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Friends Old & New

On the tape deck for this week’s World Music Show (6/10), we’ll visit some new friends and hear from some old friends. And of course, “friends” is a term I loosely use to just mean that we’ll hear from some really tried and true artists.

As for the new friend, there’s a new CD out on the Six Degrees label by the producer Ian Brennan, who put out the Zomba Prison Project CDs as well as a Tinariwen CD. His new CD is called the Tanzania Albinism Collective. It is a sad and tragic fact that people living with Albinism (a genetic condition resulting in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes) in East Africa are hunted and persecuted. It’s based on the belief that their body parts can transmit magical powers & that they are in some way “demonic.” As a result, they have been killed and dismembered, constantly live in fear.

Brennan traveled to Ukerewe, the largest inland island in Africa which can only be reached by an overpacked four-hour ferry ride. It is a place so remote that historically people often traveled there to abandon their children with albinism. But it now serves as a haven for many with the condition.

There, he worked with members of the Standing Voice community, who volunteered for songwriting workshops. Brennan encouraged them to write about their experiences and to express what they wanted others to understand about their existence. But even among the willing, singing-out proved hard within a group that routinely avoided eye contact, rarely spoke above a whisper, and were unaccustomed to dancing. However, he was able to get some very moving recordings. From that, here are the songs—which are very short—”The World Has Gone Wrong,” and “Tanzania is our Country.”

On the list of other new friends, we’ll hear from Nina Miranda. She’s an English Brazilian singer and songwriter who was a member of English bands Smoke City, Shrift and Zeep. She has a new Solo CD called Freedom of Movement. From that, here’s the song “Play.”

And, we’ll hear hear from Juana Molina. She’s an Argentine singer, songwriter and actress, based in Buenos Aires called Halo, and off of that we’ll hear the song “Cosoco.” She is known for her distinctive sound, considered an exponent of folktronica, according to the research I unearthed. Her Dad was a famed Tango singer.

Thankfully we have a few more new friends—though this trio could also fall under our list of old friends. The female band Shonen Knife have been playing for years. They’re mostly known for singing about food, though on their latest CD, called Adventure, we’ll hear the track “Rock n’ Roll T-Shirt.”

Also under the banner of old friends—but old as in I’ve played them before—are folks like The Atomic Bang! Band, La Vida Boheme, Compass (the Mexican Institute of Sound), Yo La Tango (doing a “Summer” song), Tinariwen, and the Frightnrs, who play a style of old school Reggae.

Plus, we’ll also hear some new and not-so-new music from Vieux Farka Toure, Aquaserge, Piers Faccini, We Are Enfant Terrible, Silva and our good friends Kinobe and Jaja, who did a CD called Rafiki, which means “Friend.”

Lastly, you don’t want to miss a track I feature from the late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who’s better known as just Iz. You may know him as the one you mashed up the songs “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” on the ukulele. However, we won’t hear that track because I have another, just as beautiful one lined up.

Then we’ll have a visit from a very old set of friends—the Beatles, who have been in the news lately due to the remastered work of the epic Sgt. Pepper album. However, I have yet to get my hands on this, but from their Anthology 2 CD, we’ll hear the beautiful instrumental version of George Harrison’s “Within You Without You.”

To hear the whole list of friends old and new be sure to tune into the World Music Show Saturday beginning at 8:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can stream the show via this website. And you can also view live streaming track listings when the show airs. Follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.