Insert Turkey Pun Here
Listen: I don' t want to knock any references to this fine holiday. Nor do I want to mock any references to my fine blues-filled colleagues who may present some tuneful leftovers. My conundrum for this week's World Music Show (11/24) or really for this week's blog, is to come up with a witty title that gives a special nod to the season, while still retaining the ethos of world beats.
So, after much deliberation (of about two minutes), I've decided to concentrate on the thing that matters most: the music. Becuase no matter what holiday is among us, it all boils down to the sounds. Besides, it's really hard to build a World Music Show around an American holiday. Nonetheless, let's set the table for what's in store on Saturday night.
The first course will concentrate of some Eastern pop, Bossa Nova and Maylasian folk music. Off a CD called "Nippon Girls," we'll hear some pop and Bossa Nova from Japan in the late 1960s. The Nippon Girl movement correlates to the "Ye-Ye-Girl" French sound and the all-girl pop bands of the U.S. We'll hear from Jun Mayuzumi and Reiko Ohara, whose songs still found fresh today. Then, we'll move to this century and hear from the sweet, soulful voice of Malaysian singer Zee Avi, who not only plays a mean ukelele, but she knows her way around some witty lyrics, too.
Next, we'll move to a mini-flashback--one that goes all the way back to last month--to hear a couple of bands who appeared at the 2012 Richmond Folk Festival. We'll hear some Forro music from Rob Curto, who is the lead singer with the Forro Pe de Serra All Stars. Then we'll hear from Ti-Coca, who does the song "Chwal St. Jacques," which is a Cajun foot stomper. In this same set will some Arabian music from Banco de Gaia, then some European lounge music from the German duo Jazzamor. Trust me, these all blend really well together.
In another course (to keep this table setting theme moving right along), we'll move to Africa to hear music from Issa Bagayogo, Mabi Thobejane, Ladysmith Black Mambazo--who do a great rendition of Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," along with Melissa Etheridge and Joe McBride. We'll cap that off with some Soweto Street Music from E Goli.
For the second course (ok, ok, I'll stop these shenanigans right now), we'll hear a really moving song by two masters at their craft: Ali Farka Toure (who plays the guitar) and Toumani Diabate (who plays the Kora). The song "Soumbou Ya Ya" is off the CD "In the Heart of the Moon," which was one of their first meetings caught on tape.
A highlight of hour two will be taking another ride on the "way-back" machine to hear some Afro-funk, Highlife and Juju music that came out of Nigeria in the 1970s. We'll hear from Ali Chukwumah & his Peace Makers International, along with The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination, who went by the unfortunate acronym D.I.E. Plus we'll from Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars as well as Ashanti Afrika Jah. All these band really defined funk for Nigeria back in that decade. These bands were able to flourish because, at the time, there was a oil boom, which meant there was more money to go around, which let more bands play and more people could buy music.
To keep the funk and the decade mood going, we'll move to India to hear some Psych-Funk by the Black Beats, who were also kings of the funnk sound. Then, to jump forward to today, we'll hear a couple of tracks from Indian-American musician Karsh Kale, who takes electronic beat music to new heights.
Listen: Don't worry, there's enough music to go around on this week's show. I want to leave you with a few surprise ingredients (ok, I know I said I'd stop, but it was too good to pass up). And, I do want to say I'm very thankful to be able to share some really good music with all of you and that I hope you all have an upbeat holiday season.
The World Music Show aires Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, 88.9FM or online via this website. You can follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.