Recent Posts in world music - Page 3

October 22, 2013

William Onyeabor

If Fela Kuti was a child of James Brown, fellow Nigerian William Onyeabor is something like the next-generation musical offspring of Parliament-Funkadelic. His songs are extended call-and-response disco-funk jams driven by the space-age sound of synthesizers and drum machines -- very new tools when Onyeabor was recording in the late '70s and '80s, especially in Africa. After years of existing mainly as secret grail passed between electronic music DJs and other crate diggers, Onyeabor's handful of studio LPs have been licensed and boiled down to a killer compilation by Luaka Bop, the tastemaking world music label started by David Byrne.

So who IS William Onyeabor? Part of the album's conceit is that even the compilers don't fully know. The liner notes, by veteran British journalist Vivien Goldman, note that Onyeabor is a crowned chief in his hometown village of Enugu, Eastern Nigeria, where he lives in "a hidden palace in the woods" and is a booster of the local Christian music scene. But he essentially left his own music career in the '80s, in the wake of the recordings collected here, presumably when he became a born-again Christian.

The above text is quoted from NPR, where you can head now for a full album stream of Who Is William Onyeabor?, the compilation of Nigerian cult-funk singer William Onyeabor's music which comes out on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label next week (10/29). The Guardian also just did a feature video on him, and mentioned that Four Tet, Caribou, and Damon Albarn are all fans.

Luaka Bop will be teaming up with OkayAfrica to celebrate with the release with some parties worldwide, including one in Brooklyn happening on Saturday (10/26) at Buka Nigerian Restaurant (945 Fulton St), plus an afterparty down the block at Doris (1088 Fulton St). There will be DJ sets from Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), and Tim Koh (Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti). RSVP for all parties is open now. The full list of parties and the flyer are below.

The NYC party is one day after Steve Shelley and his former Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo's band Lee Ranaldo & the Dust open for Kurt Vile at Terminal 5 (10/25) (tickets).

All William Onyeabor party dates are listed, along with trailer videos for the album and parties, plus the flyer, below...

Continue reading "cult-funk singer William Onyeabor releasing LP on Luaka Bop; release parties happening (NYC's is w/ Steve Shelly & more)"

October 17, 2013

by Andrew Sacher

Omar Souleyman @ Le Poisson Rouge - 10/16/13 (via @linyeezy)
Omar Souleyman

Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman is in NYC for CMJ for this week, and he just played the NPR showcase at Le Poisson Rouge last night (10/16), which also featured sets from rapper Pusha T, indie pop band Cults, and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest). Did you go to the show? How was it? For those who weren't in attendance, NPR streamed the whole thing live, and they'll be hosting an archive of the full show soon, so stay tuned for that.

Omar Souleyman's only other CMJ show is the BrooklynVegan day party on Friday (10/18) (happening a venue to be announced VERY soon) with The Head and the Heart (acoustic), Speedy Ortiz, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Hookworms, Eagulls, and Kirin J Callinan. The party runs from noon to 6 PM and Omar's on at 4:15. It's totally FREE (no badge, no RSVP), and we hope to see you there! More info here. Right after CMJ, Omar begins a European tour (Pitchfork Paris included), and all dates on that tour are listed below.

The tour and his CMJ appearances are in support of his new album, Wenu Wenu, which comes out next week (10/22) via Domino affiliate Ribbon Music. The record was produced entirely by electronic wizard Four Tet (who also just dropped his own album), who gives it a sharper edge than some of Omar's earlier work but without changing his sound or Westernizing it. You can stream the full album at NPR.

All dates are listed, along with a stream of the album's title track and a live video, below...

Continue reading "Omar Souleyman playing BV day party before European tour, played NPR CMJ show (dates & LP stream)"

September 10, 2013

Sidi Toure

As mentioned, legendary Malian blues artist Sidi Toure is going on a tour this fall, which already includes one NYC date happening on October 5 at BAM Cafe, but now he's added a sooner NYC show to his schedule. This one is happening at Highline Ballroom on September 27. Tickets to that show are on sale now. Updated dates, most of which are with Cedric Watson, are listed below.

Toure is touring in anticipation of his new record, Alafia, due out on Thrill Jockey next week (9/17). You can stream his latest single, "Ay Hora," along with the updated list of tour dates and a video, below...

Continue reading "Sidi Toure expands tour, adds Highline Ballroom date"

August 30, 2013

by Andrew Sacher

Sidi Toure

SIdi Toure is the legendary blues singer/guitarist from Mali who has been making music in his home country for decades and finally began gaining worldwide recognition in recent years. His newest album, Alafia, will be released by Thrill Jockey Records on September 17, and its first single "Ay Hora" is out now. Whether or not "Malian blues" is a phrase that often enters your vocabulary, this is good stuff and you should check it out below.

Sidi will be touring North America around the time of the new album's release, and that tour brings him to NYC for a show on October 5 at BAM Cafe. No ticket info for that show are the moment.

All dates are listed, along with the song stream and LP tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Sidi Toure releasing a new album, touring (dates & stream)"

July 26, 2013

photos by David Andrako

'Red Hot & Fela' @ Damrosch Park, 7/24/2013
Lincoln Center - 7/24/2013

Kronos Quartet isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when the Nigerian bandleader Fela Anikulapo Kuti is mentioned. Afrobeat, funk, protest, defiance and dancing are a lot closer to the top of the list. Afrobeat, the style Fela (who died in 1997) forged from James Brown's funk, 1960s jazz, African drumming and finger-pointing lyrics about exploitation and corruption, was music for dancing all night in steamy clubs; it was far from the realm of the string quartet. So "Red Hot + Fela," at Damrosch Park on Wednesday night, made an unlikely starting point for Kronos at 40, five days of free concerts at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival celebrating the determined eclecticism of the Kronos Quartet over four decades. - [NY Times]
The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival kicked off Wednesday night (7/24) with the first installment of Kronos at 40, a tribute to Fela Kuti featuring Superhuman Happiness, Mickey Hart, Sinkane, Alex Toth, Fela's drummer and afrobeat legend Tony Allen and more. Pictures from Red Hot + Fela Live are in this post.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Kronos at 40 continues tonight (7/26) with "Romance of the Iron Bow" at Hearst Plaza (6 PM); Magda Giannikou performs at Josie Robertson Plaza (7 PM); and Kronos Quartet with special guests Magda Giannikou and Vân-Ánh Võ, as well as The Gloaming (which features Thomas Bartlet aka Doveman) are at Damrosch Park Bandshell (7:30 PM).

