Up-and-coming L.A. band Warpaint may be comprised of four people, all of whom happen to be women, but they are not explicitly a “girl band.” Considering a previous member was, in fact, male, girl power isn’t what they’re about.
“I think it says more about the person asking the question,” says drummer Stella Mozgawa, about journalists who only want to know about the all-girl aspect of the band. “Most people ask us if we’re sick of being asked about being a girl band, which I guess says something.”
Warpaint gives off a decidedly different vibe from the likes of, say, the Slits or Le Tigre, even if they can consider those bands as part of the same heritage. Boasting three vocalists within the quartet, the songs have complex harmonies and layered guitars — so palatable that critics are taking notice of the fact that the band has a wealth of talent that outshines their pretty press photo.
All four members of the band participate in the writing process equally. Mozgawa explains, “It wouldn’t be a democratic band if we didn’t try every idea at least once.”
Also aiding in their rise was producer and ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante. Now back from a sprawling European tour, Warpaint is about to take on the East Coast and then the West. How do they do it?
“You know, amphetamines. … Just loads and loads of drugs,” Mozgawa jokes, her voice a laid-back Outback accent. “No, really it’s just about, when I’m home, really being OK with being on the couch all day watching television.”
The Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston,
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‘Farm’ life for Ladysmith
The title of the new Ladysmith Black Mambazo album, “Songs from a Zulu Farm,” is more than just a poetic turn of phrase.
“We used to sing [‘Leliyafu’] a lot when it was winter, when we were herding the livestock,” recalls longtime member Albert Mazibuko.
Since those days, his life has seen some dramatic turns. Rather miraculously for a black singing group from apartheid-era South Africa, Ladysmith Black Mambazo rose to local fame in singing competitions and eventually international stardom through their 1986 collaboration with Paul Simon on his “Graceland” album and tour. Since then, they’ve picked up three Grammys.
Today, the members — who range in age from 25 to 70 — hope to preserve a disappearing culture and introduce kids to songs they don’t learn anymore.
“We want people to have a feeling for how life was when we grew up,” says Mazibuko.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sunday at 7 p.m.
Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, 617-496-2222
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