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Kickin' Back on a Saturday Night

First up, the band pictured above is of Yo La Tengo, who you'll hear a good chunk of on this week's World Music Show (11/3). They're from Hoboken, Nj. And as you may know, Hoboken and other parts of the East were slammed by Hurricane or Superstorm Sandy. So, before I continue on with this World Music diatribe, I want to take a moment to send my thoughts to all of those who were affected by this storm. And I urge you to help out by donating money, food or supplies to the Red Cross or any other organization of your choosing. Thanks.

And now, on with the show. 

On this week's show, after reviewing the playlist, I'm noticing that there's quite a bit of mellow music. Oh, but don't worry those of you who enjoy a more up-tempo selection of tunes, because I've inserted a few choice tracks strategically throughout the show. 

But to kick things off, we'll hear some African Blues from Adama Yalomba, who is considered one of Mali's top talents. Yalomba learned to play music from his father. In that same vein, we'll hear from a collaboration between East and West, with the musicians Diabel Cissokho and Ramon Goose, who add a new flavor to this ingredient of mixing. Goose plays blues guitar, while Cissokho plays the Kora. To round out this first segment of music will be a couple of tracks from Aurelio, who is from the coast of Honduras and who iplays music in the Garifuna tradition. Garifuna is a musical style that blends both African and Caribbean-Indian styles which dates back to when a group of slaves were shipwrecked along that coast.

As mentioned, they'll be a few cuts that will up the tempo a bit. And these two, by the Russian band DDT, which features the legendary musician and political activist Yuri Shevchuck (in picture #2) will do just that. The band has been a mainstay in Russian music for a few decades and Shevchuck has been compared to musicians such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon for his deft lyrics. And having nothing to do with politics or the like, I'll follow DDT up with some more up-tempo songs from Colombia. We'll hear from the band Los 50 de Joselito, who with their youth and hip wardrobe give them the appearance of a Columbian N'Sync (or so the liner notes say). Good news is that they don't sound at all like a boy-band, but instead their music consists of doing lively acoustic versions of old Colombian classics. And, we'll also hear a song from Tulio Zuloaga, who, despite being young, has already had quite the career in Colombia. He's done everything from acting, to being a TV personality to being a disc jockey. 

Another highlight of the first hour (and another artist featured in pictures if you click through them) is the singer Beatrice Kateme-Byakika. She's got a strong, commanding voice and sings with influences that range from East Africa to American soul and R & B. To showcase this talent, you'll hear a couple of songs from her. Also featured in this set will be a nice long tune from the Afro Celtic Sound System. Then to end the first hour, we'll hear some groovy, 60's French pop music covers of Serge Gainsbourg tunes done by a few of today's more mainstream bands, such as Portishead and The Rakes

In the interest of time--because I know you've got things to do, sites to visit, etc., here's a rundown of hour two:

  • Some up-beat Afrobeat music from Kokolo as well as from Sorry Bomba.
  • Some early examples of music-sampling and etherial music (sort of) from the minds of David Byrne & Brian Eno.
  • Some Mambo and World Beat music from David Byrne.
  • And a nice, four-chunk song selection from the multi-talented band Yo La Tengo.

So, as you can probably tell, this week's World Music Show will have a little bit something for everyone (I hope!), from mellow tunes to a few faster-paced selections. After listening, let me know what you think. 

The World Music Show is heard Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, 88.9FM and online via this website. You can also join me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.