Thursday, December 31, 2015

Over and Under: Te Vaka and "Luga ma Lalo"

South Pacific and New Zealand group Te Vaka brings us our random tune for the day, Luga ma Lalo. Te Vaka performs contemporary Oceanic music in a style they call South Pacific fusion. Founded in New Zealand in 1995 by Opetaia Foa'i, they have won a number of awards and have been labeled the most successful contemporary band playing Pacific music by the BBC. They use traditional instruments such as the pate and pa'u (drums) and most of their songs are written in the Tokelauan language, though some songs are in Samoan and Tuvaluan. Luga ma Lalo is from their 2011 album, Havili.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Turkish Rock Never Sounded So Grungy: Duman and "Istanbul"

How about a minute and a half hard rock song from Turkey for the random tune of the day? Istanbul is by Duman, a Turkish rock band founded in 1999 and known for combining Turkish folk songs with modern Turkish rock and grunge. They have released 10 albums. Istanbul can be found on the 2006 soundtrack to the documentary Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

King of Zydeco: Clifton Chenier and "Johnny Can't Dance"

Today's random tune is by Clifton Chenier from Opelousas, Louisiana, a native Louisiana-French speaker who was known as "King of Zydeco" and "King of the South." A legendary performer of zydeco on accordion, he won a Grammy award in 1983 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 2014. He is also inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He started his musical career in the 1950s, and began to reach a national audience in 1976 with an appearance on Austin City Limits. His popularity peaked in the 1980s. He was also an innovator, and is credited with redesigning the washboard used in zydeco music into the "vest frottoir," that hangs from the shoulders - he also introduced using bottle caps to give it its distinctive sound. Chenier died of diabetes-related kidney disease in December, 1987. This song, "Johnny Can't Dance," can be found on numerous compilation albums such as The Best of Clifton Chenier (2003).

Monday, December 28, 2015

Egypt on Strings: Darol Anger, Mike Marshall and Väsen with "Egypt"

We have a downtempo reflective tune for you today in the form of Egypt by Väsen with Mike Marshall and Darrol Anger. Väsen is a Swedish folk band formed in 1989, who created a different sound for Swedish folk by adding some modern guitar work over the traditional Swedish styles. As they have evolved, they have moved away from playing traditional tunes toward their own compositions. They maintain a busy international touring schedule, have released 15 albums, and often collaborate with American musicians Mike Marshall and Darrol Anger. Marshall is a mandolin player and multi-instrumentalist who has recorded in a variety of genres and has collaborated with artists such as Béla Fleck and Mark O'Connor. Darrol Anger is a violinist who also has performed with some of contemporary music's most accomplished musicians, and currently leads a group called Republic of Strings which uses classical, jazz and folk as its springboard. Egypt can be found on the 2007 CD Mike Marshall and Darrol Anger with Väsen.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sleep, Little One: The Mexican Institute of Sound and "Drume Negrita"

Today's random tune is by the Mexican Institute of Sound, Mexico City-based producer and DJ Camilo Lara's electronic music project. Fusing Mexican folk music with modern sounds, MIS is part of a growing movement in Mexican music. Lara started with mixing music for holiday mix tapes, and after getting enthusiastic receptions for his creations, began making musical collages under the moniker Mexican Institute of Sound while relying on samples of Mexican classical music. He has released four albums, with a fifth due next year. This song, Drume Negrita, is from his 2013 CD Méjico Maxico.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Magician, Hero, Trickster: Mank and "Gwydion"

Today's random tune is an ambient/electronic piece from Wales by an artist who calls himself Mank, and is titled directly after a Welsh trickster god. Mank is the electronic project of Ben Powell in North Wales. Begun in 1998, Powell began releasing his own homemade CDs under the name of Mank. His recordings characteristically employ a computer-based combination of field recordings with virtual and real instrumentation. Powell utilizes exotic locations for recording, such as on the Russian polar research ship where he recorded two albums. Radio Wales has labeled him one of the most important electronic artists in Wales. This song, Gwydion, is from Mank's 2010 album Awen. The title of the song refers to the magician, hero and trickster of Welsh mythology.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Polska: Kardemimmit and "Polska Från Bandal"

From Finland comes the random tune for this Christmas day! Kardemimmit is a band made up of four young women who play the national instrument of Finland, called the kantele. The instrument comes in 15 and 38 string versions, and both types are present in their music. The band plays original modern folk compositions steeped in tradition from Finland's various regions. They have released three albums. This song, Polska Från Bandal, can be found on their 2009 album Kaisla, and on a bonus CD included with The Rough Guide to the Music of Scandinavia called Introducing Kardemimmit.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Aztec Entrance: San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble and "Teponazcuicatl"

