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The Return of Talib Kweli 


For the most part, when a band or performer comes to Bend, there's talk of the show maybe for a few days, but then the chatter dies down and you don't hear anything about that act until they come back to town. But on occasion, there are shows that reverberate through the local music scene long after the band's tour bus has rumbled out of town.

That was the case with a gig that Talib Kweli played at the now-defunct Grove nightclub here in Bend in September of 2006. It's been more than four years since that show, but there are still times when people bring up that show and now that Kweli is returning to town on Saturday night to play the Century Center, that performance (even though he's played the Domino Room since then) has been an increasingly frequent topic of conversation.

Depending on your age, you either know Kweli as Mos Def's counterpart in Black Star, or as one of the most influential solo acts in independent hip-hop. These days, Kweli has been performing and recording with Hi-Tek to form the duo Reflection Eternal. This summer, Kweli and Hi-Tek released Revolutions Per Minute, an incredibly innovative disc that features plenty of guest performers and pushes far beyond hip-hop conventions to create an incredibly soulful sound.

But Kweli hasn't given up on his solo career and recently announced that he'd be releasing a new album, entitled Gutter Rainbows, in January and hopefully he'll give us a taste of some of those songs at this show. And then we can talk about it for another four years.

Talib Kweli, Mosley Wotta, DJ-R2

8pm Saturday, November 20. Century Center Courtyard. 70 SW Century Drive. $22/advance, $25/door, $20/with student ID. Tickets at Bendticket.com.

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