August Darnell has swagger for days. But perhaps more important than his innate savvy for how to get a crowd going is his position as major frontrunner in a pan-sexual, pan-racial approach to music. Long before other DJs and producers turned heads by mixing up far-flung styles, Darnell was throwing together musical influences in a soul-without-borders kinda way. A Bronx native, he quit a job teaching English to produce next-level tracks for Don Armando's Second Avenue Rhumba Band and Gichy Dan's Beachwood No. 9, before creating a bright and vivid alter-ego, Kid Creole, and signing to seminal label Ze Records. Somewhere in between, he did time in the fabulous Dr. Buzzard's Savannah Band, wrote the classic disco song "There But For the Grace of God Go I," and got the hell out of the United States before getting the hell out of the United States was cool again. In celebration of a long-overdue new Kid Creole record, here are some of August Darnell's finest onstage moments.
1. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - I'm a Wonderful Thing, Baby (live)
2. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Darrio (Can You Get Me Into Studio 54?) promo taping
3. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - "My Male Curiosity" (from "Against all Odds")
4. Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band on the Paul Anka Show, 1977
5. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Annie I'm Not Your Daddy (live)
6. Kid Creole and the Coconuts performing "Endicott" on The Tube
7. Kid Creole and the Coconuts performing "Stool Pigeon" on Top of the Pops, 1982
8. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - "Don't Take My Coconuts" in Paris, 1985
09. Kid Creole and the Coconuts - "Maladie D'Amour" promo taping
10. Kid Creole and the Coconuts doing "Pepito" on French TV, 1988
11. Kid Creole and the Coconuts doing "Que Pasa/Me No Pop I" live in Germany, 1982
12. Kid Creole and The Coconuts performance from "Downtown 81"
Whitney Weiss is a resident DJ at Dengue Dancing, a Swervewolf operative, and the editor of BlackBook's guide to Buenos Aires. If you want to hear what she's up to, you should visit her Soundcloud.