It's Time to Line Up for World Music!
On the turntable (and I use that term figuratively) for this week's World Music Show (2/13), will be some new Brazilian music from a singer who's sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and who's the best female performer in that country with the most #1 hits. Plus, she's also virtually vinyl. Plus, get ready for a mini-salute to the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba, the band who's singer could be channeling Tom Waits. And, we'll also check out some unique African music that features the Kalimba also known as the Mbira and more commonly referred to as the Thumb Piano. All that is just in the first hour!
With that, you can surmise that I've got quite musical road trip mapped out for you this week, so let's get rolling. First up, that mysterious teaser about who is virtually vinyl as well as one of the most popular singers in Brazil. The answer--I'm talking about the singer Daniela Mercury. She's is one of that country's best known singers, selling more than 20 million albums worldwide and she's a performer who has the most #1 hits in the country, with 14. Her career has spanned more than three decades, too. Her new CD is called "Virtual Vinyl," and from what I've heard so far, she lives up to her awards. Off that, we'll hear the remix of the song "A Rainha do Axe." Plus, if you get the chance, check out the cover (which is featured on the live streaming track listings when the show airs)--it's an homage to the famous John Lennon/Yoko Ono Rolling Stone cover.
Partnered with her will be some classic Samba Soul music off a really great Six Degrees compilation called "Samba Soul 70." Off that, we'll hear the song "Princesa Negra de Angola" by Bebeto and we hear the song "Mane Joao" by the band Wanderlea. And mixed in there too will be some live music from the Brazilian singer Ceu, doing her cover of the Bob Marley song "Concrete Jungle," which was recorded live at the Cultural Arts center in São Paulo.
So, it' s been awhile since I've done a mini-tribute to a band or artist. By radio law, I'm only allowed to play two songs by one artist, but sometimes I can find a way around that, being the rebel that I am. Case in point. We'll hear a four-song tribute to the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba. They've been playing together for more than 20 years, since the time they first got together at a cafe in Mexico City--the same cafe in their name. It was the place for all the artists to hang out.
Throughout their career, they've been leaders in alternative Latin music. And they've gotten so successful that they can afford to take long breaks between albums and touring. Plus, the lead singer NRU, who reminds me of Tom Waits, has partnered with a few American musicians, including David Byrne. Off their CD called "Sino," we'll check out the song "Volver a Comenzar." Then off their great CD called "RE," we'll check out the song "El Baile y el Salon," (there's the maximum two songs). But wait, there's more. Off a David Byrne CD called "Look into the Eyeball," we'll hear NRU doing a duet with Byrne on a song called "Desconocido Soy" And, for the kicker, we'll hear the song "Yolanda Niguas," which features both Byrne and Cafe Tacuba and can be found on the CD "Red Hot + Latin," which is part of the Red Hot series of AIDS fundraising albums.
Alright, here's more thread to unravel from that mysterious opening theme. We'll next check out a set of some spectacular African music, in which some tracks feature the Kalimba, which is also known as the Mbira or a Thumb Piano. First up is the band Mbongwana Star, who's latest CD, called "From Kinshasa," is just a great sounding chunk of music. We'll hear the song "From Kinshasha to the Moon," which is sort of a trippy, spacey number. And we'll hear the song "Suzanna," which may or may not feature the Kalimba. On this CD, the band did work with the band Konono #1, who are the masters of the Kalimba. So, that's sort of close.
And speaking of the band, Konono N0. 1, who are the said masters of that instrument, we'll also hear from in this set. They basically were one of the first bands to plug in this instrument. Off their CD called "Congotronics," we'll hear the song "Kule Kule." Also in this set too will be the song "Abataka (the elders)" by the musician Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa. Kinobe (pronounced Chi-no-Bay) has played with everyone in African music, including Angelique Kidjo, Toumani Diabate and Youssou N'Dour.
To close out this first of two hours, we'll switch it up and hear some electronic Arabian lounge music. Off another Six Degrees compilation, called "Arabian Travels," we'll check out the song "Sakarya" by the band Banco de Gaia. This band named this song after a Turkish town that was devastated by an earthquake years ago.
Coming up on the other side of the 8-ball in hour two will be another mini-tribute to the record label Luaka Bop, which means the sounds will be all over the map. Plus, mixed in will be some Tropical Discotheque music and some Japanese pop music about Chickens and Apples.
Kicking off our first take on some Luaka Bop music will be some tracks from their CD "Twenty First Century/Twenty First Year." This label was started more than 25 years ago by David Byrne. He was an early collector of World Music. During his travels around with the Talking Heads and solo, he'd scour record shops and find some amazing music. And being the good citizen or music lover he is, he wanted to share his finds with the rest of the world. Off this, we'll hear Brazilian Jorge Ben doing the song "Ponta De Lanca Africando." I'll follow that with some screaming lyrics by Africa's Moussa Doumbia and his song "Keleya." Mixed into this set too will be a cut from the band Nouvelle Vague, who love to take 80s tunes and remix them with a sort of French lilt. They'll cover Blondie's song "Heart of Glass."
Taking a break in this Luaka Bop tribute, we'll head to the clubs of East London to get our disco groove on. But don't worry it's not what you think. I'm talking about hearing some Tropical Discotheque music known as Sofrito. The Sofrito collective features heavy tropical dance floor sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and South America. They were started by Djs who spun tracks in the clubs of East London back in 2005. So, it's a little bit old and a little bit new. We'll check out the Kyerematen Stars with the song "Maye Obi Den." The band is led by Kyerematen Atwedie, who is from Ghana, and who revels in style known as Highlife. I'll follow that with the song "Safohene Djeni" by Mahu Wo Asie, who is also from Ghana and who has been playing guitar and signing since the late 60s.
After that brief disco great, we'll get back to our Luaka Bop record label Tribute. Off a CD of remixes called "Luaka Bop Remix," we'll check out a remix of the song "El Indio," originally done by Los De Abajo, but mixed here by Macao. I'll follow that with a remix of the song "Rio Lounge," originally done by Moreno + 2 (which is Moreno Veloso's band), but mixed here by Mario Caldato.
Onward and upward. Off yet another Luaka Bop CD, called "The Sound of Sound," we'll hear some live music from the super Latin band known as Os Mutantes--the song was "A Minha Menina,' which was written by the legend Jorge Ben. With them, we'll hear another song done by the cover band Nouvelle Vague. This time around it'll be their take on the song "Dance with Me."
After dominating almost the entire second hour, I hope you enjoy our foray in the music from the Luaka Bop label. But don't scoot out just yet because there's still some songs about food to play. Yep, songs about food were the theme for a great CD by the band Cibo Matto, called "Viva la Woman!" This CD was all about food. In fact, here are some of the titles from this CD: "Apple, Beef Jerky, Sugar Water, White Pepper Ice Cream" and I could go on. Off that we'll hear the songs "Beef Jerky' and "Know your Chicken."
Hopefully you won't be too hungry after this week's show. The World Music Show airs every Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio 88.9 WCVE or is streamed online via this website. Get show information on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.