The Weeknd (a.k.a. Toronto R&B star Abel Tesfaye) released his second album, Thursday Mixtape, as a free download on Aug. 18 (www. the-weeknd.com). The second of a trilogy of releases promised from Tesfaye in 2011 builds on his brilliant debut, House of Balloons (nominated for this year's Polaris Prize as best Canadian album).
Tinariwen's new album Tassili is streaming on NPR (www. npr.org) prior to its official release on Anti Records Aug. 30. For many centuries Tassili n'Ajjer has been home to nomadic Tuareg tribes and their ancestors. Herodotus is probably talking about some of their forebears as "Garamantes" in The Histories. Tinariwen is rooted in the traditional culture but updates and expands on the conceptual framework. Ali Farka TourÃ© meets John Lee Hooker down by the oasis. Amazing band. For more releases go to www. nsnews.com/entertainment.