Today's random song is called Teponazcuicatl (Procession of the Drum) and is by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE), a unique ancient vocal music ensemble that is accompanied by early and traditional instrumentation. They made their debut in 1989 presenting Latin music from the colonial period. Its artistic director, Christopher Moroney, has penned arrangements and new compositions for the group by delving into ancient history and cultures. The group has been featured on national radio shows and has toured the United States and around the world. Teponazcuicatl (Procession of the Drum) can be found on their 2000 album El Milagro de Guadalupe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cambodian Pyschedelia: Dengue Fever and "Hold My Hips"

Los Angeles band Dengue Fever brings us our random tune for today. Dengue Fever is a six member band that was formed in 2001 by Ethan and Zac Holtzman after Ethan was inspired by a trip to Cambodia. A search for a vocalist led them to Chhom Nimol, who they found in a Long Beach nightclub. She was already a well-known karaoke singer in Cambodia and had moved to the United States to join her sister and make money to send home. The band released their first album in 2003 which consisted mostly of covers of 60s Cambodian rock tunes. In 2005 they toured Cambodia to critical acclaim. They've released 10 albums and EPs, and support a variety of charitable organizations that provide aid to Cambodia. This song, Hold My Hips, can be found on their 2009 album Sleepwalking Through the Mekong.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Waving with Chocolate Cake: David Bridie and "The Deserters"

From down under comes today's random tune. The Deserters is by David Bridie, a Melbourne, Australia musician who rose to prominence as a founding member of the group Not Drowning, Waving and then My Friend the Chocolate Cake. Besides his band work, he has released four solo albums. The Deserters can be found on his 2002 album Act of Free Choice.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Don't Cut Me Off: Tish Hinojosa and "Otro Vasito"

Tish Hinojosa brings us today's random tune, Otro Vasito (Another Little Glass). Hinojosa is a south Texas Mexican-American singer-songwriter. Originally from San Antonio, Hinojosa sings traditional Mexican folksongs and her own compositions in both Spanish and English. She accompanies herself on guitar, playing right-handed even though she is naturally left-handed. Otro Vasito (Another LIttle Glass) can be found on her 1995 album Frontejas.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I Hope You Like It Too: Bob Marley and the Wailers with "Jammin'"

Today's song is by a reggae legend. Bob Marley and the Wailers was a reggae and ska band that was formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Many of the band's early songs were recorded with the aid of Lee "Scratch" Perry and his studio band The Upsetters. Bob Marley and the Wailers were known for recording some of the most notable reggae songs in history. Tosh and Wailer left the band in 1974, leading to a revamped Wailers lineup, and Marley died in 1981 of malignant melanoma. This song, Jammin, is from the 1977 groundbreaking album Exodus, which redefined reggae music and was named by Time Magazine in 1999 as one of the three best albums of the 20th century. The video is concert footage from a 1979 performance in Santa Barbara.

Mike would like to dedicate this random song of the day to his sister, Pauline Hess, who lives as a caregiver with their mother who suffers from Alzheimers. Happy birthday, Pauline!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Not Stocks, Boats: Taj Mahal and The Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar with "Dhow Countries"

Today's random tune is by an American blues legend teamed with an African orchestra. Taj Mahal is the performing name of Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, a blues musician who often incorporates elements of world music into his music. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica), he has reshaped blues by combining it with nontraditional forms from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific. The Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar is one of the largest, most successful and most prolific of African orchestras. It began life as an extension of an independence party of the now semi-autonomous province of Zanzibar in Tanzania. They are known for their presentation of Swahili Taarab music. As such this song, called Dhow Countries, has a nice slow groove to it. You can find Dhow Countries on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: African Blues (2012).

Mike would like to dedicate this song to his mother, Shirley Hess, who suffers from Alzheimers. It is her birthday today. Happy birthday, mom!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Enigma: Brave Combo and "Mystery Spot Polka"

Today's song is by Brave Combo, a polka, rock and worldbeat band from Denton, Texas. Brave Combo was founded in 1979 by multi-instrumentalist Carl Finch. They incorporate a number of styles including polka, norteño, salsa, rumba, cha-cha-cha, choro, samba, two-step, cumbia, charanga, merengue, ska and others. They also have played and recorded covers of well-known songs in styles very different from the original. They have won two Grammy awards, have appeared as animated characters on The Simpsons, and were an influence on Bob Dylan who recorded a Christmas song, Must be Santa, in a style almost identical to Brave Combo's version and acknowledged it in an interview. This song, Mystery Spot Polka, can be found on their 1995 album Polkas for a Gloomy World and references the roadside attractions.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Where is Thy Sting: The Power of One Soundtrack and "Of Death and Dying"

Of Death and Dying, our random song for the day, comes from the soundtrack of a movie about South Africa. The Power of One, adapted from a novel by Bryce Courtenay, is the story of a young English boy in South Africa and his complicated relationships under apartheid with others in the country, both black and white. German composer and music producer Hans Zimmer composed much of the music for the movie in collaboration with Lebo M., a South African vocalist and composer who arranged and performed music for The Lion King movies and stage productions. Of Death and Dying can be found on The Power of One soundtrack, released in 1992.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Always Ring Twice: Federico Aubele and "Postales"

