Once in a while, all the cylinders are firing at the same time. Or if you prefer, the stars align and everything seems in sync. Or to spout off--as well as butcher another cliché, all my ducks are in a row. Anyway you slice up these battered and misused clichés, the point is that on this week's World Music Show (7/19), the two hours seem to gel just right.
In looking over the menu for this week, our ears will dine on a variety of sounds, including some French treats, some Brazilian nuggets, some South African gems and a few Nigerian and Jamacian biscuits of sounds perfect to digest on a Saturday night. But, you may ask, what's with all the food/musical references? Well, the first couple of tracks we'll hear sort of set the standard for the show, or at least for this tome.
The CD we'll kick start the show with is called "Cuisine Non-Stop," and it's from the folks at the Luaka Bop record label. Founded by world-music-loving musician David Byrne, this CD (culled by Byrne himself) pulls together tracks highlighting the French Nouvelle scene. We'll hear the songs "Baji Larabat," by the circus-like band Lo-Jo and the song "Au Banquet des Chassuers," by Java (who got their name form an old French dance--not the beverage). It's because of this CD, that I'd like to think of this week's show as a sort of musical menu of sound and samplings from around the world.
On the same plate with that Cuisine LP will be a couple of songs off another compilation--this time, from a Putumayo CD simply called "Paris." We'll hear from Pascal Parisot and Presque Oui, who both like to play modern takes on classic French Chanson.
From that page, we'll turn over to another set of selections, this time to the Brazilian menu to hear tracks from the band Giulio y Los Tellani, who were lucky enough to get Woody Allen to feature some of their music in his film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Allen is well-known for having complete control over his film and soundtracks. But this band took a risk by sliding a copy of their CD under his door at his hotel in Barcelona while he was filming. He liked them so much, he featured them a few times in the film. Paired with them will be a few tracks from the Brazilian singer Tom Ze (pictured), who was part of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil back in the 60s. That movement was encompassed all aspects of art in Brazil and was so powerful, that it spilled over to the rest of the world.
Turning the page from those selections, we'll investigate some sounds from Africa, including a partnership between the UK and Senegal, when the musicians Wasis Diop and Lena Fiabe put out a collaboration. In another collaboration (and off the same Putumayo CD), we'll hear a France/Senegal song featuring Alan Stivell and Youssou N'Dour. As a side dish to this set, we'll hear one of my favorite Ladysmith Black Mambazo re-dos--their updated version of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," in which they partner with Melissa Etheridge and Joe McBride.
Closing out the first hour will be some "World Hits," according to the Putumayo record label--which I'm sure is farily accurate. We'll here the dynamic duo of Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh when they did a cover of the Smoky Robinson song "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back." And off same CD, we'll hear another "hit." This time, it'll be from Cameroon's Manu Dibango. I put the term "hit" in quotes because I'm just assuming these were indeed hits. And for dessert, you'll hear a dazzling song by Paul Simon (coincidentally called "Dazzling Blue," which features a great riff on the Kora.
For the second half of the show, we'll start off with some new music from band out of Austin, Tx, who have a very worldly sound. The band is called Suns of Orpheus and, well--you just need to tune in to hear them.
After that, we'll jump around quite a bit, as is the norm most times on the World Music Show. We'll delve back to a great CD that we've pretty much scoured through for every track, called "A New Groove," from Putumayo. Off that, we'll hear from UK's Alice Russell (once a back-up singer for Femi Kuti and De La Soul); and from Germany's Radio Citizen (who partner with the singer Bajka.)
In another jump, we'll hear some cool cover tunes, including some covering the Lou Reed song "Take a Walk on the Wild Side," as well as the Hall and Oates song "I Can't Go For That (no can do)" by Les Go and by Alpert Pla. Also in this covers set will be a cover of the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams," by German DJ, Dj Coconut, (who actually lives in Chile).
Then, rounding out the show will be tracks from Michael Franti and Spearhead, Midival Punditz, Shabba Ranks, Carsick Cars and the Sundays---phew! I'm full!
The World Music Show aires Saturdays from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE or online via this website. You can also get show updates and nonsensical fun via Twitter @wcveworldmusic.