And yet...I am really psyched to hear some new stuff from Toumast. For my money they are the desert blues act that rocks the hardest and does so well with the change-up tempos and dynamics. Their disc Amachal is out October 26. (in Europe I presume...do I even need to ask the eternal question?)
their Myspace and with a quick listen they sound fuller than those Ishumar, as in lots more instruments, bass higher up in the mix, a little keyboard and some kind of bag pipe going on in "Ibliss." Somebody's doing a little rap - in English - on "Timerhitin." Too busy? I'll give it another listen. No idea who produced it or any of that yet.
You know, I think every culture in the world has a traditional bag pipe of some sort. All those poor goats...
Meanwhile, they're touring their brains out all over Europe this fall. You know, I cannot understand why we've only gotten a couple of hundred people in to see these guys when we've had them at the Cedar in the past. They. So. Rule.
Shooglenifty's show at the Cedar five or six years ago ranks in my top ten all time here. I'd seen them at festivals before and thought they were OK, but their show up at the last minute/take a quickie sound check/eat a bag of chips/ proceed to blow our minds for two hours thing was way above and beyond. It was extremely psychedelic for mostly acoustic string band (with a funky/dubby rhythm section) music from Scotland. Now, could they put together a U.S. tour again one of these days, please?
Well, we can get some new tunes, anyway. It's been a good while since 2003's The Arms Trader's Daughter and 2005's live Radical Mestizo. [Oh, OK, guess I missed 2007's Troots entirely. Have to check that out.]
The new disc is out October 12, a double album to be called Murmichan which will contain some remixes, some live bits and plenty of those new Shoogle tunes . Looks like they've got yer classic Roman coin artwork thing going on. After a bit of searching I can tell you a Murmichan is a wicked fairy of sorts like a bogle or hobgoblin. (Didn't they study those in Defense Against the Dark Arts class in Harry Potter?) Anyway, gotta love the Scottish vocab words. (like "troot" = trout) Some of the tracks up now on their Myspace seem to keep to the mando and fiddle-driven thing we've heard before, but their remixes head in a totally different direction. Cool. Looking forward to it.
In the meantime, I'm getting very psyched for their countrymen and -women in Warsaw Village Band to play the Cedar later this month. Although WVB can go plenty techno on their remixes, I'm expecting some of that heavy, dark acoustic strings and vocal harmony stuff they laid on us last time out. And you know I love that.
Last but SO not least, quite a while back I was drooling over an upcoming show at the Cedar on November 20, but it wasn't finalized yet so I couldn't blab. Well, that show fell through, but what came together for that night is going to be extra-super-fun for all you brass band fans. Nomo (a "Post-Afrobeat Dance Explosion" according to NPR) is going to roadtrip over from Ann Arbor to share the bill with our South Mpls homeboys and -gals in The Brass Messengers. Two cool brass bands: one draws more on the Afro-beat heritage, while the other looks more toward the Balkans, but they both can get all over the place. To get you psyched, here's a link to some free downloads of live Nomo tracks, complete with lengthy explanations of what the heck those long instrumentals are all about. Oh yeah. Circle that date in red.