Tinariwen, The National, Hail Social...

by PopMatters Staff

25 March 2007


Cler Achel [MP3] from Aman Iman: Water Is Life

“Tinariwen’s songs, almost always constructed over five-tone scales and wreathed in handclaps, are propelled by icy-hot guitars over sinuous French and Tamashek vocals. The material sometimes contains recollections of other Malian luminaries, such as Amadou and Mariam, Habib Koité, Oumou Sangaré, and the late Ali Farka Touré, plus New World descendants like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and untold generations of Delta bluesmen. Their lyrics speak of drought and displacement, deceased heroes, and assouf, which like Brazilian saudade can mean longing, nostalgia, and love of home, but also a desert-dweller’s bone-deep craving for open wilderness and solitude. The third tune, Matajem Yinmixan (“Why All This Hate Between You?”), even harbors tantalizing echoes of European troubadour music, which after all evolved from some of the same ancient Muslim sources. On Ahimana (“Oh My Soul”), original founding member Mohammed Ag Itlale (aka “Japonais”), a renowned poet, interprets a style more usually performed by women, paradoxically with no loss of masculinity. Throughout, rangy, cloaked pickers are flanked by a female chorus whose hand drums are spiked by sharp, off-center clapping, shrill ululations, and fervent responses to the men’s singing. Together, they goad one another to heights of fervent experimentation while basking amid hallowed folkways.”—World Village

The National
Fake Empire [MP3]

Hail Social
Heaven [MP3]

Warning Sign [MP3]

Mother Hips
Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear [MP3]

04/04 | San Francisco, CA
04/06 | San Francisco, CA
04/07 | San Francisco, CA
04/13 | Los Angeles, CA
04/14 | Solana Beach, CA
04/20 | Sacramento, CA
04/27 | Salt Lake City, UT
04/28 | Salt Lake City, UT
05/04 | New York, NY
05/05 | Hoboken, NJ
05/10 | Chicago, IL
05/12 | Minneapolis, MN
05/17 | Seattle, WA
05/18 | Portland, OR
05/19 | Hood River, OR

The Electric Soft Parade
If That’s The Case, Then I Don’t Know [MP3]

3/28 | London, Shepherds Bush Empire
3/29 | London, The Fly
4/18 | Stoke, The Sugarmill
4/19 | Newcastle, Stonelove @ Digital
4/20 | Dundee, Westport Bar

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