Recent Posts in world music

February 2, 2016

by Bill Pearis

photo: Songhoy Blues @ Koko London, 2015 (more by Rachael Juarez-Carr)
Songhoy Blues

Malian band Songhoy Blues will be heading back to North America this spring for a week of shows in the Midwest and Northeast. The band are exceedingly charismatic performers and if they play near you, definitely try and see them. Dates include NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on April 14. Tickets for the LPR show go on sale Friday (2/5) at noon.

All dates are listed, along with a "Le Ring - Live" video, below.

Continue reading "Malian band Songhoy Blues touring U.S. in April (dates)"

January 4, 2016

globalFEST 2016

The annual NYC world music festival globalFEST returns to Webster Hall on Sunday, January 17 across all three of the venue's stages. 2016 performers -- a few of whom are making their US or NY debuts -- include (descriptions via press release):

Astrid Hadad
Extravagant Mexican cabaret with soulful songs and outrageous visuals

Russian mafia ballads get a New Orleans punk makeover

Masterful dancer Melaku Belay leads Ethiopia's traditional music revival

Vintage Paris chic meets New York cool in swinging electro-beats

Lakou Mizik (NY Debut)
Powerhouse collective invigorating Haitian roots and grooves

Mariana Sadovska
The defiant cry of Ukraine, reinventing traditional songs

Simon Shaheen's Zafir
A reuniting of Arab Andalucian music and fiery flamenco

Stelios Petrakis Quartet
Inimitable virtuosos from Crete weaving melodies across the Greek islands

The Dhol Foundation
UK's leading South Asian bhangra crew

Tribu Baharú (US Debut)
Afro-champeta party from Colombia's Caribbean coast

Lush Afrobeat inspired jazz, soul, and pop

Music Maker Blues Revue
Blues That Made America Famous

Tickets for globalFEST 2016 are on sale and the schedule/set-times are listed, plus a video preview and a Spotify playlist featuring songs by this year's acts, below.

Continue reading "globalFEST 2016 is this month -- listen to a playlist of this year's performers"

December 11, 2015

Six Million Dollar Man Christmas

Tickets for Ween's three reunion shows at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for Bruce Springsteen's "The River" tour shows at Madison Square Garden and NJ's Prudential Center go on sale today at 10 AM.

If you missed out on the presales, you can get tickets for the two BV-presented Animal Collective and Ratking shows at Irving Plaza today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the intimate Laura Jane Grace show at Connecticut's The Space go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Mykki Blanco and Cakes Da Killa show at Mercury Lounge go on sale today at noon.

Lianne La Havas, who recently played Terminal 5, plays a much smaller show at Rough Trade Rough Trade on February 5. Tickets go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Mac DeMarco show at Webster Hall go on sale today at 11 AM.

Tickets for the Future and Ty Dolla $ign show at Hammerstein Ballroom go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Rihanna and Travi$ Scott show at Barclays Center go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Superhuman Happiness, Beastronaut, and Mandalia show at Rough Trade go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Ben Folds & yMusic show at Beacon Theatre go on sale today at 11 AM.

Tickets for the A$AP Ferg, G-Eazy, Marc E. Bassy and Nef The Pharaoh show at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Cryptopsy & Abysmal Dawn show at Irving Plaza go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets to the Ra Ra Riot show at Webster Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to the Martin Courtney show at Baby's All Right go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Best Coast, Wavves and Cherry Glazerr show at Terminal 5 go on sale at noon.

Tickets for the Mount Moriah show at Rough Trade go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Duran Duran show at Barclays Center go on Live Nation presale today at 10 AM. General on-sale starts on Saturday at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Baths show at Baby's All Right go on sale today 10 AM.

Tickets for the Emmy the Great show at Baby's All Right go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodom, & Havok shows at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for The Mountain Goats shows at City Winery are on sale now.

Air Waves, Grooms, Drawing Boards (featuring members of Dirty on Purpose & Sisters), and Annie Hart (of Au Revoir Simone) are playing Mercury Lounge on January 8. Tickets go on sale today at noon.

Restorations were added to the Frank Turner show happening at NJ's Starland Ballroom on Monday (12/14). Tickets are still available.

Tickets for the Carly Rae Jepsen show at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.

Browse our NYC Concert Calendar for shows happening today and every day - comedy shows, heavy metal concerts (courtesy of our heavy metal blog), and free shows included.

September 18, 2015

Orlando Julius

Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. Starting in the '60s, Julius was fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul, and R&B. Aside from performing and recording in his native Nigeria, he spent many years in the United States working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela. His 1966 effort, Super Afro Soul, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and even went so far as to influence music in the United States. The record's dramatic, highly melodic incorporation of soul, pop, and funk was very much ahead of its time, and some say that Super Afro Soul helped shape the funk movement that swept over the United States in subsequent years.

After Super Afro Soul, Julius released a long list of records exclusively in Nigeria and from them received a great amount of local fame. He went largely unnoticed by the international community until 2000, when Super Afro Soul was re-released on Strut and distributed throughout the world to wide critical acclaim. In 2011, his 1972 album Orlando Julius and the Afro Sounders was reissued by Voodoo Funk, and the artist increased his live activity at home and abroad. [All Music]

Afrobeat pioneer Orlando Julius is going on his first run of US dates in over a decade, beginning in Chicago tonight (9/18). After that, he makes his way to NYC for a show on September 25 at Le Poisson Rouge as Orlando Julius & The Afro Soundz, with support from Underground Soundsystem. Tickets for that one are on sale now.

Orlando's most recent album is 2014's Jaiyede Afro (Strut Records), recorded with backing band The Heliocentrics. Listen to the title track and his classic Super Afro Soul, with his list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Afrobeat pioneer Orlando Julius playing first US shows in over a decade (dates)"

August 17, 2015

Dengue Fever

Los Angeles band Dengue Fever, who make an updated take on '60s/'70s jazzy Cambodian pop, released The Deepest Lake earlier this year and you can check out the video for "No Sudden Moves," a KEXP session and a Rdio stream of the album below.

Dengue Fever will be going on tour this September, including a NYC stop at Le Poisson Rouge on 9/11 with Bombay Rickey and Nappy G. Tickets are on sale now.

Continue reading "Dengue Fever released 'The Deepest Lake,' touring in September (dates, videos, LP stream)"

July 14, 2015

Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise

Dub reggae icon Lee "Scratch" Perry is a one-of-a-kind dude whose influence cannot be overstated -- and where a term like "eccentric" is probably an understatement. A new documentary, Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise, aims to show at least a little of the method to his madness:

For the past 15 years Volker has followed Perry on a spiritual and geographical journey taking in Jamacia, Ethopia, Germany, Switzerland and London. Over this period Volker has earned Perry's trust, resulting in a never-before-granted level of access and insight into Perrys' fantastical, spiritual world. This classic-in-the-making tells a story of epic, magical propotions that's not a biography, more fairytale documentary, which is in turns funny, poetic and frequently mind blowing.
The film made its world premiere on July 4 at London's East End Film Festival. No word on North American screenings, but you can watch the trailer and watch a BBC news segment about it, below.

Lee Scratch Perry will be doing a little touring this fall, including a NYC date at Brooklyn Bowl on October 1 with Subatomic Sound System. Tickets for that show are on sale. He's also playing Bumbershoot in Seattle and Riot Fest Chicago. Tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Lee "Scratch" Perry subject of new documentary, touring this fall (dates, movie trailer)"

May 26, 2015

by Bill Pearis

marcos valle

If you watched the 2014 World Cup, chances are you saw a Southern Comfort commercial titled "Dance" which featured multiple versions of actor Onosky Ujorha boogieing to Marcus Valle's 1983 tropicalia/disco single "Estrellar." And maybe you, like I did, became a little obsessed with "Estrellar" and went on Discogs wanting to buy Valle's self-titled album the song is from (that's it above), only to learn it fetches for $100 on vinyl. Maybe that was just me. If you missed that commercial or that song, videos for both (and some other songs to check out) are below.

Valle, who's been a big name in the Brazilian music scene since the early '60s, is in NYC this week playing NYC's Birdland tonight through Saturday (May 27 - 30). The show, titled "Bossabrasil," is with Carlos Lyra and there are 8:30 PM and 11:30 PM shows each night. Tickets are on sale, though for tonight you'll need to call the box office to reserve.

