December 11, 2018

Program December 12, 2018

Wednesday December 12 is Jamhuri ("Republic" in Swahili) Day, one of three days on which the Republic of Kenya celebrates its independence; the others are Madaraka ("Self-Governance") Day on June 1 and Mashujaa ("Heroes") Day on October 20.  Three times the pleasure, three times the fun, I guess.

In honor of Jamhuri Day, Global A Go-Go celebrates with two hours of music from Kenya.  I'm not making any attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of Kenyan sounds -- I'll be playing the Kenyan music I dig the most.

And most of that fits into the broad category of what East Africans call musiki wa dansi -- no translation needed, I'm sure.  There are a bunch of different genres: benga, Swahili rumba, kamba.  They're all guitar-driven, closely related to Congolese soukous and, in my opinion, thoroughly addictive.  I'll dip into a few other styles as well: some folky/worldy stuff, soul, funk and even hip hop if time permits.

December 10, 2018

Charts December 9, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
2 SALIF KEITA | Un Autre Blanc | Naive
3 LUIZ MELODIA | Maravilhas Contemporaneas | Vinilisssimo
4 NOVA MATERIA | It Comes | Crammed
5 MINYESHU | Daa Dee | ARC
6 LOKKHI TERRA MEETS DELE SOSIMI | Cubafrobeat | Funkiwala
7 CLARA LUCIANI | Sainte-Victoire | Universal France
8 TANYA TAGAQ AND DAMIAN ABRAHAM | "Run To The Hills" [Single] | Six Shooter
9 IDRISSA DIOP | L'Aventurier | Prince Arts
10 FLAVIEN BERGER | Contre-Temps | Pan European

December 2, 2018

Charts December 2, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
2 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
3 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
4 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
5 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
6 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
7 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
8 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
9 BABYLON TRIO | Habibi | Rebel Up
10 JAH9 | "Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling)" [Single] | VP

November 26, 2018

Program November 28, 2018

Mauritania (flag pictured above) celebrates its 58th independence day on Wednesday.  This large (about the same size as Egypt), sparsely populated (4.3 million people, or less than half the count of Cairo), poor (140th in the world in cost-of-living-adjusted GDP per person) country lies 90 percent within the Sahara Desert.

Mauritania's music reflects its status as the crossroads of North and West Africa.  You'll hear a set of that music on this week's program, and you'll be able to clearly distinguish Arab, Berber and West African elements for yourself.  It's a rare opportunity to drill down into the musical culture of an under-recognized, extremely interesting country.

Also this week: the greatest band ever to come out of Mopti, the Venice of Mali; folk-rock from both sides of the Mediterranean; and Latin dance-floor fillers from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

November 25, 2018

Charts November 25, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
2 AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
3 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | 17 North Parade
4 STEP FORWARD YOUTH | various artists | Greensleeves
5 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
6 DANIEL KAHN AND THE PAINTED BIRD | The Butcher's Share | Oriente Musik
7 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
8 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
9 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
10 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks

November 20, 2018

Vaudou Game | Otodi

ARTIST: Vaudou Game
TITLE: Otodi
LABEL: Hot Casa
The third album by this Lyon, France-based combo led by Togolese singer-guitarist Peter Solo confirms that this is one of the funkiest bands on the planet right now.

Program November 21, 2018

This week it's Global A Go-Go's annual day before Thanksgiving show, i.e. the Sitting In Traffic edition of the program.  As always, I'll have great music for you while you cool your heels on I-95.

We'll start with some deep roots reggae inspired by a certain Senate candidate who'd like to be in the front row for a public hanging.  If you tune in at Willis Road, that should get you to probably about Maury Street.

Next up is a set of klezmer and Balkan fun featuring recent releases by Daniel Kahn, Black Masala and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.  Now you're stuck in some rubbernecking ("gapers' block" if you're a Chicagoan) near the Boulevard.

The second hour starts with a visit to Cuba for some son montuno.  You'll wish you were in Cuba -- instead you're in bumper-to-bumper traffic between the Route 1 and Route 301 exits, either of which is a viable alternate route today.

And we'll wrap up this week's show with a set I'm calling "James Brown Ride On To West Africa," including a track from the hot new album by Vaudou Game (pictured above).  If my calculations are correct, that should get you to the fringe of WRIR's listening area at the I-295 exit.  Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the drive back on Sunday!

