Entries tagged with: Tinariwen

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The 2014 lineup of Austin festival Fun Fun Fun Fest, happening NOV 7 . 8 & 9 at Auditorium Shores, is here. In the poster above and listed below....

Like FYF Fest, they've got a Blood Brothers reunion show.

This is also Austin's show on the growing Failure reunion tour.

Ditto for emo vets Mineral

So much more greatness listed below....

Continue reading "Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 lineup! (Judas Priest, Nas, Death Cab, Neutralk Milk Hotel, King Diamond, Failure & much more)"


England's Glastonbury Festival is pretty much the forefather to all crazy worldwide "20,000 people standing in a field" festivals we have today. The 2014 edition goes down June 27 - 29 in Pilton, UK and the lineup was just announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Jack White, Dolly Parton (!), Elbow, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Pixies, M.I.A., Dexys Midnight Runners, Kasabian, Lily Allen and loads more. The festival's already sold-out. A few more acts -- including one more headliner -- is still to be announced but lineup as it stands is below...

Continue reading "Glastonbury 2014 line-up announced: Arcade Fire, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Jack White, Dolly Parton, Elbow, Dexys & more"

Tinariwen at Austin Psych Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)

Malian band Tinariwen are about to drop their new album, Emmaar, next week (2/11) via ANTI- and they're about to kick off a North American tour too. That tour would have had them at Rough Trade NYC earlier this week (2/3), but that show was cancelled (the venue is still having sound issues). However, you'll still get a chance to see them in NYC this week, as they've since added a FREE show happening at Ace Hotel TODAY (2/6). It's part of the venue's 5at5 series, which means they'll be playing five songs at 5 PM. Admission is first come, first served.

As discussed, their tour also includes a not-free (but later and longer) NYC show happening on March 23 at Brooklyn Bowl with The Melodic. Tickets for that show are still available. Updated dates are still available.

Also, you can stream Tinariwen's new LP in full on NPR.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Tinariwen streaming new LP, playing free show at Ace Hotel tonight before tour (updated dates)"

old ad

Tickets for the Kanye West shows at Prudential Center, Mohegan Sun, Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, and Nassau Coliseum go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets to see The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara and others at the Amnesty International Human Rights Concert at Barclays Center go on Internet presale today at 10 AM.

Tickets to the BV-presented La Femme show at Glasslands go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets to the Allman Brothers shows at Beacon Theatre go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Ex Hex show at Mercury Lounge go on sale today at noon. Tickets for their Glasslands show go on sale today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Black Lips show at Webster Hall with Natural Child go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Wild Beasts show at Music Hall of Williamsburg go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to the second Marked Men show at Saint Vitus with Iron Chic, Radiator Hospital and Worriers go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Full of Hell and Mutilation Rites show at Acheron go on sale today at noon. Tickets to Full of Hell's Saint Vitus show with Despise You are still available.

Tinariwen already announced a tour that brings them to Brooklyn Bowl in March, and they've since added another NYC show happening sooner at Rough Trade on February 3. Tickets for that show go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Om show at Music Hall of Williamsburg go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for The Sword and Big Business show at Music Hall of Williamsburg go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Chromeo show at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Timber Timbre show at Mercury Lounge go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Solids show at Mercury Lounge go on sale today at noon. Tickets for their Glasslands show are on sale now.

Tickets for the Dead Meadow show at Bowery Ballroom go on sale today at noon. Tickets for their Glasslands show are on sale now.

Tickets to the Nada Surf show at The Bell House are on sale now.

Tickets for the Future Islands show at Webster Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Drive-By Truckers and Blitzen Trapper show at Terminal 5 go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the newly-added Josh RItter and Gregory Alan Isakov show at Music Hall of Williamsburg go on sale today at noon.

Tickets for the Bombay Bicycle Club show at Webster Hall with Royal Canoe go on sale today at noon.

Bear Hands and Miniature Tigers are playing Rough Trade on February 27. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

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.

Tinariwen at Austin Psych Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)

Malian band Tinariwen have announced that they'll release a new album, Emmaar, on February 11 via ANTI-, who also released their last album, 2011's Tassili. Like Tassili, which featured contributions from Nels Cline, members of TV on the Radio, and others, Emmaar will feature popular-music guests including Josh Klinghoffer (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Zwan), Saul Williams and others. It's being produced by Vance Powell, who often works with Jack White. You can watch a video for "Toumast Tincha" off the upcoming album, below.

