Why I love Sublime, Rebelution, the Dirty Heads and the rest of America's progressive reggae movement
As we continue our weeklong celebration the modern hybrid of roots reggae and rock that periodically takes over Jannus Live -- such as during next week's two-night stand by Rebelution -- we asked a longtime fan of the genre to explain why, it is, she loves artists like Sublime (above), Slightly Stoopid and SOJA.
Tbt*'s Amber McDonald happily obliged, detailing her fandom from high school to today, and talking about the themes and musical hallmarks that made her fall in love with American progressive reggae (please, whatever you do, don't call it "reggae rock"):
Like so many fans, I tried to keep Sublime's sound alive after singer Bradley Nowell's death as I went through high school and college, then forayed into the real world. All along, I was going to obscure appearances by Sublime bassist Eric Wilson, getting the 40oz. to Freedom sun tattooed on my shoulder blade and visiting Nowell's grave in Long Beach, Calif., high-fiving fellow fans all along the way.
Apparently, while I was having these experiences, so were others on the east and west coasts, including many with actual musical talent. For more than a decade, bands were forming under the voodoo of Sublime — Pepper, Ballyhoo!, the Dirty Heads, the Expendables and Rebelution, to name a few. By late 2010, the swelling sea of American progressive reggae bands had revived what died with Nowell, creating a culture draped in green, yellow and red revelry.
For Amber's full column, click here.