Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kenge per Laver Bariun-Vaske Curri

As the world homogenizes and pasteurizes itself into tasteless pap, Albania is like most other countries in their production of modern pop: 1) hire models, 2) select genre on random BS song generator, 3) press 'play' and danceable BS will be produced computer-like predictable and aggressive, OR: you can go to the old-timers, who still know how to play their instruments, and still have something to say, not just shamelessly ape the Western models who rule the world. These two blokes seem to define a previous generation and have survived the most paranoid Communist rule ever, which, if nothing else, always manages at least to (altogether now): STOP THE CLOCK!  Sometimes that's good...

Monday, February 22, 2016

White Noise - Là Con Gái Thật Tuyệt (Being a Girl is Great) [MV]

Jeez, I've never searched a country so long and so hard to find a song, any song, that I like in my life. Other countries in Asia are much more attuned to the subtle nuances of rock, pop and folk than Vietnam, where rock means metal, pop means saccharine schlock or pseudo-hiphop, and folk means the rather strait-laced stylings of traditional classical flute-string-and-drum bands. Then I found this lady, something like the Viet Joan Jett, if all goes well, and all in due time...  Rock out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Algerian song- Faudel, Rachid, Cheb Khaled "Abdel Kader"

Algerian music is a reflection of Algeria itself: neither the syrupy strings of the conquering Arabs or the jangly guitars of the nomadic Tuaregs, Algeria is all about the Berbers--Amazigh, Kabyle, etc. But the best music has long been 'rai', even if you have to go to Marseilles to see it. Cheb Khaled may not be so 'cheb' any more--more like 'sheikh'--but he's still the king of rai music.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Vanessa Quai - Galala kece sara

I'll have to admit that finding the musical heart of Vanuatu was no easy task. Is reggae somehow a universal island thing, or maybe even a Third World thing? It seems that way, exported and adopted world wide, long before all that 'urban rap' gained currency. Fact is that the Caribbean and South Pacific are very different places. Aside from that, 'string bands' seem most popular here, though not exactly what you might expect, i.e. guitars, etc. Fusion music is only appropriate for such a fusion culture, I suppose, something like Papuans having adopted Polynesian ways in varying degrees. Vanessa Quai herself on other songs seems like a Melanesian Whitney Houston, pre-fall, complete with churchly reverence. Check it out...

Thursday, February 04, 2016

ANONYMOUS - Verano Feliz

I don't often go for Eurovision contestants, but when you're looking for music in a tiny country of 80K, like Andorra, then you have to take what you can get, and this ain't bad--perky and punky.  Of course, as Catalan speakers, they're connected to the larger Barcelona-based culture outside, even to the point of singing in Spanish, or even English, just to make their point... which is: rock-and-roll, I think, as best described...

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Canto del Pilon - Maria Marquez and Frank Harris

Venezuela has a lot of good music, in all genres, including 'llanero' (country), pop and EDM.  But what I liked best was this song, a tribute to their sketchy past, but with a very Andean feel, not typically Venezuelan on first listen.  There are many renditions and remixes, but I think this is close to the original...

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