North Coast Music Festival

Concert Photos: North Coast Music Festival

“Summer’s Last Stand,” better known as North Coast Music Festival, lived up to its self-given nickname this year, breaking a sizable inaugural attendance and raking in nearly 50,000 loyal fans for a sold-out sophomore year. Despite being slightly overshadowed by Chicago’s other popular summer music fests, North Coast surpassed them in diversity with a far-reaching lineup.

Heavy beats bumped Union Park for a straight three days, spun by dubstep producers SBTRKT and Rusko and electronic hypnotists STS9 and Bassnectar. Day performers Little Dragon and Of Montreal loosened crowds for each night’s main acts, including Wiz Khalifa and David Guetta, who were silhouetted by LED backdrops on both headlining stages. Other ALARM favorites on hand included Common, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, and The Budos Band.

Chicago photographer Caleb Condit was present to document the good times.  Check out the massive gallery below.

Sorry Bamba

World in Stereo: Sorry Bamba’s Volume One 1970-1979

World in Stereo examines classic and modern world music while striving for a greater appreciation of other cultures.

Sorry Bamba: Volume One 1970-1979 (Thrill Jockey, 6/19/11)

Sorry Bamba: “Porry”

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Thrill Jockey continues its foray into the world-music scene with a collection of tunes from one of West Africa’s forgotten figures, Sorry Bamba. A father figure to the many musicians who came after him but somewhat unknown outside of Africa, Bamba’s music is another testament to the never-ending investigation of Mali’s rich musical history.

Born in Mopti, a city resting between Timbuktu and Ségou, Bamba plays a confluence of styles that stem from the region’s folk traditions. He’s best known for his powerful sing-talk vocals that can withstand the grittiest Afro-funk, electric instrumentation.

But this compilation, covering a mere decade of the artist’s half-century-long career, is more than ’70s Afro-funk. Bamba’s career in the ’70s was at a crossroads, a time characterized by Mali’s independence from France a decade earlier. While the country promoted modernization and celebration of Malian culture, Radio Mali sought for a push of musical heritage. Bamba was one of the artists at the forefront as the band leader for the Regional Orchestra of Mopti. In addition to funky fuzz, the collection shows hints of Malian blues, American soul, and Latin rhythms among Bamba’s take on regional sounds, most particularly the folkloric songs of the nearby Dogon people.

Charles Bradley

Concert Photos: Charles Bradley & The Budos Band @ Subterranean (Chicago, IL)

Much has been made of Charles Bradley‘s sudden emergence in the limelight, after many years of performing a James Brown tribute act under the name Black Velvet. In this rare instance, the hype is matched by the music — and then some.

Bradley’s acclaimed new album, No Time For Dreaming, is out now on Daptone imprint Dunham. Earlier this year, the soul singer joined Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings on a US tour, then teamed with The Menahan Street Band for a few European dates, and he just completed a Midwest leg with The Budos Band. These shots, from photographer Tammi J. Myers, are from the recent, sold-out show at Subterranean in Chicago.

Charles Bradley

Pop Montreal

Contest: Win tickets and a Pop Hopper wristband for Pop Montreal

From September 29 to October 3, the ninth annual Pop Montreal international music festival runs in dozens of venues and involves more than 400 musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and independent cultural entrepreneurs.

This year’s five-day festival includes performances by Swans, Marnie Stern, Gotan Project, Holy Fuck, Municipal Waste, Menomena, Liars, Arrington de Dionysio‘s Malaikat dan Singa, The Budos Band, Portico Quartet, Xiu Xiu, Buke & Gass, Mount Kimbie, Immolation, and many more.

Weekly Music News Roundup

It’s a rough week for independent music as Touch and Go cuts manufacturing and distribution services for 20 labels, Daptone‘s studio is robbed, and An Albatross still needs a touring guitarist.

In better news, Sunn O))) and Dave Douglas announce new albums, Farmers Market will perform with a symphony, and Ed Gein is playing together again.