrangements sounding in some cases like another Boston favorite with wide roots, the Either/Orchestra) and an explicit political agenda. The band were brought together by New England Conservatory-trained percussionist Adam Clark who, after seeing Antibalas at an NEC show in 2003, decided that there was a lack of “seriously danceable and socially conscious” music on the regional scene. They began gigging in 2005, working the clubs with regular shows at the (now closed) Hoffa’s Swiss Alps, Matt Murphy’s, the Western Front, the Lizard Lounge, and elsewhere. Meanwhile, they’ve been working the politics through environment-friendly organizations like Green Grease Monkeys, a Boston-based company that specializes in converting vehicles with diesel engines to run on vegetable oil. Their debut CD Revival Time is due this month on Pub Records.

— Jon Garelick


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