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Heavy Metal Cumbia?

I love open-ended questions for leads. As in, what do you get when you cross Heavy Metal with Cumbia music? Glad you asked, because on this week’s World Music Show (10/14) you’ll get the answer.

And that answer will come from my interview with the leader of the Oakland, Ca based band called La Misa Negra (who’s name is a reference to a Heavy Metal group—to find out which one, you’ll have to tune in).

This seven-piece band have a full-blown sound complete with big horns and big beats. But don’t think that they’ll be any Heavy Metal guitar solos in their selections. Leader Marco Pollo Santiago tells me that his love of Metal, Thrash and even Punk music gives La Misa Negra their spirit. In the half-hour interview (in hour two), we’ll go over his roots growing up in L.A., then his move to Oakland and we’ll hear about some of the great bands La Misa Negra has opened for. Plus, you’ll get to hear about what Marco and I have in common.

In the other parts of the show, it’ll be about Playing for Change. And sure, this is a reference to the great organization that pulls together musicians from around the globe to record songs—but this group takes the recording in a different way. The producers go to where this artists live and record them doing one or two songs—usually popper ones (“Gimme Shelter,” “Redemption Song”, etc), then they edit them all together to sound like they were done in one big recording studio—it’s an amazing adventure in sound. Plus, the organization has a goal of raising money to bring music into schools all across the planet. Read more about them here

Off their first Playing for Change CD, we’ll hear a cover of Bob Marley’s “War/No More Trouble” and Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution.”

But the Playing for Change reference is more about songs written by musicians in the hopes of garnering some change—whether political or human. Songs have often taken the route of inspiring change, so I’ll be highlighting just a few.

For instance, we’ll hear from Seun Kuti—who’s family (Fela Kuti) is no stranger to writing songs that inspire political change. Coming from Nigeria, where the struggles with everything from water to political leaders, has been going on for decades, Kuti writes and sings with a passion not unlike is father or brother Femi. And he even plays with his father’s old band Egypt 80.

In another Playing for Change, we’ll hear a beautiful cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” done by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros. Strummer, no stranger to writing songs of change when he was part of the Punk band The Clash, does a heart warming rendition of this often-covered song.

Speaking of Bob Marley, we’ll also hear a few tracks from him as well as a cover tune found on a tribute CD put out by Putumayo.

And for musical cousins, we’ll also hear some classic Ska music from Toots & the Maytels (doing “Pressure Drop”) and Tony Tribe (covering Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine”).  Plus, as usual, they’ll other great tracks and surprises snuck in throughout the show.

The World Music Show airs Saturday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can stream the show and see live, streaming track listings (and get past track listings) via this website. Follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.