May 30, 2010

Reviews and charts May 30, 2010

Three reviews inside, including one of the latest release in the Le Pop series.  Plus all the charts, where you'll see that Gogol Bordello is topping WRIR's world music most-played chart for the second straight week.

May 28, 2010

Program May 28, 2010

Is this America's best Latin dance band?  I'm talking about Grupo Fantasma from Austin; if you've seen them live you know this is one of the hottest bands anywhere, playing a unique blend of salsa, cumbia, funk and psychedelic rock. Fantasma's new album El Existential will be in stores on June 15, and you can check out a track on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go. Plus new French rock, Congolese rumba from the early 70's, gypsy punk and rap, and a whole lot more.

Click "Read More" for the tracklist.  Podcast is here:

May 23, 2010

Reviews and charts May 23, 2010

WRIR's #1 world music recording is Trans-Continental Hustle by Gogol Bordello.  It's reviewed inside (two thumbs way, way up, by the way), as are Absolute Belter on B-Music and African Pearls: Senegal, Echo Musical on Syllart.

May 21, 2010

Program May 21, 2010

We just received a really cool reissue of Indonesia's Koes Bersaudara (the Koes Brothers) -- believe it or not, they were imprisoned in 1965 for performing a cover of the Beatles' "I Saw Here Standing There" (insert your own joke here). That inspired me to dig through my archives for a set's worth of second-world garage rock from Asia, Europe and Africa, plus an additional set of rock-influenced African bands of the 1970's and today.

You'll also hear music of the Cuban son revival, including an excellent new recording from Sierra Maestra. And I'll spin something from the new Gogol Bordello album Trans-Continental Hustle alongside some of the artists who Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz cites as his inspirations. Yep, they're all inspirations for this radio show as well.

Click "Read More" for the tracklist.  Podcast is here:

May 16, 2010

Reviews and charts May 16, 2010

As WRIR's Assistant Music Director for World Music, I've been reviewing recordings for WRIR for years but never thought to archive those reviews anywhere.  Starting this week, that's all changed -- going forward from here, I plan to post all the reviews I write.

The reviews are written for WRIR's DJs, so they're all about recommending particular recordings and tracks for airplay.  I generally only write reviews of recordings that I'm recommending.  That's because the purpose of my reviews is to call attention to recordings and convince other DJs that they're worth playing.  It's not a high literary art, which suits me because I'm not all that great of a writer.

I'm also going to post my New & Recommended (N&R) chart each week.  The world music N&Rs sit on a shelf that's literally right behind the DJ in Studio One; we want them to be the most accessible, top-of-mind choices for our DJs.  We don't have any rotations or required plays at WRIR; N&R is the closest that we get.

Stuff that gets added to my N&R shelf generally stays there for two months or so, depending on how busy the new release activity is at the time.  The maximum number of items on the world music N&R shelf is 20, and I usually have fewer than that.

Finally, you'll see the charts I submit to CMJ each week.  CMJ is a music magazine for professionals that tallies up the airplay activity of public, community, independent and college radio stations around the USA.  Here's a quick guide to the charts:

CMJ New World Top Ten is a chart of the ten most-played new world music recordings at WRIR over the previous period (usually one week).  It's not a list of my ten favorite records, or of ten records sent to me by people who I want to do favors for.  It's what we're actually playing, not just on my show but on the 123 hours a week that WRIR plays music.

CMJ New World Adds is a chart of five or fewer new releases that we've received at WRIR and added to our music library.  I'm restricted by CMJ to no more than five adds per week, even though we receive more than five nearly every week.

Click "Read More" for this week's reviews and charts.

May 14, 2010

Program May 14, 2010

Over the last few weeks we've received a big stack of reissues of music from all over the world, and I'll feature three of them on today's program.

Egypt Noir: Nubian Soul Treasures includes two great songs from Ali Hassan Kuban (pictured above), and I'll add more from my collection to give you a full half-hour of the Captain of Nubian Music. reviewed Kuban's 1994 album Walk Like A Nubian thusly: "If your friends won't dance to this, get new friends." Couldn't say it any better.

From the archives of Ibrahim Sylla (Salif Keita's producer) comes African Pearls: Cote D'Ivoire, West African Crossroads, which includes four tracks by the great Ernesto Djedje, who might have crossed over to worldwide success had he not died of an untreated ulcer (some say he was actually poisoned) in 1983.

And the "accidental world music label" Finders Keepers sent another gem from way, way down at the bottom of the crate -- Pomegranates: Persian Pop, Funk, Folk and Psych of the 60s and 70s. You'll hear a track from this one, plus some of the Bollywood music that influenced it.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist; click here for a podcast of today's program:

The complete catalog of Global A Go-Go podcasts is available here:

May 7, 2010

Program May 7, 2010

The applause is for you, WRIR's listeners, who made our Spring '10 fund drive our best yet by generously donating more than $30,000. Give yourself a hand for your hand in making WRIR America's most successful LPFM radio station.

If you planned on making that donation but just didn't get around to it, we're keeping the fund drive going online just for you. Until May 16, if you donate online you'll still receive the full complement of fund drive premiums, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped make "radio for the rest us" possible for all of us.

After two weeks of fund drives programs and great live bands in the studio (thanks again to the Happy Lucky Combo and the Chris Vasi Project for playing live on Global A Go-Go), I have a backlog of great new material to play for you today from Amy Denio, Rana Santacruz, Tony Allen, Bako Dagnon and others.

Click "Read More" for today's tracklist; click here for a podcast of today's program:

The complete catalog of Global A Go-Go podcasts is available here: