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Dan DeLuca’s Mix Picks: Michael Stipe, Shovels & Rope, and ‘the world’s first female Tuareg guitarist’

What our music critic is listening to this week.

Shovels & Rope.
Shovels & Rope.Read moreCurtis Millard

Shovels & Rope. The Charleston, S.C., wife-and-husband duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent divvy up their chores equally on the seven scrappy roots music albums they’ve released since 2008. That includes their most recent By Blood, recorded in their backyard studio, the better to keep a close eye on their two children while at work. And they also divide the labor equally on stage during their energetic live shows, where they switch off on all manners of instrument and take turns behind the drum kit. Mississippi blues scion Cedric Burnside opens. Sunday at Union Transfer.

Michael Stipe, “Your Capricious Soul.” Michel Stipe’s first new music since R.E.M. broke up in 2011 is set to a throbbing electronic pulse and features his keening vocals at the high end of his register. It’s an intriguing return and a taste of what Stipe told an Italian newspaper in June is a completed album’s worth of material. It’s not streaming, but for sale for 77 cents at, with proceeds going to the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion. The video is by Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Les Filles de Illighadad. As the transfixing music made by the Tuareg people of Northern Africa has gained exposure, more desert blues artists are touring the U.S., including bands like Tinariwen and guitarists Bombino and Mdou Moctar. What’s different about Les Filles de Illighadad is they’re not dudes. The group is led by Fatou Seidi Galou, said to be “the world’s first female Tuareg guitarist.” The show has been moved from PhilaMOCA, the venue temporarily closed due to zoning issues. It’s happening Thursday at the upstairs venue in University City that’s been recently rebranded as The Lounge at World Cafe Live.

Mark Mulcahy/Chris Harford. Mark Mulcahy fronted indie rock band Miracle Legion in the 1980s. One measure of how fondly that outfit has been remembered is the 2009 tribute album Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy, which featured contributions by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, the aforementioned Michael Stipe and J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., the latter of whom also appears on Mulcahy’s excellent new The Gus. Veteran New Jersey songwriter and longtime Ween associate Chris Harford opens. Thursday at Boot & Saddle.