Sahab's new album dark, intimate

The Fresno BeeAugust 28, 2013 

Sahab Hobab will play at 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Strummer's.


As an artist, Sahab (real name: Sahab Hobab) has always been diverse. His first album "Scarecrow" was an electro-hip-hop mashup that showed his love of soul music and indie-rock, and earned him a reputation as an up-and-comer on the local scene.

On his latest release, the singer continues to evolve, creating an album that — if early publicity holds — might best be described as eerie.

"It's a lot darker and more intimate then anything I've ever done," Sahab says of the album, which was released on iTunes on Tuesday. "People can expect 'a portrait of an artist as a young man.' "

He hosts a release show tonight at Strummer's, formerly the Starline.

If the sound is a departure for Sahab (especially when weighed against his earliest work in the post-punk band Elmo Marconi), it wasn't anything intentional.

"I can't say I planned for my music to turn into what it did today, but I did always have a vision, and I think my vision is more fulfilled then ever before," he says.

To get to that point, he had to mature some as a musician and producer. He wrote and recorded almost everything himself at a studio in North Fresno. It took more than a year to complete, partially because he spent time with the layering of each track, really thinking about how to sonically represent the emotions he was going through at the time.

Those feeling are represented in the album's title — "Elevenfiftynine."

That might mean different things to different people, Sahab says. Some might see it as a reference to the end of the world, or the beginning of a new day, he says.

"To me, it means the anticipation of the end of a relationship," he says. "Knowing something or someone is coming to an end. Preparing to start over again."

Summer jazz, part 2

6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 / Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater / $45-$85 / (855) 529-9463,

Trombone Short, Boney James and Lenny Williams play the second installment of the Fresno summer Jazz series.

James is one of the most successful instrumental artists playing, with sales totaling more than 3 million records. Trombone Shorty is a New Orleans native, a featured member of Lenny Kravitz's horn section and tours with his own band, Orleans Avenue. Williams was the lead singer for Tower of Power in the 1970s.

The last in the summer Jazz series is Sept. 28 and features the Clarke Duke Project.

Latin alternative rock

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 / Rainbow Ballroom, 1725 Broadway St., Fresno / $35 / (559) 264-6404,

Alternative rock band Café Tacuba (or Café Tacuva) got its name from a café in Mexico City, where the band started its career in the early 1990s. By the late '90s, it had gained a cult following for its live shows and combination of musical styles — punk and ska, electronica and hip hop, plus regional Mexican styles like norteño, bolero, and ranchera. The band is on an American tour and plays the Rainbow Ballroom on Saturday.

Mobb Deep

8 p.m. Wednesday, Dept. 4 / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St., Fresno / $20-$25 / (559) 412-7400,

Calling Mobb Deep infamous is probably a bit of hype, though the hip-hop duo is no doubt legendary. The pair, from Queensbridge, New York, was instrumental in the new wave of rap music that arose in the 1990s with anthems like "Survival Of The Fittest." Mobb Deep will be in Fresno on Wednesday at Fulton 55 on its 20th Anniversary tour, with Alchemist and Black Aesop of Living Legends.


Sahab, 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Strummer's, 833 E. Fern Ave. Tickets are $10 and the show is all ages. Details: (559) 485-5356,


The reporter can be reached at (559) 824-4570, or @joshuatehee on Twitter. Read his blog at Fresno

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