belaandtoumani93.jpg
Toumani Diabate and Bela Fleck
If I like electropop now, I'm pretty sure I owe it to my stepmom's ritualistic insistence on blasting "Just Can't

"/>

Live Music Roundup: Monday, August 10

belaandtoumani93.jpg
Toumani Diabate and Bela Fleck
If I like electropop now, I'm pretty sure I owe it to my stepmom's ritualistic insistence on blasting "Just Can't Get Enough" as loud as possible every single time she gets drunk. However I might feel about other '80s pop bands my stepmom holds in high esteem (never could get behind Erasure), I definitely owe my love of bands like Ladytron and Metric to my stepmom's love of Depeche Mode, who rocks the KeyArena tonight. They are touring in support of their new record, which sounds similar to their older records, but I suspect they'll placate the audience and play as many old hits as new songs that sound like the old hits. Anyway, that starts at 8 p.m., and there are still tickets left in the $57.50 and $37.50 price ranges. It is also all ages, which means you, too, can induct your children into the Church of Synth. And then there's this:

Toumani Diabate and Bela Fleck at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley tonight and tomorrow night, 7:30 p.m. showtime, $35, all ages

While kora players are generally known for their adherence to tradition, Toumani Diabate is widely celebrated for his distinctly progressive take on the instrument. Ever open to unorthodox collaborations, and to working in the context of blues, jazz, and flamenco, Diabate seems intent on achieving a kind of hybrid-happy liftoff from the previous 70 generations of kora players in his lineage -- not so much released from, but rather fueled by their combined history. He appears for four nights in a duet with none other than American banjo icon Bela Fleck. No stranger to free-for-all fusion himself, of course, Fleck, in a sense, has lately been on a quest to reconcile with his own musical ancestry by exploring the West African origins of the banjo. In that regard, the kora, which is often traditionally accompanied by banjo precursors like the akonting and ngoni, certainly represents the right instrumental choice. But Diabate's adventurousness makes him the perfect foil and spiritual co-pilot for Fleck's higher purpose. Long revered for his technicality, Fleck is now out to capture the ancient soul of the blues. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

 
comments powered by Disqus