Sleeper cells - Page 2

Welcome back, Jacko. Plus: Bee Gees, Mt. St. Helen's Vietnam Band, Mirah, and more
Purr-fect timing, Michael

Björk, Beth Orton, and Julie Doiron would be dang proud of Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn's successful forays into the wilderness of mutable forms, remixes on Joyride: Remixes (K, 2006), and meditations on the secret lives of insects with Spectratone International on Share This Place: Stories and Observations (K, 2007). Working with certified Mt. Eerie/Microphones genius Phil Elverum, Mirah defies her old lo-fi rep with this full-blown sleeper gem of a CD, gamboling from the string-dappled opening gut-punch of "Generosity" to the shimmering snare and delicate guitar coloration of "Education." (a)spera grabs for classic pop beauty standards and succeeds on its own terms — hurdy gurdy, bongos, kalimba, kora, and all.

And speaking of Malian kora, one mustn't neglect that country's Amadou and Mariam — departing for the more futuristic, less folkloric reaches of pop with Welcome to Mali (Because Music/Nonesuch). The only ship the blind couple will be wrecking is that of pop purists expecting another Dimanche a Bamako (Because Music/Nonesuch, 2005). The subtly tweaked Afro-futurist soundscapes — littered with appearances by performers like K'Naan and Toumani Diabate — hew closer to a digitized, disco-ball-glittered, cosmopolitan Paris than a more rustic, impoverished Mali. Amadou and Mariam narrow the divide between the two with the sparkling, Damon Albarn-produced rave-up "Sabali," the wah-wah-wailing kora-laced slo-funk of "Djuru," and the rump-shaking Afro-rock sizzle of "Masiteladi." I'm absolutely besotted with the balafon plonk mashed up with electric guitar twang on the palm-wine-'n'-spaghetti-Western(-African) "Ce N'Est Pas Bon." Congotronics and ethnotronicans, welcome to A&M's mothership connection — wake up, shake it up, and get ready for takeoff. Can't wait to see where it takes us next.


with Bishop Allen and Miniature Tigers

Tues/24, 7:30 p.m., $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF


with Tender Forever and Leyna Noel

April 7, 8 p.m., $16

Bimbo's 365 Club

1025 Columbus, SF

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