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David Byrne and Friends: The Music of William Onyeabor with David Byrne 

When: Tue., May 6, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $32.50-$45
Between 1977 and 1985, the musician, songwriter, singer, producer, and one-man band William Onyeabor released eight albums that became massive hits in his native Nigeria. Onyeabor’s music blended funk, disco, and new wave in a way that was far ahead of its time. The tracks compiled on last year’s Who Is William Onyeabor sound like they were recorded yesterday. With interlocking synthesizer rhythms, shimmering vocals, and lyrics that fluctuate between political complaints and celebrations of transcendent spirituality, the music bears little resemblance to the James Brown-influenced Nigerian pop of its day. After releasing his last album, Onyeabor became a born-again Christian and now refuses to talk about, or even acknowledge, his pop music. He never played live, even when he was a star. To remedy this, David Byrne has put together a supergroup of Onyeabor fans, including Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem, and The Lijadu Sisters. They’ll be at the Warfield (982 Market St., San Francisco) on Tuesday.
— j. poet

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