Following the album's release, Tinariwen will head out on a US tour that brings them to SXSW for their first time and NYC for two shows at Brooklyn Bowl on 3/23 & 3/24. Tickets for those shows are not on sale yet, but you can check Ticketfly for updates.

UPDATE: Tinariwen also added another NYC show happening on February 3 at Rough Trade (tickets).

All dates are listed, along with the video, below...

Continue reading "Tinariwen releasing a new LP, touring (SXSW & 2 NYC shows)"

by Tim Griffin

BRMC / Acid Mothers Temple / Warpaint at Austin Psych Fest - 4/26/2013
Austin Psych Fest Day 1 - 4/26/2013
Austin Psych Fest Day 1 - 4/26/2013
Austin Psych Fest Day 1 - 4/26/2013

Last year Austin Psych Fest was held at Emo's East and Beauty Ballroom (RIP), the year before at the Seaholm Power Plant, and this year APF, which happened last weekend (4/26 - 4/28) has found what might be a permanent home at Carson Creek Ranch. The two seemed to fit well; open skies, trees, and a river (just minutes from downtown Austin) made for a great new location. Pictures of the ranch, and many of Day 1's bands (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Warpaint, Raveonettes, Tamaryn, Acid Mothers Temple, Tinariwen and more) and other goings-on are in this post.

BMRC play NYC on Saturday (5/4) at Terminal 5 with fellow Psych Fest vets Bass Drum of Death and tickets are still available.

Sailor Jerry invited me along for the ride and hired me to take some pictures for them as well. They had an AirStream back stage where much ink was dispensed (in the form of tattoos) as well as happiness (in the form of rum). Austin Tattoo artists Keith Underwood and Philip LaRocca manned the needles for those who stopped by for some permanent souvenirs. Pictures of some of that in the set, too.

Over at BV Austin, you can check out portraits taken at the fest by photographer Natasha Ryan. More pics from Day 1 of Austin Psych Fest below...

Continue reading "Austin Psych Fest: Day 1 in pics (BRMC, Acid Mothers Temple, Tinariwen, Tamaryn, Raveonettes, Warpaint ++ more)"

Robert Plant

While Led Zeppelin's appearances last year were limited to press conferences and late-night TV interviews, Robert Plant will be going on a tour this year with his new band, The Sensational Space Shifters. That tour kicks off this June in Texas, and after making its way over to the West Coast and back, it culminates in a Celebrate Brooklyn! show at Prospect Park on July 27. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (4/26) at noon with an AmEx and a BRIC presale starting Thursday (4/25) at noon.

In addition to Robert Plant, The Sensational Space Shifters' lineup includes Justin Adams (Tinariwen, SInead O'Connor), John Baggot (Massive Attack, Portishead), Billy Fuller (Beak>, Massive Attack), Liam "Skin" Tyson (of The La's offshoot Cast), Juldeh Camara, and Dave Smith.

All tour dates are listed, along with the tour trailer and a live video of the band from 2012, below...

Continue reading "Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters announce US tour, including 'Celebrate Brooklyn!' (dates & video)"


Tamaryn is DJing at New York's Museum of Modern Art on Sunday evening (4/7) as part of a PopRally event called "Abstract Currents." Against projections of one-minute videos submitted by the public, Tamryn will provide a "hypnotic soundtrack to the collectively built abstract videoscape." It's in conjunction with MoMA's Abstraction, 1910-1925 and Abstract Generation: Now in Print exhibition and tickets are still available.

Later this month, Tamaryn will be in Texas' state capital for Austin Psych Fest (Apr. 26 - 28), which features a pretty amazing line-up that runs the gammut of "psychedelic," including Deerhunter, Spectrum, Black Mountain, OS Mutantes, The Moving Sidewalks, Clinic, Besnard Lakes, Elephant Stone, Roky Erickson, Sweden's GOAT and a bunch more. The fest just announced the day-by-day line-ups which are listed below.

