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Where for Art Thou Antarctica?

Get ready to travel around six of the seven continents for this week’s World Music Show (11/4). Why only 6? Well, Antarctica doesn’t play well with others, and there’s really no music in my vast World Music CD collection. But maybe that’ll be a challenge for a future show.

On various shows I like to throw out challenges to myself—to see if it can be done (like, when I hit show #50 in about six shows, I’ll challenge myself to play 50 songs in two hours). It must be part of my competitive nature (just look at my Strava feed). Either way, the winner of this self-inflicted contest is you, of course.

For the quest, I’ve set up the two-hour show to reflect the six land masses—now, just know that because of this feat I’m trying to attempt, some continents will receive a few more chunks of music than others (sorry Australia). And when you look at a map of the world via the continents, well, you’ll see that it’s a pretty big swath of land mass in which to catch music from.

That being said, we’ll start off the hour with tunes from the African continent. From South to North to some spots in between, I’ll try to capture some of the different sounds—which is hard endeavor. I’ve done entire shows concentrating on just this continent.

However, we’ll still check out some great tracks from Niger, with the desert blues guitarist Bombino, some surf-like guitar sounds from South Africa by Elias Mathebula & the Chivani Sisters. And they’ll be some African blues music from Mali via the band Mali Latino, as well some old-school Highlife/Afro-funk out of Nigeria by Olefemi Ajasa & His New Nigerian Bros.

But, since the continent is so huge, we’re not done just yet. We’ll also hear cuts from Cameroon's Manu Dibango, Benin’s superstar Angelique Kidjo and the Senegalese musician Baaba Maal. Then, heading to the Northern region of the continent, we’ll hear some beautiful acoustic from Israel’s David Broza and some Arabic groove music from Alegria’s Cheb Tarik and from the band Tiris Nibreeha, who are from Tiris, which is located on the Atlantic Coast, between Morocco and Mauritania.

Sadly, all that great music in this first hour left only a tad bit of room to explore some music out of Asia.

We’ll hear some live acoustic music from the Russian “John Lennon” Yurry Chevchuk, who also fronted a Rock band called DDT. Then we’ll check out some World of India music, as well as some great, Bob Dylanesque Music out of Japan from Matsuki Ayumu.

Near the Russian border, in the country of Georgia, we’ll sway to the sweet voice of Trio Mandili, who sing traditional folk songs. Then rounding out the hour will be some Rock N’ Roll from the Chinese band Carsick Cars and some groove-lounge type of music from Cibo Matto, who love to sing about food.

Now, for hour two, we’ll hit up Europe and the Americas (which almost sounds hostile), plus I’ll throw in a little morsel dedicated to Australia and New Zealand. And if you can’t tell yet, this is quite the task I’ve undertaken—but I’m still up for the challenge.

And right off the bat, or maybe better late than ever, I need to give some props to the Putumayo Record label, as many of the songs I’m culling together are from their catalog. Off of their “A New Groove,” compilation, we’ll hear songs from Denmark’s Emo, Sweden’s Linn & Freddie and Australia’s The Cat Empire. Then off their “Garden’s of Eden” CD, we’ll check out a track from the New Zealand band Te Vaka, which mean’s “Canoe.”

Keeping that Putumayo love alive, we’ll then head to Italy to hear a classic from Fred Buscaglione, who, besides being a singer, was also a popular actor in the 50s known for creating a lovable but tough hoodlum who loved women and whisky.

Moving right along the region, we’ll head to Cyrpus (which represents are Greek arena) to hear some traditional music from a fun band known as Monsieur Doumani; then we’ll skip over to Germany to hear some rap music from the King of Raop, the artist CRO—and some Icelandic rap music from MC Bjor.

We’re not quite done with Europe yet. We’ll hear a quick song from the Irish band The Pogues, some classic Ska from The English Beat nuns some 60s Parisian pop from Les Chabroll, who are actually a Belgium band who named themselves after the French director Claude Chabrol.

Phew! That’s quite the bit of music just from Europe. But, there’s still the America’s to tackle. With that, we’ll start with South America to hear from the Brazilian cellist and singer Dom La Nena, then head to Cuba from the powerful Dayme Arocena. Taking a left turn or thereabouts, we’ll head to Mexico to check out a quick track from one of my favorite bands, Cafe Tacvba. We’ll end that brief trip with a track from a band who was dubbed the Columbian N’Sync, Los 50 de Joselito.

With just enough time to squeak out some more music, we’ll tackle a few great songs from North America, including some beautiful notes from Canadian-Cuban Alex Cuba, some Reggae from the Canadian group Bedouin Soundclash and some funky Salsa music from RVA’s own Bio Ritmo. Ending the show will be a beautiful song from Complicated Animals, who now reside in the City of Angels.

And there you have it—our tour of six of the seven continents (because you know, Antarctica…). To actually hear the show, tune into the World Music Show Saturday from 8-10pm on 88.9FM WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can stream the show and see track listings via this website. Plus, you can follow the social media fun on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.