Music News

M.I.A.

M.I.A.'s (aka Maya Arulpragasam) politically charged music -- a heady mix of hypnotic beats and vocals that ricochet between flirtatious and relentless -- is fueled by vivid memories of the violence she witnessed as child. The daughter of a Sri Lankan revolutionary, she escaped her ravaged homeland for a new life in England, where she honed her riveting, ragtag style. Back in 2002, the former art student sat down with an old-school drum machine and channeled her experiences into underground tapes that quickly garnered her a rabid following. Two years later, M.I.A. (or "Missing in Acton," a reference to her London neighborhood) released Arular, her buzz-generating debut, which tackled everything from mistreatment of the poor to devastating wars. When she takes the stage this Saturday, prepare for a rollicking show with, in her words, "the bombs to make you blow...the beats to make you bang."
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Lori Ellison