City Paper is not for tourists
Led by paraplegics on motorized tricycles who had polio as children, Staff Benda Bilili is a Congolese rumba band that once lived and played music in the partially abandoned Kinshasa zoo and on street corners. Thanks to the success of their 2009 album debut, a documentary film, and subsequent tours, the members have since bought themselves homes and released a 2nd album, Bouger le Monde. Proving that Staff Benda Bilili is more than a novelty—their name means “look beyond appearances”)—Bouger exhibits a smart take on classic central African dance music: Harmonies and call and response vocals overtop frenetic high-pitched guitar rhythms with Afro-Cuban and funk-tinged percussion. $25–$30.