Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Tajikistan may seem like some insignificant tiny country out in the remote Central Asian region, with their most famous historical cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan, but here are the origins of Persian culture, so don't judge all by the modern politics of expediency and survival. This is one of the most interesting cultures and histories in the world...
Monday, August 01, 2016
Bosnia is Europe's mixed bag: Serbo-Croatian language and Muslim religion. Of course, the countryside is still ravaged from the predations of the Bosnians Serbs, who effectively split the country in two. Bosnians persevere. I don't know about 'soul music', but this is a sweet song, no translation necessary.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Bolivia is not known for its Indie rock, at least not outside the region, better known for those aguayo-draped ch'ullo-capped sun-parched faces honking down on the bizniz end of a siku or quena, or strumming a charango or cuatro, all while hopping and dancing around the stage, seems rather quaint now, and hard to believe that this was once at the forefront of 'world music'. But alas and alack, they never changed nor advanced, nor forged new directions at the risk of failing. Even the Andean street musicians in Europe add electronics or mimic Carlos Nakai now, not Sukay or Inti Illimani. You gotta keep it fresh, and the best of Rock Boliviano does that, asi lo hacen...
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Okay--disclaimer time. Thailand is my second home, so I could go on and on about the music there--here--all night, and you might care, or not. SO: I'm going to tie into a current trend in the US and Europe in which Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band is one of the hottest things going in world and indie circles. BUT: they're not the first 'phin' band, nor the only, nor necessarily the best. This music is from Isaan, a world away from Bangkok, Samui or Chiang Mai. This is what they do. These guys call themselves 'PinRock', and that's pronounced 'pin', not 'fin'. You heard it here first.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
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
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
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...