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SXSW 2009 Lawn Party Film Series (Episode #2)
Back in March, Other Music and Dig For Fire got together to throw our second annual South By Southwest Lawn Party, with a ton of our favorite bands playing on the rolling lawns of Austin's French Legation Museum. It's been a few months since SXSW but the films still feel fresh, and all eight episodes can be viewed on the video-streaming site, Babelgum, who also sponsored our party. Here's the second film in the series, which features a rousing performance from Efterklang and a truly pastoral appearance from Fleet Foxes' J Tillman.
While you can stream all of the episodes on Other Music Digital, you can also click to watch invidual song highlights from: A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Army Navy, Asa, Benjy Ferree, Cause Co-Motion!, Cursive, Dent May, Efterklang, Laura Gibson, J. Tillman, Marnie Stern, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Pete and the Pirates, Rebecca Gates, Telekinesis, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Thermals, These Are Powers, Thomas Function, Viking Moses, Virgin Forest, Wavves.
We'd also like to invite you to check out Dig For Fire and Babelgum's new music series Road Trippin' With Ice Cream Man. This episode takes place in Chicago, where we catch up with A Band of Horses backstage at Lollapalooza, who take improvisation one step further, breaking into the never-before-performed "Modelo," complete with a beer-bottle orchestra accompaniment.
Produced by Dig for Fire [www.digforfire.tv] »
This Week's Free Song Download
Imidiwan Afrik Temdam
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Free Song Download of "Imidiwan Afrik Temdam," taken from Imidiwan, Tinariwen's follow-up to their 2007 breakthrough, Aman Iman. Recorded last December in the Malian village of Tessalit (in locations such as a rented house, out in the bush and in nomad camps), this band of ex-militants deliver another great sultry set that's simultaneously transcendental and grooving, and sure to be loved in every corner of the globe. Read the full review of the album below.
This Week's Featured Downloads
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Anyone who has been paying attention to the Other Music update over the past few years knows how strongly we feel about Tinariwen and their hypnotizing brand of West African "desert blues." Although this band of revolutionary Tuareg warriors has been in existence for over 25 years, in the last five years or so their international profile has skyrocketed, as the group garnered accolades and luminous celebrity fans ranging from Chris Martin to Robert Plant and Carlos Santana. It only takes one listen to 2007's Aman Iman to understand why. Two years later, the nomads are back with another masterpiece, Imidiwan, which was recorded last December in the Malian village of Tessalit, home to Tinariwen co-founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib. For this album the band wanted to return to the stripped-down, intimate sounds of their earliest recordings, so rather than set up in an established studio, the collective chose to lay down tracks in such exotic village locales as the desert bush, various nomadic camps and the homes of fellow tribe members.
What results is exemplary and downright stunning at some points. Whatever your genre-mixing, tribal-love-jam-makin', swirling dust-storm guitar-wielding indie faves do, these guys do it better. "Kel Tamashek" is a propulsive, campfire sing-along that boasts a pulsing, trancelike, 4/4 handclap rhythm and chunky, virtuoso guitar picking from Alhabibi while "Intitlayahaghen" is classic Tinariwen, complete with a call-n-response chorus and choir and their trademark, blissful, layered guitar sprawl, accented by whoops and hollers. Every track is a winner here, and like all of their major heroes and influences (Santana, Ali Farka Toure, Hendrix and Johnny Cash), they've created a signature sound that belongs to them and only them. There's a reason why these guys are your favorite band's favorite band. A true candidate for album of the year, from one of the best groups on the planet right now. Available only as a download until the full domestic release in October... and you need this NOW!
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Toystore, the new album by French singer Coralie Clement (sister to
Gallic pop writer/singer/producer Benjamin Biolay, who works his magic
on this album as well) comes forth with a novel enough concept -- the
arrangements are performed on an arsenal of "toy" and miniature instruments like ukuleles, penny whistles, toy pianos, glockenspiels, stylophones, pocket trumpets, melodica, etc. It sounds charming, giving the album a Left-Bank-in-miniature vibe, but thankfully Clement avoids novelty and kitsch by delivering with assured confidence and real emotion, crooning and sighing through a set of tunes that effectively touch upon a broad cross-section of styles in the history of French popular song while retaining a keen, sharp modernist angle amidst its sensual, curvy nostalgia. Summer's on the way out the door, and as the temps have been cooling off with the incoming autumnal breezes, I've been putting this record on in welcome embrace of the bundled-up weeks spent indoors soon to come. A wonderful mix of cozy ambiance and soft but strong pop bounce make Toystore a rousing success. Recommended!
-Mikey IQ Jones
Mariposas / Un Momento
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A great, two-song single that caught my ear when it came in from this Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter (and former Supersystem lead guitarist), Rafael Cohen, a/k/a Las Palabras. With not much more than his voice and acoustic guitar, save for some spare woodblock percussion and light saxophone on "Mariposas," Cohen's music (and the recording itself) effortlessly conjures the soulful, yearning spirit of tropicalists such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, as well as early-'70s era Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges. Any fan of the aforementioned as well as more recent Brazilian talent such as Seu Jorge or Marcio Local won't want to miss this. Fantastic!
Pax Nicholas and the Nettey Family
Na Teef Know De Road of Teef
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You know if Daptone finds an African record to reissue, then this thang must be worth hearing... and indeed it is. This is a killer, killer, KILLER Afro-funk reissue of a rarer-than-hen's teeth Afrobeat album from a former percussionist and singer for Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band. The Ghanaian-born Pax Nicholas-Nettey joined Africa 70 at the tender age of 17 and played with that storied group for eight years, appearing on every Kuti release between the years of 1971 and 1978. At the time of this recording, Nicholas-Nettey was 19 years old and produced, wrote and arranged this record at Ginger Baker's famed studio in Lagos (home to all of Kuti's 70s output and Wing's Band on the Run). Africa 70 was his house band for this recording and it's every bit as good as any of Tony Allen or Kuti's best work from the time. Legend has it that it was so good, when Fela Kuti heard the album and found out that Africa 70 had played on it, he asked "never, ever to hear it again," and pretty much sabotaged the promotion of the LP so that barely anyone noticed the teenaged musician's masterpiece. And barely anyone did, until noted African Funk collector, DJ and writer "Voodoo" Frank Gossner discovered the album while diggin' in Philly, oddly enough. Gossner was able to track down Nicholas three years ago, by this time relocated to Berlin, and got the go-ahead to reissue his masterpiece some 36 years later. Guaranteed to move mind, body and soul, I can't say enough about this gem, except that I highly recommend it!
Grief No Absolution
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Heavily shrouded in mystery, Grief No Absolution's music (previously heard only by die-hards on CD-Rs, now coming to destroy you in digital and LP formats courtesy of FSS) aims for annihilation. Using the spooky, inherent dread of drone music as a foundation, GNA conjures nightmares with feedback squalls, chanting, and the industrial noise of heavy machinery. This is the soundtrack to buildings falling down.