Music News

Critic's Choice

It's ironic that Kan'Nal, a band of local worldbeaters steeped in Mayan mysticism, would preach a philosophy of peace, love and understanding. Lest we forget, the ancient Aztecs sacrificed prisoners of war on a colossal scale, removing and burning their still-beating hearts before tossing their bodies down the steps of a pyramid to be torn apart as trophies or food. More partial to gardenburgers, Kan'Nal nourishes the bloodthirsty gods with far lighter fare -- a spicy, groove-oriented acoustic fusion of Latin and Middle Eastern rhythms that combines elements of spoken word, electronica, new-age and soft metallic drone. Formed in the far reaches of the Guatemalan mountains by guitarists Tzol and Tierro, this breezy, shape-shifting musical seven-piece not only boasts master hand percussionists and a didgeridoo player, but also features a revolving tribe of machete and fire dancers -- plus projection visuals and two on-stage painters. Colorful as a quetzal in springtime, Kan'Nal unveils Dreamwalker at an all-ages CD-release show on Thursday, April 28, at the Boulder Theater. The multi-sensory spectacle, which has warmed stages for Burning Spear and headlined Toronto's Om festival, probably won't put a stop to global unease anytime soon. But it never hurts to smoke a peace pipe in the name of Huitzilopochtli.
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John La Briola