January 16, 2018

Program January 17, 2018

My grandparents came to the USA from Italy in the first couple of decades of the 20th century.  Back then, plenty of Americans wanted to keep out people from shithole countries like Italy.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The whole idea of the Global A Go-Go radio show is that we live in a post-colonial, hybrid, "flat world" -- no country or culture has any business lording it over another, we all have plenty to learn from each other, and cultural walls are rapidly being torn down.  If you like music and you don't listen to music from around the world, why not?

So let's listen this week to music from places the USA's president calls shitholes.  We'll start with Haiti, a country he singled out.  Then we'll move over to Africa, focusing on the poorest nations on the world's poorest continent.  You'll hear great music from places you're being told have nothing to offer to America.  And you'll hear for yourself why that idea is dead wrong.

P.S.  If you want a counterbalance to the president's point of view on this subject (aside from my radio show, of course), let me recommend this Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/everydayafrica/?hl=en.

January 14, 2018

Charts January 14, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ROBERTO LOPEZ | Criollo Electrik | Stonetree
2 PLENA LIBRE | Amores En El Camino | GN Musica
3 NAINO! SPANISH GIPSY SOUL FUNK DISCO 1974/1984 | (various artists) | Adarce
4 MACCASIO | Ninsala | Zola / 69 Entertainment
5 DRUNKEN FOREIGNER BAND | White Guy Disease | Electric Cowbell
6 SPANGLISH FLY | Ay Que Boogaloo! | Chaco World
7 TRIO DA KALI AND KRONOS QUARTET | Ladilikan | World Circuit
8 CALIBRO 35 | Decade | Record Kicks
9 FEMI KUTI | "One People, One World" [Single] | Knitting Factory
10 BOB AND GENE FEATURING THE INVERSIONS | "It's Not What You Know (It's Who You Know)" [Single] | Daptone

January 9, 2018

Drunken Foreigner Band | White Guy Disease

ARTIST: Drunken Foreigner Band
TITLE: White Guy Disease
LABEL: Electric Cowbell
Molam is the country music of Laos and northeastern Thailand. In the 1970s, it was cross-fertilized with rock (especially of the psychedelic persuasion) and soul borne by ubiquitous American soldiers.

Roberto Lopez | Criollo Electrik

ARTIST: Roberto Lopez
TITLE: Criolo Electrik
LABEL: Stonetree
Roberto Lopez is a Colombian guitarist now based in Montreal who’s best known for his large ensembles, the Roberto Lopez Project and the Afro-Colombian Jazz Orchestra.

Plena Libre | Amores En El Camino

ARTIST: Plena Libre
TITLE: Amores En El Camino
LABEL: GN Musica
Now in its 25th year, Plena Libre has become an institution – probably the world’s best known band specializing in the indigenous rhythms of Puerto Rico, bomba and plena.

Spanglish Fly | Ay Que Boogaloo!

ARTIST: Spanglish Fly
TITLE: Ay Que Boogaloo!
LABEL: Chaco World
Boogaloo was arguably the first Nuyorican music: a mix of mambo with R&B that started in the early 60s, became a craze in ‘66 and was over the hill by ’69.

January 8, 2018

Program January 10, 2018

Antibalas (pictured above), America's finest Afrobeat band and one of the best live acts you'll ever see, celebrates their 20th anniversary this year.  They're playing two nights at the Hamilton in DC this week, so it's a good time to spin a couple of Antibalas classics.

Also this week: a set of Caribbean rhythms in honor of the newest station in the Global Global A Go-Go Radio Network, Caribriddims International; the wailing guitars (and phins) of Thailand; and put on your boogaloo shoes for a set of Latin soul from the 60s and today.

January 7, 2018

Charts January 7, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 CANZONIERE GRECANICO SALENTINO | Canzoniere | Ponderosa
2 SWEET AS BROKEN DATES: LOST SOMALI TAPES FROM THE HORN OF AFRICA | various artists | Ostinato
3 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
4 CRIOLO | Espiral De Ilusao | Sterns Brasil
5 HABIBI FUNK 007: AN ECLECTIC SELECTION OF MUSIC FROM THE ARAB WORLD | various artists | Habibi Funk
6 PAULO FLORES | Kandongueiro Voador | LS Republicano
7 DA CRUZ | Eco Do Futuro | Boom Jah/Broken Silence
8 LOS CAMAROES | Resurrection Los | Analog Africa
9 LA MISA NEGRA | La Misa Negra | NAM Entertainment
10 TRIO DA KALI AND KRONOS QUARTET | Ladilikan | World Circuit

January 2, 2018

Program January 3, 2018

I'm going to start 2018 with one more look back at 2017: an overview of the five extraordinary live performances I was fortunate to host last year on Global A Go-Go.

Richmond bands Afro-Zen Allstars (pictured above with me at WRIR) and Hotel X helped raise money by playing live on the air during WRIR's fund drives.  Gamelan Raga Kusuma celebrated their tenth anniversary by bringing dozens of players and instruments up the stairs and into Studio C.

