Got the Summertime blues? Are the dog says of summer getting to you? Now before you get confused, I'm not John Porter or Henry Cook from Time for The Blues--I'm not that cool. My genre is World Music. And on this week's World Music Show (7/18), we'll attempt to alleviate any of the doldrums you may be experiencing thus far into the summertime.
And in looking over this week's playlist, it appears we'll encounter quite a bit of experimental Latin music. From the Mexican band Los Aguas Aguas to the crooner of Vintage Pop, Max Copote, to solving a conundrum of just what Ethnotroinca is, to hearing what Paul Simon has to say about Puerto Rico, it'll be a show filled with gooey goodness for your ears. And, has they say on those annoying infomercials--But wait! There's more! We'll check out some reggae music as sung from both a West Coast and East Coast perspective, a sort of East vs West musical battle.
Well, there's a nice little line up of tunes ahead--especially in hour one--I can't vouch yet for hour two, that may end up being the hour that's been left out in the rain. But for hour one, man, what a line up! Let's get started. First up, this band from Mexico. The band Los Aguas Aguas started out back in 2005 and their influenced by Jamaican music as well as the musical genres of the coast, like Reggae, and Afro-Caribbean music, but they also count Funk, Jazz, Cumbia, among others sources of beats too. Off a CD called "Two, Three Karate Moves," we'll hear the songs "El Gallo" and "El Sol."
Also in the first set of music, we'll hear from a band called Jungle by Night, who describes itself as "aphrodisiac funk from Amsterdam," though they also dabble in Afrobeat. They're currently on a tour of the US and Canada. Then, we'll check out and discover just what Ethnotronica music, which is I'm assuming a mash-up of Ethnic and Electronica music. And the person behind it all is Ireesh Lal. And we'll also hear from Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Percussionist and vocalist Yacine Boulares as well as some beautiful Chilean guitar work from multi-instrumentalist Nano Stern.
Not be outdone, we'll also hear some swinging Salsa/Cumbia sounds from the Columbian band The Latin Brothers, who started out as a band in the 1970s with the aim of having a top quality orchestra in Columbia that could compete with band from New York and Puerto Rico. And, thrown into this set will be a couple of different sounding tracks from Paul Simon. One song is "Dazzling Blue," which is about his wife, Edie Brickell and can be found on the CD "So Beautiful or So What." And, by the way, be sure to check out some instruments on there, such as the Dobro and the Tabla. The Dobro is a generic term for a wood-bodied, single cone resonator guitar and the tabla is a drum, usually played in Indian songs. And we'll also hear his song "Born in Puerto Rico," which was from his one-time foray into Broadway musicals. The show was called "The Capeman" and it didn't last very long.
Then, capping off hour one, we'll have a battle of the coasts--West vs. East. The forum is Reggae music...ok, it's silly but just have some fun with it. From Ithaca, NY, and in one corner, it'll be Kevin Kinsella off his CD called "Riding Higher Still." And in the other corner, it'll be Nico Marks, from Costa Mesa, CA. Off his CD called "California - Jamaica Sessions," which he recorded at the famed Tuff Gong studios in Kingston Jamaica, we'll hear a some Reggae goodness too.
Summer blues still got you down? Don't worry. For hour two, we'll hear some alternative Latin Rock n' Roll music, some children's Japanese music and some Latin-insipred as well as Tropical music from a hipster. Plus, thrown in will be a throwback to some punk/ska music. Kicking off the hour will be some Latin alternative music from artist Max Capote, who is from Uruguay. His style is both current and vintage--he's been dubbed the crooner of Vintage Pop. Then, we'll hear from the band Los Crema Paraiso, doing a fun cover of a Depeche Mode song. And the female vocal on this song is from the singer Carol C, who is also in the band Si-Si. Plus, we'll hear a song called "El Currucha," which features the singer Andrea Echeverri, who is in the Columbian band Aterciopelados. This trio of Venezuelans have a ton of influences, from Pink Floyd to Martin, Medeski and Wood. The trio features Neil Ochoa (Si Se), José Luis Pardo (Los Amigos Invisibles) and Alvaro Benavides (Pedrito Martinez Group). They turn Venezuelan traditional music into Jazz, Rock, Funk, Latin grooves, Electronica and exotic sounds.
Continuing our drive to get rid of those Summer doldrums, we'll hear some new music from Japan by a new artist (at least for me), who is a very creative type, by the name of Masaki Hanakata. He's a mulit-instrumentalist, a visual artist and a singer-songwriter.
Then, we'll switch gears in terms of sounds but stay in that artsy vein. We'll hear from a man who is the definition of artsy. However, it's not a bad thing. The artist Beck has been known to stretch the bounds of creativity---go check out his stellar cover of David Bowie's "Sound & Vision" on YouTube if you want some proof. We'll check out him dabbling in a bit of Latin funk from his CD "Guero."
Finally, because this blog is getting as long as summer, we'll do some time travel. There was a time back in my youth, in which many bands who were known for one thing, say punk for instance, branched out and dabbled in the genres of reggae, ska or dub. Case in point--the Clash. They did a little bit of everything and didn't want to rest on one sound. But we'll add two fun throwbacks of dub music done alternative 80s style in this last set. One being The Specials along with the trio who were Fun Boy Three, doing a cover of the Go-Gos "Our Lips are Sealed." Then The Specials solo doing the song "Ghost Town," which I'm proud to say my 5-year son Emmett likes.
Hopefully after this week's World Music Show, any Summer doldrums will be completely wiped away from your conscience. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE or you can stream it online via this site. Plus, just for kicks, you can follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.