Posted in music | pictures on November 12, 2010

photos by Lori Baily

Omar Souleyman

[Omar Souleyman] appeared... with only his principal accompanist, the keyboardist and composer RiOmar Souleymanan Sa'id... Mr. Souleyman paced and emoted, singing rhythmically in Arabic about love and revenge, punctuating the songs with drawn-out "ehyeahhhhh" sounds and then letting Mr. Sa'id's tight improvisations take over. Mr. Souleyman never took off his jacket or sunglasses or spoke any English -- in songs or between them. He barely bent his knees. He was only going to party with us halfway.

[Souleyman's] beats are universal, East thoroughly merged with West, among other things a cross between choubi, from Iraq, and Antillean rhythms. But beyond solemnly blowing some kisses to the audience, he's not an ingratiating performer, and the remoteness of his body language combined with the passion in his singing registered as a form of spectacular, non-negotiable cool. He seems authentic, which partly explains his growing popularity in the West. But he also seems emotionally unreachable, which may be the rest of the explanation.
[New York Times]

Omar Souleyman played Music Hall of Williamsburg on 11/2 with support from Deakin (of Animal Collective). Deakin then toured his way to Fun Fun Fun Fest where he played a set at the festival, and at one of the afterparties at the Mohawk. Deakin's tour ended at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC last night, but he still has that show coming up at the New Museum with Prince Rama (tickets).

Omar Souleyman, who is much more upbeat than his opener was, also played Purchase's Fall Fest on his tour which is also now complete. More pictures from Music Hall, below...

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Deakin

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Omar Souleyman

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Comments (14)

hummus? too soon?

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 10:02 AM

Sweet merch table scene. It must have smelled of cat farts.

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 10:17 AM

Just amazing

Posted by Gala | November 12, 2010 10:22 AM

He looks like a character from a "Tintin" book.

Posted by Jimmy | November 12, 2010 10:53 AM

How many people at this show actually own a physical copy of anything music by this guy...0. How many people went to be cool because someone from Animal Collective was opening...all of them.

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 11:23 AM

^ I own 285 of his 288 albums...I know I am not a true fan!

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 11:32 AM

Hummus on draft at this show

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 11:39 AM

as true as that might be, i don't see why that's a bad thing. lots of people go to see an opener and are enamored by another act, and vice versa. who cares why you bought the ticket?

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 11:40 AM

Omar puts the Soulman in Souleyman!

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 11:44 AM

sasha baron cohen is putting one over on y'all. tinariwen are the real deal

Posted by any mouse | November 12, 2010 12:31 PM

I showed up in a loincloth with a parrot and a rainstick....my world music geography was WAY off on this one!

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 12:33 PM

@12:31, I love Tinariwen but they are not even close to the same sort of thing Omar does.

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 2:50 PM

sasha baron cohen is putting one over on y'all. tinariwen are the real deal

Posted by any mouse | November 12, 2010 12:31 PM


Sasha is a talentless myopic idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2010 5:15 PM

candice sells out and moves to brooklyn. b song evar.

Posted by Andy Kabel | November 13, 2010 3:29 AM

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