Monday, April 24, 2017

Cracking Down: The Modena City Ramblers and "Giro di Vite"

Italian band Modena City Ramblers brings us the tune Giro di Vite for our random tune today. Started as a hobby in 1991 by a group of friends that wanted to play Irish music together, the Modena City Ramblers (or MCR) is an Italian folk band heavily influenced by Celtic themes and is often classified as folk rock. A band with an open lineup, they have had several people leave and return sporadically. They are outspoken in their left wing politics, and their lyrics often speak out against the Mafia and fascism. They have released 14 albums and 5 EPs. Giro di Vite is from their second album, 1996's La Grande Famiglia.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

No Peace When You're Hungry: Keyboard and "Peaceable World"

Today's random tune is a little bit of rare funk. The song, called Peaceable World, is performed by Keyboard, a one-off band made up of session musicians who were used extensively on Nigerian producer Odion Iruoje's recordings in the 70s. The main musicians were Nigerian session musicians Brodricks Majuwa and Isaac Digha, and they were joined by Beninese musician Ignace de Souza and Jonni Wood. The album that the song is from, Hungry Man (1978), is extremely rare, and when Soundway Records got the rights to reissue the album in 2014, the reprint was limited to 1000 vinyl copies only.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Liar: Katia B and "Parece Mentira"

Katia B brings us our random song for today, called Parece Mentira. Katia Bronstein is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, actress and dancer. Known primarily for her dancing in successful dance shows from the age of 17, she has switched her career over to music with an eclectic style that ranges from hip hop to bossa nova. While her four albums to date have had success overseas, they are not as well known in Brazil. Parece Mentira can be found on her 2005 CD Mais Uma/One More Shot, and on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Brazilian Lounge (2006).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Devotion: MC Yogi and "Pranam"

Our random tune today is by MC Yogi, a Bay Area hip hop artist and yogi who promotes themes of Hindu religion and philosophy in hip hop whose real name is Nicolas Giacomini. Giacomini began rapping at 13 and, while living in home for at-risk children at age 17, he became a practitioner of yoga after his father took it up. His songs are often bhajans, or devotional songs, celebrating one or another of the Hindu deities. At other times, he provides interesting history lessons on the lives of important historical figures within Hinduism, such as Gandhi. Even when he is doing nothing but beatboxing, his songs can sound like mantras or prayers. This song, Pranam, can be found on MC Yogi's 2012 album Pilgrimage.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Delivered by Amazon: The Mediaeval Baebes and "Love Me Broughte"

Love Me Broughte by the Mediaeval Baebes is our random tune for today. The Mediaeval Baebes began in 1996 when a group of friends led by Katherine Blake of Miranda Sex Garden broke into a North London cemetery and sang a capella in flowing white robes and leaf garlands. They soon became an ensemble, and their first album, Salva Nos, shot to number two on the classical charts. It not only are they very talented, they are also very beautiful women. The group has since had many incarnations. They sing in an array of obscure and ancient languages, and have placed three albums in the top ten of the classical charts and participated in the BBC's television series The Virgin Queen. Love Me Broughte is from their 2003 CD Mistletoe & Wine. It tells the story of a person who has found their love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's Spring: Karen Ruimy and Youth with "Primavera"

Moroccan-born performer, writer, dancer and philanthropist Karen Ruimy provides our random tune today, called Primavera. Now living in Paris, Karen Ruimy was a banker who changed her career at age 30 and became a writer. In that career she has published two books and is a contributor to Huffington Post and Harpers Bazaar. She became a professional dancer at age 38 and has produced several dance shows. She has also released two albums. Primavera is from her dance show ZIK'R, and can be found on the soundtrack for the show (2015). The song features UK producer and musician Martin Glover, also known as Youth, who co-created ZIK'R with Ruimy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Watchamacallit: Darryl Labrado and "Da Kine"

This song with a reggae groove is performed by Darryl Labrado, a Hawaiian musician who became a teen star. I couldn't find a ton of information on Labrado at present, but an article about Labrado's early years details a hard life marred by a family with poverty, substance abuse, and physical abuse. Things were so bad that growing up Labrado didn't live in a house with running water, but had to use a waterfall nearby, and the roof leaked so much that Labrado and his brother kept having to move their bed to keep it from getting wet. However, he was discovered at age 10, put out his first single at age 11, released his first video at 14 (which promptly won best music video at the Hawaiian Music Awards and aired on Hawaiian Airlines for four years) and that same year released his first album and this hit single, Da Kine. You can find Da Kine on Labrado's 1999 album Shaka the Moon, and on the 2000 various artists compilation Island Roots. The title of the song refers to a very versatile term in Hawaiian Pidgin English.