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NonCOMM Recap: Angelique Kidjo returns Remain In Light to its roots

Angelique Kidjo | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Angelique Kidjo first heard the Talking Heads’ album Remain In Light after moving from her home country of Benin to Paris in 1983. The record, made a few years prior in collaboration with producer Brian Eno, found David Byrne and the band wholly embracing the sounds and styles of West African music, with Nigeria’s Fela Kuti being a major inspiration. But the Talking Heads’ idiosyncratic downtown NYC cool was still very much in the mix. As Kidjo recalled of her first experience with the record, “This is African, yet it’s got something that is turning my head upside down.”

Last year, the dynamic singer, songwriter and performer Kidjo began performing the album live in concert at venues like Carnegie Hall, putting her own spin on the Byrne-Eno spin on Afrobeat. The project was so well received, she recorded her own front-to-back version of the album, which is out June 8th on Kravenworks records. And on Thursday night, Kidjo and her four-piece band played many of the record’s songs in a lively close to night three of NonCOMM. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch LCD Soundsystem perform new songs, & see David Byrne and Angélique Kidjo sing Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”

LCD Soundsystem | still from video

LCD Soundsystem is readying their first new album since 2010’s This is Happening, and on Saturday Night Live this past weekend James Murphy & crew performed a couple of new tunes: “American Dream” and “Call the Police.” Watch the performances below. Continue reading →

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Download a World Cafe performance of “Malaika” by Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo did an absolutely fantastic interview and performance session on World Cafe that you can listen to in its entirety here. Kidjo’s new album, Eve is dedicated to the women of Africa, and includes music for her mother whose work in theater inspired Angelique to perform. Angelique also has a new autobiography called Spirit Rising that traces her remarkable life from Benin to Paris where she was signed by Chris Blackwell to Island Records. As fascinating as her story has been up to now, what she is doing today is equally as inspiring. Below, download a haunting and gorgeous version of “Malaika” recorded for World Cafe.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Angelique Kidjo at the Prince Theatre, Those Darlins at Boot & Saddle, Our Griffins & Lost In The Trees at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
There’s no shortage of musical diversity in town tonight, with some excellent shows touching down on world music, garage rock, alt-country, orchestral pop, and ambient soul. The sensational African musician, singer and songwriter Angelique Kidjo plays the Prince Music Theater tonight. The Grammy award winner is one of the world’s most important and influential African performers. Go here for tickets and information about the show.

Nashville rockers Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet bring the rock to Boot & Saddle tonight.

Philly’s Our Griffins open for All Tiny Creatures and Lost In The Trees at Johnny Brenda’s. Go here for information.

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Angelique Kidjo playing Prince Music Theater on February 18th

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo credit: Pierre Marie Zimmerman/Courtesy of the artist

The sensational African musician, singer and songwriter Angelique Kidjo is playing the Prince Music Theater on February 18th. The Grammy award winner is one of the world’s most important and influential African performers. Since releasing her debut album, Logozo, in 1991, Kidjo has married the heart of African music with R&B, jazz, funk, gospel, and Afropop. Her new album, Eve, continues to showcase her powerful voice and diverse influences. The record features guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Steve Jordan, Philly bassist Christian McBride, Senegalese percussionist Magatte Sow and features guest musicians including Dr. John, Bernie Worrell, Rostamm Btmanglij (Vampire Weekend), and The Kronos Quartet.

(Hear More – Stream Angelique Kidjo’s new album Eve)

Kidjo uses her global success as an activist; she founded the Batonga foundation which funds education for women in Africa, has worked as a UNICEF ambassador, and continues to promote the sounds and storytelling traditional of Beninese culture. Kidjo just published her autobiography, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music. Below, listen to the title song to Eve. Go here for tickets and more information on the show.