Ladysmith Black Mambazo
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
[SUB-SAHARAN A CAPPELLA] For those prematurely adult-contempo diehards who’ve only ever known an interconnected world of indigenous music expressly introduced to American audiences by soft-rock gods’ late-career explorations, the early controversy over Graceland wouldn’t make much sense. Why shouldn’t a profoundly whitebread songwriter beloved for distilling the sounds of suburbia incorporate traditional African idioms to bolster a comeback album? Twenty-seven years on, Paul Simon’s boycott-busting collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo feels far more organic than, say, bringing along Chevy Chase for the video. The traditional South African choral group has maintained a solid Western fan base spurred along by continual duets with the cream of KINK balladeers hoping to inspire the merest whiff of Simon’s faintly miraculous resurgence. If the incandescent nine-part harmonies increasingly pander to stateside crowds (a nursery-rhyme collection soon to be joined by a celebration of American gospel), they’ll still pack halls well after the name of Garfunkel has faded from memory.
Where: Aladdin Theater
Address: 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.