ONLY THINGS WE LOVE is the new album by BLAQK AUDIO, the electronic alter ego of AFI’s DAVEY HAVOK and JADE PUGET. Produced and recorded by Puget, ONLY THINGS WE LOVE is Blaqk Audio’s 4th release following 2007’s Cexcells,2012’s Bright Black Heaven and 2016’s Material. Each has hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Asked how ONLY THINGS WE LOVE compares to its Material predecessor, Havok says “it feels starkly different. Because we were so happy with the many songs we wrote, the track listing continued to change up until a few weeks before it went to press. In the end, the futurepop elements of Blaqk Audio have a greater representation on this album than they did on the last. Synthpop and electropop still make up most of the record, yet these tracks have a uniquely modern feel. While even dancier than Material, Only Things We Love offers a dreamy quality less present on any previous release.” Havok says that Puget suggested the album title during the early part of the writing process and that he immediately fell in love with it. “As a phrase, it begs qualification,” says the vocalist. “What question does it answer? Some will certainly find joyous meaning in the title. To me, as I feel it will be for many, the evocative phrase is quite confrontational, if not unequivocally bleak.” Though best known for their work with multi-platinum rock band AFI, Havok and Puget’s shared love of electronic music runs deep. Havok, who counts Devo’s Freedom of Choice and Duran Duran’s self-titled debut among the first albums he owned, saw his tastes evolve over the years from the synth pop of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys to Depeche Mode and ultimately to the heavier, darker Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Front 242 and Lords of Acid. Later, Havok immersed himself in the “futurepop” genre, which combined dark dance-y electronica with melodic vocals. Puget shared his bandmate’s long-standing love of electronic music, beginning with a passion for Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Ministry and Squarepusher, spending a great deal of time programming electronic music, which in turn led to a plan to start an entirely electronic side project: no organic instruments, just synths, keyboards, drum machines, and software. “We don’t really think about consciously evolving our sound,” says Puget. “It sort of evolves on its own. We started Blaqk Audio almost 18 years ago, so there have been lots of waves and trends in electronic music in those two decades. We just try to do our own thing existing in our own little lane on the side and simply do what appeals to us.” When asked if there’s something about the making of this album that he’ll remember a decade from now, Puget says, “By then we’ll all be wearing silver space suits and driving flying cars, but I’ll never forget that Davey and I were already doing that in 2019.”2200 2nd Ave Belltown, Seattle, WA 98121
ONLY THINGS WE LOVE is the new album by BLAQK AUDIO, the electronic alter ego of AFI’s DAVEY HAVOK and JADE PUGET. Produced and recorded by Puget, ONLY THINGS WE LOVE is Blaqk Audio’s 4th release following 2007’s Cexcells,2012’s Bright Black Heaven and 2016’s Material. Each has hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Asked how ONLY THINGS WE LOVE compares to its Material predecessor, Havok says “it feels starkly different. Because we were so happy with the many songs we wrote, the track listing continued to change up until a few weeks before it went to press. In the end, the futurepop elements of Blaqk Audio have a greater representation on this album than they did on the last. Synthpop and electropop still make up most of the record, yet these tracks have a uniquely modern feel. While even dancier than Material, Only Things We Love offers a dreamy quality less present on any previous release.” Havok says that Puget suggested the album title during the early part of the writing process and that he immediately fell in love with it. “As a phrase, it begs qualification,” says the vocalist. “What question does it answer? Some will certainly find joyous meaning in the title. To me, as I feel it will be for many, the evocative phrase is quite confrontational, if not unequivocally bleak.” Though best known for their work with multi-platinum rock band AFI, Havok and Puget’s shared love of electronic music runs deep. Havok, who counts Devo’s Freedom of Choice and Duran Duran’s self-titled debut among the first albums he owned, saw his tastes evolve over the years from the synth pop of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys to Depeche Mode and ultimately to the heavier, darker Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Front 242 and Lords of Acid. Later, Havok immersed himself in the “futurepop” genre, which combined dark dance-y electronica with melodic vocals. Puget shared his bandmate’s long-standing love of electronic music, beginning with a passion for Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Ministry and Squarepusher, spending a great deal of time programming electronic music, which in turn led to a plan to start an entirely electronic side project: no organic instruments, just synths, keyboards, drum machines, and software. “We don’t really think about consciously evolving our sound,” says Puget. “It sort of evolves on its own. We started Blaqk Audio almost 18 years ago, so there have been lots of waves and trends in electronic music in those two decades. We just try to do our own thing existing in our own little lane on the side and simply do what appeals to us.” When asked if there’s something about the making of this album that he’ll remember a decade from now, Puget says, “By then we’ll all be wearing silver space suits and driving flying cars, but I’ll never forget that Davey and I were already doing that in 2019.”$20 Adv.
