Recent Posts in world music

January 21, 2014

photos by Milos Markicevic

Weekend at Schubas on 01.17.2014

Shoegaze-y post-punk trio Weekend toured through Chicago last week to headline a Tomorrow Never Knows 2014 performance at Schubas on Friday night (1/17). Support on that show came from Bare Mutants, their heavy tourmates Nothing, and local dreampop outfit StarTropics, and we've got pictures and some video footage in this post.

After they polish off their current winter tour, Weekend will hit the road once again in March. Their spring stint includes another Chicago show at the Empty Bottle on April 5 and advance tickets are on sale now.

All Weekend dates and more pictures // some video footage from Schubas lie after the jump...

Continue reading "Weekend played Schubas during TNK2014 (pics, video), playing the Empty Bottle in April"

July 18, 2013

Third Man Rolling Record Store in Wicker Park, August '12 (more by Milos Markicevic)

Much like they did during Lollapalooza 2012, the Third Man Rolling Record Store will be parked outside of Reckless Records in Wicker Park this weekend. They'll be there from 10AM - 5PM this Friday (7/19) and Saturday (7/20), so you'll still have time to stop by the mobile store even if you're planning on heading to all three-days of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival. Don't count on Jack White for a surprise in-store this time around though...

May 7, 2013


The 2013 Pygmalion Music Festival is slated to take place from September 26-28 at various venues throughout Champaign-Urbana, IL. Their initial lineup features The Breeders, Youth Lagoon, Major Lazer, Chance the Rapper, Foxygen, Daughter, Perfume Genius, Metz, On An On, Nat Baldwin, and many more, with a second artist announcement due in June. Three-day festival passes go on sale TODAY (Tuesday, May 7) at noon CST.

PMF 2013's initial lineup can be found below...

Continue reading "The Breeders, Perfume Genius, Chance the Rapper, Metz & more to play Pygmalion Music Festival 2013 (tix on sale today)"

January 7, 2013


FELA!, the musical, is going on an extensive US tour this year with multiple performances in each city it visits. That tour will begin later this month in Washington, D.C., and will take residency at Chicago's Arie Crown Theater from February 19-23 for six-performances. Tickets for all Arie Crown Theater performances are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

As you may recall, FELA! visited Chicago for a run at the Oriental Theatre last spring, and also for a performance at Lincoln Hall. Did you attend either?

All FELA! tour dates and some videos are below...

Continue reading "'FELA!' is going on tour, coming to the Arie Crown Theater"

October 17, 2012

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ Moody Theater in 2011 (AUS) (more by Tim Griffin)

As seen on BrooklynVegan, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force are going on a US tour in 2013. That tour kicks off in the beginning of January and will visit Chicago on the 21st of the month for a performance at Metro. Tickets go on sale this Friday (10/19) at noon CST.

All known Femi Kuti tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Femi Kuti & The Positive Force going on tour, playing Metro"

October 1, 2012

by Parker Langvardt

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang at the Chicago Cultural Center on 9.27.2012
Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang closed out the official events of the Chicago World Music Festival 2012 with their performance at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center on Thursday night (9/27). The festival featured dozens of international acts at venues all over the city, playing traditional, jazz, and contemporary music from around the world.

Ahmed Janka Nabay took traditional Sierra Leonean bubu music and revolutionized it in the recording studio with electric and electronic instruments before fleeing to the US as a result of becoming a target in his country's civil war. His band, the Bubu Gang, consists of East Coast indie rock, world, and dance musicians.

Their performance took place on an unflattering temporary stage in the beautifully formal Preston Bradley Hall. The audience was seated as they began to play their energized dance music, and security guards attempted to keep it that way, even as Nabay urged the crowd to get up. After security asked a few people to stop, a flood of dancers came down the aisles and by then it was too much to hold back. The atmosphere instantly turned from stiff to joyous. Nabay kept himself moving for most of the show, his grass skirt bouncing as he jumped around. The band was extremely tight, but the electronic drum sounds didn't transfer particularly well in the cavernous venue. This didn't stop everyone from having a great time, and there was a crowd of dancers in front of the stage until the very end.