Federico Aubele, an Argentine singer-songwriter, brings us the random song for today called Postales. Aubele works in a variety of different styles, including reggae and dub. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, he moved to Berlin during the Argentine crisis in 2002 and lived there for several years. He submitted a demo by email to Thievery Corporation's Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, which landed him a spot on the label and subsequently his debut album. He has played at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, has contributed music to the US TV series Alias and the US movie The Take. He later moved to Barcelona where he released another album, and now lives in Brooklyn. You can find Postales on his 2004 album Gran Hotel Buenos Aires (re-released by Nacional Records in 2014) and on numerous compilations including Putumayo Presents: Nuevo Latino (2004).

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Gateway: Beirut and "Brandenburg"

From a bedroom in New Mexico to you! Brandenburg is by Beirut, a band initially formed as a solo project by Albuquerque-born Zach Condon and later expanded into a full band. Condon recorded the bulk of Beirut's debut album, Gulag Orkestar, in his bedroom and finished the album with the assistance of Neutral Milk Hotel's and A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Jeremy Barnes. The strength of the recordings brought Condon a contract with Ba Da Bing Records under the name of Beirut, and the album was released in 2006 in conjunction with some live shows in New York - Condon recruited some friends to play the concerts and they became the band Beirut. Beirut has released three albums, the last in 2011, and Condon has been involved in several side projects. Brandenburg is from Beirut's 2006 debut CD, Gulag Orkestar.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Get Thee to a Nunnery: Loreena McKennitt and "Kecharitomene"

The song for today is Kecharitomene, the name of a mediaeval convent in which the princess and scholar Anna Komnene of Byzantium was sequestered after political intrigues and the death of her husband. The song is by Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian known for her soprano voice. She is a composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. She released her first album in 1985, and since then has gone on to release nine studio albums and five live albums which have sold 14 million copies worldwide. Her songs have also been featured in television and movies. Kecharitomene can be found on McKennitt's 2006 album An Ancient Muse, in which she explores Celtic and Arabic musical elements as she imagines a journey along the Silk Road. The video here tells a little of the history of Anna Komnene interspersed with lovely pictures of Loreena.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

And I Just Washed My Car: The Mediaeval Baebes and "Return of the Birds"

You might not think you are in to mediaeval music, but today's song may change your mind. Return of the Birds is sung in Latin by a bevy of amazingly beautiful young women known as the Mediaeval Baebes. The Mediaeval Baebes began in 1996 when a group of friends led by Katherine Blake of the vocal group 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 doesn't hurt that they are all gorgeous and very talented. The Mediaeval Baebes have 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. As you contemplate winter's advent, think of the promise and glory of the Return of the Birds, found on their 2005 album Mirabilis.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nahenahe: Ray Kāne and "Wai O Ke Aniani"

Ray Kāne, the legendary Hawaiian slack key guitarist, performs the random tune for today entitled Wai O Ke Aniani. Kāne's middle name, Kaleoalohapoina'oleohelemanu, loosely translates as "the voice of love that comes and goes like a bird and will never be forgotten." His deceptively simple guitar style, coupled with unique ways of brushing, plucking, hammering on and pulling off the strings resulted in his "nahenahe" or sweet sounding music that he always felt should be played or sung from the heart. He was one of the first slack key masters to play public concerts and tour widely, and made his first recordings in 1961. In 1987, Kāne was honored as a national living treasure by the National Endowment of the Arts. Ray Kāne died in 2008, but his music lives on. Wai O Ke Aniani is from his 1998 CD Wa'ahila.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Do I Know Him: Savina Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico with "Omar Hashem Leyakoyv"

Today's song, Omar Hashem Leyakoyv, is by Savina Yannatou and Primera en Salonico. Savina Yannatou is a renowned Greek singer who has teamed up with Greek jazz and traditional musicians Primavera en Salonico to explore Sephardic and Mediterreanean music. They have since expanded to include music from around the world. Starting out with classical guitar lessons, Yannatou began studying singing and later completed postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her repertoire is mainly Greek music, though she has also made forays into free jazz and avant-garde. She also is a songwriter and composer for theater, dance and video. "Omar Hashem Leyakoyv" can be found on their 2008 album Songs of an Other.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

You Might Fall In: Mamek Khadem with "At the Water's Edge"

From an album called A Window to Color (2011) comes today's song by a number of artists from around the globe: Mamek Khadem (Iran), Chris Wabich (US), Hamid Saeidi (Iran), Ole Mathisen (Norway), Martin Tilmen and Larry Steen (US). It would be too long to put bios in for each of these people, so we'll let you look them up yourself. This song is called At the Water's Edge and has an ethereal quality powered by Khadem's voice accompanied by jazz saxophone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Listen to the December 7 Global Music Show on KUNM.

If you missed the Global Music Show on Monday, you can find it at the KUNM Two-Week Archive. Just enter Monday, December 7 at 10 pm. If you want to see the playlist for the show, go to the Playlist page, enter Global Music as the show, and enter December 7 at 10 pm for the date and the playlist will magically appear! Enjoy!

But I'm Salaried: Mary Black and "By the Hour"

The random tune for today is by Mary Black, an Irish singer who is a major recording artist in Ireland and who is known for her interpretations of both traditional and modern material. Born into a musical family, Mary Black's early career consisted of both solo efforts and working in bands such as De Danaan. In the 90s she went solo for good, releasing several critically acclaimed and hit albums. Her voice is considered so pure that it is used as a benchmark for comparing sound quality between high fidelity systems, and she is considered one of the most important Irish voices of her generation, comparable to Enya and Sinead O'Connor. This song, By the Hour, is from her 1997 release Shine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Where's the Exit: A-Yue Chang Chen-Yue and "No Way Back Out From the Beginning"

Today's random tune is by A-Yue Chang Chen-Yue (also known as A-Yue and Ayal Komod), a Taiwanese aboriginal (Amis people) songwriter, singer, guitarist and dance music DJ who also goes by the name of DJ Orange. From 2008-2010 he was a member of Superband, but now he fronts his own band, Free Night (also known as Free9). He is multifaceted, and recently crossed over into hip hop on a song with rapper MC HotDog and then a subsequent album. He is also an actor, and his 1998 film Connection by Fate was shown at the Venice Film Festival. He has released fifteen albums over his career. This song, No Way Back Out From the Beginning, is from his 2004 album Useless Guy.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Not While at Work: The Tossers and "Drinking in the Day"

The Tossers, who bring us the random tune for today, are a Celtic-punk band from the south side of Chicago. The Tossers are actually older than more well known American Celtic punk groups such as the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. This song, Drinking in the Day, can be found on their 2005 CD In the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Flute of Darkness: Xavier Quijas Yxayotl and "Tezcatlipoca (God of Darkness)"

Something different and ancient today for our random tune. Tezcatlipoca (God of the Darkness) is performed by Xavier Quijas Yxayotl, a flautist, composer and instrument creator from Mexico who does ancient Aztec and Mayan music recreations. He designs the instruments by hand from ancient drawings and illustrations on manuscripts. He has performed in many important venues, such as the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring the Dalai Lama, the Grammy's, and in concert with Yanni. Six of his seven albums have received Native American Music Awards, two of which were for Flutist of the Year. Tezcatlipoca (God of the Darkness) can be found on his 1994 album Fuertes Ancestros - Music of Ancient Mexico. The god in question in the song, Tezcatlipoca, is associated with a wide range of concepts in the Aztec religion, including the night sky, the night winds, hurricanes, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, rulership, divination, temptation, jaguars, sorcery, beauty, war and strife.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hi Back At Ya: Lee "Scratch" Perry and "Greetings"

A pioneer of dub brings the random tune for the day. Lee "Scratch" Perry is a Jamaican music producer who uses inventive and innovative techniques in studio and in production. Using existing reggae tracks, Perry was an early adopter of effects and remixing to create new instrumental or vocal versions of the songs. He produced a number of influential reggae artists, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, at his Black Ark studio during the 70s, but stress and outside unwanted influences took their toll - the studio fell into disrepair and eventually burned down, with Perry insisting that he burned the studio in a fit of rage. Perry's career got back on track in the late 80s after beginning to work with British producers and after quitting alcohol and pot. He has since won awards, including a Grammy, and has branched out into other fields such as canvas painting, paper, and video. This song, Greetings, can be found on his 2004 album Panic in Babylon.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Delusions: Gabby Young & Other Animals with "In Your Head"

GABBY YOUNG & OTHER ANIMALS - In Your Head (Official Video) from Gabby Young on Vimeo.

Today's random tune is by Gabby Young & Other Animals, a London based band with music that draws from gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz cabaret and other genres. Originally planning to become an opera singer, Gabby Young switched gears after hearing Jeff Buckley and some of the jazz greats. She had a bout with thyroid cancer at 22 that nearly ended her singing career, but has come back with a vengeance and formed Other Animals by finding people who could play an astonishing variety of instruments. Her style of music has been dubbed "Circus Swing." This song, In Your Head, is from her 2012 release The Band Called Out for More.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Long Way to Go: Zaz and "Le Long de la Route"

Le Long de la Route is the title of the random song of today. It is sung by French singer-songwriter Isabelle Geffroy, known by her stage name as Zaz. Mixing jazzy style, French variety, soul and acoustic genres, she became famous on the strength of her first album, the eponymously named Zaz (2010). After a childhood steeped in music education Zaz started her musical career in 2001 singing in musical groups and as a backup singer. She released Zaz in 2010 to great acclaim, especially her single Je Veux, and has since won many awards and has toured her music. She has released two more albums since, Recto Verso and Paris. Le Long de la Route can be found on her debut album Zaz.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Better than McDonald's: Amadou & Mariam with Manu Chao and "Senegal Fast Food"

