From Ghostbird to Gondwana
Greetings one and all. Now's the time to engage in the fun of this week's World Music Show Blog (3/24). The words that follow will attempt to entice you into tuning in to the show. You'll be thrilled with the use of adjectives and deft descriptions of the artists that will punctuate a strong and solid show. Plus, to titilate your ears, you can even hear a snippet of sound by clicking on the audio bar below. With this combination, you will hopefully set your clock radio alarm to remind you to tune in.
And away we go...
To kick start the first hour we'll hear a couple of melodic and beautiful songs from Malaysian singer and ukelele player Zee Avi. As the horrible pick up line goes, there's not enough "O's" in smooth to describe the smoothness of her voice. Her CD "Ghostbird" is still fresh and new and worthy of picking up at your local record shop. I'll end this first chunk of music with a couple of French selections that are both whimsical and dark. We'll hear from both Carla Bruni and Serge Gainsbourg, though not in a duet form, since that would be impossible without the aid of electronics and a time machine. I say dark, becuase Gainsbourg's song translates into "Requiem for a Jerk."
We'll move from France to a few countries in Africa to hear some really powerful voices and musicians. Starting off this set will be a track from the Mali singer/songwriter/musician Habib Koite and his band Bamada. Koite makes evocative, modern ancient music, which I know sounds like a contridiction, but trust me--just listen. From Koite, we'll move to Zimbabwean and bluesman Oliver Mtukudzi, whose got both a deep and gutsy voice that matches his equally skilled guitar playing. I'll round out that set with a track from the band Tinariwen. Tinariwen are Tuareg-Berber musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali who play some really great blues music. And from Dakar, we'll hear a track from the long running band Orchestra Baobab, whose sound even has elements of Ska mixed in, if you listen closely.
And, to close the first hour, we'll get a good beat going with some bachata, merengue and son music from the Dominican Republic. Think Cuban music with a twist. We'll hear from Juan Bautista and Bolivar Peralta, who is ranked as one bachata's greatest lyricists.
In hour two, we'll kick off the hour with one my friend's favorite Chilean Reggae bands (I didn't even know there were any--thanks Josh!), Gondwana. Gondwana is a reggae group from La Pincoya, Santiago, Chile, founded in 1987 and their sound is both classic and uniquely their own. I'll follow that with a couple other selections brought to you by the same friend (can I tell you how much I love getting new music?). Josh sent me a few tracks from the artsy, fun and energetic French alternative band We Are Enfant Terrible. One of the songs they do is a cover of the Beck song "I Think I'm in Love," which sounds great in French. And, Josh also sent me some tracks from the Canadian Reggae band Bedouin Soundclash, which I'll play, too. I need to pinch myself to remember that Reggae is so universal.
From there, we'll be all over the map. I'll play a new cut from the young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Omara "Bombino" Moctar, who is from Agadez, Niger. His style of playing is being compared to some heavywieghts like Ali Farka Toure, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Then, we'll switch gears and hear some Afrocubism music from the band of the same name. And, we'll head back to France to hear from both the band Lo Jo and Arthur H. (who recently made a brief stop in New York to play a show).
I'll end hour two by playing another new track from Japanese eclectic musician Matsuki Ayumu, who song "Future in the Sky with Diamonds," is great song to hear at almost midnight. Plus, I'll play some Tabla Beat music from India---think bongos on steroids.
So, with the words above and the snippet of tunes below, I hope that's enough to entice you to tune in to this week's World Music Show. The show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio online via this website. If you like updates and other rantings, you can follow me on Twitter. Just look up my moniker: @wcveworldmusic.