Feathers

( from a Bricks Picks in the  LA Weekly 2010)

Coming up is the extraordinary Malian band Tinariwen, about whom every desert cliché has been written by rock critics already. All we’ll say is we are absolute suckers for these guys, and highly recommend their albums if you like your Malian sounds cut through with earthy blues and a “Memo From Turner” kind of Stones groove, or if you’ve ever felt the eerie pull of gnawa. And while we do not encourage the use of illegal substances of any kind whatsoever, if you should somehow catch a whiff of hash in the air, breathe deep and listen.

 We don’t encourage the wearing of feathers either, or those manic hip shimmies that make a man’s eyes bounce around their sockets like pinballs. But hell, if it’s samba what can you do? And you’ll get samba in spades when Brazilian singer Diogo Nogueira is at the Roxy this Friday. He’s the star act at this year’s Brazilian Summer Festival, and the samba will be thoroughly authentic and played by Brazilian players that know how to do it. Lots of local percussionists and befeathered dancers, too, as always, and when the music is fired up and the bar good the crowd just loses it. We recall one of these bashes on a humid night at the Ford Amphitheatre some years ago. Bossa nova this wasn’t. The silver haired band was frantic, unstoppable, we’re talking Ramones tempos on acoustic instruments for what seemed like hours. The crowd sang every word, and in key. By the end of the night it was complete mayhem, the audience was an ecstatic mob, belting out the lyrics, jumping up and down, hugging strangers, grandmas running up and down the steps utterly out of their minds.  The stage was awash in dancers. Apparently this is normal. Maybe in the confines of the Roxy, the people will restrain themselves. Details at braziliannites.com.

Feathers.

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