November 26, 2021

When Hanukkah comes around

Global A Go-Go has been a Christmas-song-free zone since 2005, just because (as Geoff Berner sings) "The Christians irritate us with their Christmas-ness / It seems like every year."  Not like there will be a shortage of Christmas music from now until the day in question, amirite?

But Hanukkah?  Heck yeah I'll play Hanukkah songs.  Irreverent songs perhaps, like one by the aforementioned Geoff Berner, or a new one in the nearly-extinct Ladino (Sephardi) language by Sarah Aroeste, or how about Katey Red giving her dreidel a sissy bounce spin?

Also this week on the eve of Hanukkah's first night (Sunday November 28, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): another reissue from K. Frimpong's back catalog, Cuban big bands, and that's life (adounia in Tamasheq).
 
Plus sets themed around two events happening in Richmond next week: the Fania Forever party at the Hotel Greene's Crown Room on Thursday (more info here: facebook.com/events/672418733738581) and Yeni Nostalji's first post-lockdown performance on Friday (more info here: facebook.com/photo?fbid=566034447978053&set=a.395309925050507)

November 23, 2021

Charts November 15-21, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ATAKORA MANU | Omintiminim/Afro Highlife | BBE
2 LOS POPS | No, No, No [EP] | Munster
3 MAXADO | Upon A Smile [EP] | Badasonic
4 PROFESSOR WOUASSA | "Thiebou Djaga" [Single] | Matasuna
5 MUKAMBO PRESENTS GLOBAL AFROBEAT MOVEMENT 2 | various artists | NYP
6 MONEY CHICHA | Chicha Summit | Vampisoul
7 BATILA | Tatamana | Galileo
8 FRANK Y SUS INQUIETOS | Frank Y Sus Inquietos | El Palmas
9 SONIA AIMY | Reconnect | Slammin Media
10 KADIALY KOUYATE | Aado | Naxos World

November 19, 2021

Like Eric Clapton but not a douche canoe

José Luis Carballo is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll guitarists you've never heard of.  His compressed, piercing, fuzzed-out sound will be familiar to any fan of 60s and 70s classic rock, and his long, endlessly imaginative lead lines call to mind players like Duane Allman and Eric Clapton.
 
Carballo is from Lima, Peru and is one the people who shaped the sound known as chicha, or Peruvian psychedelic cumbia.   The first of his bands to make an impact was Los Hijos Del Sol; he went on to form La Mermelada and Chacalón Y La Nueva Crema (the latter named for Clapton's old band).

This week on Global A Go-Go (Sunday November 21, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) you'll hear music from throughout Carballo's career, including a wonderful featured appearance on the new album by Money Chicha where he shows that he's still got his chops.

Also this week: Jamaica's rocksteady sound, Get In The Garage presents more of los nuggets (Spanish-language garage rock hits), Moonlight Benjamin's new single, Afrobeat from Belgium and Switzerland, and new Igbo highlife by Oliver Nayoka.

November 16, 2021

Charts November 8-14, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DELI TELI | Tsifteteli Club | Rebel Up-Catapulte
2 CEU | Um Gosto De Sol | Urban Jungle
3 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | 16 Rayos | Daptone
4 A ESPETACULAR CHARANGA DO FRANCA | The Importance Of Being Espetacular | Mais Um
5 ETRAN DE L'AIR | "Toubouk Ine Chihoussay" [Single] | Sahel Sounds
6 KHOOMEI BEAT | Changys Baglaash | ARC
7 JAGUAR | Madremonte | El Palmas
8 BONGA JEAN-BAPTISTE | Boula | Buda Musique
9 JOANA ROCHAEL | "Blues Para Luiza" [Single] | Brasil Calling
10 ELIA Y ELIZABETH | Elia Y Elizabeth | Vampisoul

November 13, 2021

Enhanced actual reality

Hi, and welcome to this very natural setting.  Today I want to talk about a revolutionary approach to connect our world without being super weird.  Some said it's not possible.  Some said it's out of reach.  To them we say: it's already here.
 
And what do we call this not so new chapter in human connectivity?  We call it listening to the music of people who aren't the same as you.  Enhanced actual reality without silly looking headsets.  Also without Facebook, or should I say Meta?

