July 10, 2018

Alpheus | Light Of Day

ARTIST: Alpheus
TITLE: Light Of Day
LABEL: Liquidator
British reggae singer Alpheus and Spanish producer Roberto Sanchez have been working together since 2006. Alpheus is an oddity in modern reggae: a mid-career singer who only works with vintage rhythms – ska, rocksteady and early reggae.

Program July 11, 2018

July 11 is the 71st birthday of the late John Holt (pictured above in a painting by Oliver Martin), one of my favorite reggae singers.  We'll celebrate with five selections from the man who was the prototype for lovers rock.

And July 11 is also the 37th birthday of Richmond's Plan 9 Records.  We'll celebrate that one by giving away a $37 Plan 9 gift certificate during Global A Go-Go to a caller who can correctly answer any one of these Plan 9 trivia questions (answers added after the contest ended; congratulations to our winner, David):
  • How did Plan 9 Records get its name?  From "Plan 9 From Outer Space," frequently cited as the worst movie ever made.
  • What was the address of Plan 9's first location?  2905 W. Cary Street, today the left side of Citizen Burger Bar.
  • What infamous Richmond city councilman endorsed Plan 9 in a TV advertisement?  H.W. (Chuck) Richardson, who would subsequently be arrested for heroin distribution while serving on City Council.
  • What legendary Richmond band was fronted by long-time Plan 9 employee Bob Schick?  The mighty post-punk band Honor Role, Richmond's analogue to Fugazi, the Minutemen and Husker Du.
  • What radio station had Plan 9 as its landlord?  Channel 36 / Color Radio, the radio station that "broadcast" on the last channel of Richmond's brand new cable TV system starting in 1982; their motto was "Better radio through television."

Also on this week's program: new music by Bombino, who'll perform in DC on July 12; Sudan's irresistible dance music; and some Afro-funk deep cuts.

July 8, 2018

Charts July 8, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
2 JUPITER AND OKWESS | Kin Sonic | Everloving
3 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
4 ABELARDO CARBONO Y SU GRUPO FEAT QUANTIC | "La Pina Madura" [Single] | Names You Can Trust
5 RED BARAAT | Sound The People | Rhyme & Reason
6 DIALI CISSOKHO AND KAIRA BA | Routes | Twelve | Eight
7 EL DUSTY | Cumbia City | Aftercluv
8 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
9 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
10 EL HIJO DE LA CUMBIA | Genero Genero | Nacional

July 3, 2018

Program July 4, 2018

I'm the grandson of immigrants from one of the sh*thole countries of the early 20th century: Italy.  For my grandparents, the 4th of July was the best holiday of the year.  That was the day they celebrated the nation that took them in, let them make something of themselves, and gave their children and grandchildren the opportunities their homeland couldn't provide.

It seems like a lot of Americans have lost touch with their immigrant roots, or maybe they're just in denial.  As a public service to the many Americans who've forgotten that their families too were immigrants, this special 4th of July edition of Global A Go-Go will feature two hours of great American music made by people who chose to come to this country.  These are the people, like my grandparents, who have made America great always.  Today's the right day to celebrate them, and us.

June 27, 2018

Jupiter & Okwess | Kin Sonic

ARTIST: Jupiter & Okwess
TITLE: Kin Sonic
LABEL: Everloving
In a just world, Jean-Pierre (Jupiter) Bokondji would be the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first international rock star.

Red Baraat | Sound The People

ARTIST: Red Baraat
TITLE: Sound The People
LABEL: Rhyme & Reason
Here’s the fifth album by Red Baraat, the brassy combo led by dhol (Indian barrel drum) player Sunny Jain that’s one of the most invigorating live acts today in any genre.

June 25, 2018

Program June 27, 2018

Jupiter Bokondji is the rare Congolese musician who isn't steeped in rumba Congolaise and soukous.  He grew up in East Berlin, and he and his band Okwess (pictured above) are making Central African rock 'n' roll.  Hear them, and some of their Afro-rock peers from the 70s to today, on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: the high Andes sound; another cumbia dance party; and Red Baraat's world jazz, Punjabi stylee.

June 24, 2018

Charts June 24, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 NICOLA CONTE AND SPIRITUAL GALAXY | Let Your Light Shine On | MPS
2 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
3 NICKODEMUS | A Long Engagement | Wonderwheel
4 LISTEN ALL AROUND: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN MUSIC | various artists | Dust-To-Digital
5 IMARHAN | Temet | City Slang
6 VIBRONICS | Woman On A Mission | SCOOPS
7 DJENEBA AND FOUSCO | Kayeba Khasso | Lusafrica
8 ROOTZ RADICALS | "Bad Government" [Single] | Fett Music
9 BROWNOUT | Fear Of A Brown Planet | Fat Beats
10 BALOJI | 137 Avenue Kaniama | Bella Union

June 19, 2018

Program June 20, 2018

Desert blues superstar Oumara "Bombino" Moctar (pictured above), the "Sultan of Shred" from Agadez in Niger, has just released his sixth album.  It's the first in ten years that he's recorded in Africa -- there's no celebrity stars or crossover narrative here, just the best in Sahara Desert guitar.  You'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go, along with other artists from inside and north of the desert.

Also this week: vintage recordings from Central and East Africa, the Ethiopian tinge in jazz, and some hot dancehall and soca for this hot weather.

June 17, 2018

Charts June 17, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 DIALI CISSOKHO AND KAIRA BA | Routes | Twelve | Eight
2 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
3 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
4 LOS TEXMANIACS | Cruzando Borders | Smithsonian Folkways
5 ALI FARKA TOURE | The Source (Remastered) | World Circuit
6 CAMARAO | The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie (1964-1974) | Analog Africa
7 BROWNOUT | Fear Of A Brown Planet | Fat Beats
8 LA DAME BLANCHE | Bajo El Mismo Cielo | Nacional
9 LUCIBELA | Laco Umbilical | Lusafrica
10 SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 | Black Times | Strut

June 12, 2018

Program June 13, 2018

North Carolina has become an exporter of top-shelf West African music in recent years.  The trend started with Asheville's Toubab Krewe, followed shortly by Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba (pictured above) from Carrboro.  The latter's third album will be released on June 29, the former issued their latest in March, and you'll hear a track from both on this week's program.

Also this week: yet another cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" -- but this time in Yiddish, a trip to the Mexico-USA border for Norteno and rock 'n' roll, and Afrobeat and Afro-funk at drum & bass tempos.

June 10, 2018

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba | Routes

ARTIST: Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
TITLE: Routes
LABEL: Twelve | Eight
North Carolina has become an exporter of top-shelf West African music in recent years. The trend started with Asheville’s Toubab Krewe, followed shortly by Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba from Carrboro.

El Dusty | Cumbia City

ARTIST: El Dusty
TITLE: Cumbia City
LABEL: Aftercluv
Dusty Oliveira is a young DJ-producer from Corpus Christi, Texas with a fresh take on electro-cumbia.

Angelique Kidjo | Remain In Light

ARTIST: Angelique Kidjo
TITLE: Remain In Light
LABEL: Kravenworks
Remain In Light by Talking Heads is one of the last albums I thought needed to be remade. This 1980 classic is the high point of that band’s career and a master class in employing an African sensibility without resorting to mere imitation.

Mystic Bowie | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads

ARTIST: Mystic Bowie
TITLE: Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads
LABEL: MTMB Entertainment
I didn’t expect to be reviewing two albums of Talking Heads covers this week.