Continue reading "Tamaryn DJing MoMA; Austin Psych Fest finalizes lineup"

Primavera 2013

Primavera Sound have announced their 2013 lineup, set to go down on May 22-26 in Barcelona, Spain. The announcement came via an animated video and artists performing include Phoenix, The Postal Service, Blur, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, My Bloody Valentine, Tame Impala, Wu-Tang Clan, Dead Can Dance, Grizzly Bear, The Knife, and loads more. Current lineup is below along with the flyer and video...

Continue reading "Primavera Sound 2013 line-up announced"

Sasquatch! 2012 (more by Chris Graham and Rae Graham)
Sasquatch 2012

Quincy, WA music festival Sasquatch! has announced that it will return for its 12th installment to The Gorge over Memorial Day Weekend (5/24 - 5/27) in 2013. A limited number of discounted four-day festival passes will go on sale Friday (11/23) at 9 AM PST at the Sasquatch! website. The lineup will be announced in February.

In other US festival news, as recently mentioned on BV Austin, Austin Psych Fest will go down in Carson Creek Ranch from April 26 to 28 with Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Boris, Spectrum, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Clinic, Warpaint, DIIV, and many more. More info HERE.

Rain Machine at BAM in 2010 (more by Vincent Cornelli)
Rain Machine

Rain Machine (aka Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio) has announced a hometown show in NYC which will go down on July 23 at Mercury Lounge with Austin art rocker Sorne (aka Morgan Sorne). Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (6/15) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (6/13) at noon.

While Sorne is in the area, he'll also play Pianos on July 24 and Brooklyn Bowl on July 26. You can stream/download his debut LP at bandcamp. Name your price.

In related news, Tinariwen (whose album features contributions from Kyp Malone) will be in the NYC area this week. They'll play a Northside show at Warsaw on Friday (6/15) with Buke & Gase and Piers Faccini. Then they'll head slightly north to Croton, NY for Clearwater Festival with Dawes, Deer Tick, Punch Brothers, and more.

A list of all dates and a recent live video of Rain Machine below...

Continue reading "Rain Machine playing Mercury Lounge with Sorne; Tinariwen playing Northside Fest before Clearwater Fest (dates)"

Deer Tick at Brooklyn Bowl on NYE (more by Tracy Allison)
Deer Tick

Clearwater Festival is returning to Croton Point Park from June 16-17 in Croton, NY. This year's festival includes Dawes, Deer Tick, Alejandro Escovedo, Punch Brothers, Bela Fleck, Arlo Guthrie, Martin Sexton, Ani Difranco and more. Tickets for the festival are on sale now. Full Clearwater lineup below...

Continue reading "Clearwater Festival returns to Croton Point Park in June"

Frankie Rose @ Township (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Frankie Rose

In addition to the Jens Lekman/Of Montreal show at Williamsburg Park, the Northside Festival (June 14 - 17) just announced a slew of confirmed artists who'll be playing this year, including Future of the Left, the U.S. debut of Iceage-spinoff Vår (formerly War), Frankie Rose (playing the BrooklynVegan showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg with more TBA), Grass Widow, Cleveland's Gap Dream, Wymond Miles of the Fresh & Onlys,  Chain & the Gang, Kool Keith and more.

Other 2012 Northside Festival artists we've already posted about include Olivia Tremor Control, GZA, Neil Hamburger, Eternal Summers, Ceremony and Screaming Females and Royal Headache. Badges are on sale now and the full list of confirmed 2012 Northside artists is below.

Continue reading "more Northside Festival artists announced (Frankie Rose, Grass Widow, Felice Brothers, Buke & Gass, Vår, Gap Dream & more)"

Primus at Roseland (more by Kurt Christensen)

Primus recently announced a MHOW show happening on February 8. Tickets went on sale last week and are now sold out. They've since added another NYC show happening one day later at Gramercy Theatre (2/9). The show is a benefit for Les Claypool's nephew Matthew who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and at 2 months old was admitted into the hospital. All proceeds from the show will go toward his medical bills. Tickets for this show go on sale at noon today (11/26).

If you are unable to get tickets to the show before it sells out, but would still like to donate in support of Matthew, you can do so at www.babymatthew.org.

Primus were also recently announced on the lineup of the 2012 Wakarusa Festival which goes down in Ozark, Arkansas from Mary 31-June 3. The jam band-heavy fest also will host sets by Girl Talk, Fitz & the Tantrums, Gary Clark Jr., Daedelus, Tinariwen, Blitzen Trapper and more. Full list below.

Our thoughts go out to Matthew and his family. Updated Primus dates, the Wakarusa lineup, and more about Matthew below...

Continue reading "Primus schedules another small NYC show for Matthew, playing Wakarusa Fest (initial lineup announced)"


UK music magazine Uncut weighs on this year's best albums. Like Rough Trade, they give Josh T Pearson serious placement. They put Tinariwen, who appeared on The Colbert Report last night (!) with Tunde and Kyp from TV on the Radio, at #18. Check out their whole list and video from Colbert, below...

Continue reading "Uncut's Top 50 Albums of 2011, video of Tinariwen & Kyp & Tunde on the Colbert Report"

photos by Tim Griffin

Spoon @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
fun fun

Spoon had nothing to promote and no surplus of new songs to unveil. This was just an Austin band -- Austin's biggest indie band ever -- playing an Austin festival for their only major show of 2011 (at least so far). As a live unit, the four-piece that recorded Transmission (augmented here by an additional percussionist) is as precise as Spoon has ever been, cranking out savagely controlled, often slow-building versions of such songs as "Written in Reverse," "Delicate Places" and the instantaneously applauded "I Turn My Camera On." "We got horns!" frontman Britt Daniel proclaimed, bringing out a six-man section for "Cherry Bomb," "The Underdog" and "Jonathan Fisk." By the four-song encore, the crowd had both increased in enthusiasm and decreased in size -- no doubt some people had wandered to another stage to see the Damned, which Daniel himself had said he wished that he could do. [SPIN]
Personally I started at the Damned (who were great) and finished Saturday with about 30 minutes of Spoon which felt like the perfect chill ending to a long first-two-days of the outdoor Austin fest (right after their set I went back to the hotel, skipped all afterparties and crashed for 12 hours straight which made Sunday great).

Our first set of pictures from Saturday, Damned included, are HERE. Our second set continues, more of Spoon included, below...

Continue reading "Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 -- Day 2 pics (part 2) -- Spoon, Tune-Yards, Ra Ra Riot, Tinariwen, Purity Ring & more"


Tinariwen, who are preparing to release their new LP Tassili on August 30 via Anti- Records, will head out on tour in support of the album this fall. The tour hits NYC on November 19 at Webster Hall. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday (8/26) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (8/24) at noon.

All dates and three videos from the recording sessions (Kyp Malone included) below...

Continue reading "new Tinariwen album soon, more tour dates announced"

Slayer at Izod Center (photos by Samantha Marble)

Slayer, Thee Oh Sees, Public Enemy, Girls, Danzig Legacy, (Danzig + Doyle von Frankenstein playing Misfits, Samhain & Danzig), Hot Snakes, Diplo, Major Lazer, Henry Rollins, Ted Leo & The Phramacists, Spank Rock, Murder City Devils, Hum, Lykke Li, Passion Pit, Four Tet, Rakim, The Damned, Austra, Purity Ring, and Flynt Flossy are just a few of the acts announced today as part of the Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 lineup. Another amazing year! Check out the full lineup below and stay tuned for more announcements coming in August and September.

The new additions to the Austin, Texas festival, which takes place from 11/4 - 11/6, are in addition to the the previous "lineup leaks" that included Brian Posehn, Odd Future, Okkervil River, M83, X (performing "Los Angeles"), Reggie Watts, Flying Lotus, Tune-Yards, Ra Ra Riot, Kid Dynamite and others

2011 is the festival's sixth year, but first at its new home Auditorium Shores (no more Waterloo Park). Tickets are on sale now.

Slayer also has a NYC performance coming up with Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth as part of the "Big Four" show at Yankee Stadium on 9/14. Tickets are still available.

Fun Fun Fun 2011 flyer and almost-full lineup is below.

Continue reading "Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 lineup (Danzig Legazy, Passion Pit, Slayer, Lykke Li, The Damned, Henry Rollins & much more)"

From Africa with Fury

Tinariwen will be in New York this week to play Highline Ballroom on July 20 with House of Waters, and to play the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY the next day (7/21). Tickets are still on sale for the Highline show.