[Apologies to this fabulous video for my direct theft: bit.ly/30pNhje]

This week (Sunday November 14, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site)'s enhanced actual reality includes music from Brazil that goes in a few unexpected directions, multiphonic voices of Tuva and Mongolia, psychedelic saz and bouzouki from Turkey and Greece, Haitian mizik rasin, guitar heroes of the Sahel, and the record label that traded the reality of Berlin for the enhanced actual reality of Kumasi Ghana.

November 9, 2021

Charts November 1-7, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 QUANTIC AND NIDIA GONGORA | Almas Conectadas | Tru Thoughts
2 LAGARTIJEANDO | La Tercera Vision | Wonderwheel
3 PHUONG TAM | Magical Nights: Saigon Surf, Twist & Soul 1964-1966 | Sublime Frequencies
4 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | 16 Rayos | Daptone
5 LPT | Se Quema El Mundo | self-released
6 MUKAMBO PRESENTS GLOBAL AFROBEAT MOVEMENT 2 | various artists | NYP
7 LOCOS POR JUANA | "Mundo En Llamas" [Single] | Rock The Moon Productions
8 LOS BITCHOS | "Las Panteras" [Single] | City Slang
9 DOGO DU TOGO | "Soke Wo" [Single] | self-released
10 MOKTAR GANIA AND GNAWA SOUL | "Alla A Soudane" [Single] | Musjomusic

November 5, 2021

New this fall on Global A Go-Go

Well, it's been a busy last month here on Global A Go-Go.  Over the past five weeks we've had a Halloween special, a special fund drive program and an hour-long interview with Taj Weekes during the Richmond Folk Festival.  Oh, and two weeks off.

As a result, I'm way behind in bringing you the excellent new releases that have been piling up in my inbox.  To remedy the situation, I'm going to do something I pretty much never do: an all new music program.  Almost everything I'm playing has come out this fall (a handful of items go back to the summer) and a couple are new reissues, but everything else is brand new and none of the songs have been played yet on this show.

So tune in this week (Sunday November 7, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) and find some new music to love.

November 3, 2021

Charts October 18-31, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | 16 Rayos | Daptone
2 CIMAFUNK | El Alimento | Thirty Tigers
3 DOGO DU TOGO | "Soke Wo" [Single] | self-released
4 LOS BITCHOS | "Las Panteras" [Single] | City Slang
5 QUANTIC AND NIDIA GONGORA | Almas Conectadas | Tru Thoughts
6 KEITH HUDSON | Flesh Of My Skin, Blood Of My Blood | VP
7 BISHOB MEETS MANJUL | Tears | Baco
8 LA MAMBANEGRA | Los Ultimos Buses De Colores | Tambora
9 SUPER BITON DE SEGOU | Afro Jazz Folk Collection Vol. 1 | Mieruba
10 OMAR PENE | Climat | Diamono Production

October 30, 2021

World wide spoopy

First of all, let me start by thanking the approximately 470 donors who contributed more than $47,000 during WRIR's Fall 2021 fund drive, topping our $45,000 goal (the highest goal we've ever set) and making this drive the second largest in our 16+ year history, trailing only this past spring.
 
One thing that long ago stopped surprising me about "The Sound of Surprise" (one of Richmond Independent Radio's favorite nicknames) is the generosity of our supporters.  But you folks really went above and beyond this time!  So let me give each of you a pat on the back.  Or at least a fist bump.  And if donating somehow slipped your mind, it's still not too late: just visit wrir.org and click on the red Donate button.
 
Now, on to the music.  You may have thought you'd heard the last of WRIR's Halloween 2021 shows.  But Global A Go-Go is here on the day in question (Halloween Sunday October 31, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) bringing stories and sounds macabre, supernatural, demonic and bone-chilling from the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, England, Latin America and Africa.  Now that's scary, kids!

October 23, 2021

WRIR's Fall 2021 fund drive

WRIR's Fall 2021 Fund Drive is now underway -- we're working to raise $45,000 by Wednesday October 27 to power "the tower of low power" in Richmond for another six months. Thank you if you have previously donated to Richmond Independent Radio; I'm writing to encourage you to make a donation once again this fall, if you can. You can make that donation in two minutes by clicking this link: wrir.org/donating.
 
This time around, WRIR's Social Media folks asked all of our DJs to submit a photograph of ourselves and a response to the question "Why do you volunteer at WRIR?" My photograph is above, and my answer is the same today as it was when I started volunteering back in 2004, a year before we went on the FM airwaves: "Because the public airwaves belong to the public."

