a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* Toumast – Ishumar (world)
Toumast is a prime example of Bedouin Blues, music made by nomads in the African Sahara. The music has eerie similarities to American blues – repetitive guitar lines with bent “blue” notes and a swung tempo – despite being a clearly African form. The Touareg are a dispossessed people, and the depth of emotion here parallels the weep and moan of more familiar blues.
* Los Tigres del Norte– Raíces (world)
One of the most veteran Norteño bands takes a turn at classic Mexican tunes. I can’t say that I’m familiar with most of these songs (yet), but there’s a bite to this band’s sound that’s more compelling than your typical accordion conjunto. The material’s great, and the sound grows on you.
White Hinterland – Phylactery Factory (rock)
Sweet songs with a twist of melancholy, White Hinterland pairs lounge-inspired piano with everything from violin, to vibraphone, to electric organ to ukelele. Luminous vocal work seals the package.
Mia Doi Todd – Gea (folk)
Todd evokes great deep-voice chanteuses from Joni Mitchell to Astrud Gilberto. Spare, beautiful arrangements keep the focus on her voice and subtle acoustic guitar work. Pensive and heartfelt.
The King Blues – Under the Fog (rock)
British punk reggae. Drives with irresistible energy through loping tempos. Politically committed, loud, and fun – The Clash would be proud.
Bauhaus – Go Away White (rock)
Thick distortion and heavy bass lines focus a great set of rock & roll. While they tend to be associated with Goth, this album displays a debt to groups like Iggy and the Stooges that were more edgy than spooky.
In the blog this week: Black Crowes / Howlin Rain cage match, Flogging Molly
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation