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Tinariwen On World Cafe | December 14, 2011

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The only aspect of Tinariwen more urgent and heartbreakingly human than its unique blend of electric rock and North African traditional music is its story. Tinariwen's members fought as rebels in Mali to protect their land and the Tuareg people, and out of the rebel camps formed a counterculture — and a rock band. Against incredible odds of survival, the men and women of Tinariwen have recorded five successful albums, headlined major international festivals and solicited attention and collaboration from the likes of Wilco and TV on the Radio. Music is often written to glorify a certain way of life, but few bands create music to preserve their way of life — and, when not playing together, pick up weapons to defend it.

Tinariwen's fifth and latest album, Tassili, demonstrates a return to the group's semantic and literal roots. Its name means "deserts" or "empty spaces," and it was recorded on acoustic instruments in the desert near the border of Algeria and Libya. Tassili explores the ideas of loneliness, vulnerability and doubt alongside those of hope and community. It celebrates generations of Tuareg people whose relationship with the desert involved all of these ideas. Blossoming in the unexpected intersection where blues, rock, African tribal chants and Middle Eastern traditional music overlap, Tassili is a desert flower that brings life and color to the harsh landscape that surrounds it.

Here, Tinariwen performs songs from Tassili on World Cafe.(link)


Hour 1

(( )) for interlude music

Joe Jackson "You Can't Get What You Want" Body & Soul
Foster the People "Don't Stop" Torches
Michael Penn "No Myth" March
David's Wax Museum "Born With A Broken Heart" Everything is Saved
Sufjan Stevens "Chicago" Come On Feel the Illinois

((Extra Golden "Ukimwi" Thank You Very Quickly))

Tinariwen "Issekad" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Tinariwen "Nzar Jbal" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Tinariwen "Tahalamoyt" Recorded Live for the World Cafe

((Esau Mwamwaya "Dinosaur Of The Lost Ark" The Very Best Mixtape))

Bruce Springsteen "Tunnel of Love" Tunnel of Love
The Decemberists "Calamity Song" The King is Dead
Wilco "Born Alone" The Whole Love

Hour 2

Dawes "If I Wanted Someone" Nothing is Wrong
Steely Dan "Daddy Don't Live In That" Katy Lied
Mayer Hawthorne "A Long Time" How Do You Do
Lana Del Rey "Video Games" Born 2 Die
Gracie Jones "Walking in the Rain" Best of Gracie Jones

((Thao "Geography" We Brave Beestings And All))

The Black Keys "Strange Times" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
The Black Keys "Dead and Gone" El Camino
Tennis "Origins" Young & Old
Tegan & Sara "Walking With A Ghost" So Jealous

((Seawolf "The Garden That You Planted" Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low))

Laura Marling "The Needle and the Damage Done" Blues Run The Game -The Needle And The Damage Done
Neil Young "The Loner" Neil Young
Wild Flag "Romance" Wild Flag
Modest Mouse "Dashboard" We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Gomez "Get Myself Arrested" Bring It On

((Nicole Atkins "Cool Enough" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))