For nearly a decade, Hartford, Connecticut’s Bronze Radio Return has traveled the world, urging their listeners to dance and sing along. Their rousing, anthemic sound creates an undeniable upbeat atmosphere that’s one part dance party and another part roots-rock. If their name doesn’t ring a bell, odds are you know one of their acclaimed singles, leaving them affectionately dubbed “the band you’ve probably heard, but haven’t heard of.” Racking up more than 60 million streams on Spotify, and with songs such as “Light Me Up,” “Further On,” and “Shake, Shake, Shake,” they have impressively notched nearly 100 high-profile placements ranging from the 2014 film St. Vincent, to commercials for Nissan and Starbucks, to numerous television shows. Along the way, their hyper-charged and hypnotic stage presence has turned bystanders into believers at festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout, and Firefly, and gained international recognition with tours throughout Europe and China. Their last LP, 2016’s Light Me Up skyrocketed them to even further success. Regarded as “infectiously catchy and fun to listen to from the very first line of the title track all the way to the very end” (The Prelude Press), the music of Bronze Radio Return’s former album cemented that these boys stand primed for impact in a big way. Now, the five-piece Bronze Radio Return is gearing up to release a stream of new music, with their sound evolving more than ever and with their roots always firmly intact. Holding true to their previous writing and recording process, like when they escaped to Texas and Oklahoma together during the production of Light Me Up, many of the songs came to be during lead singer Chris Henderson’s recent move to Oklahoma with little more than just an air mattress. Later, the guys came together at a ranch in Texas to record this exciting chapter of the band’s progression, both musically and personally. As the band articulates: "This latest collection of songs is a culmination of our many adventures together over the years. It’s a representation of an evolving creative process that changes with time and perspective. Who wants to read a book where every chapter is the same? This chapter is a continuation of what we started when the band began and tells a story of where we are now. The throwback elements are still there, but we want listeners to breathe the fresh air of a sound they haven’t yet expected from us." Their new 12-song album will be rolled out as a series of singles and EPs starting in the fall of 2018 before culminating in the release of the full body of work in 2019.$16 Adv.
