Live: The grace of Tinariwen in Carrboro | Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live: The grace of Tinariwen in Carrboro

Posted by on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM


The ArtsCenter, Carrboro
Saturday, Oct. 20

Tinariwen’s six members appear on stage, at least as they did Saturday night in Carrboro, accompanied by the rustle of traditional Taureg-Berber robes, the flash of red electrical guitars and the pop of hand drums.

Such juxtaposition should give some clue as to the worlds that collide within the band’s music: Tinariwen’s members are Malian, but the group’s founders met in Libyan refugee camps in the late 1970’s. The Taureg are a group of desert nomads, a small minority that is well-versed in resistance since before beginning of Africa’s nation-building.

The band’s music is often described as “desert blues,” but the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure fits that description much better. Where Toure was grit, Tinariwen is grace. Assouf—which is described as nostalgia or spiritual seeking—is a central concept in Tinariwen’s sound. But the minor keys that dominate the band’s music are more lofty than earthy blues themes.

On stage, the band members passed guitars among each other and took turns dancing in the same campfire traditions that birthed this music, more transcendence than resistance. Those dances consisted of lateral swoops of cloaked arms and swift flicks of the wrist, as if sadness were a thing not so difficult to shake off.

Tinariwen sang in a language that is foreign to me. They sang of a lifestyle I do not understand. And yet the great expanses of the desert, its loneliness—Tinariwen bring them home.

Tags: , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

Twitter Activity


I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation