October 18, 2016

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 | Struggle Sounds

ARTIST: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
TITLE: Struggle Sounds
LABEL: Sony Masterworks
Seun Kuti has been fronting his dad’s old band since Fela’s death in 1997; the band’s personnel stayed remarkably constant through the transition.

The KutiMangoes | Made In Africa

ARTIST: The KutiMangoes
TITLE: Made In Africa
LABEL: Tramp
Here’s an unexpected pleasure: the second album by a Copenhagen-based band influenced by Afrobeat, electric jazz, soul and blues.

Vaudou Game | Kidayu

ARTIST: Vaudou Game
TITLE: Kidayu
LABEL: Hot Casa
The second album by Lyon, France-based sextet Vaudou Game nails the 70s Afro-funk sound better than any other current band.

October 17, 2016

Program October 19, 2016

Richmond Independent Radio's Fall 2016 Fund Drive is currently underway; it continues through Tuesday October 25.  We're aiming to raise $40,000 in this fall's drive, which will keep WRIR bringing to your community its programs of underrepresented music, news and views, most of them produced in our very own studios by our 150 volunteers, for the next six months.

We need the support of about 500 folks just like you in order to keep community radio strong in Richmond.  We have three easy ways for you to donate:
  1. By visiting our secure online sites at https://wrir.wufoo.com/forms/zt8de5l0zy2s68 (for a one-time contribution) or https://wrir.wufoo.com/forms/rv9ju9k11dt0c0 (for a monthly recurring donation)
  2. By calling 804-622-9747
  3. Or by visiting us in person at 1621-B W. Broad Street (2nd floor)
As always, I have something special lined up for Global A Go-Go listeners during the fund drive: the outstanding new band Zgomot will be playing live in the studio during my show Wednesday October 19 between 3 and 5 PM.  Zgomot features two legendary Richmond musicians: drummer Pippin Barnett (known for his work with the Ululating Mummies, the Orthotonics and Happy Lucky Combo) and bassist Tim Harding (founder of the bands Hotel X, Always August and New Loft).   The quartet is completed by guitarists Gary Kalar and Vlad Cuiujuclu, who also play together in Yeni Nostalji; Vlad does the band's singing in English, Romanian and Russian.

There will also be a special matching donation during the show.  Tune in Wednesday at 3 PM at 97.3 FM or http://wrir.org/listen to find out how to double your contribution to WRIR.  If you can't listen at that time, there's no need to wait -- you can make your contribution right now, or any time until October 25!

Thank you for your support in the past, and thank you for considering making a donation during WRIR's Fall 2016 Fund Drive!

Follow me below the fold, if you'd like, for a little more inspiration ...

October 16, 2016

Charts October 16, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
2 ATERCIOPELADOS | Reluciente, Rechinante Y Aterciopelado | Sony Colombia
3 FRIGHTNRS | Nothing More To Say | Daptone
4 JOE BATAAN | Call My Name | Vampisoul
5 PIERS FACCINI | I Dreamed An Island | Six Degrees
6 VAUDOU GAME | Kidayu | Hot Casa
7 SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80 | Struggle Sounds | Sony Masterworks
8 DAWDA JOBARTEH | Transitional Times | Sterns Africa
9 ORKESTA MENDOZA | Vamos A Guarachar! | Glitterbeat
10 KOTTARASHKY AND THE RAIN DOGS | Cats, Dogs And Ghosts | Asphalt Tango

October 12, 2016

Dawda Jobarteh | Transitional Times

ARTIST: Dawda Jobarteh
TITLE: Transitional Times
LABEL: Sterns Africa
West African Mande music, certainly the centuries-old classics and also some of the modern stuff, can sound stately, formal, even cool to the listener.

Orkesta Mendoza | Vamos A Guarachar!

ARTIST: Orkesta Mendoza
TITLE: Vamos A Guarachar!
LABEL: Glitterbeat
Tucson, Arizona is home to a few of the most interesting, hardest to categorize musical projects in the USA: Calexico, Giant Sand, XIXA. Add Orkesta Mendoza to that list.

October 10, 2016

Program October 12, 2016

What's new in rock en espanol?  You''l find out this week on Global A Go-Go, when I feature new releases by Orkesta Mendoza (pictured above), Aterciopelados and Eljuri among others.

Also this week: rock with Eastern European and Western Asian roots, including a track by Richmond band Zgomot who will play live on Global A Go-Go next week during our fund drive; the marabi sounds of South Africa; and tropical funk to get you dancing.

Charts October 9, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 KOTTARASHKY AND THE RAIN DOGS | Cats, Dogs And Ghosts | Asphalt Tango
2 ATERCIOPELADOS | Reluciente, Rechinante Y Aterciopelado | Sony Colombia
3 MOUSSU T E LEI JOVENTS | Navega! | Manivette
4 ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES | Manara | Wonderwheel
5 FRIGHTNRS | Nothing More To Say | Daptone
7 SAN LAZARO | Amor De Despedida | HopeStreet
9 SHIRO SCHWARZ | Star Creature [EP] | Universal Vibrations
10 NOURA MINT SEYMALI | Arbina | Glitterbeat

October 5, 2016

Aterciopelados | Reluciente, Rechinante Y Aterciopelado

ARTIST: Aterciopelados
TITLE: Reluciente, Rechinante Y Aterciopelado (Shiny, Squeaky and Velvety)
LABEL: Sony Colombia
Aterciopelados (“The Velvety Ones”), the duo of Andrea Echiverri and Hector Buitrago, are one of the seminal bands in the development of rock en espanol.

Moussu T E Lei Jovents | Navega!

ARTIST: Moussu T E Lei Jovents
TITLE: Navega!
LABEL: Manivette
Ready for some roots-rock Provencale? That’s what Moussu T E Lei Jovents, one of the world’s most criminally underappreciated bands, delivers on their latest album.

October 3, 2016

Program October 5, 2016

The Richmond Folk Festival is happening this weekend (see the Global A Go-Go guide to the 2016 Richmond Folk Festival here), and I'll be featuring the music of two of its bands on this week's program.

L'Orchestre Afrisa International (pictured above) is the name Tabu Ley Rochereau, one of the giants of Congolese soukous, gave to his band in the 1970s.  They relocated from Kinshasa to Paris in the 80s and then to Los Angeles in the 90s, with several of its members staying in the USA after Tabu Ley returned to Kinshasa in 1997.

Afrisa International, led by saxophonist Modero Mekanisi and featuring guitarist Huit Kilos, reunited after Tabu Ley's death in 2013; they're working on a new album and gigging around the USA, delighting soukous aficionados and turning new fans on to the most popular music Africa has ever produced.  You'll hear a couple of Afrisa International classics on this week's program.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS), founded in 1975, is the foremost band working in the pizzica tradition of southern Italy's Salento peninsula.  Pizzica is the music and dance that according to legend is used to exorcise the poisonous bite of the taranta spider.  It's a unique cultural tradition whose hypnotic sound is unlike anything else you'll hear in Europe.  I'll play a track by CGS and two more by other contemporary pizzica artists.

Also this week: the sounds of Sudan and new music by Kottarashky & The Rain Dogs (Bulgaria), Aterciopelados (Colombia) and Moussu T E Lei Jovents (France).

The Global A Go-Go Guide To The 2016 Richmond Folk Festival

 My favorite weekend of the year is coming up soon – that would be the weekend of the Richmond Folk Festival, this year held on October 7-9.  It’s like Christmas for a music junkie: 107 performances by 37 artists from around the world on seven stages, all free (but don’t forget to “make a drop in the bucket” when you’re there), all in my hometown, and I get to share it with 200,000 likeminded fans.

If those big numbers make the event seem a little daunting, I’m here to help you.  Every year I make myself a little Folk Festival guide: an itinerary that keeps me from getting overwhelmed by the choices and the crowds.  I plan out my whole Festival day for Saturday – if there are other acts I want to hear, or if weather or other complications ensue, I can always fill in the gaps on Friday night or Sunday.

Here’s what my Saturday itinerary looks like this year:

October 2, 2016

Charts October 2, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Ultimate Guide To English Folk | ARC
2 FRIGHTNRS | Nothing More To Say | Daptone
3 MIRAMAR | Dedication To Sylvia Rexach | Barbes
4 ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES | Manara | Wonderwheel
5 NOURA MINT SEYMALI | Arbina | Glitterbeat
6 MONEY CHICHA | Echo En Mexico | Vampisoul
7 YENI NOSTALJI | 2016 EP demo (final mix) | self-released
8 KONONO NO. 1 | Konono No. 1 Meets Batida | Crammed
9 FELA RANSOME KUTI AND HIS KOOLA LOBITOS | Highlife-Jazz And Afro-Soul (1963-1969) | Knitting Factory
10 ELJURI | La Lucha | Manovill

September 27, 2016

Alsarah & The Nubatones | Manara

ARTIST: Alsarah & The Nubatones
TITLE: Manara
LABEL: Wonderwheel
Alsarah & The Nubatones, Brooklyn’s own “East African retro-pop” outfit, are back with their sophomore LP. It’s a follow-up to Silt, one of my favorite albums of 2014.