You say you want a rebelution

You say you want a rebelution

Rebelution x 2 = identity apocalypse

By David Cotner 01/14/2010

One hot sunny afternoon in the middle of the collective cultural consciousness, two groups hypothetically chat:
Rebelution: “So what’s up?”

The Rebelution: “Just spreading the good word.”

R: “No kidding! We could really get behind that.”

R: “Glad to hear it. What’s up with you?”

R: “Just using pop culture to help get the message out.”

R: “No kidding! We could really get behind that.”

R: “You don’t say.”

R: “Sure!”

R: “Wait, what?”

R: “What what?”

R: “Did you say that, or did I?”

Had you walked past the marquee of the Ventura Theater any time in the last month, you might have become curious about the two dates commanded by a group called Rebelution. Rare is it that any band does well enough to book two nights at the Theater – so, you pay a visit to your old friend Google. Rebelution, the band, hails from Santa Barbara.

Its stock in trade is an energetic, up-tempo, kind of fun “California reggae.” Their songs are what might happen if the old Saturday morning “One to Grow On” public service announcements inspired Rage Against the Machine.

The Rebelution, the Christian inspirational movement, hails from Gresham, Ore. Its stock in trade is character: the positive side of humanity that makes young kids less vile in their adolescence and more helpful to their parents, schoolmarms, police officers and so on. The Rebelution takes its cue from the Bible: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Sort of like the backward-masked messages in a heavy metal record by Pat Boone.

Rebelution was formed in 2004; The Rebelution, in 2005. Both outfits tour incessantly. Both groups have a considerable following. The musical Rebelution is the one playing the Theater. This kind of confusion is something that’s dogged pop culture — especially in music — since the early years of the 20th century. Tradition or dilemma? It is not for nothing that one of the most riveting sequences in the 2008 film Cadillac Records involves blues harmonica legend Little Walter discovering a competing Little Walter while on tour and promptly shooting him dead.

The late Sammy Petrillo, star of 1952’s Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, looked and acted so much like Jerry Lewis that the comedian effectively — and almost understandably — derailed his Hollywood career for decades.

Slightly less obvious: hardcore band The Dictators’ lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba’s lawsuit against musician Dan Snaith, aka Manitoba, in 2004 for trademark infringement. Listening to their respective records — hardcore punk and electronic music — no one would ever mistake the two. Nevertheless! Inspired by an LSD trip in the wilderness, Manitoba ultimately changed his name to Caribou; one wonders if Elton John may at some point sue him for infringing on his 1974 Caribou LP. And in noise bands, Kevin Shields (aka Eva Aguila) has filled curious concertgoers with much puzzlement, considering that the My Bloody Valentine revival means that MBV guitarist Kevin Shields very well could show up at some of the venues where Aguila’s Kevin Shields performs. The same might necessarily not be said of actress Nicole Kidman . . . and broken-jangle scuzz-fi West Covina band Nicole Kidman. It’s tempting to believe that in this age of multitasking and Renaissance men, either Rebelution might make diet-reggae as well as write a best-selling book that champions work, poise and character by encouraging its fans to hold a bake sale to fight human trafficking. The confusion in Rebelutions brings with it a vague disappointment. We want to believe, but we just don’t know which way to turn.                    

Rebelution (no, the other one) will play the Ventura Theater on Friday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m., all ages, $20, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. 653-0721 or www.venturatheater.net, rebelution music.com, therebelution.com.

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Comments

I want a Rebelution!

posted by mattablanco on 1/15/10 @ 01:24 p.m.
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