Jim’s retirement concert
Longtime friend and supporter of Malaika, Jim Frewen, is retiring from his job as a computer god. Jim has decided to produce a huge concert in celebration, and all proceeds are to go to Breast Cancer Action in memory of former Malaika member Beth Ferguson, who passed away November 1st, 1999. The concert will be held January 25 at the National Library. Tickets may still be available at the Folklore Centre, (730-2887) but it’s selling out fast. Good work, Jim!
Christine has a third CD out,’Stray’, and will be holding a CD release concert at the Fourth Stage (N.A.C). on Saturday February 17th .
Malaika has just heard that the Canada Council has awarded them a recording grant! This is to go towards their upcoming CD, To Paradise. To all you folks who have bought in advance and who have been patiently waiting, it’s coming! We’re just waiting for Neema’s health to improve before we return to the studio. The art work is complete, and you can check that out shortly on the web site!
As of yesterday Malaika has been #1 on the African charts for 8 days straight, and has moved up to #37 on the world/folk charts (3 behind Bruce Cockburn) and is climbing! What is Love? is about to break onto the main Pop Vocals page. Check out the site, and listen to 6 new songs from the November 5 concert at the Arts Court Theatre! http://mp3.com/Malaika
Malaika has returned safe and sound from their latest adventure gig in Columbia, Missouri.
The band was enlisted to participate in ‘First Night Columbia’, which was the town’s multi-venued New Year’s Eve
The girls landed in St. Louis on Friday afternoon, December 29th. Christine had been singing ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’ all day, and Lee had been responding with a rendition of ‘Clang, Clang, Clang’, both of which thrilled Stella and Neema to bits. Could have been worse (Billy Don’t Be a Hero, Seasons In The Sun, Sometimes When We Touch... the usual travel songs). Since they had an afternoon to kill, what better way than to perform Acts Of Importance; Shopping and Eating! Malaika hopped into their little Dodge rental and drove around downtown St Louis for a while, checking out the architecture, spotting the ‘Gateway to the Midwest’, which looks like a gigantic half-McDonald’s ‘M’ across the Mississippi. Then Christine whipped out her USA guide, and the girls picked a restaurant to try to find. They ended up in the University area, surrounded by funky shops and groovy restaurants. Heaven! Big scores; Christine found some great stage clothes and Lee had the best Margarita ever at a little Mexican chain restaurant called Tomatillo’s. Stella charmed the pants off the staff.
On to Columbia before bedtime. It was a two-hour drive from St. Louis, and it was clear that the Missourans hadn’t seen that amount of snow very often. Many cars had been abandoned by the side of the road due to the blizzard, but it was a walk in the park for Stella, Neema, Lee and Christine! The girls found their hotel, and much to Lee’s delight, the hotel was also hosting a Sci-fi and Fantasy Convention! Definitely Lee’s gods were looking out for her!
The next day was spent exploring the town of Columbia. It’s a pretty little town of around 75,000, with a lot of students. Great coffee shops, second-hand clothing, and jewelry. So of course, Malaika did some more shopping, ate lots of food, and Lee crashed a few sci-fi events back at the hotel. (The vampires and Klingons were quite gracious about it.) In the evening, the girls took Christine out for dinner, as it was her birthday.
Sunday was a full day; sound checks at two venues, and Malaika met a five-man A Cappella group from Minneapolis, Four Shadow. This was the best part of the trip; vocal jamming with a great band. It was decided then and there that the two groups would combine their talents and sing the midnight festivities together.
New Year’s Eve; the town is crawling with people, and there are events all over with many performers. Malaika does two sets, one at the church, and the second at the Missouri theatre, a beautiful old theatre, gold and red velvet, similar to the Capital on Bank St. Back in the 60’s. (which Malaika is too young to remember, of course...) Then to the courthouse to sing with Four Shadow, and watch the fireworks after the countdown. It was cold! But so pretty, and the spirit was wonderful.
Well, you’d think that Malaika would be tired, and go back to the hotel and to bed...
That was the plan, but Lee and Christine decided to check out the parties that were going on in the hotel...there was a very drunk band in the main ballroom, with very drunk revelers, and tattooed couples wandering the halls, but the piece de resistance was the sci-fi party room. These people knew how to have a good time! No sooner had the girls peeked in, when a man with a box of body paint gleefully rushed over. From another direction came a large gentleman wearing shoes that were fuzzy Leiderhose-garbed pigs. ‘Pinch his ear!’ barked this gentleman to Christine. She tentatively obliged, and his shoes went ’oink, oink’. Christine was delighted! Then in came a young man (called ‘eye-candy’ by the matriarch of the convention) wearing a dog collar attached to a long chain...he ran over to Lee, handed her the chain, and, kneeling, said ‘Mistress, command me!’ Well, like the angels they are, Christine and Lee thanked him but called it a night...sigh!
The next day Malaika flew back home, where Lee’s mom was waiting with hugs and a lift for everyone. Thanks Mom! All in all, it was a great time.