Monday, March 16, 2009

The SxSW African Beat: BLK JKS and Nomo

If you're in the market for some African grooves, check out BLK JKS from South Africa and Nomo from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

BLK JKS (Black Jacks) has been called the "African TV on the Radio," and judging from their single "Lakeside" that's what I thought too. But after seeing them live at the Rickshaw stop, they are way more than that, more prog rocky and more jam bandy - "afro avant noise rock" if you will. (I love that way some music critics describe sound...)

It has also been said that "Lakeside" has a drumbeat even Radiohead would be jealous of." If this sounds like your thing, go check them out.

In the middle of their tour of the US and Europe, they will be playing SxSW later this week. Check their myspace page.

Nomo has a special place in my heart. I went to college with a bunch of these kids. I take pride in turning people onto their music. I loved playing the cowbell to their music in my Afropop ensemble in grad school. I heard a track off their most recent album Ghost Rock on KUT earlier today and felt the urge to spread the word.

This is a video I took of Nomo at the 2006 SxSW. The band traditionally descends from the stage and jams on a riff amongst the audience. This is my favorite bit.

Check out their SxSW schedule on their myspace page.

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