City Paper is not for tourists
Formed in 1996 with an eccentric, hippie-ish sensibility that felt more ’60s and ’70s, Istanbul-based BaBa ZuLa plays Turkish psychedelic rock with some Middle Eastern and Balkan beats thrown in for good measure. Using electronic versions of traditional Anatolian stringed instruments like the saz (a kind of lute), along with guitars, keyboards, darbuka drums, and spoons, the band creates an eclectic sound that layers electronic drones and twangy strings with folk vocals and more traditional rhythms. Though the group has a large following in its native Turkey, and appeared in Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul, the group has not previously performed in D.C. At its Bossa show, the three core members—Murat Ertel, Levent Akman, and Cosar Kamci—will be accompanied by Greek oud player Periklis Tsoukalas. Known for elaborate costumes, improvisation, and general theatrical flair, BaBa ZuLa’s live performances are even better than its recorded music—you don’t need to understand Turkish to get into the groove. Baba Zula performs at 7:30 p.m. at Bossa Bistro, 2463 18th St. NW. $20. (202) 667-0088. bossadc.com.