As a teenager, Thomas Mapfumo aka “The Lion of Zimbabwe” began his career in music by mimicking rock stars like Elvis and Otis Redding and playing Zairian rumba music. Situated amidst black protest of the white-dominated Rhodesian regime and Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, Mapfumo created and popularized Chimurenga music; in the Shona language, “Chimurenga” means protest, and the electrified mbira-centric popular genre features social and political commentary and critique. Mapfumo has lived in exile in Eugene, Ore. since the late 1990s. See and hear Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited at Leo’s Nightclub (1119 Candelaria NW) on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $20 to $22 and can be purchased at Leo’s or Guerrilla Graphix (4320 Central SE).
Asliani has been creating and refining her personal brand of bilingual, spiritual, feminist hip-hop here in Burque for years. Branching out is essential, and Asliani is kicking off an A&R/album release Kickstarter funding campaign at ArtBar by Catalyst Club (119 Gold SW) on Friday, April 18. In addition to premiering her very first music video—for title track “Medicina”—Asliani rounded up “smearwave” and “dustpop” acts Lady Uranium and Dreamor as opening acts. Following the live performances, Asliani will DJ a world dance party. This happening is for ArtBar members and their guests, so hit up your ArtBar-savvy pals to get in, and be there by 8pm.
Named for optical illusion, New York electro duo Phantogram tours in support of their latest full-length Voices. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have, you know, it. From effortless cool to poptastic craftsmanship, this tour might be your last chance to see the twosome at a relatively small venue. They’re blowing up, and wouldn’t you rather see them at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) than in a sweaty crowd of tragically hip Coachella attendees? If you answered yes, get thee to Sunshine on Saturday, April 19, at 8pm. Fans ages 13 and up ought stow a $20 in an ironic fanny pack, and catch a rising star while reveling in the vision of Barthel’s stellar, oft-imitated bob haircut.
Brooklynite singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield is the prime mover of punk-tinged alt.folk act Waxahatchee. With two critically acclaimed full-length albums out on Don Giovanni Records—2012’s American Weekend and 2013’s Cerulean Salt—this project’s popularity isn’t projected to wane anytime soon. Simultaneously vulnerable and sure, punk-pop and twang, Waxahatchee’s intimate, emotional progression on latest release Cerulean Salt beckons all to swim in this sonic creek while the weather’s warm and the tickets are still dirt-cheap. Dip your toes in or completely submerge yourself in Waxahatchee Creek at Sister (407 Central NW) on Monday, April 21. This 21-plus shindig kicks off at 9pm, and tickets are only $5.