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Bummed Out City

Listen. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I’ll reveal the meaning behind this week’s World Music Show (2/10) headline a tad later in this blog. Let’s just go with that it sort of, kind of, almost, in a small way, reflects some tiny theme hidden in this week’s show.

But first, on with the show…

We’ll be checking out new music this week from a host of people, starting off with the Afrobeat band Antibalas. This big band, whose name is Spanish for “Bulletproof,” come from Brooklyn, New York. They’re sound is modeled on both Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80 sound and that of Eddie Palmieri's Harlem River Drive Orchestra. All this means that their sound is big and in your face. They’ve inserted elements of Punk, Jazz and even Hip Hop into their music. And on their latest release, Where the Gods Are in Peace, they’ve crafted an epic Afro-Western Trilogy. In their liner notes, they say they’re “searching for solace from American political opportunism, greed and vengeance.” They also call the CD a battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement. What would some Afrobeat be without any politically-tinged songs, right?

Also in the Afrobeat arena, we’ll hear from the Atomic Bomb Band, Chicago Afrobeat Orchestra and a new song from Femi Kuti.

In another chunk of music, we’ll give an homage to a couple of artists who are hanging up their touring hats. Both Paul Simon and Neil Diamond are no longer going to tour. Simon, for family reasons, is finishing his last tour; while Diamond stopped abruptly due to the onset of Alzheimer's. Now, if you follow the show or Simon’s later career, then you know it’s easy for me to feature many of his songs on my show-and I’ll do just that as the weeks go by. But what about Neil Diamond? How does he fit into the World Music Show? Well, I do know of one song that I can play (and have before). But you’ll have to stick around for that. As a hint, both his song and the two I’ll play from Simon were done live.

As for new music, there are a few good selections on this week’s show. John Porter, host of WCVE’s Time for The Blues (11pm Saturday nights, along with Henry Cook), dropped some CDs on my desk in the office we share. These are from the Irish band Gaelic Storm--a band I’d never heard of before. I know, odd, right? Either way, I like what I’m hearing, so you’ll hear a couple of tracks off a few albums.

Then we’ll also hear from an English folk band (something I don’t normally feature on the show, since, well, I don’t know--it usually seems better formatted for regular radio. But I really liked what I heard from the female trio The Staves. I hope you will too.

And speaking of new, and of the UK, we’ll also check out a new song from Hollie Cook. Cook, who was once in the reformatted 70s feminist/post-punk all female band The Slits, has a new CD out called Vessel of Love. On it, she’s crafted some very tropical sounding songs.

After that little hint of live music and in conjunction with new music, I’ll play a couple of new live songs from Bebel Gilberto. She recently played in San Diego at The Belly Up. Two of the stand out songs are covers--one of Radiohead’s “Creep” and the other of Caetano Veloso’s “Baby.”

Rounding out the show will be a salute to “International Clash Day,” which is a “thing” and has been for about five years apparently (I had no idea). So listen for one song by Joe Strummer, and another with the Clash. And as for this week's blog title? Well, it comes from Joe Strummer

Plus, of course there’s more to the show then I’ve relayed here, so you’ll have to tune in. And you can do that Saturday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on 88.9WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can stream the show via this website and you can also checkout live-streaming track listings. Follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.