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Watch Kurt Vile bust out a jam with Tinariwen at Union Transfer

Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Last night, Tinariwen took over Union Transfer for a night of relaxed jams, and while the Tuareg artists blew away the crowd with tunes and tones from the African desert, they wanted to throw a little bit of this city in.

Out of nowhere, Philly’s own Kurt Vile came on stage (introduced with an endearing “This is our friend…. It’s okay?”), sitting in on their atmospheric song “Tiwayyen”, a tune he guested on on the band’s new record Elwan.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinariwen at Union Transfer, Oddisee at TLA, John Patitucci & Daedalus Quartet at World Cafe Live, and more

Tinariwen | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Grammy-award winning Tuareg group Tinariwen will bring their sweeping sounds of the Sahara to Union Transfer tonight. The Malian rockers recently released their album, Elwan, which features contributions from Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and Matt Sweeney. Find more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and take a trip to a rock show in the desert by watching the video for “Sastanàqqàm” below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Tinariwen and Dengue Fever will join forces at Union Transfer this April

Tinariwen | via the band's Facebook page
Tinariwen | via the band’s Facebook page

Early next year, Tuareg folk rockers Tinariwen will release their seventh album, Elwan, which features contributions from Matt Sweeney, Mark Lanegan, and Philly’s own Kurt Vile, to name a few. You can check out the gorgeous new video for “Ténéré Tàqqàl” below, and this coming April 18th, you catch the band live when they roll through Union Transfer. They’ll be joined by the also fantastic Dengue Fever, a band whose music is significantly more pleasant than the mosquito-borne illness for which its named. Continue reading →

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Photos: Tinariwen at the Prince Music Theater

Tinariwen | by Darragh Dandurand Friedman | darraghdf.wordpress.com
Tinariwen | by Darragh Dandurand Friedman | darraghdf.wordpress.com

Sahara Desert rockers Tinariwen brought their tour behind the new EMMAAR LP to a packed house at the Prince Music Theater on Friday night. The Mali-based band recorded the album in California, due to civil unrest in their home country, and has been bringing it around the U.S. on tour this winter. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinariwen at Prince Music Theater, The Sound of Animals Fighting at Trocadero, Tutlie at Bourbon and Branch

Tinariwen | photo by Marie Planeille
Tinariwen | photo by Marie Planeille

Desert-bred rockers Tinariwen will bring their eclectic mix of guitar rock and African rhythms to the Prince Music Theater stage tonight. Due to civil unrest in Mali, the band recorded their latest album Emmaar far away from home in California, an experience that heavily influenced the recording process and final product. Watch “ISLEGH TAGHRAM TIFHAMAM” from the new album below and get tickets here.

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Just Announced: Tinariwen will perform at the Prince Music Theater on 3/21

Tinariwen | photo by Marie Planeille
Tinariwen | photo by Marie Planeille

Malian musical group Tinariwen have announced a tour to support their upcoming LP Emmaar, set for release on February 11th.  The world tour will stop at the Prince Music Theater on March 21st, with tickets going on sale today at Noon.  More information will be available here.  Watch Tinariwen perform their song “Tassili” live below and revisit their 2011 World Cafe appearance here.

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Recent concert announcements: Fitz & The Tantrums, Little Dragon, Chris Robinson and Tinariwen

Some upcoming concerts of note just announced to Philly include:

Little Dragon at Union Transfer – Tuesday October 18th. Tickets
Ritual Union by Little Dragon

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Fitz & The Tantrums w/ Walk The Moon at the TLA – Saturday, November 12th. Tickets

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WXPN Welcomes Tinariwen with Sophie Hunger at the Trocadero – Wednesday, November 16th. Tickets

Tinariwen – Imidiwan Ma Tennam by antirecords

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Union Transfer – Sunday, November 20th. Tickets

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The Sounds of Connection: Umer Piracha explores the intimacy of traditional Sufi music in his new project Falsa

Falsa
Falsa | photo by Nataly Nguyen | courtesy of the artist

Earlier this week, a friend told Umer Piracha that his new band’s music is “the cure for alienation.”

“I like that,” muses the 31-year-old Philadelphia musician. When we first met Piracha, he was a solo artist with spacious originals sitting alongside covers of Radiohead. His voice soars like Jeff Buckley, his knack for ambience is innate, and recently he’s been expanding his sonic ambition from introspective singer-songwriting to moving, meditative ensemble performances with a group dubbed Falsa.

Rooted in expansive 14th century Sufi classical, Falsa sort of does for the music of Pakistan what Tinariwen does for the music of Mali; places it in a contemporary context, but keeping the traditional sounds and stylings very much in the forefront, asking modern listeners to engage with centuries of musical history. But where Tinariwen goes for the rock club highs, Falsa is decidedly more intimate — the band sees it as chamber music designed to bring people closely together.

They’ll do just that this Saturday, April 29th, when they play J.J. Tiziou’s famed West Philly House Concert series. Below, listen to a live recording of Falsa performing “Aaj Rang Hai” and read my interview with Piracha about the new project. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Bombino at World Cafe Live

Bombino | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Bombino | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Guitar wizard Omara Moctar, aka Bombino, hails from Niger and shreds like nobody’s business. His virtuosic playing is speedy, serpentine and engaging, and spans the world of expansive “desert rock” (think Tinariwen) with aggressive rock-rock. Bombino’s sixth album, Azel, is out now via Partisan Records, he just totally crushed a set at the VuHaus showcase at SXSW and he performs tonight at World Cafe Live. Watch videos of his SXSW performance below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →