Amoeblog

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music Present Rokia Traore

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 28, 2013 07:34pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present singer/songwriter Rokia rokia  traore ciis Traore on Friday, November 22nd at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

It all started with a sound inside Rokia Traore's head. One of the most adventurous singer/songwriters in Africa knew that she wanted to create a musical style "more modern, but still African, something more blues and rock than my folk guitar." Then she heard an old Gretsch, the classic electric guitar beloved by American rockabilly bands back in the fifties and sixties, and played by artists from Chet Atkins to George Harrison. That was the sound she had been looking for, and it has helped bring a fresh and startling new dimension to her exquisite and adventurous songs.

The daughter of a Malian diplomat posted to the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, Traore studied in Brussels and worked in a rap group, before deciding to go back to Mali to create the music she wanted, which was "not pop, not jazz, not classical, but something contemporary with traditional instruments."

She survived by washing dishes, cooking in a restaurant, and working as a housekeeper, as she found musicians for her new songs backed by her own acoustic guitar, the West African n'goni, and the balafon. She became a success back in Europe, where she was hailed as the "African Discovery of 1997" after performing at the Angouleme Festival in France. Recording contracts and international tours followed, as Rokia continued to develop her musical ideas and delight audiences around the world.

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Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For February 2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 3, 2010 04:21pm | Post a Comment

1. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM
2. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM (LP version)
3. Huun Huur Tu/ Carmen Rizzo - Eternal
4. Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia
5. Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
6. Basseko KouyateI Speak Fula
7. V/A - Pomegranates (LP version)
8. Ali Faurka Toure/Toumani Diabete - Ali & Toumani
9. Mulatu Astatke - New York-Addis-London
10. Shakira - She Wolf

So far 2010 has been shaping up to be the year of the women. Amoeba’s three biggest releases this year have been from the likes of Sade, Joanna Newsom, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Ms. Gainsbourg tops the Amoeba Hollywood World Music chart once again in February and shows no signs of slowing down. The LP version of IRM also landed the second spot. At number three was Huun Huur Tu from Tuva, who had an amazing instore performance back on February 7th (Super Bowl Sunday). I managed to catch Huun Huur Tu once again a few weeks later opening for Tinariwen at Royce Hall at UCLA. The two groups combined were three and a half hours of musical bliss. I hope that perhaps both these groups would consider going on the road together. Tinariwen’s Imidiwan: Companions was at number five in the charts, up a few notches from last month.

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Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Tinariwen

Posted by Amoebite, April 13, 2009 11:43pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


Coachella Lineup     Tinariwen

Day #24 - Artist #24 - Tinariwen:

It doesn't fail! Tonight is the second night in a row that I have been in bad mood, or a stressed mood or an exhausted mood or any combination of undesirable moods. And as soon as I press play on Tinariwen's recent album, Aman Iman: Water Is Life, my mood instantly takes a 180 degree turn. I have plenty of go-to albums to put me in a good mood or get me excited or motivate me, but this album physically woke me up...instantly! What normally takes a cup of coffee an hour or
Tinariwenso to do, Aman Iman: Water Is Life does in a matter of seconds.

"Tinariwen is a Tuareg group that performs in the Middle Eastern/African style Tishoumaren, similar to artists like Ali Farka Toure or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; [they] sing mostly in the French and Tamashek languages." I consider myself to be a pretty cultured person...but I'm going to be honest; I have no idea what that description means. But what I do know is that they formed in Mali in 1982 and have released music for 18 years, circulating locally in Africa. The music had a political soul of rebellion and became a voice for the Taureg people, eventually becoming banned in Algeria and Mali. It wasn't until 2001 that Tinariwen gained attention from the Western world with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions (2001). Their most recent album, Aman Iman: Water Is Life, released in 2007, introduces us to songs that were actually written as far back as the band's origins in the early '80s, but still sound as if they were born yesterday.
Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water Is Life
There's just something different about this band's music than what I'm used to with Western popular music (and I would put almost every other band at Coachella into that category). They are a magical band, from a magical land. Tinariwen's music feels like it's made because it has to be, and for no other reason. The album title Water Is Life alludes to the band's foundation of necessity and Tinariwen is the water that their Saharan Desert lacks. If the Sahara Desert is a metaphor for my night, coffee is not the "water" that my soil needs...I think it needs Tinariwen.

Cinema of Mali

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 22, 2008 08:36pm | Post a Comment
Backrground of Mali

Ghana Empire Mali Empire  Sonhai Empire

            750 - 1076                                   1230 - 1600                                              1340 - 1591

Historically Mali was part of three Sahelian Kingdoms. The Soninke-dominated Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire (which established Timbuktu and Djenne as major cities) and the Songhai Empire. These kingdoms controlled Trans-Saharan trade of gold, salt and other precious comodities. It collapsed following an Imazighen (aka Berber) invasion. When the European nations established sea routes for trade, the Trans-Saharan trade economy collapsed. To make things worse, the region grew increasingly desertified. France invaded the weakened nation and occupied Mali from the early 1800s until independence in 1959. Today, Mali is economically one of the poorest countries in the world.

Malians outside a cinema
Malians outside a cinema

Culturally, however, it's quite rich. Like its West African neighbors, it's also highly diverse. Most of its people are Bamana. There are also large populations of Soninke, Khassonke and Malink are all Mandé. There are smaller numbers of Peul, Voltaic, Songhai, Taureg, Bozo, Dogon, and Moor.  Altogether, more than 40 languages are spoken.