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"Return of the Rub-A-Dub Style" @ Silent Movie Theatre 7-31-08

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This past Thursday night “Return of the Rub-A-Dub Style” made its world premiere at the Silent Movie Theatre. Directed by Steve Hanft, the documentary tells the story of how L.A.’s weekly Dub Club was formed and maps its continuation of the reggae dub soundsystem tradition in Los Angeles. Hanft’s documentary, like the Dub Club selectors, digs deep into the history of dub and its impact on other music movements such as hip hop. The film is packed to the brim with compelling interviews of some of reggae’s legendary artists such as Ranking Joe, Brigadier Jerry, Scientist, Sister Nancy, U-Roy, L.A. resident Jah Faith and more – many who have ignited the Echo Park club’s stage.

A challenging aspect is trying to cover the wide range and history of reggae music but Hanft’s narrative, which is focused and playful, fuses the creation of Dub Club and its link directly to Jamaican roots culture. Wanting play the kind of reggae music he loved, Tom Chasteen and his friends co-founded Dub Club in 2000 in Echo Park. Eight years later, the club continues to roar like the Lion of Judah, booming with thunderous bass and reverb-drenched snares snapping like lightning. If you’re a roots reggae fan in L.A., most likely you go to Dub Club at the Echo every Wednesday night. After the screening, there was a live performance in the Silent Movie Theatre by the Echodelic Soundsystem. Among the performers was Jah Faith on the mic. Overall, “Return of a Rub-A-Dub Style” is a highly compelling and evocative look at not only the history of the L.A. Dub Club, but an informative glimpse of original Jamaican culture.

The screening of the documentary is part of the “Don’t Knock the Rock ‘08” film festival, which is organized by Cinefamily and director/writer Allison Anders. Be sure to check out their calendar for all the upcoming events.

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Special thanks to Steve Hanft, Dub Club, Cinefamily, Allison Anders. Photo of Sister Nancy courtesy of Dub Club.