Cheb Mami as a carrier of modernity (thanks DJ E3!)
I have tried – apparently not hard enough – to find a good source for new Arabic music in NYC. I miss raï! Sheesha bars in Bay Ridge? no problem. Egyptian kebab vendors who make me return to upper-midtown at odd hours to sell me CD-rs & then forget to bring them? Yes. Lemeni bodega owners in Chelsea who tell me all the good music is online, free!, and want to burn me some of it, if only Vista would let them? Sadly, yes. Dusty Lebanese-run cassette shops with Oum, Fairuz, and phonecards? of course. but rai? Not in my path. At least not yet. sigh.
I miss it extra now that crunk has raised/lowered the global synth game stakes! plus, autotune. Nobody autotunes harder than the north Africans.
thanks to everyone who came out for the west coast shows: team hug!
I learned something new on this trip: POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS. large and independent — no, LARGEST — the largest indy used & new bookstore in the world… simply incredible. ( “rad” as the PDX folk like to say.)
if yr in Portland, I recommend the Atlas party. Find Ez & shout “more reggada!”
[Atlas crew: The Incredible Kid, Anjali, DJ E3]