Every generation has their own version of the blues, music that captures a sense of melancholia and provides a sonic reflecting pool for young lovers, old souls, and the eternally heartbroken. For their darkly shaded and radiant debut album Full Circle, HAELOS have found their blues where others go to find pure, uncut joy: the dancefloor. The London trio’s version of a night out is a million miles away from mirror balls and sweaty bodies, their rippling electronic pop conjuring the exhilarating privacy of a cavernous club’s dark pockets and the introspective comedowns that accompany rainy 5 a.m. cab rides. “It’s the music you put on after the club,” Lotti Benardout, who shares vocal duties with her other bandmates, states. “You can still feel that energy and euphoria, but it might bring you back to reflect on certain moments or memories.” The three bandmates decided to collaborate having been working on separate projects. Arthur Delaney and Dom Goldsmith had been working on material under the working title of HÆLOS; Lotti had been writing with Dom who was producing an EP for her at the time. The nocturnal, throbbing “Dust” was the first finished work to come from the trio’s newly formed union; over the course of the following year, the rest of Full Circle’s shadowy sounds came together. “When you don’t know people that well, you can look back at things and retell your story,” Benardout speaks on HAELOS’ ability to mature from relative strangers into a cohesive musical unit. “It’s new again. There’s something quite cathartic about it.” Catharsis is, indeed, the name of Full Circle’s game, an embodiment of a sound that has been referred to as “dark euphoria”. Throughout the album, HÆLOS reconstruct the firmament of dance sounds past and present to construct an exquisitely elegiac mood that retains a sense of presence as it conveys the pain of emotional distance. Every moment of uneasy reflection is matched by quiet explosions—Delaney’s forceful shouts over yo-yo synths on Full Circle’s title track, Benardout’s layered pleas over Goldsmith’s cascading drum breaks on “Pray,” and the soaring “Separate Lives,” which hollows out drum’n’bass’ propulsive patter to form an atmosphere that’s as gently disruptive as it is emotionally nourishing. Throughout the album’s loudest and most peaceful moments alike, Full Circle retains a pristine intimacy thanks to Goldsmith’s keen ear for behind-the-boards magic; his touch gives the album a hermetic feel that stays with you long after it ends. We’re living in a time where the struggle to make human connections is hampered by our inability to unplug, and so Full Circle is a glorious, gorgeous contradiction of sorts: emotional pop that perfectly captures ageless emotional conundrums, featuring music that could only be made in the present day. “We all have a shared human experience,” opines Delaney, HAELOS’ main lyrical contributor. “As much as we try to run away from feelings with all the distractions around us, they always follow us around. They’re a constant thing that unites us all.” And so Full Circle is the sound of three individuals finding common ground, for themselves and for anyone who’s ever believed that it’s impossible to move your body without listening to your own heart.$18 Adv.
From great tragedy comes great art. Or, at least, that’s the hope. In creating their new albums, Jude Vol. I and Jude Vol. II, The Bright Light Social Hour found making music to be a healing, cathartic process after the band was deeply shaken by grief. In 2015, around the release of the Austin group’s second album Space Is Still The Place, Jackie’s brother Alex, the band’s manager of four years, was deep in the delusional throes of severe and sudden bipolar 1 disorder. It was a time of immense stress and intensity for the musicians, who began writing songs for a new album in their home studio on Lake Travis as Alex spiraled. The songs took a turn when Alex took his own life on the shore of the lake, witnessed in its aftermath by Jackie. “It was a terrible thing, but it was also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced and probably will ever experience,” Jackie says. “This was all happening as we started the record. Not all the songs are about Alex, but I think even the ones that aren’t all have a bittersweet mix of overwhelming beauty and terrible loss. The music deals with the ripples it caused in all of our lives, especially in our relationships, with an underlying theme of trying to wrap our heads around all of this.” The contiguous albums, titled after Alex’s middle name, are about what it means to lose someone and then be left to pick up the pieces. They’re about relationships and politics and confronting your own emotions head on. Because of these intense thematic cores, the musicians searched for a more streamlined way to express themselves in song. Where Space Is Still The Place is cloudy and filled with distortion, Jude Vol. I and Jude Vol. II seek clarity and clean, bold lines amidst the haze. There are elements of shoegaze, drawn from bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, as well as Krautrock and New Wave, resulting in dreamy textures with distinct articulations of emotion right beneath the surface. In