The group also played a "secret show" at the Logan Square bar The Owl the following night. More pictures and some video footage from their Thursday night performance at the Chicago Cultural Center can be found below...

Continue reading "Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang played the Chicago Cultural Center (pics, video)"

August 29, 2012

Tinariwen @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)

Malian group Tinariwen are set to head stateside for a brief tour in October. That tour kicks off in Portland, ME on October 12 and will arrive in Chicago on October 28 for two shows at the Old Town School of Folk Music. There will be an early show (6PM) and a late show (9PM), and advance tickets for both are on sale. Tinariwen dropped their most recent album, Tassili, in 2011 via -Anti, which won a Grammy Award in the Best World Music Album category this year. The LP features collaborations with Wilco's Nels Cline, TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. If you haven't yet, it's definitely worth checking out.

All Tinariwen tour dates and some videos are below...

Continue reading "Tinariwen going on tour, playing two shows at Old Town School of Folk Music"

July 3, 2012

DOWNLOAD: Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang - "Feba" (MP3)


Sierra Leonean singer Janka Nabay and his Bubu Gang are set to release their new LP, En Yay Sah, on August 7 via Luaka Bop. Download the album opener and lead single "Feba" at the top of this post and/or stream it below. Take a listen to the entire album via their website.

The group will head out on tour in the US next week, visiting Chicago on July 29 to play the Celebrate Clark Street Festival and a FREE show at the Empty Bottle on July 30.

The Celebrate Clark Street Festival happens on July 28 & 29 on N. Clark St. between Morse Ave. and Touhy Ave. from 1-11PM each day. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post, which includes SMOD, Magic Carpet, Los Empresarios, and more.

All Janka Nabay tour dates are listed below, along with a stream of his new single and the full Celebrate Clark Street Festival schedule.

Continue reading "Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang playing Celebrate Clark Street & the Empty Bottle"

May 25, 2012

DOWNLOAD: Amadou & Mariam - "Dougou Badia" (feat. Santigold) (MP3)


Malian duo Amadou & Mariam released their new album, Folila, last month via Nonesuch in the US. Their rhythmic blues-rock features hints of traditional West African music, employing deep djembe drums and iron bells. Vocal guests on the album include Santigold, TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, Bertrand Cantat, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, Ebony Bones, Abdallah Oumbadougou, and Theophilus London. Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner plays guitar on a few tracks and production was handled by Manu Chao, Damon Albarn, and Marc-Antoine Moreau. Download the album's opening track "Dougou Badia," featuring Santigold, at the top of this post. They've also have a music video for the song "Wily Kataso," featuring Tunde and Kyp, which you can watch below.

Amadou & Mariam will head to North America this summer for a select string of festival appearances and some club shows. Among those are Osheaga, Central Park Summerstage, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands. They'll hit Chicago for Sunday (8/5) of the three-day festival. Single-day passes for Sunday only are still available.

All Amadou & Mariam tour dates are listed below, alongside their video for "Wily Kataso."

Continue reading "Amadou & Mariam released a guest-filled LP, playing Lollapalooza"

January 12, 2012


FELA!, the musical based on the life of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti is coming to Chicago's Oriental Theatre for a two-and-a-half week run starting on March 27th. Seat prices range from $96 - $230 per person; tickets are on sale now.

The night before their final Chicago performance (on April 8th), the Fela Band, which features members of the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and the musical cast, will perform at Lincoln Hall! Tickets go on sale tomorrow (1/13), at noon CST.

All FELA! dates and a video of Black Star joining the cast in San Francisco, below..

Continue reading "FELA! The Musical is coming to the Oriental Theatre; Fela Band performing @ Lincoln Hall"