Why Go Out?
Ok, before anyone gets upset, this isn't a rallying cry to stop folks from going out to see and hear live music. On the contrary, the above headline is more of a thought--a note to self, that since this weekend is a bit rainy and there's a touch of Fall in the air, that it may be ok to just stay at home. You know, grab a blanket and start a fire in the fireplace. But, instead of revving up the DVD or streaming the latest flick, how about you turn on the radio? Because I happen to have it on good authority that this week's World Music Show (10/12) will have enough high voltage energy to hold your attention for as long as movie does. We're talking explosions of sound from around the globe.
However, we'll get to those sound explosions in a little bit. Because, like any good movie, you need to ramp up the energy before letting the climax take over. With that, we'll start this week's show on a more mellow note. Namely, we'll check out some African Blues music from Issa Bagayogo. Bagayogo, who is one of 15 children, is a master of the Kamele n' Goni, which is a traditonal Malian lute. He's been playing the instrument since he was 12 years old. But Bagayogo is anything but traditional when it comes to writing and playing his songs. Instead he takes on traditional sounds and gives them some electric umph! Also featured in this Blues set will be a classic 70s track from Nigeria by Dr. Victor Olaiya's International All-Stars, and a duet featuring Malian blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure and Malian Kora player, Toumani Diabate.
After that first act, if we're still talking in terms of film theory, we'll keep building up the momentum with a Latin-tinged set that features some great alternative music from the band Cafe Tacuba, who are one of the best Mexican bands around. Their shows sell out all the time, and they take time in between releasing albums, in order to let their creativity grow. Also in this chunk o' tunes will be a couple of tracks from another great, long-running Latin band, Los Lobos. Together since the late 1970s, they've managed to not only stay together, but they continue to produce great music. We'll hear two songs off their CD "This Time."
Turning up the volume a bit, we'll move from Latin America to France to hear some stellar circus music--what I mean is, that we'll hear from a band who has been compared to a high-wire carnival act. The band Lo * Jo produce some really inventive music and put on equally inventive stage shows. In fact, they've been known to include trapeze artists and jugglers on-stage. And, they've also been known to play impromtu street shows. Their sound is a mix of classic French Chanson and more up-to-date Gypsy-inspired beats.
However, if it's a little more classic tunes your ears crave, then also featured in this set will be some French girl singers from the 1960s, including France Gall and Charlotte Leslie. Capping off this set will be another French classic artist, Serge Gainsbourg. Off the CD "Comic Strip," we'll hear him paired with French screen siren Brigette Bardot on the song "Bonnie & Clyde," and we'll hear him solo on the song "Ford Mustang."
To close out the hour--and to throw a curve into this build up (because waiting for sound explosions must have its false starts), we'll hear a couple of great David Bowie cover songs sung in Portuguese by Seu Jorge. Jorge performed many of these songs in the movie "The Life Aquatic."
So, perhaps hour two will yield some higher energy? Why, yes, yes it will. Right off the bat, we'll hear some Tropical Discotheque music--more aptly, we'll check out the Sofrito sound. What's the Sofrito sound? It's heavy tropical dancefloor sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and South America. However, the big question should be where is it from? It was born in the deserted warehouse spaces and empty lofts of East London. These pop-up raves had DJs pumping both classic and modern tropical sounds to happy dancers. It became so popular that hence, this compilation came to fruition. Off this CD, we'll hear the band Les Ya Toupas Du Zaire and the singer Victor Uwaifo. Paired with these two tracks will be two songs by one of the ledendary founders of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement, Tom Ze.
We'll keep this now pop-up dance party going--and we'll keep an eye to past, too, by playing a couple of classic Japanese groovy girl pop songs from the 1960s. All across the globe during this decade, there was an emphasis on girl groups and girl pop. Often called Ye-Ye music, these highly produced songs were often not so good (becuase many were trying to capitalize on what was considered a fad), but many have stood the test of time. We'll hear Eiko Shuri and Mieko Hirota doing their best pop and Bossa Nova-inspired songs. Also featured in this set will be some remixed music from the Thievery Corportion (doing a remix of a song by Baaba Maal) and another remix--this one of a song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo done by RSL. And, if that weren't enough, we'll end this set with some Big Noise/Funky Tropicalismo music from The Young Holt Trio.
To close out this week's show, and to end it with a sound explosion, we'll hear a couple of really cool world music covers of the songs "Spirits in the Material World," originally done by The Police, but done here by Karsh Kale; and the song "Four Sticks," done by Led Zeppelin, but done here by Midival Punditz. And continuing the theme of going out with a bang will be tracks by David Byrne and Cornershop. Boom!
The World Music Show can be heard at from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. every Saturday on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE or online on this website. You can follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.