Local Wire

Krishna Das

If you're anything like me, you probably didn't realize that traditional Indian devotional music has a bona fide rock star in singer Krishna Das. Or that yoga devotees have snatched up over 300,000 copies of his albums, or that mainstream pop icons like Madonna and Mike D of The Beastie Boys are counted as fans. It turns out that while I've been busy not paying attention to the New Age section of the record store, plenty of fans have, latching on to Das' music, a layered, intense combination that blends Western pop traditions with kirtan music (a chant that repeats the names of the gods). With a gruff voice that wouldn't sound all that out of place fronting a modern rock act, it's easy to see why Das has been compared to Bruce Springsteen. Das will visit the Mesa Arts Center with another wildly successful meditative duo, Deva Premal & Miten, in tow. It's like a Lollapalooza of chant music. Deva Premal & Miten aren't without their celebrity fans, with Cher as a professed admirer. Chances are the concert will provide some enlightenment, or at least remind you of that copy of Madonna's Ray of Light hidden under your passenger's-side seat.
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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.