A Little Respite
Ah, the weather. It's always a perfect conversation starter, which is why I'm starting this blog with it. Earlier last week, when I pulled CD's for The World Music Show (12/17), the weather was a whole lot cooller. I thought "Finally! Winter is upon us." But today, as I write this, the temps were hovering near 70 degrees. And when the show actually aires, the tempurature will go back down to a more December-like number. It's whacky, this Richmond weather, but that's Richmond for you, right? Anyways, as I said, when I was plotting out the show, I had the feeling and mindset that--being December--there'd be snow on the ground and people would be wanting an escapist mental break of some sorts before the onslaught of the really cold weather. Well, despite the roller coaster temps, I decided to stick with the theme.
Hence, the plotline of this week's show has elements of beats from warmer climates. We'll travel to the South Pacific, Jamiaca and India to try to warm our musical bones. And, in addition to that theme, they'll be another underlying trend in the show--that of the "cover tune." Which is where the first hour begins. We'll hear a cover of Lou Reed's classic song "Walk on the Wild Side," done here by Albert Pla and called "El Lado Mas Bestia de la Vida." Pla is from Catalonia, a region in Northeastern Spain. I'll follow that with a cover of the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight," done by the duo Toure' Kunda, who are from Senegal. Their music has garnered a few notable followers, such as Carlos Santana, who even adapted one of their songs.
When we reach the South Pacific, we'll hear from the band Te Vaka, who have members from Tokelau, Samoa and New Zealand. The band, whose name means "canoe" use traditional percussion instruments, such as a slit and log drums, alongside electric guitars and programmed drumbeats. Then, we'll hear a track from the band Ok! Ryos, who are one of the most popular bands in New Caledonia, which is a group of islands in the South Pacific. The band is a part of the Kaneka music revival that blends typical New Caledonian polyphonic singing styles with with traditional rythms of the Kanak culture. In this set, we'll also hear a song from the band Mabulu, who are from Mozambique.
Other highlights in the first hour include some Super Guitar Soukous music by General Defao. Soukous music is dance music that originated in the Congos back in the 1930s and 40s. And, I'll also feature a song that has the Indian slide guitar on it performed by Debashish Bhattacharya. One of the cool things he does is to make his own guitars--something he calls his "Trinity of Guitars." And, speaking of guitar work, I'll also feature a track by the Malian guitarist Issa Bagayogo and some fuzzy guitar playing by the Latin Playboys.
In hour two, I'll begin the same way I did in hour one--with a couple of cover tunes. This time, I'll play a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song "If 6 was 9," done here by Rara Avis. This is off a great compilation from the Six Degrees Record Label called "Backspin. 10 years." I'll feature another cover song off that CD by the electronic DJ duo known as MIDIval PunditZ. They'll do a cover of the Led Zeppelin song "Four Sticks."
Other bands and artists to listen for in this hour, include: Cafe Tacuba, Shabba Ranks, UB40, English Beat, and Cornershop. Despite whatever the weather will be this Saturday night, the music you hear will take you to faraway places and perhaps warm you up a bit.
The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10pm on WCVE Public Radio. You can follow my tweets, which happen during the and live during the show, by looking me up, at: @wcveworldmusic