May 17, 2022

Charts May 9-15, 2022

 
WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 MADALISTO BAND | Musakayike | Bongo Joe
2 CONGOTRONICS INTERNATIONAL | Where's The One? | Crammed
3 SELDA BAGCAN | Nem Kaldi | Turkofon
4 LOS CALVOS | Y Que Calvos! | El Palmas
5 MINI TRIO | "Hare Krishna" b/w "E O Que Ela Quer" [Single] | Munster
6 EL COMBO BATANGA | "Aji Gua Guo" b/w "El Barrio En La Mirada" [Single] | Lovemonk
7 LEYLA MCCALLA | Breaking The Thermometer | Anti-
8 PAPE NZIENGUI | Kadi Yombo | Awesome Tapes From Africa
9 LA PAMBELE | La Pambele | Names You Can Trust
10 SATELLITES | Satellites | Batov

May 13, 2022

What have I done wrongly?

Malawi's Madalitso Band built their own instruments (a 4-stringed guitar and the giant 1-stringed slide bass called the Babatone) and busked on the streets of Lilongwe for about 15 years before they got their first opportunity to play outside their home country in 2017.  Since then, they've been on the road as much as possible, with their fifth European tour now in process and their first trip to the USA coming up this fall.
 
Madalitso's second international album will be released in June, and it's a beauty.  This week, you'll hear a couple of tracks from it and a couple from previous releases as Global A Go-Go brings your attention to a band that most certainly deserves wider recognition.
 
Also this week (Sunday May 15, 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): some swinging samba-soul from Brazil, Turkish psych-folk, Afrobeat with a Jewish accent, Cuban funk and salsa dura from around the world.

May 10, 2022

Charts May 2-8, 2022


WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 OUMOU SANGARE | Timbuktu | World Circuit
2 CHINONSO EGWUATU AND DIVINE VICTORY BAND OF AFRICA | Njo Ka Akanu | Upright/Palenque
3 BATIDA | "Bom Bom" [Single] | Crammed
4 LE SUPER DJATA BAND DU MALI | En Super Forme, Vol. 1 | Numero Group
5 JEMBAA GROOVE | Susuma | Agogo
6 ABDULLAH IBRAHIM | Water From An Ancient Well | Yellowbird
7 STEVE MONITE | Only You | Soundway
8 CONGOTRONICS INTERNATIONAL | Where's The One? | Crammed
9 IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE | Electricity | Merge
10 RICHIE SPICE | "Shootie Shootie" [Single] | Riddim Force

May 6, 2022

Say it with a lemon

Happy birthday to Mahmoud Ahmed, who turns 81 years young on May 8!  In Ethiopia, they call him Frash Addash, the Mattress Renovator, the man who make old songs sound new again.
 
He's one of the last great singers remaining from Ethiopia's musical Golden Age of the 1960s and 70s, and no one can make Ethiopian music fans shake from their shoulders down to their feet in eskista (ecstacy) quite like Ahmed.  This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear four songs from Mahmoud's brilliant catalogue, including two of those shoulder-shaking eskistas.
 
Also this week (Sunday May 8, 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): a jazzy first hour with South African marabi, Ghanaian and Nigerian highlife and spiritual jazz from all parts; Mali's Wassoulou sound; and urban dance music based on French Caribbean zouk.

May 3, 2022

Charts Apr 25 - May 1, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CALEXICO | El Mirador | Anti-
2 ORCHESTRE MASSAKO | Orchestre Massako [EP] | Analog Africa
3 SATURNO 2000: LA REBAJADA DE LOS SONIDEROS 1962-1983 | various artists | Analog Africa
4 BOMBA ESTEREO | Live In Dublin | Nacional
5 JASON TAMBA | Don't Give Up | Playing For Change
6 KABAKA INTERNATIONAL GUITAR BAND | Led By G. Kabaka Opara | Palenque
7 GOOD ONES, THE | Rwanda… You See Ghosts, I See Sky | Six Degrees
8 ORCHESTRE LES VOLCANS DU BENIN | Vol. 1 | Albarika Store
9 AFRICA NEGRA | Antologia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
10 LOS CALVOS | ... Y Que Calvos! | El Palmas

April 30, 2022

Cumbia del polvo

First of all, let me start by thanking the approximately 430 donors who have contributed over $45,000 so far during WRIR's Spring 2022 Fund Drive.  You are putting the power in "the tower of low power"!
 
Even though the drive is officially over, if you haven't donated yet you can still get involved and earn some cool premiums until May 8.  Just visit wrir.org to make that donation.  And you can visit us in person at 1621 W. Broad Street in Richmond this weekend (April 30-May 1) and next weekend (May 7-8) between 11 AM and 5 PM if you'd like to pick up your premiums in person.

Now, on to the music.  This week Global A Go-Go features an American band for a change: Calexico, whose unique sound combines the flavor of the Mexico-USA border with indie rock.  Their 13th album El Mirador was released last month and it might be my favorite in their catalogue.  You'll hear a couple of songs from it this week, plus several Calexico side projects.

Also this week (Sunday May 1, 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): cumbia electronica both slow and fast; the Afro-coffeehouse sound of Jason Tamba; and two sets of 70s-80s African classics, one from Benin and one from central Africa.

April 28, 2022

Charts April 18-24, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SOMI | Zenzile: The Reimagination Of Miriam Makeba | Salon Africana
2 CONGOTRONICS INTERNATIONAL | Where's The One? | Crammed
3 LEYLA MCCALLA | "Dodinin" [Single] | Anti-
4 GILI YALO | Einsof | Universal Israel
5 RUDY MILLS | Greatest Hits | Rebel Sound
6 SATELLITES | Satellites | Batov
7 JAAKKO LAITINEN AND VAARA RAHA | "Lapikatsa Lattiaan" [Single] | Playground Music Finland
8 LOS BITCHOS | Let The Festivities Begin! | City Slang
9 SURE FIRE SOUL ENSEMBLE | Step Down | Colemine
10 NOORI AND HIS DORPA BAND | "Al Amal" [Single] | Ostinato

April 22, 2022

We play a lot of crap ... but that's what you want

This week on Global A Go-Go (Sunday April 24, 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), it's WRIR's Spring 2022 Fund Drive, where we're looking to raise $45,000 or more to keep Richmond Independent Radio in the pink for another six months.
 
Most non-commercial radio fund drives are as much fun as root canal.  So we'll take the opposite tack this week -- it will be my most amusing show of the year, where I play nothing but some of my favorite novelties, errors in judgment, inexplicable covers and other one-offs.  Plus Bill Murray will instruct us in how not to do a fund drive.  Not in person, sorry to say, but Midtown Swing's DJ Ginger will be with me in Studio A to share in the levity.

For something more serious and for some donation inspiration, follow me below the fold to read my semi-annual fund drive letter.

April 19, 2022

Charts April 11-17, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CLUB D'ELF | You Never Know | Face Pelt
2 KING JAMMY | Destroys The Virus With Dub | Greensleeves
3 SATELLITES | Satellites | Batov
4 KANDY GUIRA | Nagtaba | Vlad Production
5 AGUANEDO NNEWI BIG BROTHER'S BAND INTL | Onyemaechi | Upright / Palenque
6 DOGO DU TOGO | "Soke Wo (Sol Power All-Stars remix)" [Single] | Sol Power Sound
7 ORCHESTRE MASSAKO | Orchestre Massako [EP] | Analog Africa
8 FRANCISCA VALENZUELA | "Hola Impostora" [Single] | Sony Chile
9 AFRICA NEGRA | Antologia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
10 ADRIAN QUESADA | "Mentiras Con Cariño" feat. iLe [Single] | ATO

April 14, 2022

Hello imposter

I'm happy to be back in WRIR's Studio A this week for the first time since the first week of January, doing radio the way the good Lord meant for it to be done: live and in person. Don't worry, it will still sound fine as a podcast too.
 
Once again I'm catching you up on lots of new music.  This episode's finds include an Israeli band playing Turkish psych, a song about imposter syndrome that channels garage rock and rock en español at the same time, a reissue of Brazilian samba-funk that was way ahead of its time in 1969, what happens when a jazzy jam band plays Moroccan gnawa, one of the best Afropop tracks I've heard in a long time, and yet more new Igbo highlife from eastern Nigeria.

Got your curiosity up?  Good, then join me this week: Sunday April 17, 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.