Amadou & Mariam bring us today's random tune, with Manu Chao joining on vocals. Vocalist Mariam Doumbia lost her sight at age 5 due to untreated measles, while guitarist and vocalist Amadou Bagayoko lost his sight at age 15. They met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind and discovered that they had similar interests in music. Their music has developed from early sparse recordings consisting of guitar and vocals to a mix of traditional Malian sounds combined with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. This style has been dubbed "Afro-blues." Manu Chao is a French born musician of Spanish origin. The producer of the album that this song is on, he sings in a number of different languages and first achieved success with his band Mano Negra in the early 90s, which practiced primarily punk and alternative styles. He went solo after the breakup of the band and began to focus on music that had a street vibe and a greater emphasis on Spanish. He has a tendency to reuse music or lyrics from his previous songs to create new ones. In 2003, he approached Amadou & Mariam and offered to produce an album with them. This song, Senegal Fast Food, appears on the resulting 2005 CD Dimanche à Bamako (Sunday in Bamako).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Innovator: Imane Homsy and "Sara"

The video for this song is not the greatest, but we had to include it. Imane Homsy is a deceased musician who can truly be called an innovator of music. A master of the qanun, she took an instrument that had once been relegated to simply repeating the musical phrases of the singer in Arab classical music and turned it into an instrument that could stand on its own. Originally a two-fingered instrument, she expanded it to a ten-fingered technique. She and her music are cultural institutions across her native Lebanon and the Arab world, and she trained a number of students who continue her legacy. Sadly, she passed away in 2013 at the age of 45. This song, Sara, can be found on her 2008 album Seigneur Kanoun.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Left Behind: The Soundtrack to The Secret of Roan Inish and "Evacuation"

From the soundtrack to the film The Secret of Roan Inish, which centers on the tale of selkies - seals that can shed their skin to become human in appearance - comes today's random song called Evacuation. The music for the film was written by Mason Daring, an American composer and musician who is largely known for his scores to films by John Sayles. Evacuation can be found on The Secret of Roan Inish soundtrack (1995).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Write a Cool Song Like This About Me: Paolo Conte and "Max"

Max, by Paolo Conte, is our random tune for the day. Conte was born in Asti in the Piedmont region of Italy, and he began his music career as a vibraphone player traveling in local and touring bands. He started writing songs early on in his career with his brother Giorgio but eventually began writing on his own. His star rose in the 60s and 70s as he was the main creative songwriter behind hits of other well-known Italian artists. His solo career commenced in 1974. His songs are known for being evocative of colorful and dreamy Italian and Mediterranean sounds. His music is often jazzy, reminiscent of South America and French singers, and filled with a wistful melancholy. His music has also been used in many movies. Max can be found on his 1998 compilation album The Best of Paolo Conte.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

At Least It's Not Chin Music: Mouth Music and "Martin Martin"

Today's tune, Martin Martin, is by Mouth Music, a Scottish musical project that combines traditional Gaelic music with contemporary instrumental and techno. Featuring a variety of musicians over the years that often went on to fame under other bands, and produced and directed by Martin Swan, Mouth Music appears to be on hiatus since 2005, but their interesting sound led them to international fame in the 1990s. You can find Martin Martin on their 1990 self-titled debut album, featuring electronics, sparse electric guitars, fiddles and a world-beat type of sound that prefigured later groups like Afro-Celt Sound System.

Friday, November 27, 2015

We're Not Talking Movies: Reeltime and "Siúil a Rún"

Today's random song is by Reeltime, an Irish quartet that brings percussive jazz guitar to traditional Irish music, with occasional touches of Texas swing and ragtime. Their 1995 debut garnered critical acclaim and Irish American News' praise as Best New Band and Best Female Vocalist for singer Mairin Fahy (who is also an All-Ireland award fiddle player. She played with the touring production of Riverdance, and joined The Chieftains on their 2007 tour, as well as creating her own show called Tara. Multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, and photographer Chris Kelly has also been part of many different compilations and has worked with many different groups. This song, Siúil a Rún, can be found on the 2005 compilation Celtic Wonder, and on Reeltime's self titled debut CD (1995).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Griot Singing: Kassé Mady Diabaté and "Toumarou"

Today's random song is by Kassé Mady Diabaté, a singer from Mali descended from the Malian griot musical caste. Realizing that Kassé Mady may have inherited his family's musical prowess, His parents schooled and encouraged him. As lead singer of the Orchestre Régional Super Mandé de Kangaba, Kassé Mady won the Biennale music competition in the Malian capital of Bamako. He caught the eye of a group of Malian musicians who had gone to Cuba to study music - they asked him to join their group as lead singer. The group, the Maravillas, later known as the Bandema National, became famous throughout West Africa due to their music...Cuban style music with a touch of Malian Mandingo. In 1988 he left Mali for Paris and recorded his first solo record - he spent ten years there before moving back to Mali and made influential albums in collaboration with other artists such as flamenco group Ketama, blues artist Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabaté. This song, Toumarou, can be found on his 2015 album Kiriké.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Praiseworthy: Youssou N'Dour and "Allah"

