It's often a great thing when American musicians get outside of their natural surroundings to create. And when we're especially lucky, word of collaborations with artists from far-flung lands injects a load of fresh culture into indie-besodden ears.
In the case of Tinariwen, there are a lot of factors at play. First of all, noted boutique label Anti- Records is overseeing the release of Tassili, the three-decade-old group's fifth widely circulated recording. Add that lots of well-known musicians, including Robert Plant, Thom Yorke and Elvis Costello, are already fans. And finally, members of TV on the Radio, Wilco, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band appear on this collection, which comes out August 30. Although frontman Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is still a ways away from getting his name dropped regularly on these shores, it's safe to say that the intricate, atmospheric guitar work and his contemplative vocal work on Tassili will win a following well outside of "world music" enthusiasts.
The soldiers-turned-rock stars have announced a lengthy U.S. tour, including a South Florida stop.
This first clip indicates how rapturous the live experience of Tinariwen can be. Not only are the guys exuding a gargantuan amount of musical goodwill, but they wear fantastic capes and gowns. Also, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline probably scared away rattlesnakes with his desert guitar licks.
TV on the Radio fans will instantly latch onto Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone's work on Tassili. A behind-the-scenes look is here, and the finished version of "Tenere Taqhim Tossam" is below.
If not already apparent, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is mesmerizing, and this show will most certainly pull an audience to Grand Central on November 10 unlike any other. Although watching this video will make you wish that they staged the show in the dusty parking lot across the street.
Tinariwen North American Tour Dates
Fri/Sept-30 Los Angeles Oohlala Festival w/ Hindi Zahra
El Rey Theater
Sat/Oct-29Los Angeles, CA, Luckman Foundation
Sun/Oct-30 San Francisco, CA Fillmore
Mon/Oct-31Santa Cruz, CA Rio Theatre
Tue/Nov-01Pomona, CA Glasshouse
Wed/Nov-02Tucson, AZ Rialto Theater
Fri/Nov-04Dallas, TX Granada Theater
Sat/Nov-05Austin, TXFFF fest
Sun/Nov-06Houston, TX Fitzgeralds
Mon/Nov-07New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
Wed/Nov-09Orlando, FL The Social
Thu/Nov-10Miami, FL, Grand Central
Fri/Nov-11St. Petersburg, FL, State Theater
Sat/Nov-12Atlanta, GA, Variety
Sun/Nov-13Chapel Hill, NC, Cat's Cradle
Tue/Nov-15Washington, DC9:30 Club
Wed/Nov-16Philadelphia, PA, Trocadero
Fri/Nov-18Boston, MA, Paradise
Sat/Nov-19New York, NY, Webster Hall
Mon/Nov-21Montreal PQ, Le National
Tue/Nov-22Toronto, ONT, Opera House
Wed/Nov-23Detroit, MI, Majestic Theater
Fri/Nov-25Chicago, IL, Metro
Sat/Nov-26Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Cultural Center
Tue/Nov-29Calgary, ALBEPCOR / Folk Fest
Wed/Nov-30Vancouver, BC Vogue