Free Music vs. The Beautiful Game

The spoiled New Yorker in me finds myself pouting every time I see new photo uploads to facebook, including cute rompers and summer frocks, exposed skin & toes, barb-b-q’s, rooftops and all out Brooklyn Summer splendor. Down under in Suid Afrique, where it’s “winter” (try 70 degrees on average), I’ve found lots of toes out and even a white linen pant or two, but the autumn vibe can’t touch the heels of summer in the new yitty. Particularly when the famous free  concert mailinglists keep arriving to my inbox with lineups such as Jay Electronica, Norah Jones, The Roots, Doug E Fresh, and the rarest commodities of all – Public Enemy  & Living Colour!

I mean, two of the most legendary black rap/rock/riot bands performing in one city in one summer all for free!? How can this be missed? Besides the energy and music, as a visual creature, I have to say that I’m most disappointed by not having a chance to bear witness to the latest fashion styles by both bands. Between the famous trademark gynormous clock medallions of Flava Flave and the Afro-punk digs of Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, I’m intrigued about how these icons adorn themselves some twenty odd years after being on the scene.

Granted both groups have been far from reclusive (Flave capitalizing on his realty TV career, and a few members of Living Colour making waves in the jazz world), but the concerts feel like important historical moments.

The Question: for a visual inspiration seeker, are these shows and the New York City that comes out of hibernation once a year for 3 months with fresh energy, more of a “should have been there” moment than the first major sporting event to ever occur on the continent?

I may be biased largely due to my sheer ignorance of all things soccer, but since Cape Town is my current place of residence during the World Cup, I am picking up rather quickly. The best news is that I don’t just have to avoid traffic and try to sleep through drunken debauchery and 24 hour vuvuzela practice, to say that I was at the World Cup 2010. I am actually going to four matches! The first match (and perhaps most exciting so far because it’s on the kick-off day), is Uruguay vs. France. I have no background, but I did some photo research and have decided that I’m rooting for France. Two reasons: 1) They seem to have “more brotha’s on the wall, Sal” and 2) As a visual creature, I’m all about the colors/flag design and am less inspired by Uruguay’s royal and white stripes. The primary colors of France seem more appropriate for uniforms (and they’re USA colors – although I’m unbiased as a citizen of the world and a newbie to the game).

It is my hope that I will receive equal or more inspiration from this match as I would at one of the free concerts, and that the vibe of South Africa for the next month will feel as gratifying as a New York summer. As far as the best dressed…stay tuned.


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