November 18, 2018

Charts November 18, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BARRO | Somos | self-released
2 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
3 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
4 SARAZINO | Mama Funny Day | Cumbancha
5 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
6 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
7 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
8 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
9 ORLANDO CACHAITO LOPEZ | Cachaito | World Circuit
10 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks

November 13, 2018

Barro | Somos

ARTIST: Barro
TITLE: Somos
LABEL: self-released
The city of Recife and Pernambuco state in Brazil’s northeast are home to one of that vast nation’s most unique music scenes.

November 12, 2018

Program November 14, 2018

Barro (pictured above) is a singer-songwriter from Pernambuco in Brazil's northeast, home to some of that vast country's most interesting pop musicians: Lenine, Nacao Zumbi, Mombojo, Otto and more.  Barro's second album, Somos, was released this fall; I think he's going to be Pernambuco's next great export.

Hear for yourself -- I'll play a track from Somos this week in a set of 21st century Musica Popular Brasileira (what Brazilians simply call MPB).  Also this week: more from Sudan's golden age; from J Dilla goes Cuban to South African house in five easy moves; and Afro-funk from hither and yon.

November 11, 2018

Charts November 11, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Sira Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
2 SUPERFONICOS | Suelta [EP] | Discos Fonicos
3 DEAD CAN DANCE | Dionysus | PIAS
4 DUR DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
5 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
6 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
7 BICICLETAS POR LA PAZ | Surfeando Un Cometa | self-released
8 JR THOMAS AND THE VOLCANOS | Rockstone | Colemine
9 HOLLIE COOK | "Sweet Like Chocolate" [Single] | Merge
10 CAZ GARDINER AND THE BADASONICS | Caz Gardiner & The Badasonics | Badasonic

October 30, 2018

Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band | Sira Ba Kele

ARTIST: Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band
TITLE: Sira Ba Kele
LABEL: Sublime Frequencies
The slinky, funky push-pull rhythms of West Africa’s Wassoulou region drive a host of distinctive musical genres: trance-like donso hunters’ music, the sound of Oumou Sangare and the other “Wassoulou songbirds,” Moussa Doumbia’s Afro-funk, Zani Diabate & Super Djata Band’s guitar jams, and Issa Bagayogo’s Afro-EDM.

Program October 31, 2018

Tam Lin watercolor illustration by Joanna Barnum: joannabarnum.com
First of all, I want to say thank you to the over 530 WRIR listeners who donated more than $45,000 during our Fall 2018 Fund Drive, making this the fifth consecutive drive where we've topped our $40,000 goal.  You're the folks who put the power in the Tower of Low Power!

It's not too late to get in on the Fall '18 Fund Drive action.  We still have a T-shirt, reusable straw and knit cap with your name on them -- just visit wrir.org and fill out the donation form.  If you donated and haven't picked up your swag yet, please email fundraising@wrir.org -- we'll set up a time for you to come by and get your premiums.

This week it's a special All Hallows Eve edition of Global A Go-Go, with special material for the day along with the standard fare.  I'll start with a famous Scottish ballad that's set on Halloween; you'll also hear from my favorite Dia De Los Muertos musical artist, Lila Downs; we'll go to the Caribbean for a whole set of songs about duppies and jumbies; and you'll hear one of the most chilling love songs ever recorded, courtesy of Ghana's Ebo Taylor.

October 28, 2018

Charts October 28, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANDRE SAMPAIO | Alagbe | Sony Brasil
2 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
3 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
4 DANIEL KAHN AND THE PAINTED BIRD | The Butcher's Share | Oriente Musik
5 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
6 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
7 AFRO CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
8 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
9 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
10 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | 17 North Parade

October 23, 2018

Program October 24, 2018

WRIR's Fall 2018 Fund Drive wraps up on Wednesday October 24 at 11 PM. Many of the folks reading this message have already donated during this drive or are monthly sustaining members -- thank you to each and every one of you who are powering 97.3 FM, Richmond's tower of low power. We can't do it without you!

As for the rest of you, maybe you've been waiting until the end of the drive to contribute. If that's the case, then this is your alarm clock ringing! We're very close to our $40,000 goal -- that means your donation right now can help get us there. For the last 14 years, WRIR has been doing its part to make Richmond a more innovative, inclusive and interesting community. Now we're asking you to do your share to keep people-powered radio at the heart of Richmond's resurgence.