Rare Frequencies: Get schooled

Photo by Michael Krigsman; more photos here.

ASTER AWEKE mixes traditional Ethiopian vocal techniques and melodies with R&B, jazz, and straight-up pop hooks. The songs themselves are often only one step removed from your standard soulful stuff, but her emotive voice takes it to the sublime. This Tuesday afternoon, April 7, at Harvard’s New College Theatre, Aweke will discuss her music and her career — she recently moved back to Ethiopia after many years in the US. She’ll also perform a few selections, with BETELEHEM MELAKU on keyboards and krar (Ethiopian lyre). The talk will be moderated by Harvard music professor Kay Kaufman Shelemay.

On a distinctly weirder tip: Boston’s newest art/noise supergroup, EXUSAMWA, will perform Thursday night at Tufts’ Oxfam Café. Expect strange costumes, cracked electronics, and a possible wheelchair or two from these members of Fat Day, Human Hairs, Goat of Arms, and Ergot Rot. They’ll be playing on a bill with Bay Area experi-goths NEW THRILL PARADE, local psych folks NEEDY VISIONS, and local hyperkinetic percussion wunderkind ELI KESZLER. Keszler’s group, the amazing Red Horse, have just released their debut album on Rel Records.

To get a sense of what you’re in for costume-wise with Exusamwa, check out these excellent photos of the band in full concert regalia from their first DIY outdoor shows.

ASTER AWEKE | New College Theatre, 10-12 Holyoke Street, Cambridge | April 7@ 3 pm | Free | 617.495.2791 | NEW THRILL PARADE + NEEDY VISIONS + EXUSAMWA + ELI KESZLER | Oxfam Café at Tufts University, 44 Professors Row, Medford | April 2 @ 8 pm | $8 |
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