Today's song is a beautiful song of praise. Youssou N'Dour is already a giant among African musicians. A singer, songwriter, composer, percussionist, actor and politician, he is one of the most visible personas of Senegal. A man born in a griot family, he didn't take the traditional griot path (but he is considered a modern griot anyway) who was the driving force behind the popular Senegalese music called mbalax. He came to world notice thanks to his collaborations with Western musicians like Peter Gabriel, but his music stands on its own. This song, Allah, is from his 2004 CD Egypt. The album combines West and North African music, as well as instrumentation in its use of the West African kora and the Arab oud. It promotes the tolerance of Senegalese Islam, and the album won a Grammy award. The video to this song is beautiful - but the sound is not as good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It Never Stops: Moya Brennan and "Merry Go Round"

A downtempo Celtic rock song from Irish singer Moya Brennan greets you as the random tune for today. The song is titled Merry Go Round and is from her 2006 album Signature. Brennan comes from a musical family (one of her sisters, Eithne, is better known as the singer Enya) and the family's band Clannad have been credited with creating the contemporary Celtic sound. Brennan is the eldest of the siblings, and started her own solo career in 1992. She is often classified as Celtic or New Age, though she feels uncomfortable with the New Age label as her music often has Christian themes. She has recorded 25 solo albums, her music has been featured in film, and she has collaborated with numerous other musicians in a variety of genres. She has also been very candid about her life - in her autobiography The Other Side of the Rainbow she recounts her upbringing in her family and her struggles with alcohol, drugs and an abortion which made her reevaluate her life and become a committed Christian. To help others with similar problems, she has given much to philanthropic endeavors and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Christian Blind Mission. Merry Go Round can also be found on the 2011 live album Heart Strings.

Monday, November 23, 2015

When He Says Jump, You Say How High: Bupps Saggu with Manit Pappu and "Jump to the Bhangra"

Make sure you have your coffee and are fully awake before you start this jumping bhangra tune. Jump to the Bhangra is performed by Bups Saggu and features Manjit Pappu. A resident of the UK, Bupps Saggu is a self-styled heavy hitter in the Asian music industry in the UK. Starting out as a dancer, he eventually worked his way into the music industry to become a DJ and music producer. He also manages and produces the Bups Saggu Roadshow. I can't find much information on Majit Pappu, unfortunately, but he seems to do a lot of work. Jump to the Bhangra can be found as a 2014 single release from VIP Records.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Making Changes: Buckwheat Zydeco and "Turning Point"

Buckwheat Zydeco comes rockin' in to our page with the random tune of the day. Buckwheat Zydeco is the stage name of Stanley Dural, Jr., who got the name "Buckwheat" from his childhood resemblance to a character on the Our Gang film shorts. Dural's father was an accomplished Creole accordionist, but Dural preferred rhythm and blues, and started out backing artists such as Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Joe Tex. He started his own funk band in the early 70s with some success, but then began backing zydeco legend Clifton Chenier as an organist and discovered the popularity of zydeco. His relationship to Chenier led him to take up the accordion, and after a year he felt confident enough to start Buckwheat Zydeco in 1978. Buckwheat Zydeco has opened for and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, and it is one of the few zydeco bands to achieve mainstream success. This song, Turning Point, is on his 1992 album of the same name.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From the Provinces: Manu Théron, Grégory Dargent and Youssef Hbeisch with "Ar mi Puesc Ieu Lauzar d'Amor"

From southern France and the mediaeval age comes this really uptempo rocking tune called "Ar mi Puesc Ieu Lauzar d'Amor" with oud and vocals in the Provençal language. Sirventes: Chants Fougeaux des Pays d'Oc/Occitan Protest Songs, released in 2014, is an album put together using songs written by poets and musicians from mediaeval Provence. While most of the tunes have not survived, the words have and they are put to some very compelling music by Manu Théron (Lo Cor de la Plana), Grégory Dargent and Youssef Hbeisch (Le Trio Joubran). Provençal is considered an endangered language, very related to Catalan in Spain, so hearing it here is a real treat.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Royalty with Royalties: Khaled and "Aray Haray"

Today's random song is by by Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, an Algerian raï singer and songwriter known by his stage name Khaled. He started recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled and since has become a superstar and the most well-known Algerian performer in the world - he is usually labeled "The King of Raï." This song, Aray Haray, can be found on his 2013 greatest hits album Le King du Raï.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Match Burns Bright: Van Morrison and The Chieftains with "Ta Mo Chleamhnas"

