January 24, 2021

Lelo toponi azda

Yes, I know WRIR is a non-commercial radio station, but this week on Global A Go-Go I'm going to play you a 7-1/2 minute long advertisement.  It's a beautiful song by Franco and T.P.O.K. Jazz from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of their most popular worldwide hits, entitled "Azda."
 
Many people throughout the years have assumed that Azda is a woman's name.  Actually, it's the acronym for a Congolese Volkswagen dealership -- the band wrote and recorded the song in exchange for new VWs for all 24 band members.  A much better deal than Spotify royalties, I'd say.  And a pretty awesome song, despite or maybe because of its back-story.

Also this week (Monday January 25, 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): Rokia Traore sings from the Manden songbook; Mali with strings; the deep blues, West African style; Budonian knights; a great new reissue of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou; and we'll finish with a Latin dance party so you can muevete.

January 19, 2021

Charts January 12-18, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 LA CUMBIA MODERNA DE SOLEDAD/MACHUCA CUMBIA |  "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy/Stayin' Alive" [Single] | Vampisoul
2 STAR FEMININE BAND | Star Feminine Band | Born Bad
3 ZONKE FAMILY | At The Studio | Localophon
4 STELLA CHIWESHE | Ambuya! | Piranha
5 BALKAN TAKSIM | Balkan Taksim [EP] | Buda Musique
6 SYSTEMA SOLAR | "Mi Kolombia" [Single] | ONErpm
7 FONTANAS, THE | "Capoeira Mata Um" [Single] | Movimientos
8 RICARDO LEMVO AND MAKINA LOCA | N'Dona Ponte | Mopiato
9 MADE KUTI | For(e)ward [Advance Tracks] | Partisan
10 LEYLA MCCALLA | Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute To Langston Hughes | Smithsonian Folkways

January 17, 2021

Crees que soy sexy?

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.

January 12, 2021

Charts Dec 15, 2020 - Jan 11, 2021

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten 
1 BAB L'BLUZ | Nayda! | Real World
2 LA LOCURA DE MACHUCA 1975-1980 | VARIOUS ARTISTS | Analog Africa
3 JUANA MOLINA | ANRMAL (Live In Mexico) | Crammed
4 KELEKETLA | Keleketla! | Ahead Of Our Time
5 SONGHOY BLUES | Optimisme | Fat Possum
6 LEVE LEVE: SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE SOUNDS (70S - 80S) | VARIOUS ARTISTS | Bongo Joe
7 ALFREDO LINARES | Lo Que Tengo | Vampisoul
8 PETE RODRIGUEZ | I Like It Like That (A Mi Me Gusta Asi) | Fania/Craft/Concord
9 TAMIKREST | Tamotait | Glitterbeat
10 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Dankele | Lusafrica

January 10, 2021

Boogaloo vs. the booga-losers

photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
 
Last Wednesday the world had the opportunity to observe what America's far right calls "the boogaloo," a violent uprising against the Federal government, their idea of what the second Civil War will be.  On this week's edition of Global A Go (Monday January 11, 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) I'm going to focus on that word "boogaloo."

Before it was co-opted by fascists, boogaloo was originally the name for a style of music that came out of New York City's Spanish-speaking barrios in the mid-1960s, where young Latinos were listening and dancing to mambo, guaracha and cha-cha-cha and at the same time were digging soul, doo-wop and rock 'n' roll.  In celebration of the ignominious failure of "the boogaloo," today on Global A Go-Go it's Boogaloo vs. The Booga-losers.  Beep beep, mofos!

January 3, 2021

Gateway to the blues

I spent the last three weeks of 2020 on Global A Go-Go reviewing my favorite new albums, singles, compilations and reissues of the just mercifully departed year.  But there are still a few items I want to bring forward, and I'll spread them throughout this week's program (Monday January 4, 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).

For example, I've only played a few tracks so far from my favorite new album of 2020, Nayda! by Bab L'Bluz; I'll remedy that situation by a spinning a whole set from that disc.  You'll also hear Anatolian rock both old and new, some Sudanese funk, and a whole hour of Afrobeat and Afro-funk including tracks from three of my favorite compilations and reissues of 2020.