Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar: Niger guitarist soundtracks a Tuareg Purple Rain

Mdou Moctar

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Our love of Tuareg guitars is pretty obvious, so of course I have to write about Niger’s Mdou Moctar. Also, I recently (two years late) started listening to the original soundtrack for Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, a Tuareg film reimaging Prince’s Purple Rain in the Saharan Desert. This explains why the album cover looks so familiar and why I’m drawn to this record.

The album was produced by Christopher Kirkley, the man behind the sahelsounds project we often cover here.

Moctar kicks off his US tour next month and will be in New York in September and October. Full dates here.

From Bandcamp:

“Rocking soundtrack recording from “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it,” a revolutionary story of guitars, motorcycles, cellphones – and the music of a new generation. Original compositions from Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar from the film about his rise to fame in the city of Agadez. From the raucous heavy psychedelic to the beautiful pentatonic sublime. Includes original compositions and reverb heavy intermissions film score.”

Mdou Moctar: Facebook Twitter

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Playlist: 20 Songs For June 2013 (Via Spotify)

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With the exception of Yeezus, most of my June was spent going through bits of past ambient pop that I’ve grown to appreciate. Whether it’s IDM from the 90s (Aphex Twin), early 2000s indie-rock (Broken Social Scene), or the very recent dance pop from overseas (Disclosure), I was so into this music that I was almost tempted to go out and buy a mini controller. Almost. But of course there was plenty of other great non-electronic music to be heard this past month.

Here are my 20 songs for June 2013.

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Listen To A Slower Version Of My (And Soon To Be Your) Favorite Prince Song

Prince can literally do anything he wants, and he’ll do it well.

In terms of funk-pop songwriting and performing, I can’t think of a living musician who’s better than the Purple Yoda (yes, he’s very short). Here’s a clip of my favorite Prince song “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”, but while the studio version is fast and poppy, this live version is slow and soulful.

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Playlist: 20 Songs For January 2013 (Via Spotify)

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A new year means five more songs for my monthly random Spotify playlist.

As usual, these are the songs I listened to the most over the past month, including new music and oldies. This month’s collection includes all the 2012 music that I missed and discovered on every “End of Year” list throughout the Internet (Divine Fits, The Mountain Goats) and a bunch of old school classics (Ella Fitzgerald, Everly Brothers).

Here are my 20 songs for January 2013.

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Top Lists: My Favorite Guitar Solos

What makes a great guitar solo?  Is it how fast or flashy it is, or how slow and soulful it is?  Does it sound like a voice that you could sing to, telling its own story?  Does it start small but then crescendos into a colossal showcase of talent and emotion?  Solos are great for different reasons, but the one thing all great solos have is soul.  The following solos are my favorites, and they’re each here for different reasons.  These aren’t necessarily the best solos I’ve ever heard, but each solo here has soul and shows what can happen when an talented guitarist is in harmony with his instrument.

The Beatles – “Something” (Guitar Player: George Harrison)

 

Jimi Hendrix & The Band Of Gypsys – “Machine Gun” (Guitar Player: Jimi Hendrix)

 

Wilco – “Impossible Germany” (Guitar Player: Niles Cline)

 

John Mayer – “Covered In Rain” (Guitar Player: John Mayer)

 

Led Zeppelin – “Heartbreaker” (Guitar Player: Jimmy Page)

 

Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” (Guitar Player: Prince)

 

Steely Dan – “Kid Charlemagne” (Guitar Player: Larry Carlton)

 

Sublime – “Santeria” (Guitar Player: Brad Nowell)

 

The White Stripes – “Ball And Biscuit” (Guitar Player: Jack White)

 

Pink Floyd – “Money” (Guitar Player: David Gilmour)

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Midnight in Harlem” (Guitar Player: Derek Trucks)

 

Dire Straits – “Sultans of Swing” (Guitar Player: Mark Knopfler)

 

Were there any that I miss? Comment below or hit me up on twitter @HeadfoneNation

And before you say anything, Yes, “Stairway to Heaven” was denied from this list.  Sorry Wayne.

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Eight Music Acts I Would Rather See At The Super Bowl Other Than Madonna

So Madonna is performing at the Super Bowl….and I’m not really excited.  Sure I’m glad the big game is coming to my former hometown, but Madonna isn’t my first choice.  She’ll be better than the Black Eyed Peas, but she won’t come anywhere near Prince (click here to see why).  Here’s my list of acts I would rather see perform in Indy for the big game in February.

Kings of Leon

The band is big enough now with plenty of great hits that they would be appealing for most people.  I just hope they don’t sound like this…

 

Green Day

I realize not everyone loves my favorite band, but they have enough hits to play a Super Bowl set, plus they would do well in a big stadium setting.

 

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire fans make up about 12% of Super Bowl watchers, but man that 12% would go crazy.  They do kill it live though.

 

Coldplay

Everyone would love to sing along with their arsenal of big hits such as “The Scientist”

 

Dave Matthews Band

Why these guys? BECAUSE IT’S DAVE!

 

Pearl Jam

These rock vetrans still kill it live, and it would be hard for anyone not to sing along with “Even Flow” and “Alive”, even if nobody understands what Eddie Vedder is singing about.

 

Eric Clapton

A guitar God performing songs everyone knows?  Sounds good enough for me.

 

Jay Z

Songs like “99 Problems” would be perfect for a Super Bowl halftime show.  He could even bring Kanye with him for a couple of songs.

 

So if the commissioner for next year’s Super Bowl is reading this, here are your options.

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Playlist: Great Songs Over Seven Minutes

As technology advances at the rapid rate that it does, It seems that our attention spans are getting severely short.  The invention and popularity of the iPod was truly revolutionary, but music took a huge hit.  Listening to albums used to be an event, you would devote time to listen to a whole album in one setting.  Now we have trouble just listening to one song without skipping forward to the next song, and when was the last time you listed to an album from start to finish without stopping?  This is tragic – artist do not create music so that their work can be skipped after the first five seconds if the music does not entice you fast enough.  The following songs make you wait – the best part isn’t in the first ten seconds, twenty seconds, or even the first minute.  They are song that challenge you but soon reward you.

I hope you have some time on your hands, because all these songs are over seven minutes long!  It should be pointed out that I’m not including live tracks.

LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

 

Bob Dylan – “Hurricane”

 

Led Zeppelin – “Stairway To Heaven”

 

Ryan Adams – “Nobody Girl”

 

Neil Young – “Down By The River”

 

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”

 

Green Day – “Jesus Of Suburbia” (Sorry but you’ll have to follow the link.)

 

Kanye West – “Runaway”

 

Eric Clapton – “The Core”

 

Prince – “Purple Rain”

 

The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

 

Don McLean – “American Pie”

 

Dave Matthews Band – “Crush”

 

The Beatles – “Hey Jude”

 

The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

 

Oasis – “Champagne Supernova” (Sorry but you’ll have to follow the link.)

 

Derek and the Dominos – “Layla”

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Happy Birthday Prince!

He’s so cool he makes it rain purple.

Today is Prince’s birthday!  The little genius turns 53 today, but he doesn’t look any older than the Purple Rain days in the 80s.  And speaking of Purple Rain, here’s the epic title track for all of you to enjoy the greatness that is Prince.

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