Fellow West African Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, who also play Grassroots, will play NYC on July 27 at S.O.B.'s. Tickets are on sale now. They'll also play a free Celebrate Brooklyn show on July 22 with Faaji Agba. Egypt 80 is the former band of Seun's father, Fela Kuti. Seun recently released From Africa With Fury: Rise, his first album for Knitting Factory Records. The album was recorded with producers Brian Eno and John Reynolds...

"...there was room to further adjust the blazing Afrobeat of Seun's first album Many Things into something more potent.

That was producer Brian Eno's prescription when he finally convinced Seun to let him produce his work. As Seun explains, "He showed me ways to open up the music. He gave me ideas about things we could do to turn the project from live music to a great live CD."

If you're expecting something in the vein of The Unforgettable Fire or Viva La Vida, you'd be wrong. This is more like Remain In Light at 45 RPM. Kuti explains that it's not like Eno changed the songs themselves (though he did contribute keyboards and vocals), but would strengthen passages of tracks like "Mr. Big Thief' by having the melody played in unison by Kuti's sax and guest Justin Adams's guitar.... [Exclaim]

Purchase the album on Amazon as LP/CD/MP3. Updated Seun tour dates below...

Continue reading "Seun Kuti addeded an SOB's show to his Brian Eno-produced album tour, Tinariwen are here soon too"


Tinariwen will release a new album called Tassili on August 30 via Anti- Records (pictured above). The album was recorded entirely acoustic with contributions from Tunde Adebimpe & Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Nels Cline of Wilco (who plays a show with Marc Ribot at LPR on June 15th).

Tinariwen will head out on a short North American tour in July which will hit the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the previously mentioned Highline Ballroom on July 20. Tickets are still on sale for that NYC show.

Tinariwen also play the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival on July 21 at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds in Trumansburg, NY (which runs from July 21-24). There they share a bill with Donna the Buffalo, Court Yard Hounds, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Balkan Beat Box, Sammy Kershaw, Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited, John Brown's Body, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and many others.

For Seun Kuti, the Trumansburg date is one day after he plays a free show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Seun recently sent out an updated list of tour dates too, and a new video you can watch below.

Tinariwen collaborators TV on the Radio also recently expanded their upcoming tour dates, many of which are with Broken Social Scene who they play with at the Williamsburg Waterfront They also have a new video, as does BSS

The videos with all Seun & Tinariwen & TVOTR dates, below...

Continue reading "new Tinariwen LP & dates, Trumansburg Grassrooots Fest, Seun Kuti, Nels Cline, Marc Ribot & TV on the Radio too"


Tickets are now on sale for the Steve Earle shows at Town Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg (the Town Hall show went on sale at 11).

Tickets are now on sale for the Swans show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Swans were also just added to ATP NJ which also has tickets on sale including a new "Portishead 3 Day Pass."

Tickets went on sale today for Animal Collective, Grace Potter, Cut Copy, and Dylan Fest

Cymbals Eat Guitars have a show scheduled at Glasslands on May 20th with Yellow Dogs and Mirror Mirror. Tickets are on sale.

Tinariwen returns to NYC this summer. Tickets go on sale Saturday for a July 20th show at Highline Ballroom.

Did you miss getting tickets to Murder by Death's boat show? They added a 2nd happening the same day. Tickets for that one are on sale.

Tickets are now on sale for the Kid Cudi show at Williamsburg Waterfront.

Glasvegas are touring in support of a new album. Tickets are on sale now for a May 23rd show at Bowery Ballroom. All tour dates are below.

Continue reading "Steve Earle, Swans, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Glasvegas, Murder by Death, Tinariwen, Kid Cudi, ATP & other tix"

by Andrew Frisicano

Omar Souleyman @ Central Park Summerstage

"He is a legend in north Africa. Omar Souleyman in about 15 years has recorded around 500 studio and live albums and apparently has a godlike status in Syria, his country. Originally his music orbits around Syrian folk-pop, it is sung in Arabic and his audience is mainly in North-African countries.

