Downtown Music

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April 4, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

Pain, happiness, music

"I chose the name Zap Mama because zapping from one continent to another and Mama because we are all from this mother Earth," explained the Zaire-born Marie Daulne , a.k.a. Zap Mama. "'Mama' makes us all, as human beings, closer, and erases the difference between Africa and Europe and America, and makes us all human beings, citizens of the world. That is really why the word 'Mama' is so important to me."

Always evolving and incorporating new styles with each album, the Grammy-nominated Zap Mama hits the road in support of her newest release, the soul-techno-house-world "Ancestry in Progress." Featuring 15 tracks of minimal instrumentation filled out by dozens of vocal samples and contributions from singers including notable African artists Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli.

"I let my heart receive and translate the emotions that I receive from any experiment in art, when I listen to music or other people," Daulne said about the new album. "I feel so much pain there, in art, in people, and love, and happiness, and I translate that into my own music. In this album, I tried to reconnect the roots between African, European and American music. The title comes from this idea, that the spirits of the ancestors have finally found each other again."

Thirty-nine performers in all will accompany Zap Mama for this show, including the singers on the album, the jazz and African musicians necessary for the music and a big pile of costumed dancers as visual accompaniment. "It is important that the visual aspect of the show is as complete as the voices," Daulne explained.

And what does a woman like Marie Daulne put on her tour rider? "I like to have candles, incense and flowers waiting for me backstage," Daulne said. "Although I always bring my own incense with me. But flowers and candles, yes - flowers would be wonderful."

- Th April 7, 8 p.m.
Fine Line Music Caf, 318 1st Ave. N.
$21 in advance, $24 at the door. 338-8100. www.finelinemusic.com

Idle worship

Gosh, it seems like it was just yesterday that Kelly Clarkson was just another blue-jean-wearing hopeful on "American Idol," anxiously biting her lip as she waited with the others to see if America liked her enough to keep her on the show for yet another week. Oh, and then she won, and we were told, "America, meet your new idol!"

All I can say is, wow, it was at that moment that I realized I had been waiting my whole life to hear just those words. Takes so much guessing out of life, to just be told whom to worship, whom to look up to, whom to admire.

Of course, in my navet, I believed that Kelly Clarkson was it, the American idol. I had no idea they were going to do the show each and every year after that, keep choosing new idols for me to worship. I mean, c'mon! When you're my age, a year goes by real quick, and by the time I got the mini-Clarkson statue down from my mantle and a Rueben statue in its place, the third season was just about over. And here we are, into a fourth!

So it's almost with a sense of relief to hear that Kelly Clarkson is coming through town because it means that she really is still out there. Honestly, I still think of her as the American idol, and I'd hate to think that someone I agonized over and cheered on so vehemently was just another figment of my imagination.

Opening up for Clarkson is the Graham Colton Band. The Texas band has made warming up audiences into its specialty, serving as the first act on tours with Counting Crows, John Mayer, Jewel and the Dave Matthews Band.

- W April 6, 7:30 p.m.
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S.
$37. (651) 989-515, www.hennepintheatredistrict.com

Holly Day can be reached at lalena@bitstream.net.