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Friday, March 7 • 9:00pm - 11:00pm
The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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The Upsetter tells the fascinating story of Lee Scratch Perry a visionary musician and artist from poor rural Jamaica who journeyed to the big city in the late 1950's with dreams of making it in the burgeoning record industry. He burst upon the scene with a brand new sound, inventing a genre of music that would come to be called Reggae, discovering a young Bob Marley and gaining international recognition as a record producer and solo artist. Soon he was being called upon by artists as diverse as The Clash and Paul McCartney to provide his unique sound. In the 1970's he constructed his own recording studio in his backyard; The Black Ark became a hotbed for the production of Reggae and Dub music and made Scratch quite wealth y and famous. But meanwhile Jamaica was at war and politicians pitted gangsters against each other causing havoc throughout the big city. In the chaos that ensued the gangsters and the police both extorted Scratch for unknown amounts of money, threatening his life on many occasions. Despite the disruption Scratch and a Rastafarian band called The Congos managed to complete the album that would be considered by historians his single greatest artistic statement. But surprisingly Scratch's label Island Records refused to release it, believing it to be too experimental for mainstream taste. And then to make matters worse Scratch's wife and the mother of his children left him for another musician. The Black Ark mysteriously burned to the ground. Scratch fled Jamaica for a small village in Switzerland. He spent the 1990' s in relative obscurity, putting his life back together piece by piece, remarrying and raising a new Swiss family, at the same time abandoning his old Jamaican one. Then in 2006, at 70 years of age, Scratch triumphantly embarked on a world tour as a solo artist, performing sold out shows in the US ,UK, Russia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, to name just a few. The Upsetter charts 70 years in the life of Lee Scratch Perry, in his own words, through an exclusive interview given to American filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough in Switzerland in 2006. It is equally a documentation of 30 y ears of Jamaican music and culture and a character study of one of the most creative and inspiring human beings alive today.

Friday March 7, 2008 9:00pm - 11:00pm CST
Alamo Ritz 1

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