Last Friday night, I made the twelve-minute drive out to Claremont CA to attend a super cool concert. Though I support live music on a regular–almost weekly–basis, it’s a blessing when I can drive under ten miles, stay out of L.A. city proper one less night a week, and still catch a new up and coming band from halfway around the world. Fortunately, with the nearby Coachella Festival luring in so many of these would-be world stars, opportunities like this are more likely for Southern Californians in the month of April (I saw Kinshasa’s Mbongwana Star a few weeks ago!).
On this particular night, I caught up with Algerian quintet IMARHAN, whose familial ties to recent desert blues trailblazers Tinariwen have helped forge their young and fresh take on traditional Tuareg sounds. They began by delving into a handful of deep, beautiful, slow burning grinders, while a string of fierce and funky uptempo numbers closed their fantastic 90-minute set, stirring the relatively small but welcoming audience into a dancing frenzy. Considering their home is literally on the other side of the planet, I couldn’t believe this was a free show!
I’ve been in bliss listening to the vinyl LP that I brought home that night. Be sure to grab one for yourself! Out on City Slang imprint, it hits the stores (and online sites) on Friday April 29th!