October 19, 2021

Charts October 11-17, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 JUCARA MARCAL |  Delta Estacio Blues | QTV Selo-Mais Um
2 LOS BITCHOS | "Las Panteras" [Single] | City Slang
3 QUANTIC AND NIDIA GONGORA | "Balada Borracha" [Single] | Tru Thoughts
4 HAILU MERGIA AND THE WALIAS BAND | Tezeta | Awesome Tapes From Africa
5 VAUDOU GAME | Noussin | Hot Casa
6 BOMBA ESTEREO | Deja | Sony Latin
7 JOSEPH SPENCE | Encore: Unheard Recordings Of Bahamian Guitar And Singing | Smithsonian Folkways
8 BACAO RHYTHM AND STEEL BAND | Expansions | Big Crown
9 TONY ALLEN | There Is No End | Decca France
10 ATONGO ZIMBA | From A To Z | Jinn

October 12, 2021

Charts Sep 27 - Oct 10, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 TAJ WEEKES | Pause | Jatta
2 JOSE GONZALEZ | Local Valley | Mute
3 BACAO RHYTHM AND STEEL BAND | Expansions | Big Crown
4 MONEY CHICHA | Chicha Summit | Vampisoul
5 PAHUA | "El Traketeo" [Single] | Nacional
6 LOS CHAPILLACS | Lo Bueno, Lo Malo, Lo Feo Y Los Alarcosos Chapillacs | Vampisoul
7 MERIDIAN BROTHERS AND CONJUNTO MEDIA LUNA | Paz En La Tierra | Bongo Joe
8 FRENTE CUMBIERO | Cera Perdida | La Roma
9 KEITH HUDSON | Flesh Of My Skin, Blood Of My Blood | VP
10 BOMBA ESTEREO | Deja | Sony Latin

October 8, 2021

Let your vibes be high & your message mighty

It's time for the Richmond Folk Festival, back in person after a pandemic year in the online format.  One of the artists I'm most excited to see at this year's festival is the St. Lucian reggae singer-songwriter Taj Weekes, who combines an ethereal voice like John Holt's with cutting lyrics reminiscent of Peter Tosh.
 
Taj will join me in WRIR's Studio A for an interview beginning a little after 1:00 PM, before he heads over to the Community Foundation Stage at 3:10 for the "Songs: Stories of Hope & Home" panel discussion and then to the Dance Pavilion at 5:15 to close out this year's festival.  We'll talk about his new album Pause, the pandemic days which he has called "the most important year of my life," his recent trip to Ghana and whatever else seems worth discussing.

Also this week (Sunday October 10, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): Haitian mizik rasin (roots music) and an all-Latin second hour with electronica, cumbia and chicha.

September 28, 2021

Charts September 20-26, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SHAGGY AND RAYVON | "Drive Me Insane" [Single] | Mr. Doo
2 LA MAMBANEGRA | Los Ultimos Buses De Colores | Tambora
3 SUSANA BACA | "Sorongo" [Single] | Real World
4 LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD | At Pioneer Works | Sahel Sounds
5 HAILU MERGIA AND THE WALIAS BAND | Tezeta | Awesome Tapes From Africa
6 META AND THE CORNERSTONES | Dia | Metarize
7 BOMBA ESTEREO | Deja | Sony Latin
8 KUTIMAN | "Guruji" [Single] | Siyal
9 SUPER BITON DE SEGOU | Afro Jazz Folk Collection Vol. 1 | Mieruba
10 SONIDO GALLO NEGRO | "Planet Claire" [Single] | self-released

September 25, 2021

El callegüeso y su malamaña

Start with a base layer of heavy NYC salsa dura.  Mix in an equal amount of modern Cuban big band music: songo and timba.  Leaven with Colombia's Afro-Pacific sounds, add some Bronx hip-hop and Kingston dancehall, and the result is La Mambanegra from Cali, Colombia and a style they call "break salsa."
 
La Mambanegra is one of the most powerful dance bands in the world right now.  No one else sounds like them, and La Mambanegra sound like nothing but themselves on every single one of their songs.  Yet somehow this great combo is criminally underrecognized.  Global A Go-Go will do its part this week to change that situation, spinning four La Mambanegra tracks including two from their new album.

Also this week (Sunday September 26, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): more of Zimbabwe's mbira and the Sahara's desert blues, the sound of digital dancehall circa 1992, new music from Cyprus by Monsieur Doumani and the latest from Afro-Peruvian icon Susana Baca.