11 p.m. Fri., Dec. 26
Dragon's Den, 435 Esplanade Ave.
James Brown is dead. Long live James Brown. Ditto for Fela Kuti. This juxtaposition of soul brothers is the first in a series of new DJ parties curated by Soul Sister. Shows will combine visual art (photographer Zack Smith created original video projections for this occasion) and themed musical spotlights on complementing artists. The pairing of James and Fela connects Augusta to Africa. The Nigerian-born father of the hot, rhythmic style known as Afrobeat, Fela Kuti was deeply influenced by Brown's white-hot soul. Of course, from another perspective, the indigenous West African rhythms Kuti tweaked and interpreted to create his own sound had quite a hand (diluted, appropriated and evolved over centuries) in shaping the American R&B Brown inherited. It's like a Mobius strip of funk. Let's all cross our fingers that we'll hear the Godfather of Soul's "Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto." Soul Brother No. 1 rules the wheels of steel from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Kuti's discs spin from 1 a.m. until 3 a.m. Tickets $5. — Fensterstock