November of 2017, the band drove to Los Angeles, armed with 18 songs that confronted their feelings of grief and loss, and spent several months recording in Sunset Sound with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Slowdive, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). There they narrowed the tracks down to 14 and found inspiration in the historic studio. “Being in such an iconic space really made us rise to the occasion,” Jackie notes. “It felt like we had to make something that might be smiled upon by all the spirits of the amazing artists like Prince and The Doors who have recorded there over the years.” “It was the smoothest recording process I think we’ve ever had,” Curtis adds. “It’s not usually particularly fractious, but we’ve done a lot of our past recordings ourselves and we’re constantly second guessing ourselves and our work. Having Chris as a producer and an engineer and helping us guide the project really enhanced the teamwork aspect of making the record. We really trusted and leaned on each other, but also allowed everyone a lot of space to do our things. It felt like all four of us were really dialed in to the band and trying to push ourselves in new ways.” The session yielded two separate albums, each with seven tracks. The first volume faces the immediate violence of Alex’s death and attempts to understand the resulting emotions, while the second volume accepts and appreciates the beauty of it all, eventually finding gratitude. The final two songs on Jude Vol. I are the center-point of everything, beginning with the melancholy haze of “My Boy” and flowing into the buoyant shimmer of “Swimming Out.” “’My Boy’ details waking up every day and trying to deal with the idea that this person is no longer here,” Jackie explains. “We relied on him so much for guidance and now we’re trying to carry on without his guidance. ‘Swimming Out’ is an answer to that, imaging Alex in the afterlife. He had no problem holding back his thoughts, especially when he saw something that wasn’t right, so it’s this idea of him being in this peaceful afterlife and having suggestions for how it could be better.” The rest of the songs on Jude Vol. I, which follows the band’s recent EP Missing Something, take on related, but less direct responses to Alex’s death. “She Wanna Love You,” which layers vibrant synthesizers over each other, confronts the challenges of submitting to a partner’s love (“If you can just accept it, then it will set you free,” Jackie notes), while “Lie To Me” examines the ease of accepting outrageous lies told by the powers that be. It was the latter that really set the aesthetic tone for the rest of the album. “It has these very clean and modern lines,” Curtis says. “There’s less work to do to go in and find the emotions. This song really set a good precedent for developing the rest of the songs.” For The Bright Light Social Hour, who have evolved significantly since they started as an art rock collective in college in 2004, these songs bring clarity to the chaos of emotions that can come after a loss or a heartbreak or a tragedy. The band, who have toured extensively, including festival stops at Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, found a way out of their grief in the years that followed Alex’s death by focusing on the music. Listening to the heartfelt, evocative songs on Jude Vol. I and Jude Vol. II may be able to do the same for those who hear them. “I hope that this album can help untangle these feelings of grief for others,” Jackie says. “You can have feelings of fear and great relief and despair and anger all mixed in. These songs hopefully encapsulate that plethora of emotions in facing death head on, which is something that’s so intense and painful. But when you go through it, you learn that without death there is no life. In the end, it’s not a scary thing we should be afraid of.”$15 Adv.
“rosie's the best, dude. like hands down the best. for some people it's like, a herculean effort to put intelligible words over music that doesn't sound absolutely insane. but rosie just is like, ‘hey, here's this song i wrote in 20 minutes’ and then she plays you the coolest, catchiest, most clever song you'll hear all year. damn, rosie. how do we get to be like you, rosie? she's also very nice which is a quality that i hear a lot of people enjoy. indie rock with music for the heart and lyrics for the brain” - WOLFY$10 Adv.
To say musician, author and activist Laura Jane Grace has had a defiant career would be the understatement of the year. Whether being accused of leaving the DIY punk scene to pursue a major label career over a decade ago, or courageously challenging people's conceptions of gender identity with a bombshell Rolling Stone article, Grace has remained a daring and influential cultural figure in her over 20+ years of creating dynamic art across various mediums. Sure, she’s bound to worry some fans with her decision to press pause on Against Me! to release a more intimate singer-songwriter leaning solo album under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, but her artistic motivation cast her determination in steel. “In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘f**k all of you, I’m