Welcome back again to our weekly roundup of local music news, the best local music I’ve recently heard, and as many local listings as we could gather up.
Where in the World Is Brother Ali?
If you ran across the American Songwriter interview with former Minneapolis-based rapper Brother Ali this week, you might have learned… well, that he’s a former Minneapolis-based rapper. At some point, Ali relocated to Istanbul, Turkey. The story is short on specifics about the MC’s current life (Ali’s quotes are in the vein of “We went from really struggling… to having a really nice life here.”) and long on his backstory, which Minneapolis music fans are probably already pretty familiar with. Still, seemed worth a mention, since the news of Ali’s expatriation certainly seems to have flown under the radar, as has his latest release Brother Minutester, Vol. 1.
Papa’s Got a Brand New… Show at the Entry Thursday night
Mang Fi, the debut EP from north Minneapolis artist and singer Papa Mbye, is all over the place. And I mean that in a good way. Mbye describes himself as “a Senegalese artist living in Minneapolis” and Mang Fi translates to “I’m here” in his birth country’s predominant language Wolof, with the location of “here” left ambiguous: It’s wherever Mbye happens to be. In the production, split between Ben Farmer and Zak Khan, I hear touches of the Nigerian-spawned, global dance phenomenon Afrobeats, and sometimes (though I might be straining) guitar or keyboard patterns whose styles I could trace back to the Senegalese pop of Mbye’s childhood. But mostly I hear a close listener to cool contemporary rhythmic pop styles surfing his way to his own sound along Auto-Tuned vocals, rattling 808s, and a percussive bass that blasts through whatever’s up top with two or three note punches. And though his tone is often melancholy, there’s a high energy here that rarely flags. This live video should give you a sense of what you’re in for at Papa’s Thursday night show at the 7th St. Entry.
The Princess and the LP
Frances Priya’s Princess Wiko can seem a bit conceptually daunting. Released today, the musician’s new album as FPA is an exercise in world-building, rooted in the tale of a princess whose child is taken from her and who risks forbidden love. (She tells the full story on this episode of Radio K’s Local Vibes.) But even if you don’t want to plunge fully into Priya’s narrative, you can certainly follow along with the album regardless. There’s a torchy warmth to her singing, a little less ripe than on her previous recordings, with piano and guitar creating moody settings, and a lithe bass carrying the rhythm.
Turf Club, Home of the Tribute Show
There’s something about the coziness of the Turf Club, and maybe the ease with which musicians can get on and off the stage, that makes it a swell venue for an excellent tribute show, and from Shania Twain to John Prine, some fine performers and songwriters have been celebrated there. This Sunday, there’s a dual tribute to the 50th anniversary of two classic, era-defining albums: Joni Mitchell’s Blue and Carole King’s Tapestry will be performed in full by more musicians than it would be appropriate to list here. And to keep you in the ’70s mood, there’s a Neil Young birthday tribute on Thursday, featuring Tired Eyes (Rich and Glen Mattson, Alan Sparhawk, and Kraig Johnson). Oh, and if you’re looking for something a little heavier (and not at the Turf), tonight the Uptown VFW is serving up a tribute to Dimebag Darrell (with two full sets of Pantera), as well as Sabbath/Soundgarden tribute band (what else?) Black Garden, and Misfits trib Gravezig.
Are there other shows this week? You better believe it. For instance:
Friday, Nov. 5
Saturday, Nov. 6
Sunday, Nov. 7
Monday, Nov. 8
Tuesday, Nov. 9
Wednesday, Nov. 10
Thursday, Nov. 11
Sound Unseen Presents: “I Really Get Into It” Official Film Screening After-Party with Low Rats, Lot Lizard, James Eugene Russell @ Hook and Ladder