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A Bevy of Stars

Sadly or maybe happily, this isn’t a Hollywood premier. But on this week’s World Music Show (4/29), the stars of the show (besides you, the listener of course), will be plentiful and magical.

Most of the stars will be from the showcase of new music that I’ll feature—from releases from Forro in the Dark, Little Jesus and Battle of Santiago to Vieux Farka Toure and Piers Faccini. And luckily, this show isn’t one of those judge paneled shows in which contestants get voted on or off the island of fame or have to run the gauntlet of impossible tasks. Nope, it’s a simple act of you, me and them getting together for two hours of great music. Also, and as a star-studded bonus, we’ll also be listening to some really great World Music Covers of some well-known or hopefully well-known Rock or Pop songs.

We have to start our meteoric rise somewhere, so let’s begin with the all the newness you’ll be hearing. I mentioned the band Forro in the Dark. Well, this band of Ex-Brazilian Pats, who now live in New York, got together years ago in that city and started a band. This band got the attention of many stellar people, like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Thom York  (of Radiohead), Bebel Gilberto and David Byrne, who saw them play in a bar in the city.

That was then—this is now. After an 8-year lapse in albums, they’ve just released a new one called Sandcastle, which—as is their forte—mixes Rock, Jazz, Psychedelia and folk with the wonderful sounds of Forro music. To start the show, we’ll hear a couple of good tunes, including one that has a Ska vibe to it.

For more freshness that is dropping from the heavens, we’ll check out a new tune from a Canadian band who love Afro-Cuban music. The band Battle of Santiago’s new CD is called La Migra and like many bands, they like to take all their influences—in this case, Yoruba Chants, electronica and mix them all up together. We’ll hear their cover of the Bajafondo song “Pa’-Bailar” (which doesn’t fall under our “covers” list, by the way.)

The guitarist Vieux Farka Toure has a new CD out too. His is called Samba and on it, he’s still in rare guitar-playing form. Like his father Ali before him, he’s makes the guitar sing.

Like the Mexican band Café Tacvba (who we’ll also hear some music from), the band Little Jesus has quite the cult-following. They’ve won numerous Indie awards in their country and like Tacvba, they have a new CD out. It’s called Rio Salvaje and on it you can feel their intensity and uniqueness, which also reminds me of Tacvba (which we’ll hear their song “Futuro” again because I love it so).

From France, we’ll hear what a song written, recorded and released in Real Time sounds like. The artist Piers Faccini did this on his CD called I Dreamed an Island, in which he took topics at the time, like a certain (now) U.S. President’s promise to build a wall or the effect of Drones do—which is the song we’ll hear this sweepingly beautiful album.
Rounding out the starry-eyed newness will be a track from a Dub/Reggae band called Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang and a track from another bunch of Ex-Pats, this time from the band La Vida Boheme, who left their home country of Venezuela (due to all the strife) for Mexico.

Now, for those World Music cover tunes—a fan favorite, or at least it’s my favorite. You can expect to hear covers of songs originally done by: U2, Morrissey, The Rolling Stones, Richie Valens, Antonio Carlos Jobim, David Bowie—and even Kraftwerk. Plus, we’ll hear some originally done by Lou Reed, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix.

As for the folks doing these covers? Well, you’ll have to tune to the show this Saturday from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on 88.9FM WCVE Richmond Public Radio. Get more information and fun via Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE. Plus, during the show you can come back to this website and stream the show and follow the live streaming track listings.