Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Double Bill: Dengue Fever and Tinariwen

Videos: (Dengue Fever - 1000 Tears of a Tarantula) (Dengue Fever - Sni Bong) (Tinariwen - Tiwàyyen) (Tinariwen (+IO:I) - Ténéré Tàqqàl (what has become of the Ténéré))

I finally caught Dengue Fever last night in Chicago during their current North American tour, during which they are playing in a number of cities on a double bill with Tinariwen. If you're in Toronto, they are playing at Massey Hall tonight (April 12) with Tinariwen. Catch them if you can. I believe that they closed last night's show with their song 1000 Tears of a Tarantula, but it may also have been Sni Bong. I've posted both videos above.

Dengue Fever are a band formed in 2001 by Ethan Holtzman and his brother Zac after Ethan was inspired by a trip to Cambodia. Many of their songs are covers of 1960s Cambodian rock tunes by such artists as Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron, and Ros Serey Sothea, but some are originals, first written in English by the Holtzmans before being translated. Some of their tracks--including Sni Bong--have a real Dick Dale vibe to them, which may make sense given that the Holtzman brothers are from California.

Tinariwen should need no introduction. From Wikipedia: Tinariwen is a Grammy Award-winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. The band was formed in 1979 in Tamanrasset, Algeria, but returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in 2001 with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions, and with performances at Festival au Désert in Mali and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Their popularity rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007. NPR calls the group "music's true rebels," AllMusic deems the group's music "a grassroots voice of rebellion," and Slate calls the group "rock 'n' roll rebels whose rebellion, for once, wasn't just metaphorical."

I first came across Tinariwen around the same time I got interested in Ali Farka Toure's music. Here are a couple of tracks off Tinariwen's new album (Tiwàyyen and Ténéré Tàqqàl (what has become of the Ténéré)).