going to do this anyway,'” she says with a smile. With this conviction came liberation, because few expectations equals total freedom. Indeed on the record’s opening cut, “China Beach,” Grace delivers a bold, lip-curled statement of intent: “Learn to trust yourself, no one else matters / Respect the source and always welcome failure.” And it’s in this spirit—with the help of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and long-term AM! producer Marc Jacob Hudson on bass—that Bought to Rot, the debut album from Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, came into existence. Bought to Rot was written largely in motion—on tour, in Spain, Australia, Amsterdam hotel rooms, and some at home in Chicago. It’s a record scorched with honesty, unapologetically confessional, capturing many moments snipped from Grace’s life and stitched together in song. Although it’s a step and a twist away from Against Me!’s sonic blueprint, there’s still a kinetic punk energy that vibrates throughout. These compositions are looser, stripped, but with a melodic pop immediacy pushing to the fore. “I have my main gig, but I’m still doing this thing,” she continues. “It’s undeniable and it’s really good and here’s the proof … so what are you going to do with that?” Well, it has to go out into the world: via Bloodshot Records, the storied Chicago indie boasting a past & present roster that includes Ryan Adams, Neko Case, Murder by Death, Old 97’s and Justin Townes Earle. The seeds of this project were initially sown when Grace, Hudson and Willard introduced the band on a small run of dates in 2016 that included Grace delivering impassioned readings of journal entries between stripped-down Against Me! songs, most of which were featured in her critically acclaimed memoir Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Coming off the cycle for Shape Shift With Me, Against Me!’s latest full-length studio album, and a North American arena tour with Green Day, Grace was asked to perform a Mountain Goats cover on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and it was then that she received a massive sense of renewed momentum overall. With additional songs penned that felt more stand-alone than a proper Against Me! offering, Bought to Rot resulted in 14 gripping tracks detailing Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago (“I Hate Chicago”), the act of interpersonal acceptance (“The Friendship Song”), all-consuming affection until our ultimate demise [“Apocalypse Now (& Later)”], complicated romance (“The Airplane Song”), and reconciling everything in the end. As a complete body of work, the album stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date, and is what she affectionately calls her “Scorpio” record – redolent in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Additionally inspired in large part by Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Tom Petty was when he created his classic solo debut. In light of his recent passing, Grace was even able to pay direct homage to him on the recording. "I bought a '64 Fender Jaguar off Stan Lynch, drummer of the Heartbreakers, and I always like to think that maybe Petty had picked it up and strummed a couple chords on it,” she says. “I always liked the idea of having my fingers dance on the same fret board as my hero." There’s a refreshing sense of variety present on Bought to Rot, an album that features a vast array of musical textures and lyrics that read like separate short stories throughout. “My approach musically to the record was that I wanted it to feel like a mixtape,” Grace recently told Rolling Stone. “Like OK, you’ve got this Nirvana-like song, you’ve got a Cure song. It was musically freeing, in that way, to just be playing whatever was coming to me as I was writing and not having to think about it.” As such, “I Hate Chicago,” a tongue-in-cheek centerpiece to the album that has become a bit of a live favorite to Chicagoans and non-locals alike, finds Grace at her most wry and entertainingly venomous, lambasting the city’s sports teams and revered bands, its festivals and its unfriendly denizens over an Americana-angled jaunt. Created at a breakneck pace, Bought to Rot is finally here and ready to be consumed & dissected: to be loved, to be hated. It’s an album propelled by a sense of restless, forward motion and the inherent need for Grace to continue evolving as an artist and person the only way she knows how. “I don’t want to write about these same things anymore,” she says. “I need some new sources of inspiration. And I don’t want to be negative. I want to write some positive, happy songs, and I wanted that to be inspired by positive, happy living, too.”$22.50
Folk/Rock with a "soft edge"$8 at The Door
Omara "Bombino" Moctar, whose given name is Goumour Almoctar, was born on January 1, 1980, in Tidene, Niger, an encampment of nomadic Tuaregs located about 80 kilometers to the northeast of Agadez. He is a member of the Ifoghas tribe, which belongs to the Kel Air Tuareg federation. His father is a car mechanic and his mother takes care of the home, as is the Tuareg tradition. Bombino was raised as a Muslim and taught to consider honor, dignity and generosity as principal tenets of life. The Tuareg, known amongst themselves as the Kel Tamasheq, have long been recognized as warriors, traders and travelers of the Sahara Desert - as a people of grace and nobility as well as fighters of fierce reputation. They are a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa and for centuries have fought against colonialism and the imposition of strict Islamic rule. Bombino spent his early childhood between the encampment and the town of Agadez, the largest city in northern Niger (population about 90,000) and long a key part of the ancient Sahara trade routes connecting North Africa and the Mediterranean with West Africa. One of seventeen brothers and sisters (including half brothers and half sisters from both his mother and father), Bombino was enrolled in school in Agadez, but he demonstrated his rebellious spirit early on and refused to go. Bombino's grandmother took him in to keep his father from forcing him to go to school, and, like most Tuareg children, he grew up living with his grandmother. Eventually, Bombino gave in and began attending a French-Arabic school that taught both French and classic Arabic. After three years, he left the school and at the age of nine he returned to his grandmother to live the life of an independent Tuareg child. The Tuareg culture is matriarchic, and the elder women are considered the chiefs of the community, the wise sages that represent the power of life, generosity and knowledge. Bombino's grandmother instilled in him the Tuareg moral code in order for him to grow up as a respected member of society. Young Tuareg boys are called "arawan n tchimgharen," or "grandmother's children," a term that is considered a badge of honor. In 1984, a drought hit Niger and Mali, killing most of the region's livestock, forcing people to leave the countryside and move into the cities or migrate to Algeria and Libya. Eventually, Tuareg communities in those countries organized a rebellion to defend their rights, as they felt overlooked and underrepresented by local governments. Before the fighting began, rebels began teaching the community about the goals of the rebellion through song and the recently adopted guitar. Musicians such as Intayaden, Abreyboun of Tinariwen, Keddo, Abdallah of Niger and others sang popular songs that proclaimed the rights and heritage of the Tuaregs. The style was called "ishoumar" which derives from the French word "chomeurs" or "unemployed," because Tuaregs had lost their herds in the drought and were left with no other means of supporting themselves. Eventually, the term "ishoumar" became synonymous with "rebels." In 1990, the first Tuareg rebellion began in Mali and Niger when Tuareg commandos launched an attack against local military and government offices. The governments fought back, declaring Tuaregs enemies of the state and forcing many Tuareg's into exile. Bombino fled with his father and grandmother to stay near relatives in Algeria. One day some relatives arrived from the front lines of the rebellion, carrying with them two guitars that they left behind for a few months. Bombino began to teach himself to play the guitars, plucking out notes in imitation of the ishoumar songs he had heard. In 1992 and 1993, the military regime in Niger was replaced with a democratically elected government, and numerous political parties were formed, largely along ethnic lines. A Tuareg party was formed, and music once again played an important role in educating the community, this time about the importance of a democratic system in Niger. While the armed conflict had not formally ended, Bombino and his family decided to move back to Agadez. During a trip to Niamey, Niger for medical treatment, Bombino met with his uncle Rissa Ixa, a famous Tuareg painter, who gave him a guitar. Upon returning to Agadez, Bombino joined the Tuareg political party where he met the best guitarist of the party, a man named Haja Bebe. He started getting lessons, improving to the point where Haja Bebe invited him to join his band. It was during this time that Bombino acquired his nickname. As the youngest and smallest member of the band, the other members called him Bombino, a variation on the Italian word for "little child." On April 24, 1995, the Niger government signed a peace treaty with the rebels and Tuaregs were able to move back to Niger. Around the same time, Bombino got a role as an extra in the French film Imuhar: A Legend, which was filmed in the nearby desert. After finishing his work on the film, Bombino settled into life as working musician, performing at political rallies, weddings, and other ceremonies. He fought often with his father, who did not want his son to become a musician. To escape this problem, Bombino decided to travel to Algeria and Libya in 1996. In Libya, he made friends with some local musicians, and they would spend time watching videos of Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and others in an effort to master their licks. Bombino was quickly becoming an accomplished guitarist and was in high demand as a backing musician. While working as a herder in the desert near Tripoli, Libya, Bombino spent many hours alone watching the animals and practicing his guitar. Eventually, Bombino decided to return to Niger, where he continued to play with a number of local bands. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino record his first album, which become a local hit on Agadez radio. The success of the album validated Bombino's choice to make a career out of music, and he began playing regularly for tourists and locals alike. In 2006, Bombino traveled to California with the band Tidawt for a tour organized by a non-profit organization. During the trip, he had the chance to record a desert blues version of the Rolling Stones classic "Hey Negrita" alongside Stones' members Keith Richards and Charlie Watts. The track appears on the 2008 album spearheaded by Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Riese entitled Stone's World: The Rolling Stones Project Volume 2. Later that year, Bombino served as Angelina Jolie's guide to the Niger desert region during a weeklong visit. During their time together, he played her the music of the Tuareg and told her stories of nomadic life in the Sahara. In 2007, the second Tuareg rebellion began, and the government countermeasures were forceful and indiscriminant. Many civilians were killed and farms and livestock were destroyed in an effort to quash the rebellion. Instead, the government's hard-handed tactics only served to galvanize the Tuareg community, and many around Bombino joined the rebellion. Government forces killed two of Bombino's musicians, so he fled in exile to Burkina Faso along with many of his fellow Tuaregs. In 2009, he met filmmaker Ron Wyman who had heard a cassette of Bombino's music while traveling near Agadez. Wyman was enchanted by Bombino's music and spent a year seeking him out, eventually tracking him down to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where Bombino was living in exile. While there, Wyman decided to feature Bombino in a documentary he was filming about the Tuareg. Later that year, he brought Bombino to Cambridge, Massachusetts to begin recording the album Agadez in his home studio. Finally, the Tuaregs put down their arms and were allowed to return to Niger. In January 2010, Wyman came to Agadez to finish the album and the film. The sultan of Agadez allowed them to organize a concert for peace at the base of the Grand Mosque, the first time such a performance had been permitted. Over a thousand people came to celebrate the end of the conflict and danced to the irresistible grooves of Bombino and his band. Bombino's first internationally released album, Agadez, was produced by Ron Wyman and released in April 2011 on Cumbancha Records. He enjoyed great worldwide acclaim for the album and toured all over the world throughout 2011 and 2012 to further his music and his cause. On April 2, 2013, Bombino made his Nonesuch Records debut with the release of the album Nomad, which was recorded with 2013 Grammy Award-winning Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound. Nomad debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music album chart and iTunes World chart and has earned rave reviews from top media outlets around the world including BBC World Service, which calls it "utterly, utterly fantastic" and Rolling Stone, which calls Nomad "a perfect match of sound and soul [that] introduces a new guitar hero." His dazzling live performance and virtuosity on the guitar have led notable music critics to compare him to Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, and Jerry Garcia. Still in his early thirties, Bombino's life and travels have exposed him to the problems facing his people. He has taken on the mission of helping the Tuareg community achieve equal rights, peace, maintain their rich cultural heritage and promote education. He is an advocate for teaching children the Tuareg language of Tamasheq, the local Haoussa language as well as French and Arabic, all of which he speaks fluently. "We fought for our rights," remarks Bombino, "But we have seen that guns are not the solution. We need to change our system. Our children must go to school and learn about their Tuareg identity." Four thousand years of living in a hostile environment taught the Tuareg that the will to survive with dignity intact is stronger than any external threat. Bombino puts that sentiment to music, writes its anthem, and gives it a life of its own. He is known as being emblematic of the next generation of Tuareg, a new voice of the Sahara and Sahel, fusing traditional Berber rhythms with the energy of rock and roll and songs about peace. After thirty years of drought, rebellion, and tyranny, Bombino extols his audience to remember who they are, but also realize who they can be.$25 Adv.
Electropika is a traveling global bass event that highlights the best of Nu-cumbia, Dembow, tropical bass, kuduro, baile funk, hard salsa, speed merengue and latin alternative as well as other Latin rhythms that make up the fabric of Latin American music through our resident DJ’s BACANO VOLTA (Jorge Bex and Biaco Chaves) who bring an exciting fusion of live electronica and latin percussion along with the occasional special guest. We strive to create a #safespace for our patrons and focus mainly on spreading the Latinx music experience and of course dancing the night away!Free!