Deanne Sole recently said of African artists Amadou & Mariam: “Back in the 1990s, Amadou & Mariam launched themselves on a course of solid Mali-blues, pushing new things with each album, eventually planting themselves firmly and plateauing in goodness. Now they seem to be looking for ways to incorporate Western electronic pop—not the very mainstream, thrusting kind, but the offbeat sort that bubbles around the edges of things and attracts loving audiences on blogs runs by people who pride themselves on their ability to discover the unexpected.” Witness the new video for “Masiteladi” off Welcome to Mali with its indie friendly animation.
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Mike Skinner a.k.a. the Streets, in an attempt to be eminently newsworthy, pulled together a bunch of zombie movie footage to produce a video about the swine flu. The yuck factor is pretty high here, both in terms of the visuals and the music.
Sub Pop is releasing a two-CD compilation of unreleased songs from the indie folk group Iron & Wine on 19 May called Around the Well. The vinyl version will include three albums including this track exclusive to the LPs.
Iron & Wine
“The Trapeze Singer” [MP3]
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band: Outer South—Former Bright Eyes poster boy, Conor Oberst returns in rootsy guise for his second album with the Mystic Valley Band and now resides firmly in that space between alt-country and pop that is also occupied by Wilco.
New York Dolls: Cause I Sez So—The New York Dolls were at the very forefront of the punk revolution, forming in 1971 and being the primary influence on early UK punk bands like the Sex Pistols and to a lesser degree the Clash. The original group broke up in the late ‘70s, but David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain reunited the band in 2004 and put out their first studio record since 1974 in 2006. Now they have another gritty rock platter for us in Cause I Sez So.