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Instrumental Sounds Somewhat from the Orient

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2019 06:50pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


In these modern times where audience snapping is the new clapping, where it is normal to have your cat get a reiki healing for depression, and where "Oriental" has been replaced by "Soy Sauce" flavor on Top Ramen packages, I offer you a non-controversial read about instrumental music somewhat from the Orient.

When one closes their eyes and thinks of the word "Orient," they may dream of a bustling Persian Martin Denny's Hypnotiquemarketplace with spice traders and fakirs gathering crowds, a Shambala-ish temple garden with mewing peacocks, or perhaps a rickshaw ride through a mysterious dark alley in old Hong Kong. But when you open your eyes and see the "Orient," it is usually on a party supply catalog full of plastic junk for Saint Patrick's Day, a fancy-pants hotel in Waikiki that you cannot afford to stay in but maybe steal some beach towels from, or perhaps even that amazing Vladimir Tretchikoff painting (as shown above) that your friend scored at a thrift store in Fresno that's still sitting in the trunk of their rusty Valiant. When it comes to music "from" the Orient, you may drift to thoughts of such exotica tunes as Tak Shindo's "Port of Trinkitat" or Martin Denny's "Hypnotique." I hope to open some new doors for you.

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Wild Indonesian Rock & Fantasy Flicks

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 30, 2019 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Indo-Rock

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

Resting your feet up on your ottoman (with rips repaired by duct tape), you strike a match to light your The Tielman Brotherscalabash pipe as you take a pause reading Bernard Heuvelmans' On the Track of Unknown Animals, contemplating if the small humanoid ape-creatures named the Orang Pendek on the island of Sumatra could in fact truly exist? Just then, your cat dips its tail into your tropical concoction you poured in an old Mr. Bali Hai mug. Indonesia seems to be in the air...so why not take it a little further this evening as I offer you some interesting appetizers from the "Emerald of Equator."

The Tielman Brothers are perhaps the most famous Indonesian rock band and are considered the pioneers of rock and roll in the Netherlands. This is due to Indonesia once being a Dutch colony, creating a unique cross-over of Indonesian and Western music called Indo-Rock. If rare international surf music "surfaces your submarine," you may have already heard their hit "Java Guitars" on the amazing bootleg surf album, Guitar Mood, still seen sealed new from time-to-time at Amoeba.



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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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World Cup Sale at Amoeba SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 2, 2018 02:12pm | Post a Comment

Attention citizens of the world! You don't have to be a soccer fan to celebrate Amoeba's World Cup Sale. Get 20% off all used CDs and LPs in our World Music sections at Amoeba SF and Amoeba Berkeley, now through July 15, 2018. Music from all around the world is at your fingertips at Amoeba Music!

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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