Amoeblog

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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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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Pretty Good Year: Kelly's Best of 2015 picks...

Posted by Kells, January 9, 2016 04:49pm | Post a Comment
It seems like 2015 came to a close less than a little more than a week ago...wait, didn't it? Where does the time go? It came and went in another trip around the sun, with the seasons fully cycled and another twelve-month accumulation of art, music, and enjoyment to show for the passage. Listed below are the leaders of the pack where the year in my ears is, er, was concerned. These the repeat-listen flat plastic friends stuck with me thru thick and thin. Oh, and there's a book thrown in the mix as well! Did you dig any of these selections?


Jessica Pratt
- On your Own Love Again
(Drag City)


There's always one or three endlessly flip-able records that never quite stay filed away, maintaining rather an easy reach in the rotation pile nearby the home hi-fi. Jessica Pratt's sophomore offering On Your Own Love Again is one such record. Built in part of nearly inaudible ambient street sounds indicating a subtle genesis rooted in home-recordings, the layered, spacial delivery of Pratt's soft-plucked folk edged in opaque psychedelia eddies and billows in a cosmos of mellow zones, at times reaching near-exotic levels of effect, but ever retaining a familiar quality. Here and there accompanying lyrics seem to reveal something of the singer-songwriter's personal inspirations, but these revelations are islands in a stream of vocal stylings, lilting like tendrils through a tapestry of rhythmic strums, droning, hums, and filigree. A muted monument of home-spun, dyed-in-the-wool California by way of the Milky Way sound, Jessica Pratt may be compared to many a laudable singer-songwriter forebear, but she is most definitely in a league of her own.



Leland
- A Self-Taught, Decathlon Hard Rock Musician (Stoned Circle)

Sounding like what I imagine to be Ariel Pink's ideal funeral shuffle, there is no limit to the number of times I can listen to Leland Yoshitsu's "I've Got Some Happiness"—it's a nodding rock hallucination comfortably lodged in it's own should'a would'a could'a laze, but so striking and real. Originally appearing on his ultra-rare 1976 self-funded, self-titled debut album, as well as on the equally rare 1978 reissue of said debut titled This is My World, this life-lending track and many other unequivocal druggy rippers, are now freely repeatable on this remastered expanded re-reissue what also includes the raw and unbridled Live At Mabuhay Gardens, S.F.circa 1979. Extensive liner notes and bonus photos of this psychedelic superhero abound! Not a 100% new release, but the title alone gives it a free pass re: best of 2015.




Mondo Drag - Mondo Drag
(Riding Easy Records)

If you're a high fantasy rock band, this is the kind of album cover that will most likely rivet the record shop RPG set with enough curiosity to guarantee at least a cursory listen. Of course, you'd better have the "No Quarter" meets "Highway Star" chops to back artwork like this up. Not only does Mondo Drag deliver on this their 2nd release, they've also already cut a killer debut and a third gunning to drop in February. This self-titled dank nugg is chock full of heavy desert mysticism, stratospheric psych appeal, gypsy crystal visions, pounding progressive allusions, pillars of riffage, smokey fluted corridors echoing pinwheeled guitarmonies, and a jingle-jangle bag of percussive holding. It could be a bit more demonic, but I like it just the way it is; otherworldly and titanic.


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