Fuzzy Bananas & Other Sounds
Hold your horses. I'll get to the meaning of the title in just a bit. But you can probably guess that it referes to something deep on this week's World Music Show (11/10). Let's start with the latter part of the headline--"Other Sounds" first, becuase those are easier to explain. And it's quite a mixed-bag throughout the two hours, as well. It'll be as if we've hit the Frappé button on the world musical blender.
To begin with, the first chunk of tunes to be thrown into the blender, or expelled I guess, will be a nice mix of French pop music from both the 1960s up to more current times. We'll hear a cover of the song "I Can't Stop Dancing," done by David Alexandre Winter (the original was done by Archie Bell & the Drells). Piggy-backing on this will be a couple of songs that were part of the 1960s ye-ye girl phenomenon. This genre of music was when France exploded with a multitude of girl pop bands. From this era, we'll hear France Gall, who won France's Eurovision Song Contest in 1965. This must of been a pre-pre-cursor to today's American Idol contest. Gall, who was one of France's biggest and most consistent hitmakers of the decade, covers the Serge Gainsbourg song "Laisser Tomber Filles." We'll hear another Gainsbourg cover done by the singer known as Anna Karina, who was once the muse of director Jean-Luc Godard. She'll cover the song "Roller Girl." To jump ahead to this decade, we'll hear the bands Lo * Jo and Tetes Radies, who oddly enough play in a style reminiscent of classic French Chanson music, but with a more updated twist.
Is it time to discuss Fuzzy Bananas yet? No, sit tight. The second bit of music in hour one is one you won't want to miss--that is if you like well-done cover tunes of really cool songs. Pictured on the cover of this week's blog is the Brazilian artist Seu Jorge. I've played him many times on the show, but on this week's show, he's doing acoustic covers in Portuguese of David Bowie songs. If you happened to have seen the film "The Life Aquatic," then you may remember Jorge in that film, humming or singing Bowie songs. I'll play his version of "Major Tom," as well as the song "Queen Bitch," which is one of my favorites off this CD. Sneeking into this set of covers will be the Elvis Presley wannabe Johnny Haliday doing the song "Mal," which is a cover of the song "Hush." Thrown in here too will be a sweet cover of the U2 song "Bullet the Blue Sky," done by Vieux Farka Toure as well Angelique Kidjo doing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," live.
So, what's happening in Pernambuco? Funny you should ask that, becuase that's actually the name of a CD of some "New Sounds of the Brazilian Northeast." It's all about music grounded in tradition and modernity, as in electronic roots music. This leads--finally to Fuzzy Bananas. Actually called "Fuzz Bananas," it's a CD of Brazilian guitar work done by bands like The Youngsters, who do a great cover of Ringo Starr's "I Wanna Be Your Man," as well as the band 14 Bis, who do a great cover of "God Save the Queen," (though my favorite version of that song is actually by The Sex Pistols). The CD is just the title that the compiler came up with, which I think is funny and appropriate.
All that, plus more is in the first hour! In the second hour, the beats will have a more Eastern attitude. We'll kick off the hour with a track from the Bombay Dub Orchestra, then move to a Turkish Freakout--which is style of "Psych-Folk" music from 1969-1980--think fuzzy guitars again. And speaking of fuzzy guitars, we'll hear an interesting cover of the Jethro Tull song "Locomotive Breath," done by the Indian band Atomic Forest. Continuing to stay in the East, at least soundwise, we'll also hear from the duo known as Midival Punditz, Fun Da Mental, and Karsh Kale.
We'll round out the last part of the show with some classic Ska music from Toots & The Maytals and Eric Donaldson (doing the orginal "Cherry Oh Baby," which was later covered by UB40). Thrown in somewhere here too will some songs by Stephen Marley, Jimmy Cliff and two songs by Lee "Scratch" Perry--one is him solo and the other his him and the Beastie Boys.
Phew! As you can see it's going to be quite the show. Do you best to tune in to The World Music Show this Saturday at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, 88.9FM or online at this website. You can also follow my hijinks on Twitter, @wcveworldmsusic.