Much to my delight I found out today that the Raï singer Rachid Taha is coming to Neumos on Sunday June 6th. It is a rare treat to have any Raï come to town. Hopefully, he will give a better performance than he did last time. I don’t know what the deal was, either he was drunk or jet lagged or what, but he was so erratic and didn’t seem to be able to complete a song. At one point he got in to a shouting match with some guy saying, you want to kill me? You want to kill me? It one of the few moments in English, but there was plenty of French and Arabic tirades. It was too bad because the 1 2 3 Soleils is such a good album, along with Diawan.
PJ Harvey Designed Zoetrope in June
PJ Harvey is the guest designer for Zoetrope‘s Summer issue. I’m not sure what kind of artist she is but I love her music too much (I’ve seen her 5 times) not to be tempted, although I don’t think the artistic math works here: great musician = great painter. I wish there was going to be something musical in the magazine, too. Oh, and there is some Bolano, too.
Animated Enemies with James Forsher
This could have been better if the technical problems that kept the films from playing hadn’t happened. Instead, only 4 or so American propaganda cartoons were shown, most of which I could have seen on the Internet. Forsher knows his stuff and has some interesting things to say, but it wasn’t really worth the price and I would have liked more cartoons. We did get the chance to see two Private SNAFU cartoons that used racist imagery, and one Warner Brothers called Tokyo Jokio which is full of terrible caricatures. He also show the first animated short ever filmed and the ending that is seldom seen which features Jewish and African American caricatures. I think I would have preferred more from WWII and a little less talking, but so goes the SIFF.
Cheb Mami – Bledi
This isn’t about books, but it is such a great song and since I finally found a live version it is worth promoting. I believe it is about the Bled, the country side of Algeria. I don’t speak Arabic, though, so it is only a guess, but Raï transcends language.