Recently Omar Souleyman has became the hype of the indie blogosphere. He has been picked up by Pavement for their "exotic" slot on the second day at their All Tomorrow Parties festival. The hype mounted so fast that the third stage at Minehead centre was packed [with] thousands of guys wearing Pavement/Pixies/Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr T-shirts dancing to the disco music of Souleyman. Among these fans [was] the Dodos drummer who played [his own set the next day] wearing the official Souleyman T-Shirt." [Live on 35mm]

Mali's Tinariwen and the West African-inspired US band Toubab Krewe played the Central Park SummerStage on June 26th (one day before Gil Scott-Heron played there). Between their sets, Syrian "techno" artist Omar Souleyman made his New York debut. He succeeded in getting the crowd up and dancing, and he had a belly dancer on stage for part of the set (with a DJ set between).

The next night in New York, Tinariwen performed with Sway Machinery at the Bell House, and Omar Souleyman played in the Old American Can Factory Courtyard with CSC Funk Band.

More pictures from Central Park, and some videos from all the NYC shows, below...

Continue reading "Omar Souleyman & Tinariwen played shows in Manhattan (Summerstage) & Brooklyn - pics & video "

Alicia Keys

...which is being rebroadcast online "shortly" NOW. Other performers include Amadou & Mariam, Hugh Masekela, K'Naan, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Touré, Angelique Kidjo, Black Eyed Peas, and Shakira.

Tinariwen @ Highline Ballroom (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)

Lady Gaga is playing Madison Square Garden on July 6th, 7th, and 9th, and now February 21st too. Tickets for the 2011 one go on Citi presale at 10am (you can try code 546616).

Tinariwen will return to the Bell House in June (they played there in February) for a show (6/27) the day after they play Summerstage (6/26) . Tickets are on sale.

Tickets are on sale for tonight's Ui (featuring Sasha Frere-Jones) show at the Bell House.

Tickets are on sale for the Eli "Paperboy" Reed show at the Bell House.

Tickets are on sale for the Big Takeover 30th Anniversary shows at the Bell House.

Tickets are on sale for the New Model Army shows at the Bell House.

Tickets are on sale for the Van Dyke Parks show at the Bell House.

Tickets are on sale for the two rescheduled Chapterhouse/Ulrich Schnauss shows at the Bell House.

by Benjamin Lozovsky


Amidst a row of amps of guitar amps standing like a determined frontline and a lonely djembe, there was a rising solo call of "welcome to the desert!" That was Tinariwen's introduction to the world of the Kel Tamashek, the culture and impetus for their haunting, brilliant music.

There wasn't much talk of the band's incredible back-story, one that effuses the most epitomized struggles of any post-colonial African establishment, at their sold out show at Highline Ballroom Thursday (2/18). As hinted at in their website biography, the Malian collective seems eager to eschew all those overwrought connections to guns and violence and revolution. It's even evident in the band's lineup; other than founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, the 30 year old group consists of a new generation of musicians, ones that were just children during the tumultuous era of strife and rebellion for the Tuareg people.

There isn't really a need for nostalgia; the songs of Tinariwen, just as much the product of a life-long love for music as the output of a propaganda machine, are instantly rich with an ancestral tapestry of social struggle and semi-nomadic desert life. The music reflects the Sahara vividly; the sound is so clean, yet it feels dense and thorough like an accumulation of prehistoric sand. Instrumental melodies and vocal chanting rise in and out like the impermanence of drifting dunes. The music is simultaneously full of sunshine and unsettling chills; it especially heated up Thursday in darker, more mournful numbers like "Assouf" and "Assawt N'Chet Tamashek," where painful emotions and intense musicianship generated a fiery coupling.

The outward simplicity of Tinariwen's music is bellied by layers of complex syncopation and disconcerting minor/major tonal coupling; even when things seem full of joy, there is expressive depth. There was always a mixture of road-worn epitaph and innocence Thursday; creating a sense of the latter seemed even more remarkable given the talent of the musicians, especially the rhythm section of bassist Eyadou Ag Leche (he plays like a young Bootsy) and percussionist Said Ag Ayad (who consistently made his one drum roar like an entire corps).

It's easy to forget that Tinariwen are savvy, world-trekking rockers now. They still move like nomads though, albeit with more guitar amps and less camels. Fortunately, they still sing like them as well.

Fool's Gold opened this show, and the one that happened a day later at The Bell House. Tinariwen are back this summer to play Central Park Summerstage, part of a trip that also includes Bonnaroo. More pictures from Highline Balroom below...

Continue reading "Tinariwen & Fool's Gold @ Highline Ballroom, NYC - pics"