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...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

James - Sultana Bibiana (Call Er Gaan Live 2010)

Bangladesh is probably one of the world's least understood countries. From its previous alliance with Pakistan to its cultural Bengali kinship with Kolkata, there are no easy comparisons nor explanations. Bangladesh is sui generis, its own deal with its own brand. Though part of the Indian cultural subcontinent, Bangladesh is to SE Asia as Pakistan is to NW Asia, i.e. much less uptight, much more laid-back and accepting of an increased role for women, no veils required. And so it is with the music, too. Any country worth its counter-culture credentials has at least one classic rock superhero who can go experimental in order to inspire others to their own potentials. In Bangladesh that role is played by Faruk Mahfuz Anam aka James...

Monday, May 02, 2016


Turkmenistan is the connection between modern Turkey and the ancient homeland up near Mongolia, their linguistic cousins to this day.  Unfortunately the country's political reputation places it about halfway between North Korea and Belarus.  That's too bad, because otherwise it would be an interesting place to visit, I've just got a feeling...

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