Monday's Pick: Tinariwen at Yoshi's

Categories: What to Do
Thomas Dorn


Yoshi's SF

8 p.m. and 10 p.m., $20-$30

The term "desert blues" is more than a little reductive, but it does at least begin to describe the sound of Tinariwen, a North African group of Tuareg tribesmen. Over bass and hand percussion in swaying, trance-like rhythms that threaten to go on for hours or days, bandleader Ibrahim Ag Alhabib's guitar lines sting like sand in the eyes. In a way, every Tinariwen tune is just a section of one endless song, telling a story of homesickness and displacement that is elemental to both the blues and the Tuareg culture. But this is no drab, eat-your-vegetables world music. The band counts Robert Plant and Henry Rollins among its diehard fans for a reason: It rocks.

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