Tuesday, April 11, 2017 ♦ 7:00 PM & 10:00 PM
4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000
The new album Elwan by Tinariwen could well have been called Exile on Main Street. Others have already thought of that, but the idea is apt. As is the painful paradox, if you consider that while Tinariwen were criss-crossing the globe on their recent triumphant tours, the frontiers that encircle their desert home were closing and forcing them into exile to record their new album Elwan.
In recent years, Tinariwen's homeland, a Saharan mountain range between north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria, has been transformed into a conflict zone. While the songs on the new record evoke those cherished deserts of home, they were recorded a long way away in two distinctive bursts.
The resulting album is called Elwan (‘The Elephants'), not Exile On Main Street, though it fits nicely into that ‘road record' category. In American cinema, a road movie always unfolds the same way. Characters travel in search of some truth or revelation. But they always end up reconnecting with their own past. Of course, it's an impossible return, because that past has been erased. It's the same for this record, so musically powerful and yet poignant: every song evokes a land that can no longer be found, with all that this implies in terms of emotional range, from nostalgia for a joyous past to the tragic recent loss of a territory, and of the dream that it nourished.
Widely recognized for their trademark blend of 60's Cambodian pop and psychedelic rock, Dengue Fever's latest release expands their musical palette to include Khmer rap, Latin grooves, Afro percussion, layered Stax-like horns and more. Their rare cross pollination of Khmer rock, garage rock, psychedelic rock and the British Invasion sound has pushed the band to heights they could only dream of when they formed in 2002.
Since then, Dengue Fever has performed in front of thousands of fans at such noted music festivals as WOMAD (UK, AUS, NZ), WOMEX (Spain), Melbourne Festival (AUS), Glastonbury (UK), Bumerbshoot, (USA), Transmusicales (France), Roskilde (Denmark), Electric Picnic (Ireland), Peace and Love (Sweden), Treasure Island (USA) among many others. Their songs have appeared in films such as City of Ghosts, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, The Hangover 2, the Showtime series Weeds, the HBO's hit series True Blood (who named an entire episode after one of their songs) and featured the band's music, CBS' series CSI: Las Vegas and numerous independent documentaries.
With band profiles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Mojo, Uncut, Magnet, Wired, NPR's “Fresh Air”, Radio Australia, KCRW's “Morning Becomes Eclectic” and “World Café Live”, the time is truly ripe for at least another decade of breaking down more musical barriers.