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Monday, February 28, 2011

Reggie Watts

I was ranting recently about the things that make me anxious; now I am going to talk about joy. Reggie Watts makes me feel joyful.

Just look at this guy! He has the wild hair going on, the multi-culti vibe, a hint of a smirk. When I look at him, I can't help but smile. He makes me glad to be part of the human race.

But his fun appearance is not the story. This fella is a towering talent. I first picked up on his mad musical skills when I ran into a Seattle band called "Maktub." (Digression: "Maktub" means "It is written" in Arabic). I heard Maktub's second album, "Kronos," in 2003 I think. I instantly became a fan, largely due to Reggie's awesome voice and improvisational abilities. He started doing stuff that didn't involve his Maktub bandmates, specifically solo excursions using a stereo digital multitack "loop" recorder. He decided to be his own band, using his voice to lay down percussion and "instrumental" tracks, then singing on top of those tracks. Check out one of his improvisations by clicking HERE. He also got into comedy and ultimately caught the attention of Conan O'Brien. Check out this piece that Reggie did for the Conan folks a while back.

So Reggie may be Bobby McFerrin's successor in the world of crazy vocalization. He may just be a very talented silly guy. I sure am glad to know about him.

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