A Global Hodgepodge of Sound
Ah, the trouble I run into some weeks when I sit down and try to write this little blog. It's a simple problem, really--what hook can I jot down that will get you to not only read this article but will get you to tune in to The World Music Show (this Saturday at 10:00 p.m.). Sometimes a band or artist is so new or unusual or cool that it's easy for me to write about. While other times, there may be a holiday or a unique instrument that I want you to check out.
And then there are weeks like this.
A week when there's nothing "new" (to me anyways) about the show. However, it's times like this when I have to look at the big picture. When I sit back and peruse the list of music I've lined for the two-hours, my gut tells me that, indeed, you will enjoy the bits and pieces of World Music I've assembled for this show (and if you don't, you can always tell me below). With that said..away we go.
In the first hour, the chunks or sets of music will all blend together to make some sort of musical sense--even if they're not from the same region of the planet. For instance, we'll start off with some Cuban music by Rene Ferrer, followed by some rocking Brazilian music from Banda Uniao Black. That will be piggy-backed by some really great guitar and vocal work by Oliver Mtukudizi.
And speaking of some great guitar work, we'll also hear a track from a young Tuareg musician who's being compared to some legendary heavyweights. Omar "Bombino" Moctar, whose new CD "Agadez," has been compared to likes of John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. You can listen and be the judge, then let me know. I'll follow that with some nice acoustic music from France, by the likes of Pascal Lejeune as well as from the band Rupa & the April Fishes (who are from San Francisco).
One highlight of hour one that you want to be sure and check out is a song by the band Te Vaka. Based in New Zealand, this band likes to mix traditional sounds, like the slit and log drums, alongside more contemporary sounds, such as electric guitars and programmed drumbeats. Te Vaka, which means "Canoe," was founded in 1995 by Opetaia Foa'i. He speaks a few languages, such as Samoan, Tuvalu, Tokelau and English, but preferes to write in his native Tokelau, because its softer sound lends itself well to the meaning of his lyrics. You can follow Te Vaka on Twitter, @TeVaka.
If you think hour one was a global hodgepodge, then hour two will be more of the same--only cranked up a bit.
Some major callouts will be a song from the reggae band Gondwana--who are from Chile. And, you'll want to hear another track from Japanese experimentalist (and former classical pianist) Matsuki Ayumu--his songs are like candy for your ears. You could say that hour two has a more "electronic" feel to it. Because we'll also hear from the band Burkina Electric, who are lead by Lucas Liggetti (who also has a classical music connection). And, as I like to do, they'll be some musical surprises thrown into the mix as well.
So, even though this week's show has no specific "theme," sometimes a global hodgepodge is the best way to listen to World Music. There's something for everyone. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio. You can follow me on Twitter. Look me up, @wcveworldmusic.