Let me go on record: "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart is right up at the top of my all-time-most-annoying-songs list. First of all, it's imitation disco, not even the real thing. Secondly, Stewart blatantly stole the chorus melody from Jorge Ben, figuring no one would know the difference since Ben is Brazilian. Finally, he's Rod Stewart, nuff said.
But a funny thing happens when that chorus is played on the gaita, Colombia's end-blown flute, and it's set to a trotting cumbia rhythm -- all of a sudden "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is acceptable, maybe even good, actually pretty awesome. Hear for yourself this week on Global A Go-Go.
Also this week (Monday January 18, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): some Balkan folktronica, soulful sounds from Brazil, thumb piano music of Zimbabwe, mbaqanga and soul jive, and the debut of Star Feminine Band: a band of seven young Beninoise women rockin' a vintage West African sound.