Thursday, June 30, 2016

Osayomore Joseph - Awanuro

Benin is that other tiny West African nation, which, along with Togo, Ghana and Nigeria, defines the old 'Slave Coast'...and some of Africa's best music. This artist is an old school icon, usually just known as 'the ambassador'... enjoy...

Friday, June 24, 2016


Wow! Togo's history as a country may be a bit sketchy, but this guy King Mensah's songs are not. Whether you like the Christian imagery or not, this man is surely a prophet, in one of the world's smallest and poorest countries, equally as Islamic as Christian and at least twice that traditional animistic. I'm sold, and my interest in West Africa has surged greatly, after several aborted trips, and much disappointment. I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Andy Palacio, Belize - Gi mi Punta Rock - Caye records

Belize is the anomaly of the Caribbean: a British Commonwealth country on the Central American mainland, with equal parts Black 'creoles' and Latino 'mestizos' and sizable numbers of full-blood Mayas and super-mixed Arawak-speaking 'Black Carib' Garifuna people, one of the darling genres of 'world music' over the last decade or two, many thanks to Andy Palacio. But before they adapted it to international tastes, it was just good ol' booty-twitching 'punta rock' and that's what gave Andy his start. BTW the plural of 'Garifuna' is 'Garinagu' (or Kalinago, maybe?). The plural of 'Gi Mi Punta Rock' is apparently 'Gi We Punta rock'. Enjoy. This is a big improvement over the Belizean juke-joints I toured in 1977.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Si'i Tokomea - Kalapu Melino mo e 'Ofa

Tonga is one of the more hospitable of the Polynesian countries, a place where the locals just might be a little smoother than some of the others. And if the music sounds a bit Hawaiian, well, it should, since they're first cousins, even if separated by thousands of miles. They once sailed that route--in canoes. Kava is the drink of choice, and Polynesian is the language, of course. This is music to chill by...the beach...enjoy...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hooverphonic - Gentle Storm [HQ - full screen]

Belgium is the anomaly of Europe, the country that resulted from the push and pull of colonial powers flexing their muscles, comparing the lengths to which they would go, and usually coming up short. So Belgium is a mixture of Dutch and French (and a bit of Germany), Romantic and Germanic, and Capital of Europe, with the largest Muslim 'hood north of Tangier next to the largest red-light district south of Amsterdam. So English is often the language of choice in Europe's multicultural Trinidad, their Fiji, their Swahili coast on the North Atlantic, where mixed messages make interesting cultures. and so it is with the music, more often than not in the international lingua franca, more often than not in mixed genres, more often than not pretty darn good...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Kobo Town - Mr. Monday

Trinidad is something of an anomaly. Equal parts English, Spanish, African and Indian, this is something like the Fiji of the Caribbean, a (not-so-pure) Commonwealth creation. But the resulting mix can be as disappointing as it is inspiring. Frankly, for the birthplace of calypso and soca, I'd expect a better mix of music, but what's there is not bad, including these guys, who might actually best be considered as Canadian. Welcome to world music...

Friday, June 03, 2016

Ляпис Трубецкой. Капитал

Belarus is part of that so-called 'axis of evil' of vestigial Communist countries that stretch from North Korea hop-skipping over remnants of the old USSR and fellow travelers. So maybe a satirical song about Karl Marx called 'Das Kapital' doesn't seem so strange, after all--or maybe not. It's all up in the air, countdown to springtime...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Emel Mathlouthi Oum ezzin el jamaliya آمال مثلوثي ـ أم الزين الجمالية

Tunisia is famous for the mezoued, that bagpipe-like mouth organ that takes you away somewhere somehow, whether you like it or not, but there's much more than that to the eastern style of Maghrebbi music. Like neighbors Algeria and Morocco, Tunisia is more European than most Arab states, so that means many diverse influences and manifestations. Arab Spring started here, remember. Check out this guy's violin playing. And hang around for a few songs, and Emel will sing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' for you, sublime... 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Barbados Crop Over: Kadooment Day Highlights 2015.

If Barbados is the place, then Soca is the music, and Crop Over (Harvest Home) is the main event. This is Rihanna country, of course, so she's the star to catch in compromising twerking positions, but they're all pretty sexy, if you like that kind of thing. I remember it well, Barbados that is, so when my taxi driver said I'd be back, he just might be right...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


A medley of their hit--album. Turkey is a tough country for me to find
music that I like.  It's not traditional enough to have the raw
brilliance of their brethren Turkmen across the Caspian Sea, and not yet
modern or hip enough to get the true meaning or feel of indie music
that most of Europe contributes to nicely.  In short, Turkey is between
worlds without clear direction.  These guys Babutsa show a way out,
though, definitely worth listening to...

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