Of all of the ways to talk about Saharan blues band Tinariwen, their connection to cannabis culture has never been the most obvious. But if the air at Thursday’s show at L.A.’s Belasco Theater was any indication, that aspect is steadily becoming more pronounced. (It’s underscored by the fact that the band is playing a show at 4:20 in the afternoon on Sunday, 4/20.) In a way, it makes sense: Their limber grooves and wandering guitar lines are perfectly suited to, er, “unwinding,” but it’s also far richer and more consistently rewarding than the usual stoner-jam-band fare. There’s a haunting beauty to their songs, and a grace and elegance that suggests perhaps their alignment with 4/20 is merely a way to get their wonderful music to as many ears as possible.
Tinariwen @ The Belasco Theater, April 17, 2014
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