Lincoln Center Out of Doors runs through August 11. More pictures from Red Hot + Fela Live and its complete setlist, below.

Continue reading "Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2013 kicked off with 'Red Hot + Fela Live!' (pics, setlist)"

July 18, 2013

Omar Souleyman at Central Park in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Omar Souleyman

Syrian pop musician Omar Souleyman has been gaining recognition here in America thanks to some compilations/live albums on Sublime Frequencies, the live shows he's been doing here over the last few years, and his association with Bjork. Now he's set to release his first official studio album, Wenu Wenu, on October 22 via Domino affiliate Ribbon Music. The record is being produced entirely by electronic mastermind Four Tet, who is openly a fan. Check out a song from the album in a recent Four Tet mix (around the 1:57:00 mark), the album trailer, and tracklist, below.

Omar Souleyman also has a number of upcoming dates, including a few US shows in August surrounding his appearance at LA's FYF Fest. One of those shows happens in NYC on August 31 at Issue Project Room for the venue's 10th Anniversary party which includes many other great experimental artists. Tickets for that are currently on sale to Issue Members.

All dates are listed, along with the video, stream, and album tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Omar Souleyman releasing LP w/ Four Tet, touring, playing Issue Project Room 10th anniversary (dates & stream)"

July 9, 2013

LAMC 2013

The annual Latin Alternative Music Conference is returning to NYC for its 2013 installment this week. It begins today (7/9), and runs through Saturday (7/13). It begins with two free, all ages hip hop shows: the first happens in Crotona Park today (7/9) with Joell Ortiz and RSVB; and then there's another in Central Park on Wednesday (7/10) a Summerstage show with Fat Joe, Cuarto Poder, and Los Rakas.

For the non-free shows, online registration is now closed, but there will be a $299 walk-up registration at The New Yorker Hotel from Wednesday to Friday. Check out the rest of the week's lineup, which includes shows at various venues like Mercury Lounge, SOBs, Propsect Park, and others, below...

Continue reading "LAMC 2013 is this week (July 9 - 13 @ various NYC venues)"

May 20, 2013

Pharmakon at Drone Activity in Progress (more by PSquared Photography)
Pharmakon

Pharmakon's tour schedule has increased a bit recently, including adding a string of dates with Swans (!), though not at the NYC appearance. However, Pharmakon is scheduled to play this weekend (5/25) at The Rink with Var and in middle June as part of a late night show during Northside Festival on 6/15 with Lust for Youth.

Pharmakon has released the new track "Ache" from the Abandon LP on Sacred Bones. Stream that along with a list of all tour dates, below.

Continue reading "Pharmakon playing shows with Swans and other dates"

February 26, 2013

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Paul of Cynic with Death to All, June 2012(more by Justina Villaneuva)
Death

Death to All returns for a second helping, gathering the crew of their 1991 Human LP (Paul Masvidal, Steve DiGiorgio, Sean Reinert but clearly sans mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, who passed away many years ago) for a set of carefully selected dates in North America. The tour will cover the first four LPs from the death metal giants, with a particular focus on the Human material. All shows will benefit the Sweet Relief charity and the dates include a stop at Irving Plaza on April 24. Tickets go on CITI presale at 10AM on Wednesday (2/27) with regular sale hitting on Friday (3/1) at 10 AM.

All tour dates and a stream of Human are below.

Continue reading "Death to All returns w/ 'Human' lineup for North American tour"

January 15, 2013

photos by Robert Altman

Oliver Mtukudzi / Fatoumata Diawara
Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits
Fatoumata Diawara

Over the last decade Globalfest has presented 21st-century world music as an accelerating fusion, a recombinant free-for-all of local traditions meeting ideas and technologies from afar. It's a realistic view of how musicians work; very few are purists. And some hybrids have grown durable enough to feel like traditions of their own.

That's how it was with this year's superb African contingent at Globalfest: Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, who has been making albums since the 1970s, and Fatoumata Diawara, born in Ivory Coast to Malian parents and now living in France.

Mr. Mtukuzdi and his band, the Black Spirits, have perfected a family of light-fingered grooves. They translate traditional thumb-piano patterns into guitar picking that becomes the mainspring of three-chord rock songs, with Mr. Mtukudzi's hearty voice singing benign messages and prayers for better times. Ms. Diawara, who is both a singer and dancer, draws on her parents' regional heritage -- Wassoulou music -- for tightly wound, triple-time modal grooves that she pushes toward funk and rock. Songs like "Kele" ("War") took on a special urgency from the current civil war in Mali. [NY Times]

globalFEST 2013 went down at all three stages of Webster Hall on Sunday (1/13). We checked out the main stage portion and caught sets by Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, Fatoumata Diawara, Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan, The Stooges Brass Band, and Mucca Pazza. More pictures of those artists and some videos from the fest are below.

Continue reading "globalFEST 2013 in pics & videos (Oliver Mtukudzi, Fatoumata Diawara, Mucca Pazza, Kayhan Kalhor & more)"