Author Archives: Devon Leger

Album Reviews: Niger Sounds from Bombino and Etran Finatawa

Sometimes it’s the simplest words that stop you cold.  Soft-spoken Tuareg artist Omara ‘Bombino’ Moctar proved this to me on a stiflingly hot summer evening at the 2012 Pickathon Festival backstage. I was talking to him for their post-performance video interviews, aided by French-Canadian guitarist Yann Falquet as translator, and I wanted to ask himRead more...

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KEXP Suggests: FELA! @ Paramount Theatre through 6/2

STG Presents FELA! May 28 – June 2, 2013 at The Paramount Theatre Next Showings: Friday: 8:00pm Saturday: 2:00pm & 8:00pm Sunday: 1:00pm & 6:30pm The first thing you take away from the first time you see Fela Kuti is the all-consuming cool. There’s a palpable charisma flowing from him, an intense presence. Never havingRead more...

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Album Review: Staff Benda Bilili - Bouger Le Monde

Sometimes the story behind a band is so powerful that it threatens to overshadow the band itself. That was the case with eight-member Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili, but their new album, Bouger Le Monde, should go a long ways to overcoming their overwhelming back story. The story runs like this: Staff Benda Bilili originatedRead more...

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Album Review: K’naan - Country, God, or the Girl

It’s appropriate that K’naan‘s album, Country, God, or the Girl, drops this week, since it hits at the same time that S. Africa’s Die Antwoord drop their newest video. Die Antwoord’s video to “Fatty Boom Boom” is a keen satire on the hipster fetishism of urban African music and ultimately on the mainstream American loveRead more...

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Album Review: Old Crow Medicine Show - Carry Me Back

oldcrowcurrentlineup

With the upcoming release of their new album, Carry Me Back, it looks like Old Crow Medicine Show have retaken the mantle of American roots music superstars, and they’re doing so by going back to their roots as a tough-as-nails old-timey stringband. After 2008′s disappointing Tennessee Pusher, and after a hiatus from touring over bandRead more...

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Album Review: Amadou & Mariam - Folila

Malian duo Amadou & Mariam (Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia) have an impeccable talent for tapping into the most current and fascinating sounds in music whenever they record a new album. In 2003, they tapped red-hot artist Manu Chao to produce their wonderful album Dimanche à Bamako. In 2008, their album Welcome to Mali welcomedRead more...

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Celebrating Independence with… Canyon Records

In honor of Independence Day, KEXP is saluting some of our favorite indie record labels whose DIY-spirit helped revolutionize the music industry. As an independent radio station ourselves, KEXP is thrilled to give a 13-gun salute to these pioneers with a series of label spotlights through the Fourth of July. Canyon Records is one ofRead more...

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Celebrating Independence with… Tompkins Square

In honor of Independence Day, KEXP is saluting some of our favorite indie record labels whose DIY-spirit helped revolutionize the music industry. As an independent radio station ourselves, KEXP is thrilled to give a 13-gun salute to these pioneers with a series of label spotlights through the Fourth of July. Despite getting his start workingRead more...

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Album Review: Bola - Volume 7

bola

As we move into an age of blogs-turned-record-labels, the NY-based blog Awesome Tapes from Africa is certainly setting a great example. Their second release, Bola‘s Volume 7, is out this month, and it’s a vibrant, living testament to Ghanaian roots music in a digital age. Bola is a young traditional kologo player from a rural,Read more...

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