Mighty Diamonds Early Warnings (Music) Free Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., Dec. 18, 9 p.m. 2011

In the 70s the Mighty Diamonds were as fierily Rastafarian and as devoted to the idea of spiritual transcendence through rockers reggae as any other Jamaican band. What set them apart was their knack for writing the kind of frighteningly accessible pop hooks—inherited from the previous decade's rocksteady scene—that their more esoterically minded contemporaries wouldn't have thought to develop. The juxtaposition of the music's outgoing melodic personality and the lyrics' hard-core political edge produces a satisfying postmodernist frisson—a high that only intensified when Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie," a slightly cleaned-up version of the Mighty Diamonds' "Pass the Kutchie," transformed a song about sharing a joint into a worldwide classic of manufactured teen pop. Few other groups have made burning down Babylon sound like so much fun. —Miles Raymer Indika opens; DJs Imperial Sound, Andju, and Special spin.

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