Ex-Richmonder Joshua Camp visited Global A Go-Go to play songs from his recent solo project C.A.M.P.O.S. (Cumbias And More Psychedelic Original Sounds).  And The Nile Project brought musicians from up and down the Nile River, seven countries in all, to our community radio station for an amazing performance and cross-cultural experience.

I'll revisit all five of these live-in-concert recordings on this week's program, and throw in a few other items that fit the mood.

December 26, 2017

Program December 27, 2017: The Best Of The Rest, 2017 Edition

For the last six years, I've ended the calendar year with a program I call "The Best Of The Rest": my favorite new songs that didn't get played in my two-week review of that year's best albums.  I always find it to be one of the year's most compelling shows, and this week's edition is no exception.

The plain truth is that I hear too many good tracks each year to limit myself to a Top 10 or 20 -- this year, my best albums short list was forty titles long.  Then there are the long-players with just one or two killer songs, plus all the EPs and singles that cross my desk.

Add it all up, and the music on The Best Of The Rest might be even more stellar than what you heard over the last two weeks.  I'll let you be the judge.  And this year's The Best Of The Rest is particularly deep: I started with about 60 ideas and managed to winnow it down to 20 or so.

Bonne annee, bonne sante!

December 19, 2017

Program December 20, 2017: Top Ten Compilations Of 2017

It's time for program #2 in Global A Go-Go's three-week recap of 2017.  This week: my ten favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of the year, plus five honorable mentions.

Since I started hosting Global A Go-Go in 2004, there's been a massive wave of rediscovery of great international music from the 60s, 70s and 80s.  It's brought to the fore artists from around the world that first-world listeners like me never heard about when they were in their heyday.

That wave may be cresting as we enter 2018 -- I received and heard fewer top-tier compilations, reissues and historic recordings this year than in any year since I started doing my radio show.  Have all the African, Caribbean, Latin and Balkan crates now been dug?  I doubt it -- hopefully 2017 was a lull rather than an ending.

On the other hand, the best releases in this category were every bit as good as in previous years; it was just the volume of them that disappointed.  Tune in and hear how good they are for yourself.

Click "Read more" to see Global A Go-Go's Top Ten compilations, reissues and historic recordings for 2017 (with links to my reviews):

December 12, 2017

Program December 13, 2017: Top Ten New Releases Of 2017

It's the most wonderful time of the year ....  That's right, it's the time of the year when Global A Go-Go unwraps its favorite albums of the last 12 months.

This week, it's my Top Ten new releases of 2017, plus ten honorable mentions.  Next week, you'll hear my favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of the year.  And on December 27, it's the best of the rest: all the great songs that didn't fit onto the previous two programs.

And without further ado, click "Read more" to see Global A Go-Go's Top Ten new releases of 2017 (with links to my reviews):

December 11, 2017

Charts December 10, 2017

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 USHER'S ISLAND | Usher's Island | Compass
2 LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD | Eghass Malan | Sahel Sounds
3 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
4 BOUBACAR TRAORE | Dounia Tabolo | Lusafrica
5 BANDA MAGDA | Tigre | GroundUP / Verve
6 CHOPTEETH AFROFUNK BIG BAND | Bone Reader | self-released
7 GOGOL BORDELLO | Seekers and Finders | Cooking Vinyl
8 SWEET AS BROKEN DATES: LOST SOMALI TAPES FROM THE HORN OF AFRICA | various artists | Ostinato
9 GUY ONE | "Everything You Do, You Do For Yourself" [Single] | Philophon
10 ALBOROSIE | Soul Pirate Acoustic | Baco

December 5, 2017

Program December 6, 2017

Global A Go-Go has been Christmas-song-free for 14 years -- we'll leave that thread to other shows at WRIR, and indeed other entire radio stations.  But Hanukkah?  Now that's a different story.

Especially when you can play Geoff Berner on how he's ambivalent about the holiday, or Gypsyphonic Disko and Katey Red giving the dreidel song a New Orleans bounce, complete with dancers twerking behind a menorah (that's an actual screenshot of their video above).  That's the kind of holiday music I can get behind.

Also this week (aside from holiday music in questionable taste): desert blues channeling Piedmont blues; Afropop meets the second line (a second Crescent City sighting in this week's show); and new and old Brazilian psychedelia.

December 3, 2017

Charts December 3, 2017

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 HAMAD KALKABA AND THE GOLDEN SOUNDS | 1974-1975 | Analog Africa
2 SON PALENQUE | Kutu Prieta Pa Saranguia | Palenque
3 MAKING MOVIES | You Are Another Me | 3/2 Recordings
4 SPY FROM CAIRO, THE | Nothing New Under the Sun | Wonderwheel
5 EL BUHO | Balance | Wonderwheel
6 SERTANILIA | Gratia | self-released
7 LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD | Eghass Malan | Sahel Sounds
8 BOUBACAR TRAORE | Dounia Tabolo | Lusafrica
9 DA CRUZ | Eco Do Futuro | Boom Jah/Broken Silence
10 EXPANDERS, THE | Old Time Something Come Back Again, Vol. 2 | Easy Star