One of NPR’s Fifty Favorite Albums of 2012 was the self-titled debut album fromDebo Band. The eleven member band, based in Boston, blends 1960’s Ethiopian music with American funk, brass band music, and rock. Tonight, the Debo Band is playing on the Dartmouth Green in Hanover. Band leader and saxophonist is Ethiopian-American Danny Mekonnen, who we spoke with about the band and their unique sound.
Moving back in time for a moment to 1976 when The Band released The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s film of that final show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The film is often held up as the greatest rock movie ever and almost universally loved, except by Levon Helm…the musician, actor, composer and original member of The Band who died a year ago this week. But then, Levon Helm was a drummer who marched to a different drummer, Helm ’s creative struggles, crippling personal losses, and musical renaissance after battling cancer are at the heart of a new documentary film,and a new book by the writer, editor and spy magazine alum Jamie Malanowski.
You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.