Stream ‘The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee “Scratch” Perry’ here

Lee "Scratch" Perry, a pioneer of reggae and dub, gets profiled in "The Upsetter." Credit: Provided
Lee “Scratch” Perry, a pioneer of reggae and dub, gets profiled in “The Upsetter.”
Credit: Provided

Black History Month is not only a celebration of African American achievements and events, but those of the entire African diaspora. Of course, one could use any excuse to celebrate great people, especially if one of those people is Lee “Scratch” Perry, one of the pioneers of reggae and dub. Even given the frequent Beastie Boys shout-outs, he’s not as much a name as Bob Marley, whose sound he helped forge. Indeed, it was only six years ago that he got his own hagiographic, fawning Great Man Documentary, “The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry,” which you can stream right here:

Perry first got turned onto sound as an art form and obsession while listening to rocks being thrown at construction sites while growing up in rural Jamaica. He became one of the most prolific of the nation’s music makers, working not only with Marley but with outsiders like The Clash and Linda McCartney. But his collaborators are the ones who ended up starstruck; to those in the know, the real standout is Perry.

All this acclaim, of course, has given Perry a big head — a big, beautifully dyed head, even in his old age. “The Upsetter” hangs with him in his 70s, as he’s ear-deep in a semi-comeback following the requisite music titan flame-out. Filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough obviously can’t believe they’re hanging out with this icon, and as with anyone of his stature that’s a dangerous thing. Much of the running time finds Perry drunk on his own legend, rattling off tall tale claims and propping himself up to absurd heights. But he’s earned the right to be as crazy as he likes. As he talks endless crap and occasionally makes chill beats, you too won’t mind being had.

Stream other movies on our website right here.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge


Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…