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Mdou Moctar: Desert Blues in Oakland, April 18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 17, 2019 06:38pm | Post a Comment

Akounak: Purple Rain, Mdou Moctar

MATATU's Nomadic Cinema series continues with Mdou Moctar: Purple Rain on Thursday, April 18th at 7pmAkounak: Purple Rain, Mdou Moctar at Oakland's Red Bay Coffee, the largest Black specialty coffee roaster in the nation. Nigerien musician Mdou Moctar and his band perform following a screening of his film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, also known as the Tuareg Purple Rain! This is his third appearance with MATATU, after two consecutive sold-out years. Get your tickets now!

The robust rock tradition among the Tuareg people — a Berber group with origins around the southern Sahara — has long been represented internationally by artists like Bombino and Tinariwen. Moctar, a singer-songwriter, offers a subtler, more intimate variation on their desert blues with his most recent albums Sousoume Tamachek and Blue Stage Sessions.

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2018 MATATU Festival of Stories: Saul Williams at Oakland's Grand Lake Theatre, 9/26

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 19, 2018 06:33pm | Post a Comment

Saul Williams

Amoeba is proud to partner once again with MATATU for the 2018 MATATU Festival of Stories, which kicks off on Wednesday, September 26th at 7pm with an evening with Saul Williams at Oakland's historic Grand Lake Theatre. Part film, part performance, everything is on the table in this conversation with one of the world's most prolific artists.

Saul Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, was released in 2001. After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations that have spanned from the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, The Louvre, The Getty Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, to countless villages, townships, community centers, and prisons across the world. The Newburgh, New York native gained a BA from Morehouse and an MFA from Tisch, and has gone on to perform with Nine Inch Nails and Allen Ginsburg, as well as countless film and television appearances.

Wednesday, September 26th, includes a special film screening of The Third Part of the Third Measure The Third Part of the Third Measure(2017), a new audiovisual composition commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and Sharjah Biennial 13. The Third Part of the Third Measure creates an encounter with the militant minimalism of avant-garde composer, pianist, and vocalist Julius Eastman. The film focuses on what The Otolith Group describe as “an experience of watching in the key of listening,” invoking political feelings of defiance and the collective practice of movement-building that participates in the global struggles against neo-reactionary authoritarianism. The Third Part of the Third Measure invites viewers to attend to exemplary ecstatic aesthetics of black radicalism that Eastman himself once described as “full of honor, integrity, and boundless courage.”

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Mdou Moctar: Tuareg Acid Western Film & Desert Blues Performance, May 24

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 10, 2018 08:38pm | Post a Comment

Zerzura

The MATATU performance series presents Mdou Moctar: Tuareg Acid Western Film & Desert Blues Performance on Thursday, May 24 at 7:30pm at Oakland's Starline Social Club. The night pairs Zerzura, a feature-length film shot in the Sahara desert starring an entirely African cast, followed by a live performance featuring Nigerien musician Mdou Moctar and the film's star Ahmoudou Madassane. Tickets are available now HERE!

Zerzura is a folktale transposed into an acid western, a collaborative achievement - written and developed with a Tuareg cast, and shot in and around Agadez, Niger. Once an important stop for trans-Saharan camel caravans, it has today reestablished itself as a hub of movement, but for different reasons. Migrants from all over the continent pause here on their trek North, bound for mythic cities in Europe. Tales of riches in the desert abound, and men sell their houses for gold detectors. Young Tuareg leave home to seek their fortune in the fractured Libyan state. As people leave, their stories return, becoming wildly exaggerated versions of truth.

Taking its cues from the ethno-fiction proposed by Jean Rouch, Zerzura mixes folktales with documentary to explore Saharan dreams and imagination. The film was developed and written collaboratively on site with a local team. The images were shot over the subsequent two weeks with a cast of non-actors in improvised performances. Stylistically, Zerzura exists between cultures, an attempt at transcultural cinema. Narrated throughout with improvised instrumental guitar from protagonist Ahmoudou Madassane, the score sets the tone for a fever dream of a journey.

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Akounak: Purple Rain in the Sahara at Oakland's Starline Social Club, September 9

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 21, 2017 05:42pm | Post a Comment

Akounak: Purple Rain, Mdou Moctar

The MATATU performance series presents Akounak: Purple Rain in the Sahara on Saturday, Akounak: Purple Rain, Mdou MoctarSeptember 9th at 7:30pm at Oakland's Starline Social Club. Nigerien musician Mdou Moctar and his band perform following a screening of his film Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, also known as the Tuareg Purple Rain! A director's talk follows with filmmaker Chris Kirkley, plus the La Pelanga dance party!

In the somewhat crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou Moctar stands apart from his peers. One of the few original singer/songwriters willing to experiment and push the boundaries of the genre, his unconventional styles have won him accolades both in Niger and abroad.

Mdou Moctar hails from Abalak, in the Azawagh desert of Niger. He taught himself the guitar at a young age on a homemade instrument. Inspired by returning Ishumar, Mdou traveled the road to Libya where he traveled and worked odd jobs. As chance had, he would meet some of the now famous guitarists and further his musical studies. He returned home with a guitar and a dream.

Rising to the status as local celebrity, in 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album Anar – a psychedelic electronic album of Tuareg guitar, which became an instant success throughout the mp3 networks of West Africa. “Tahoultine,” one of the standout tracks, was later featured on the compilation Music from Saharan Cellphones.

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Saul Williams Performs Martyr Loser King in Oakland, June 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 24, 2016 01:12pm | Post a Comment

Saul WilliamsThe Bay Area Book Festival, Amoeba Music, and Matatu invite you to an evening with Saul Williams, who is performing selections from Martyr Loser King on Thursday, June 2 at Duende (468 19th Street, Oakland) at 10:30pm. Tickets are available HERE. This is a special an encore performance to his nearly sold-out show earlier that evening at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. For last minute secret tickets to the earlier show, click HERE, scroll to the bottom of the screen, click "Enter promotional code," and use the code MATATU16.

Written and recorded between Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, New Orleans,Martyr Loser Kingand New York, Williams’s Martyr Loser King is a multimediaproject that engages the digital dialogue between the First and Third Worlds and the global street sounds that yoke the two. He cites Beyoncé, Fredo Santana, and Haitian field recordings as the musical inspirations for this self-produced 6th album, which strains trap hi-hats and mbira strokes together for a nuanced, entirely original sound. “I’m just letting you know what I’m reading and seeing while I’m writing,” says Williams. “When I’m writing, the music leads.”

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