Spinning the Wheel O' Songs!
I love the randomness of things. Whether it's from a surprise encounter or from an unexpected gift left on your desk, having random things happen keeps your senses alert and alive. So, on this week's World Music Show (8/18/12), I'll once again drag out the proverbial spinning songbook, AKA, the Wheel O' Songs, in order to provide you (and me) with the thrill of the unknown.
But the "unknown" in this case won't be scary or too daring. You know, I'm not Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics where I get to smash things on stage. Nor am I Elvis Costello who actually travels around with a gigantic, actual spinning songbook. No, I'm just a guy who likes to play songs from around the globe that you don't normally get to hear. Sure, some of these songs you may have heard before on an earlier show--and that's ok. But try to concentrate on the order and rhythm of the selections. Think of the two hours we get to spend together as a trip to an undiscovered country.
And though I'm typing up this missive prior to Saturday's air time, I can forsee many of the the artists and tunes that will be played. I guess I have the power of foresight. So with that, let's begin the rundown of what to expect when we "Spin the Wheel O' Songs!"
From the coffee lands, which is a great compilation CD from the folks at Putumayo, we'll hear Columbian singer Claudia Gomez, as well as Hawaiian James "Bla" Pahinui, playing some really masterful slack key guitar in honor of the late Hawaiian singer simply known as "Iz." Included in this first set will also be tracks from the German duo 2raumwohnung , which translates to 2-Room Apartment. This man and woman team were first known for writing catchy TV jingles, but became more popular writing songs. Plus, they'll be some masterful finger work on the Kamele N'goni, which is a six-stringed West African instrument similar to a banjo, by Issa Bagayogo, as well as a classic from the South African superstar who helped end Apartheid by intergrating his band, Johnny Clegg and Savuka.
And, if you can't tell by the cover photo, you'll get to hear a couple of selections from the French artist Serge Gainsbourg, whose wit and brilliance is still capitaviting parts of the globe long after his death. And you can't have a set that starts off like that without featuring a few more French artists--well at least I can't. So, you'll also hear tunes from the acrobatic band Lo * Jo (I say acrobatic because they have been known to put on quite the stage show), as well as a rendition of the song "You Belong to Me," done by a woman who was most recently the first lady of France, Carla Bruni (I wonder If I could get her to come on the show as a guest host?).
Some other highlights to listen out for in this first hour, will be tracks from the guitar heroes Rodrigo y Gabriela, a cut from the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba, as well as another new song from the latest CD by Jimmy Cliff, and a great cover of the Clash song "Should I Stay or Should I Go" done by the Jamaican Mento band The Jolly Boys.
You'd think by this time that my wrist would be sore from all that spinning, right? Well, don't worry--I've got enough energy to last another hour. In this chunk o' time, I forsee you enjoying a couple of groovy songs off the Putumayo CD "A New Groove," which will include tracks from Linn & Freddie and Radio Citizen, featuring Bajko.
Randomness is fun, don't you think? Without it, you may not get to hear the Senegelese rap band known as Daara J. This trio has some really catchy riffs and sound good in any language. We'll jump from Daara J's Wolof language to French, thanks to the trio known as We Are Enfant Terrible. They write very up-tempo alternative pop music. And, thrown in this set will be more French music by brothers known as Mouss et Hakim.
To close out the show, we'll have to become "People Power in the Disco Hour," which is a song by Cornershop, and we'll have to "Look into the Eyeball," because David Byrne deems it so. And, we'll get to ask the question "If 6 was 9," courtesy of the cover tune done by Rara Avis.
So if you're a thrill seeker in search of new sounds, then tune in to this week's World Music Show Saturday at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio 88.9FM or online via this website. And, you seek more thrills, then follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.