Continue reading "Brazilian tropicalia artist Marcos Valle playing weeklong run at NYC's Birdland with Carlos Lyra"

March 26, 2015


Syrian singer Omar Souleyman will release his new album, Bahdeni Nami, on July 28 via Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records. That's the cover art above and Modeselektor produced some of it, like the nine-minute "Enssa El Aatab" which you can stream below. Four Tet and Giles Peterson offer up production as well on the album.

Souleyman is in the US currently, playing the Treefort Festival in Boise, ID tonight, Slingshot fest in Athens, GA on Friday (3/27) and the Big Ears fest in Knoxville, TN on Saturday (3/28). He'll be back in May for a few more shows, including one at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on May 22 with Tasseomancy. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/27) at 10 AM.

All dates are listed, along with the new song stream, below.

Continue reading "Omar Souleyman worked w/ Four Tet & Modeselektor on new LP, touring, playing NYC in May (dates + new song stream) "

March 20, 2015

Suboi making her SXSW debut last night (via @BVAustin)

Rap was not popular in Vietnam when Suboi was growing up, so anything she heard remotely like it made a big impression. Before Eminem, the energy of Will Smith's song, "Nod Ya Head," from Men in Black II, captivated her when she saw it on TV. Smith, and especially Eminem, became Suboi's English teachers. She would listen to Eminen, repeat the words, go to an Internet café, look up the lyrics, write them down, and translate them.

"That's why my English is so rude," said Suboi, who also bought a couple of Oxford grammar books to supplement her hip-hop-based language lessons, and started hanging out in areas of Saigon where tourists go, talking with them. "Oh, man, it was all bad words. It was a great way to learn English."...

Suboi, who raps in both English and Vietnamese, got her stage name from her nickname, "Su," combined with "Boi" for being a tomboy.

Now she's known as the Queen of Hip-Hop in Vietnam, the first young woman in the country to make it big in the genre, with over a million followers on Facebook, tens of thousands of YouTube views and appearances in marketing campaigns for Adidas and Samsung, among others. - [Daily Beast]

Vietnamese rapper Suboi is over in the US for her first-ever shows in the country, having played San Francisco last week and is in Austin this week for SXSW. Another first: according to a press release she is the first Vietnamese artist to ever play the festival. Check out two Suboi music videos (both directed by BV photographer Bao Nguyen) and listen to a few tracks and remixes below.

Last night (3/19) was her official SXSW showcase and she'll also be playing the BrooklynVegan free day party at Red 7 on Saturday (3/21) and she'll be backed by Fool's Gold signed DJ Sammy Bananas. RSVP to attend if you're in town.

After SXSW, Suboi will head to NYC where she'll play Baby's All Right on Thursday (3/26) with Sandunes and Hashback Hashish. Tickets are on sale.

Continue reading "Vietnamese rapper Suboi made her SXSW debut, playing BrooklynVegan day party ++ NYC show at Baby's All Right"

January 22, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Ex Hex

Ex Hex have just made a video for "Don't Wanna Lose," which is the opening track to last year's awesome Rips (one of my favorites of last year). Directed by Lara Jean Gallagher, the video is an homage to the 1982 cult film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains which tracks the rise and fall of teenage punk band The Stains (fronted by then-teenagers Diane Lane and Laura Dern). If you've never seen it, it's definitely midnight movie material made even more fun by the presence of The Clash's Paul Simonon and Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook as members of a UK punk band The Stains tour with (fronted by a young Ray Winstone). Ex Hex, who I'm going to guess have watched the movie many times, clearly had fun making this video and you can watch it -- and compare scenes against The Fabulous Stains trailer -- below.

Ex Hex will be in NYC when their tour hits Le Poisson Rouge on April 23 with Sheer Mag, Kuroma, and Roya opening. Tickets are still available. They'll then be back in NYC to play the 2015 Northside Festival at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 12. Tickets are still available for MHOW as well.

Updated dates and "Don't Wanna Lose" video, below...

Continue reading "Ex Hex pay tribute to 'Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains' in new video (watch it ++ updated dates)"