Today's random song is by Van Morrison and The Chieftains. The Chieftains are one of the greatest ambassadors of Irish music to the world, and have formed their distinctive sound around the Uileann pipes. Van Morrison, from Northern Ireland, is a singer-songwriter and musician who has been described as mystical and transcendental. Some of his albums have appeared near the top of many lists of the greatest albums of all time. He has released 39 albums. The collaboration between Van Morrison and The Chieftains goes back to at least 1979, when they met at the Edinburgh Rock Festival, and agreed to record an album together. The result, 1988's Irish Heartbeat, received positive critical acclaim, including 4 stars from Rolling Stone and was called one of the best albums of the year from The Village Voice. Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta (My Match It Is Made) is a traditional song that can be found on the Irish Heartbeat album.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Havana Good Time: Soneros de Verdad and "Oguero"

The name of the group responsible for today's random song is intriguing. Soneros de Verdad means "Singers of Truth," and they call themselves the second generation of the Buena Vista Social Club, bridging the gap between the son cubano of 50-60 years ago with more modern sensibilities and original compositions. Fronted by Luis Frank Arias and Mayito Rivero, both international music award winners, the band also employs some other Cuban stars of the newer generation, giving a whole new sound layered on top of the old urban mixed with rural, son, jazz, and other genres. It's Cuba in one package. This song, Oguero, is from the album Luis Frank Presents Soneros de Verdad: A Buena Vista Barrio de la Habana (originally released in 2000, CD release in 2010).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yes, Please Do: Wayne Toups and Zydecajun with "Please Explain"

Today's tune, Please Explain, is by Wayne Toups and Zydecajun. Songwriter and accordionist Wayne Toups is one of the most successful Cajun musicians in America. He was born in Crowley, Louisiana and started playing accordion at 13. He was soon winning local contests, and later began to combine Cajun music, zydeco, R&B and rock into a genre he labeled Zydecajun. Though he released his first album in the 1970s, his first album with the Zydecajun sound was 1986's Zydecajun. Besides releasing 16 albums and providing soundtracks for movies such as Steel Magnolias, Toups has also collaborated with such artists as Mark Chestnutt, Sammy Kershaw, Alan Jackson, George Jones and Garth Brooks. Please Explain is from his 1991 album Fish Out of Water.

Monday, November 16, 2015

But I Want You to Stay: Buddha Sounds with Eli Kazah and "Let Me Go"

Today's song is nice and downtempo. Let Me Go is by Buddha Sounds and features Eli Kazah. Buddha Sounds are electronic group from Argentina. They have released five studio albums. Some of their music has appeared on the big screen - their song Odna was part of the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack. You can find Let Me Go on their album Buddha Sounds 2: The Arabic Dream (2005).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Serbian Dance Party: Milan Nikolić and "Milioni"

How about some dance music for today's random tune? Milioni is by Milan Nikolić and the Balkan Beat Orchestra. Milan Nikolić (not to be confused with the soccer player) is a Serbian accordionist who was Serbia's 2009 entry in the Eurovision song contest, making it to the second semifinal. You can find Milioni on the compilation CD The Balkan Club Night #2 (2011).

Saturday, November 14, 2015

For Paris: "La Marseillaise" from the movie Casablanca

We don't have much to offer to Paris except symbolism, and I'm (Mike) sure that this has been put up in other places, but a very moving moment in the movie Casablanca comes to mind. The setup: the Nazis control France. In Morocco, the French Vichy government (a puppet government of the Nazis) controls the colony, and Nazi soldiers mix with French officials, people seeking a way out of Europe, collaborators and partisan fighters trying to overthrow the Nazis. In this scene, the Nazi soldiers start singing a nationalistic song...only to be effectively countered by the French national anthem, the Marseillaise. The point I'm trying to make is the French have the fortitude and the strength befitting a civilized nation to overcome oppression, terrorism and barbarism and, with their allies, will prevail over this darkness.

Desperation: The Mexican Institute of Sound and "Para No Vivir Desesparado"

The Mexican Institute of Sound brings us our random tune for today. The Mexican Institute of Sound is Mexico City-based producer and DJ Camilo Lara's electronic music project. Fusing Mexican folk music with modern sounds, MIS is part of a growing movement in Mexican music. Lara started with mixing music for holiday mix tapes, and after getting enthusiastic receptions for his creations, began making musical collages under the moniker Mexican Institute of Sound while relying on samples of Mexican classical music. He has released four albums, with a fifth due next year. This song, Para No Vivir Desesparado, is from his 2007 CD Piñata.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Love Lost: Cathie Ryan and "We Dreamed Our Dreams"

