September 22, 2020

Charts September 15-21, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 NAHAWA DOUMBIA | Kanawa | Awesome Tapes From Africa
2 BUDOS BAND, THE | Long In The Tooth [Advance Tracks] | Daptone
3 PETE RODRIGUEZ | I Like It Like That (A Mi Me Gusta Asi) | Fania/Craft/Concord
4 DZAMBO AGUSEVI ORCHESTRA | "Old Bazaar Groove (DJ Branski remix)" [Single] | Asphalt Tango
5 ALHOUSSEINI ANIVOLLA AND GIRUM MEZMUR | Afropentatonism | Piranha
6 SUPERFONICOS | "El Adios" [Single] | Public Hi-Fi
7 MESTIZO BEAT | Canoga Madness | California Soul
8 RAICES JAZZ ORCHESTRA | Raices Jazz Orchestra | Unity
9 MAFALDA MINNOZZI |  Sensorial: Portraits In Bossa & Jazz | Mama Producoes Artisticas
10 A GUIDE TO THE BIRDSONG OF MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN | various artists | Shika Shika

September 19, 2020

Toots Hibbert, 1942-2020

Toots Hibbert, lead singer of the Jamaican vocal group Toots & The Maytals, passed away on September 11 from complications of COVID-19.

Jamaica is a country of 3 million people living on an island roughly the size of Delaware.  The musicians who have made their little country so internationally prominent are Jamaica's version of the Founding Fathers.  And if there was a Mount Rushmore of reggae, the second person chiseled onto it would be Toots Hibbert, with only Bob Marley preceding him.

So Toots' death is a major event, and I wanted to commemorate it this week (Monday September 21, 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) on Global A Go-Go.
 
I've gone to the vaults for a show I hosted on WRIR on May 16, 2013.  It was for the program Cause & Effect, which highlights the music of an individual artist or a genre or a time and place, putting it into context with the music of its influences, peers, those who were influenced, and so on.

On that day, I focused on Toots & The Maytals, who would be performing on Brown's Island here in Richmond two days later.  That turned out to be an ill-fated visit to say the least: someone in the audience hurled a liquor bottle at the stage and it hit Toots in the head.  The concert ended, Toots was rushed to MCV Hospital with a concussion, and he didn't perform in public for another three years.

So Richmond owes Toots big time.  The least we can do is give him a 2-hour tribute.  I hope you enjoy it.

September 14, 2020

Charts September 8-14, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 NAHAWA DOUMBIA | Kanawa | Awesome Tapes From Africa
2 TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS | Got To Be Tough | Trojan Jamaica
3 MODOU TOURE | Touki | ARC
4 PETE RODRIGUEZ | I Like It Like That (A Mi Me Gusta Asi) | Fania/Craft/Concord
5 ALHOUSSEINI ANIVOLLA AND GIRUM MEZMUR | Afropentatonism | Piranha
6 JUAN PINA CON LA REVELACION | Juan Pina Con La Revelacion | Vampisoul
7 JAAKKO LAITINEN AND VAARA RAHA | Borek | Playground
8 SUPERFONICOS | "El Adios" [Single] | Public Hi-Fi
9 TAMIKREST | Tamotait | Glitterbeat
10 MATEUS ALELUIA | Olorum | Selo Sesc

September 13, 2020

OK boomer, where's the beef?

Cumbia and hip hop are like peanut butter and chocolate: two great tastes that taste great together.  Each lends the other something that's lacking: hip hop gives cumbia some of the edge that's been rounded off by two centuries of popular use, and cumbia gives hip hop back some of the musicality that's been lost to economics or copyright law or just plain slackness.

Ana Tijoux has a great new cumbia rap song about COVID-19, police brutality and corruption in Chile; it will be on her forthcoming album Antifa Dance.  You'll hear it and a few more cumbia raps on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go.

Also this week (Monday September 14, 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 melancholy Balkan music, salsa classics, more desert blues, the new album from Wassoulou songbird Nahawa Doumbia and rock 'n' roll gnawa style.

September 8, 2020

Charts September 1-7, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VUSI MAHLASELA | Shebeen Queen | ATO
2 KEITH HUDSON | "Nuh Skin Up" [Single] | Greensleeves
3 MINYO CRUSADERS AND FRENTE CUMBIERO | From Tokyo To Bogota [EP] | Mais Um
4 ALHOUSSEINI ANIVOLLA AND GIRUM MEZMUR | Afropentatonism | Piranha
5 CHEZIDEK | "Inna Dem Eye" [Single] | Tad's
6 CHALO CORREIA | "Kudihohola" [Single] | Matasuna
7 TAMIKREST | Tamotait | Glitterbeat
8 MESTIZO BEAT | Canoga Madness | California Soul
9 A GUIDE TO THE BIRDSONG OF MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN | various artists | Shika Shika
10 MULATU ASTATKE AND BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE | To Know Without Knowing | Agogo

September 5, 2020

Shebeen queen

Vusi Mahlasela's grandmother Ida ran a shebeen (an illegal tavern or what Americans might call a speakeasy) in South Africa's Mamelodi township, outside of Pretoria.  She home-brewed beer and made a place for the township's residents to gather after another day's hard labor.

Ida's grandson went on to become an internationally successful musician, albeit one who still lives in Mamelodi.  As a tribute to the woman who "was and still is my greatest hero," Vusi threw a big party on the street where Ida's shebeen used to be and performed a night of the music he used to hear there.

That's the story behind Vusi's new live album Shebeen Queen.  You'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go, along with some of the township sounds of that era: mbaqanga and soul jive.

Also this week (Labor Day Monday September 7, 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): Jamaica's rockers-steppers sound, a healthy dose of Turkish psychedelia featuring the electric baglama saz, quick visits to three Lusophone countries, a set of Ethio-jazz and dance music therapy from Colombia.

September 1, 2020

Charts August 25-31, 2020

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 QWANQWA | Volume 3 | Wuzzawazzee Industries
2 FALLE NIOKE AND GHOST CULTURE | Youkounkoun [EP] | PRAH
3 LOS MOCOSOS | All Grown Up | Hip Spanic
4 ACID COCO | "El Amor De Mis Amores" [Single] | El Palmas
5 NOHE AND SUS SANTOS | Tempestad | Avokado Artists
6 COLAH COLAH AND PEACE DEVELOPMENT CREW | "Steady Meddi!" [Single] | Boomrush Productions
7 KABAKA PYRAMID | "Nice Up The Dance" [Single] | VP
8 SONE | "Overcome" [Single] | Sone Ministries
9 FORSHPIL | Tsvey | self-released
10 MATEUS ALELUIA | Olorum | Selo Sesc