Rock Picks: Amadou & Mariam, Manimal Festival, Marianne Faithfull, Gil Scott-Heron | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Rock Picks: Amadou & Mariam, Manimal Festival, Marianne Faithfull, Gil Scott-Heron 

Also, Kylie Minogue, the Joe Perry Project, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and others

Monday, Sep 28 2009


Amadou & Mariam at Henry Fonda Theater
Fans who missed Amadou & Mariam back in July, when they were the implausible opening act on a Coldplay arena tour, get a second chance to see them tonight, in a relatively intimate setting that should give the blind Malian duo more room to explore the shape-shifting melodies from their 2008 CD, Welcome to Mali. Singer Mariam Doumbia and singer-guitarist Amadou Bagayoko exchange lyrics in several languages, including French and English, that wind with a lulling grace through a seamless blend of folk, blues, funk, reggae and African rhythms. Tracks like “Djuru” and “Ce N’est Pas Bon” are too hypnotically memorable and stylistically free-ranging to be lumped in with the work of other world-music outfits. It’s that indefinable combination of influences that helps to attract such musically adventurous collaborators as the Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan, who duets on the ebullient potential hit “Africa,” and Manu Chao, who produced the couple’s similarly engrossing 2005 masterwork, Dimanche à Bamako. (Falling James)


click to flip through (4) YOURI LENQUETTE - Amadou & Mariam unroll their magic carpet
  • Youri Lenquette
  • Amadou & Mariam unroll their magic carpet

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Domizil Artists, Mem1, Steve Roden, Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions is hosting a rare night of even rarer musical experiments in electronics and ambiance. The headlining artists hail from a small Swiss label with a 10-year history of subversive sounds, Domizil. Marcus Maeder, Bernd Schurer and Jasch, each making his L.A. debut, specialize in digital forms that range from the divine (glassy aural pools with no foreseeable terminus) to the harsh (wild jags of squelchy feedback that shocks the senses), but each is a master of his domain. A highlight of the night will be local husband-and-wife duo Mem1, who improvise their way to a perfect marriage of live cello and real-time electronic manipulation using Mark Cetilia’s own custom-made software. L.A. audio/visual artist Steven Roden also performs, and members of Switzerland’s Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology will open the night with a series of “four-channel tape compositions,” which is a fancy way of saying they’ll be providing a warm analog counterpoint to the evening’s chilly digital finale. (Chris Martins)


Also playing Friday:




Marianne Faithfull at Royce Hall
Marianne Faithfull of our heart, pushing forward, rusted voice getting more crackled by the hour, where to start? How about with “Dear God, Please Help Me,” her take on Morrissey’s mournful love song, which she covers on her nearly perfect new album, Easy Come, Easy Go. The song begins with a foreboding piano as Faithfull describes walking through Rome with her heart on a string. A humming, monochromatic church organ comes in. “I am so very tired of doing the right thing,” she exclaims. “Dear God, please help me,” and you can hear the exasperated years in her phrasing and tone. The way she says “god” contains multitudes — to say nothing of the way she says “there are explosive kegs between my legs, please help me.” Marianne Faithfull. Marianne Faithfull. Marianne Faithfull, one of the most beautiful names in the English language, connotes so much from two sing-songy words. The Rolling Stones and London, 1965. Junked out and homeless in the 1970s, followed by Broken English and (temporary) salvation. Strange Weather, her first collaboration with producer Hal Wilner. It’s a roller coaster of tragically sexy successes and consequent failures that we male wannabe lovers follow from afar, thinking privately to ourselves, “All you gotta do is call, Miss Faithfull. We’ll be on the next plane to Rome.” Easy Come, Easy Go, indeed. Produced by Wilner, the album is one of her best (even if we always wish that Wilner would tone it down just a notch), mostly because she tackles a fascinating repertoire, including songs by Dolly Parton (“Down From Dover”), Neko Case (“Hold On, Hold On,” which features backing vocals by Cat Power), Brian Eno (“How Many Worlds,” a duet with Rufus Wainwright) and Smokey Robinson’s “Ooh Baby Baby” (a duet with Antony Hegarty). It’s one of those records that we wish we could telepathically beam into your head as you read this, because it will fill your heart with a bulb of light so warm and honest that it’ll calm any storm. (Randall Roberts)


Manimal Festival at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneer Palace (Pioneertown)
Well, this looks like something ... how you say ... hallucinogenic: A festival of rhythmic trip music from one of L.A.’s best record labels going right now, Manimal Vinyl. Taking place over two days out in the desert — where, by the way, you can lose your mind and no copper’s gonna know the difference as long as you put your pants back on before you walk into the doughnut shop — the Manimal Festival this year features 18 or so bands, the majority of them from L.A. The mere listing of them suggests tracers and echoed acid feedback freak-outs. Most of the Manimal roster is represented: Warpaint, Rainbow Arabia, Hecuba, the Polyamorous Affair, We Are the World, VoicesVoices, Alexandra Hope, all of whom have at their essence an appreciation of artistic expression in its many forms, from visual art to film to, of course, music. (That, and a joyful beat.) In addition to the wild manimals, a bunch of kindred spirits float in. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros have seen in the past few months a meteoric rise that culminated a few weeks back in a triumphant performance on Letterman. Fool’s Gold, which shares a percussionist with the Magnetic Zeros in Orpheo McCord, has just released a solid debut on IAMSOUND Records. A bunch of others will join in, including Moonrats, Chairlift, Juliette Commagere, Exitmusic. And probably a few random bongo and tambourine players. And that dude over there wants to play. He’s awesome. Do you mind? (Also Sun.) 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown. (760) 365-5956. Music starts at 4 p.m. (Randall Roberts)

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