Asks for the Floor
So, it's come to this--cryptic headlines as a way to get your attention. Well, yes and no. Consider it a teaser or an invitation for you to dig a little deeper to see just what-the-what is up with this week's World Music Show (3/16). Now the question is, should I divulge its meaning now? Or drag it out like a sad punchline to a not so funny joke?
How about the former. The title, "Asks for the floor," refers to a rioplatense (language from Rio de la Plata) slang term literally referring to someone unpleasant who asks to be knocked to the ground. But it also refers to somebody who is anxious to bring sparks to the dancefloor. And, it's also the meaning behind the lead single of the new song "Pide piso" from the Argentine-Uruguayan Alt-Electrorock Tango band Bajofondo. That's right, I wrote Alt-Electrorock Tango band, which is quite the one-two punch when you come to think about it (which of course is one way to get you to hit the floor).
Bajofondo are a Latin Grammy-winning band who have been playing for a number of years. Their mix of tango, milonga, folklore, rock, hip-hop, electronica, jazz and classical, are lead by Gustavo Santaolalla. Santaolalla's pedigree, as it were, is quite extensive. He's won a Golden Globe, two Oscars, two Grammys and 12 Latin Grammys. Off thier new CD "Presente," we'll hear that lead single, which has an organic mix of modern electronica and old tango bandoneon and violins, the milonga piano--all sounds that make a great song. By the way, Bajofondo will be in D.C. on April 2 at the 9:30 Club, should you want to take a trek up there to see them live.
This first song is a great way to keep the beats going, and what better connection to this Latin track than to fill the rest of the set--in fact most of the first hour, than with some up-tempo Brazilian music? Good question. And the answer is there is no more perfect way. So, with that you'll hear some alternative Brazilian music from Tamy and Monica Da Silvia (who was born in Grand Rapids, MI). And we'll dip back in Brazilian rock history to hear a couple of tracks from the band Banda Uniao Black, who awhile ago came back after a 25-year-hiatus to record a great CD.
Also included in this first hour of now primarily Brazilian music (what can I say? I love this style), will be a nod to the band who opens up every World Music Show--BossaCucaNova. This trio primarily are known for taking classic Brazilian songs and giving them an "umph" of electronica. In their set, we'll also hear from Tom Ze, and Caetano Veloso, who does a great medley acoustic cover of the Beatles "Eleanor Rigby," and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." And, speaking of covers, you'll also hear Seu Jorge and the band Almaz doing another Michael Jackson cover--this one of the song "Rock with You." Can you believe they'll be not one, but two Michael Jackson covers on the World Music Show? It's crazy!
And, I guess besides being a Brazilian theme, there's also an Alternative theme going on, too. We'll hear a track from the area in Brazil known as Pernambuco by a band called Otto, who do a song called "Bob." Plus, we'll also hear a great song from the Ecudorian New Yorker, Eljuri, who does a cool song that features the producers Sly & Robbie. However, to close out the first hour, we'll take a left turn and hear two tracks from the British soul singer/guitarist Michael Kiwanuka, who sort of sounds like a modern day Otis Redding.
For the second hour, we'll shake up the format and jump all around the globe. We'll start with a powerful song from Nigerian political singer Seun Anikulapo Kuti, who plays with his father's old band, Egypt 80. Kuti's father, was of course one of the founders of the Afrobeat political and musical movement, Fela Kuti. In that first set, too, we'll hear some other powerful musicians, including Angelique Kidjo, Sam Mangwana, Shabba Ranks and Peter Tosh.
I'll sneak in another Brazilian tune, this one from the legendary Jorge Ben, who at 70+ is still going strong; and a cover of the Blondie song "Heart of Glass," done by the French band Nouvelle Vague. This leads into an acoustic set that features Pascal Parisot and the band Presque Oui.
To close out this week's show, we'll hear some Tabla Beat Science music, which is an Indian form of electronic music with the tabla instrument plugged in. And we'll hear some experimental music from former concert pianist Matsuki Ayumu, and stirring acoustic music from South African Yoav.
After two hours of world music, I think you may Ask for the Floor, or perhaps, you'll want to rest a bit, since I think you'll be up on your feet quite a bit--and don't think that I too, won't be up on my feet as well. It's a good thing that no one can see me inside the studio, as I dance like a fool (which is fine by me).
The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, 88.9FM or online via this website. You can follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.