In the Name of Dub, Ya
Ok, I bet you're wondering just what a picture of Imelda Marcos, the former Filipino politician and widow of the tenth Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is doing on the cover of this week's blog for The World Music Show (11/2). And, I bet you're probably wondering what that headline "In the Name of Dub, Ya," has to do with her as well. Well, we'll get to that in a moment.
First, though, let's address the Marcos photo and it's relation to this week's show. You see, there's this multi-talented musician you may have heard before on this show by the name of David Byrne. Well, Byrne and producer/musician Fatboy Slim got together a few years ago to help tell a story that Byrne thought up--a sort of pop/disco/operatic piece. It was about the life of Imelda Marcos and her relationship with her nanny. I'll let Byrne explain it:
The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person--what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if -- as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music -- one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a story and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn't that be amazing!
I figured Byrne could say it much better than myself. On this CD, called "Here Lies Love," Byrne and Slim culled together some stellar talent to help tell this disco story, including Tori Amos, Steve Earle, Alice Russell, Kate Pierson (of the B-52s), Santigold, and Cyndi Lauper and Nellie McKay, who you'll hear from. Now, as for what does that headline "In the Name of Dub, Ya," have to do with Marcos? Nothing. Nothing at all. The line, at least to me, morphs from an old 80s song by the Thompson Twins, called "In The Name of Love." And, ironically, it's also the name of a CD you'll also hear in this hour.
The header does however have a lot to do with hour two of the show, which will be a Dub & Riddim'-fest. But, like all good things, you'll have to wait until I rattle off some of the other highlights you'll hear in the first hour. For instance, one such highlight are the two songs you'll hear off a tribute CD to the band U2. Called "In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2," the CD has some great musicians on it, including Angelique Kidjo, Vusi Mahlasela, Tony Allen (one of the founders of Afrobeat), and Vieux Farka Toure and the Soweto Gospel Choir, who you'll hear.
Speaking of Afrobeat, you'll also hear some Afrobeat and Hi-Life music, which was popular in it's home region of Nigeria, circa 1970s, from the bands Olufemi Ajasa & His New Nigerian Bros., as well as from Tony Tete Harbor & The Star Heaters of Nigeria. Both of these bands play some awesome funk. Thrown into this set, too, will be some Brazilian Hip Hop music from DJ 509-E and Elza Soares. Why did I decide to mix Afrobeat with Brazilian Hip Hop? For some reason, it just sounded right.
To close out the first hour, and to put a cap on the whole Byrne Disco Theme, we'll hear some live music from Byrne when he visited Austin City Limits; and we'll hear some electronic/dancable, lounge music from the band Ursula 1000 (with their song "Mambo 1000").
And now for the Dub side of things. For hour two, we'll take a mini-history tour of the styles of both Dub & Riddim'. First, a little history lesson: Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960s. The style consists of instrumental remixes of existing recordings--but, the key difference is that the music is significantly manipulated and reshaped, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, then the drums and bass parts are emphasized. This stripped down track is sometimes referred to as a 'riddim'. Other techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. We'll hear two of the pioneers of this genre later on.
First on deck will be two, more updated Riddim' songs from Michael Franti and Spearhead. But before we move any further, I also need to let you know that we'll also be hearing a few more styles of Jamaican music, namely Mento, Ska and Reggae. In the Mento style, we'll hear a couple of great cover tunes from the Jolly Boys, who'll cover the famous songs "Ring of Fire," and "Nightclubbing." And in the Reggae and Ska styles we'll hear from the bands Madness, The Specials, UB40, Eric Donaldson and Desmond Dekker & The Aces.
As for the Dub genre, we'll go both old school and new school. We'll hear from two of the founding leaders of Dub music, King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Perry will make another appearance later in the set when he joins the Beastie Boys on a song. And speaking of the Beastie Boys, we'll hear another Dub track from them, this one featuring the singer Santigold.
So, I hope that this week's picture and headline didn't throw you off what a great show you'll hear on Saturday. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. on 88.9FM WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can follow show highlights and other shenanigans on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.