World, Latin, Reggae, & Reggaetón, All Ages

Etran Finatawa

When: Wed., July 21, 8 & 10 p.m. 2010

To call the desert blues hot might be a bit of an overstatement, if a metaphorically convenient one. Sure, the Sahara-centric hybrid of West African folk and North American blues and rock has its own compilations, festivals, and superstars. But even after decades of fine-tuning, the music still feels fresh enough that every new revelation is exciting. EtranFinatawa, a newish band out of Niger, may be lumped in with the Tinariwen/Ali FarkaTouré crowd, but a couple things help it stand out. First, it possesses a youthful, vital sound that favors sheer energy over plaintive or meditative moments. It's enhanced by prominent percussion and free-flowing song and vocal patterns. Second, the band brings together two nomadic tribes of the Sahara: the Tuareg and the Wodaabe. Their cultures, languages, and dress are distinct, but within the band they form a seamless union that honors desert blues' roots. At OaklandYoshi's (510 Embarcadero West) on Wednesday, July 21.8 p.m and 10 p.m., $14-$22. Yoshis.comĀ 

Nate Seltenrich

Price: $14, $22

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