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Fresh is Best

I'm going to coin a new phrase: Bumper Sticker Logic. Perhaps that's already a phrase--maybe I subconsiously soaked it up somewhere. In any event, you may wonder what my new phrase (that will be sweeping the nation if not the planet very soon) has to do with this week's World Music Show (8/2).

Well, in my many travels around this glorious country, I've come across many bumber stickers. And there are a few that stand out to me, such as "Think Global Buy Local," or "Make Mine 88.9" (had to throw that one in!). But there's one I haven't seen but one that I'd like to make (besides "I Heart the World Music Show"), which is "Fresh is Best." Now, sure that could relate to produce and local farms. But this isn't a food blog. And sure, it's a term I say to myself when I'm trying to figure out what to eat. But what it means to me this week is that I've got some Fresh! New! Music! Yes, all that language just to tell you that Fresh is Best!

Kicking off this week's bumper crop of world beats will be some new music by the trio Bossacucanova. This Brazilian band (who opens up each and every World Music Show since the beginning), have a new CD out, called "Our Kind of Bossa." This band is known for mixing the traditional Brazilian sounds with electronic beats and cool singers. In the coming week's, I'll be playing almost every song from this great CD. And becuase it's so good, we're even going to start with tracks one and two.

Partnering with them will be a couple of cuts from a great compilation CD called "Cafe con Musica," released on the Nacional label. The bands featured on this are a snapshot of the current Latin alternative scenes. Off that we'll hear from Columbian singer Andrea Echeverri (who also fronts the band Aterciopelados) as well a band called The Pinker Tones (who do a fun song called "The Whistling Song). Then, keeping in the same Latin spirit, we'll hear from the CD and band called Afrocubism, who had members who were part of the Buena Vista Social Club, but couldn't make it to the U.S. during that band's triumph set of concerts due to visa problems. Instead, they gathered other musicians and released a cool CD. We'll hear the song "Mali Cuba." Also thrown into this Latin mix will be some Irish/Spanish music--what's that you say? Yep, we'll hear from The Chieftans CD "San Patricio," which was produced by the legendary Ry Cooder (who also produced The Buena Vista Social Club's music, among many others). 

Moving from the Latin to a more guitar-based couple of sets, we'll start off with a former UK sessions guitarist who was afriad he wasn't good enough to sing or take center stage. Good thing he did, because Michael Kiwanuka has a great voice--think classic Otis Redding but a tad smoother. Piggy-backing on his track will be tracks from the Agadez, Niger guitarist Bombino (who's been compared to Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and John Lee Hooker), the desert blues band Entran Finatawa and the man in the picture, Mamane Barka

Mamane BarkaMamane Barka is the last known master of the Biram. The Biram is a traditional holy instrument used by the Boudouma tribe in Eastern Niger. They are fishing nomads living on the border of lake Tchad. The instrument is a 5 string kind of harp, the form looks like a pirogue, one of those wooden barks used on the lake. It is played only by initiated masters. When the masters starts to play you easily find yourself in the middle of the lake environment. You can easily hear the fishes jumping and birds singing while the Boudouma people are fishing with their hands. Barka is the last one of his tribe who plays this unique instrament. Find out more, here: Mamanebarka.com.

Adding on to that desert guitar sound will be a song from another master of the guitar, Issa Bagayogo, who is also called "Electric Issa," for his use of mixing unique sounds into his music. And ending hour one will be an electricfying version of the Fela Kuti song "Everything Scatter," from the Broadway musical Fela! And, we'll bring it down a notch with some acoustic African music from Madagascar's Rajery

For the second hour, we'll go back to the beginning--of hour one, in that we'll hear some more alternative Brazil music. This time, we'll head up to the Northern area of Pernambuco. Off a Luaka Bop compilation, we'll hear the band Mombojo and from the band Cabruera (who'll do the song "Erectus Cactus"). Plus, we'll hear a track from the Brazilian legend Seu Jorge--his title track to the CD "Carolina." 

From there, we'll take some Arabian and Indian travels to hear from Arabic Breakbeats, Ekova and Asha Bhosle (doing some fun Bollywood music). 

Rounding the show will be a mini-salute/tribute to my man, David Byrne (yes, yes, I know--I play him a lot, but I can't help it--he's so good!), which will feature some his Latin dance music as well as the Talking Head's Latin songs "Mr. Jones," and "Blind." Then, we'll wind down the night by hearing two of my favorite Paul Simon songs off his "Rhythm of the Saints" CD. 

So, in your travels, if you happen to see any good bumper stickers or if you perhaps want to launch your own campaign to get a "I Heart the World Music Show" sticker made and distributed, let me know below. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE or online via this site. Follow show updates and musings on Twitter: @wcveworldmusic.