In Rotation: Wild Belle's Natalie Bergman on Malian photographer Malick Sidibé | In Rotation | Chicago Reader

In Rotation: Wild Belle's Natalie Bergman on Malian photographer Malick Sidibé 

Plus: The Reader's Tal Rosenberg on Kendrick Lamar, and designer Elise Bergman on Sharon Van Etten's Puritan nudie video

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click to enlarge Pretend Sailor by Malick Sidibé
  • Pretend Sailor by Malick Sidibé

Natalie Bergman, vocalist for Wild Belle, what she's obsessed with. Her answers are . . .

Malick Sidibé Malick Sidibé was an extraordinary photographer throughout the 1960s and '70s, and he made arresting portraits of Malian youth during a very powerful musical movement in that country (as well as nearby Nigeria and Ghana). "I have to tell you, music liberated African youth," he writes. Sidibé exposed the youth to images of themselves dancing. Dancing with girls. This kind of documentation had never existed. His portraits contain the patterns, textures, and attitude of West African culture when funk reigned. Each face he photographs tells a unique and beautiful story.

Dr. John, Locked Down The record is brilliant. Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach, who produced it, and Brooklyn's finest, bassist Nick Movshon (who has an unmistakable sound and plays grooves that melt your heart), brought psychedelic king Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, back to the stage with two hands full of heavy hits. The record is spooky and sexy and captures some of the sounds that Rebennack achieved on his '68 record Gris-Gris. There are also pleasant hints of the Éthiopiques series in the music, but it stays true to Dr. John's soulful roots. My favorites: "Getaway" and "My Children, My Angels." Listen to that bass!

Melina Matsoukas I spent four days in Jamaica shooting a music video with director Melina Matsoukas, and we nearly killed ourselves three times. She is the most inspiring woman I've ever worked with, hands down. She has a remarkable sense of style and awareness and is present in every moment and every scene. This is her gift—she commands the attention of everybody in the room the moment she walks in. She is an artist and she's dangerous! She takes major risks, and the outcome is better than the rest.

She asks . . .

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
March 19
Performing Arts
April 24

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