Sounds of Blackness: Fishbone releases documentary in honor of Black History Month

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Jeff Farsai
Fishbone, the self-described "disparate, all-black oddball crew," has released a documentary in honor of Black History Month. Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is a brutally honest portrayal of one of the wildest and most influential black alternative bands in our culture.

Fishbone began as a reggae/ska band but later transitioned to more soul and rock musical influences. The band's second album, Truth and Soul, released in 1988, included a hard-hitting rock version of Curtis Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead," opening the door for more of their leftist leaning commentary.

Using the themes of oppression involving nuclear war, racism and other ills of society, Fishbone became known as fiercely unique individuals who defied most stereotypes about young black men from America's urban communities. Using the cultural differences to drive their musical presence, Fishbone went on to become legendary in the punk band scene.

QuestLove thrust Fishbone into the political arena recently when the drumming/producing phenom played "Lyin' Ass Bitch," for then presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann's walk on song on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is narrated by Laurence Fishburne and includes interviews with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice-T, Branford Marsalis, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, Questlove and more. The documentary details the lives of lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher and show how they maintained the band out of love for the art even throughout the band's challenges and other woes. There's deleted scenes, performance footage and more focusing on one of the baddest black rock bands in the land.

Fishbone, not only changed the soundscape of black music, the band opened the doors for more innovative ways of musical expression through reggae, rock, ska, punk and soul. We salute Fishbone for their music, chaotic elegance, and their sounds of blackness.

February has traditionally been the month when the contributions, traditions, and historical facts about African Americans are celebrated the most. All month here at Backbeat in honor of Black History Month, we'll be celebrating an iconic music figure in the world of black music.


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