50 for 50
It's a law of averages. Or perhaps it's a matter of space on the airwaves. But for the two hours allotted for The World Music Show, I average roughly 15 to 18-songs per hour, depending on length of the songs and what vital background information I try to impart between songs. So, at the end of each show, you've hopefully heard around 30 or so songs that have taken you on a mini-sound journey around the planet.
Because I love challenges and celebrations, on this week's World Music Show (12/15), I'll attempt the impossible: to cram 50 songs into the two hours in order to celebrate show #50 of this season. Sound crazy? Seem impossible? Well, you'll have to tune to hear if it can be done. I can tell you, though, that within these two hours, you'll be hearing some great music. Here's another example of averages. Packed into each hour is roughly eight or nine CDs, depending on if I play one or two songs per CD. This week, in hour one alone, I'll play songs from 17 CDs!
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that most of the songs this week will have to be short, in order to encompass the 59 minutes per hour that makes up the World Music Show. Well, you're right. Most songs will hover around the two-minute mark. But think about this--some of the best songs have that time span. And some of the best, World Musically speaking, come out of France. We'll hear songs from Brigitte Bardot, and Gillian Hills--who perform a style called "ye-ye rock," which is akin to American go-go music. Plus, we'll hear songs from Dominique Walter, Carla Bruni, Christine Laume and from the band Le Primitifs due Futur, which features famed cartoonist R. Crumb.
But this show won't be just French music. Nope, we'll move to a nice set of Latin music that includes songs from the Latin Playboys, Cafe Tacuba, Harry Belafonte and Conjunto Cespedes. From there, we'll head to Africa to hear tracks from Koudede and Amar Sundy, who both have songs that feature a camel theme (odd, right?). And, thrown in this mix will be some Soweto Street Music, that features some really great surf-like guitar work.
Other highlights in hour one (there's a lot, remember?) will be Brazilian music from Ceu and Tom Ze, some Irish punk music from The Pogues and some Japanese Pop tunes from the 1960s. In case you're counting now, I'll refrain from giving you any more spoilers about hour one--just know that there is indeed more music, too.
For hour two, the CD selection won't be as drastic, but it will have just as much heft. These sets won't be as focused in terms of geographic locations as they were in hour one, which means the styles will be all over the map--pun intended. We'll hear some Fuzzy Banana music, which is really a style of Brazilian guitar/Tropicalia Psychedelic music from the late 60s to mid-70s. To keep the theme of Brazilian music for a bit, you'll hear songs from Mosquitos, Aloe Blacc and Quardon.
For one set, they'll be a mish-mash of songs that feature tracks from Anoushka Shankar, The Specials, The Paragons, The Upsetters, The English Beat and Bob Marley. To round out the challenge and the show, they'll be tunes from Beck, Michael Kiwanuka, Seu Jorge and Zee Avi.
So, for this week's World Music Show, I want you to get your pencils ready, take some notes and see if I can make my goal of 50 songs to celebrate show number 50 of the season. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on 88.9FM or online at this website. You can follow the bouncing World Music ball on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.