On The Download
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Arts & Entertainment
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Big Fat Whale
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Loudon Wainwright III
Pop and Rock Music
Salif Keita | La Différence
If you don't speak Malian French, you might not grasp that this is a concept album about separatism and the triumph of the human spirit inspired by Keita's experiences growing up as an albino outcast in his native land. But that doesn't matter.
| June 18, 2010
Excerpt: Evening’s Empire by BIll Flanagan
In this chapter, "The Drugs Don't Work," aging rock star Emerson Cutler and his manager, Jack Flynn, are seeking inspiration — and desperately trying to jumpstart his career.
An excerpt from Bill Flanagan’s new novel, Evening’s Empire , the true story of a band that never existed
| February 05, 2010
Vampire Weekend | Contra
There are a few words I did not expect to use in describing Vampire Weekend's second album. Paul-Simony-er is one of them.
| January 08, 2010
2009: The top 10 in pop music
Hmm, lots of women, a few old dudes, and some African banjo (not to be confused with Steve Martin's Hollywood banjo).
Music you need to own
| December 25, 2009
Things aren’t always what they’re called — we know that flying fish don’t fly and starfish aren’t even fish.
The crooked folk of Cuddle Magic
| December 18, 2009
Crossword: ''Initial reaction''
Letters, not words
Letters, not words
| November 27, 2009
Providence Fall Preview Listings 2009
A page of listings for local music, theater, art, festivals and more this fall.
Music, theater, art, festivals and more in the coming months
| September 18, 2009
Review: Throw Down Your Heart
Hip-hop, funk, and jazz artists are not the only cats who trace creative roots to Africa. So do such banjo-plucking white boys as Béla Fleck.
Magical mystery tour
| July 10, 2009
Vieux Farka Touré | Fondo
On his extraordinary homonymous 2007 debut, Vieux Farka Touré both paid tribute to his late, legendary father, Malian guitar icon Ali Farka Touré, and began to distance himself from that heritage.
Six Degrees (2009)
| May 15, 2009
Bruce Cockburn | Slice o Life: Bruce Cockburn Live Solo
This two-disc live set — just Bruce Cockburn and his guitars — may qualify as his one indispensable offering.
| March 30, 2009
Some albums are extraordinary because they capture their time. Others are great because they transcend it.
Rokia Traoré breaks through with Tchamantché
| February 09, 2009
The winter dance season starts out promoting international coexistence.
Dance heat 2009
| December 29, 2008
The Big Hurt: The year in not really giving a shit
In the annals of American pop history, 2008 will surely go down as a year when our nation had more-important shit to worry about than music.
Maybe next year, music
| December 23, 2008
Crossword: ''Hidden strength''
Yes, we can solve this puzzle
| November 26, 2008
Under African Skies
“Awesome Tapes from Africa” — the name says it all.
Awesome Tapes from Africa
| October 27, 2008
In its fifth year, FirstWorks Festival 2008 has grown to be a culturally diverse showcase, distinctly international in flavor, with an array of theater and family entertainment.
Fresh fare at the FirstWorks Festival
| October 01, 2008
Dance in fall
This fall’s offerings of dance performances have an international flavor, as well as featuring the talents of Rhody-grown dance groups.
| September 10, 2008
Oscar Mokeme is the Director of Portland Maine’s Museum of African Culture, which he co-founded in 1998 with Hannaford executive and collector Arthur Aleshire.
An interview with Oscar Mokeme
| July 31, 2008
It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
Chris Brokaw is booked solid
| July 07, 2008
Rite of darkness
Le Sacre du Printemps , with 14 dancers hailing from Senegal, Togo, Benin, Mali, Nigeria, and Mozambique, takes on black-on-black violence .
Heddy Maalem’s Sacre
| July 02, 2008
Shaping the Crescent
Even before Katrina wreaked its havoc on New Orleans, a popular T-shirt proclaimed the city “Third World and Proud of It,” and numerous more-literary types have long referred to it as the “northernmost Caribbean city.”
The making of New Orleans
| April 29, 2008
Awesome tapes from Africa
The music runs the gamut from Ghanaian gospel to Nigerian highlife, dulcet Malian folk to polished Kenyan hip-hop.
Sometimes the name says it all
| January 07, 2008
As Senegal’s pre-eminent pop singer, Youssou N’Dour has mastered the art of pleasing diverse audiences.
Youssou N’Dour bridges the gap
| November 19, 2007
Habib Koité and Bamada
That and his velvet voice complement the introspective mood here.
Afriki | Cumbancha
| October 15, 2007
Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues was frank — nay, explicit — in its exploration of women’s sexuality.
Roosen's monologues considers sex beneath the veil
| October 09, 2007
With their third CD, Tinariwen prove themselves the standard bearers of desert folk rock.
Aman Iman | Word Village
TINARIWEN, AMAN IMAN
| April 23, 2007
Mali’s most celebrated singer, Salif Keita, has long been a musical shape shifter.
M'Bemba | Decca
| April 03, 2007
Toumani Diabaté is not just on tour, he’s on a mission.
Toumani Diabaté, Somerville Theater, March 29, 2007
| April 03, 2007
Damon Albarn — Blur frontman, Gorillaz supremo, and now millennial minstrel to the drowning city of London — is that eerie modern specimen, the pop star who talks like a critic. The Good, The Bad, and the Queen, "Kingdom of Doom" (streaming video)
Damon Albarn’s The Good, the Bad & the Queen
| February 21, 2007
If the Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle Blood Diamond gets remembered for anything, it would be for the attention it’s drawn to the injustice that has risen alongside globalization in Africa.
Non-violence and rationality reign in the MFA’s ‘African Cinema’
| February 14, 2007
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