April 13, 2022

Charts April 4-10, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 AFRICA NEGRA | Antologia Vol. 1 | Bongo Joe
2 LESPRI KA: NEW DIRECTIONS IN GWOKA MUSIC FROM GUADELOUPE 1981-2010 | various artists | Time Capsule-Seance Centre
3 PAPE NZIENGUI | Kadi Yombo | Awesome Tapes From Africa
4 LA PAMBELE | La Pambele | Names You Can Trust
5 LE SUPER DJATA BAND DU MALI | En Super Forme, Vol. 1 | Numero Group
6 DOGO DU TOGO | "Soke Wo (Sol Power All-Stars remix)" [Single] | Sol Power Sound
7 ORCHESTRE MASSAKO | Orchestre Massako [EP] | Analog Africa
8 BIO RITMO | "Piraguero/Asia Minor" [Single] | Merge
9 VIVIANO TORRES AND ANE SWING | Joyas Champetuas De Todos Los Tiempos | Palenque
10 OUMOU SANGARE | "Samara" [Single] | World Circuit

April 8, 2022

Global A Go-Go Classico: Everybody on the floor


This time on Global A Go-Go it's nuthin' but a global dance party: two continuous hours of music, spanning 30 countries and six decades, that will put your hands up in the air. To paraphrase my WRIR colleague Mr. Jazz, it's all platter and less chatter. And as my WRIR colleague DJ Graybeard always says: Crank it up and share with your neighbors. Are you with me?
 
This week's program (Sunday April 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) was inspired last year by my sister-in-law, who became the first woman (also the first American) to serve as president of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration.
 
To kick off her term as president, and to introduce herself to the arbitrators, attorneys and staffers from over 100 countries that make up the Court, she asked me to create a two-hour mixtape that would get a wide variety of people up and dancing.  That's the basis for this program, which was so much fun last year on the day after the 4th of July that I wanted to give it a second spin.  Everybody on the floor!

April 4, 2022

Charts Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ORCHESTRE MASSAKO | Orchestre Massako [EP] | Analog Africa
2 KIKO VILLAMIZAR | Todo El Mundo | Wepa
3 KABAKA INTERNATIONAL GUITAR BAND | Led By G. Kabaka Opara | Palenque
4 BONGO HOP, THE | "La Napa" [Single] | Underdog
5 CONGOTRONICS INTERNATIONAL | "Where’s The One?" [Single] | Crammed
6 REGGAESTA | "Cocaine (feat. Earl 16)" [Single] | Echo Beach
7 STEPHANIE SANTIAGO | "Alma Carnavalera" [Single] | Movimientos
8 LOS CALVOS | "Salsa Y Sandunga" [Single] | El Palmas
9 VIBRO SUCCESS INTERCONTINENTAL ORCHESTRA | Drunkard | Dig This Way
10 LOS BITCHOS | Let The Festivities Begin! | City Slang

March 31, 2022

Vibro success

The folks at Milan's Dig This Way Records have a reminder for us: all the crates will never completely be dug.  The latest evidence is their reissue of Drunkard by the Central African Republic's Vibro Success Intercontinental Orchestra.
 
Vibro Success were the first band to use a drum kit in Congolese-style rumba.  They were Bangui's biggest band in the 1970s, became the toast of Yaoundé and N'Djamena due to their constant touring of neighboring Cameroon and Chad, and recorded a series of albums in Aba, Nigeria for the Ben Limited record label, hence the "Intercontinental Orchestra" moniker.

I can't speak to all of their recorded output, but I can tell you that 1978's Drunkard is on par with the best music of Africa's post-independence era.  And that's saying something, since they're a band I had literally never heard of under a few weeks ago.  Hear them for yourself this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week (Sunday April 3, 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): a boatload of excellent new releases from artists who, like Vibro Success, you have probably never heard before -- Stephanie Santiago, Kiko Villamizar, The Bongo Hop, The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo, Reggaesta and Congotronics International.  And plenty of Global A Go-Go classics to balance the scales.

March 28, 2022

Charts March 21-27, 2022

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VIVIANO TORRES AND ANE SWING | Joyas Champetuas De Todos Los Tiempos | Palenque
2 GOOD ONES, THE | Rwanda ... You See Ghosts, I See Sky | Six Degrees
3 JEMBAA GROOVE | Susuma | Agogo
4 ORCHESTRE LES VOLCANS DU BENIN | Vol. 1 | Albarika Store
5 BIO RITMO | "Piraguero / Asia Minor" [Single] | Merge
6 LOS CARAMELOS DE AUCAYACU | El Sabor Dulcissimo | Discos Fantasticos
7 COCO LAGOS Y SUS ORATES | Descargas | Vampisoul
8 LOS BITCHOS | Let The Festivities Begin! | City Slang
9 CHICHA POPULAR: LOVE AND SOCIAL POLITICAL SONGS FROM DISCOS HOROSCOPO 1977-1987 | various artists | Rebel Up
10 JUANITA EUKA | Mabanzo | Strut