If you paid attention to 'best of the year' lists of 2007, an odd name popped up on a lot of the more esoteric tastemakers' lists, an album called Aman Iman by a group called Tinawiren, from North Africa. The band, which has been together since 1982, creates some of the most beautiful and intricate guitar music on the planet, in a style known as Tishoumaren, which translates as "music of the unemployed." Which, you know, might offer some solace to the Coachellaers who are pinching pennies to get to the polo grounds. Listening to this record daily will not only make you believe in some sort of creator, but will reduce your stress level by at least 75 percent. Really.
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That they're playing Coachella is a beautiful thing. Whether the hipsters, the youngsters and the VIPsters care or not will be some sort of barometer on something or other.
Tinariwen performs on Saturday, April 19. Not sure of set time yet, but we'll let you know.
Here's an MP3 of a song called "Matadjem Yinmixan." One of those guitars sounds exactly like Lou Reed's tone in the solo for the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On." Talk about universality.