Our song for today is by Cathie Ryan, an Irish-American native of Detroit, Michigan who was exposed early to Irish musicians such as Tommy Makem and The Clancy Brothers as well as American musicians such as Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and Hank Williams. In her childhood she idolized her father, a tenor, who taught her how to interpret and honor songs by knowing their histories and contexts. Cathie Ryan was also exposed to the music of Appalachia from neighbors who had migrated to Michigan to work in the auto factories and gained an appreciation for the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, as well as the local music out of Motown. Moving to New York, she learned more about traditional Irish music from her then husband singer-songwriter Dermot Henry and mentor Joe Heaney. After graduating from CUNY with a degree in English Literature and Secondary Education, she began teaching at Lehmann College in the Bronx, but left the classroom behind as her singing career began to blossom. She still continues to teach workshops in traditional Irish singing and Irish mythology and folklore. She was a member of the all female Celtic group Cherish the Ladies. This song, We Dreamed Our Dreams, can be found on her 1998 album The Music of What Happens.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Revolutionary Music: Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla and "Dilema"

Today's random song comes from a revolutionary band, in more ways than one. Along with his band Los Tradicionales (or sometimes Sus Tradicionales), Carlos Puebla defined the sound of Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution. A largely self-taught musician on guitar, he began performing in the 1930s, and soon began singing about the hardships and oppression that existed in Cuba. In 1959, when Castro entered victorious into Havana, it made such an impression on Puebla that he began writing songs that chronicled the revolution and disseminated its values. His success in Cuba led to a tour of over 35 countries and the band's reputation as the unofficial musical ambassadors of Cuba. The departure of Che Guevara from Cuba in 1965 led him to write his most famous song, Farewell. Puebla retired due to ill health in 1988 and died a year later - the band's leadership passed to Octavio Abreua and the band renamed themselves Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla. This song, Dilema, is recorded by Los Tradicionales de Carlos Puebla, and is a reflection on seeing someone cry and the depth of feeling that results in the one who is observing the other's grief. It can be found on the 1997 compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Music from the Coffee Lands.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dancing at Dusk: Iļģi and "Aizalaida Sauleite"

The random song for today is by Iļģi, which calls itself the most famous world music band from Latvia. Iļģi was formed in 1981, during the days of the Soviet regime in Latvia, and their focus was on the folk music of Latvia. They traveled around the country looking for folk songs that had never been recorded. In looking for these folk songs, they also uncovered tradition and history that the Soviet government found dangerous because delving into folklore was seeing as an act of dissidence. Their concerts, in which they wore traditional costumes and played traditional Latvian instruments such as the kokle (stringed instrument) and the dūdas (a type of bagpipe) had to be approved by government officials and any perceived non-compliance from regulations could result in a canceled concert or a ban. For a while, their name and that of other folklorists was forbidden to be mentioned in the media. Thus, the band and their work and music were hidden from much of the public for years. The collapse of the Soviet system freed Iļģi from all restrictions, and also probably freed them from strict adherence to folk music. Musicians being musicians, Iļģi wanted to explore what they were capable of musically and they began to transition from a pure folk band to a post-folk band, where the music became infused with other influences besides Latvian folk. Iļģi still remains true to the traditions. Their music has been described as reflective and meditative in some songs, and upbeat and full of vitality in others. This song, Aizalaida Sauleite (The Sun Went Down), is from their 2006 award winning album Ne Uz Vienu Dienu, a collection of wedding songs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Singin' in the Rain: Brittni Paiva and "Thunderstorm Slack Key"

Sit back and listen to the beautiful rain with this song, Thunderstorm Slack Key by young ukelele and guitar prodigy Brittni Paiva from Hawaii. A native of Hilo, she is known as "the ukulele darling" who besides uke and guitar also plays electric bass, piano and drums. The slack key in the title of the song refers to the guitar tuning - one or more of the strings on the guitar is detuned until all the strings form a single chord. You can find Thunderstorm Slack Key on her 2004 CD Brittni X 3, and on the compilation album Ki Ho 'Alu No Ka Oi, Vol. 2 (2007).

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sounds Out of Time: Namgar and "Khadadaa"

From the borderlands that define Russia, Mongolia and China comes today's random tune, Khadadaa by Namgar. Namgar is a four piece band that performs traditional Buryat and Mongolian music. Now making its base in Moscow and led by singer Namgar Lhasaranova, the group has made a name for itself by performing Mongolian songs that have not been played since the 17th century, and Buryat songs that predate the 20th century. Since the late 2000s they have expanded their repertoire to also include pop and ethno-rock, and lately with a new lineup that includes some Sami and Scandinavian musicians they have renamed themselves Nordic Namgar. I believe that Khadadaa can be found on their 2004 CD Hatar, though the name of the song is missing the "K." It can also be found on the 2014 compilation CD globalfFest Selector.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gypsy Swinging: Mahala Rai Banda and "Romni Latci"

Today's tune comes from Romania. Mahala Rai Banda is a gypsy band based in Bucharest. Formed by violinist and composer Aurel Ionita, the band plays in several styles and genres. They are often cited for their innovative and inventive arrangements that position them at the intersection between traditional popular music and club oriented music. They have played over 200 concerts in 26 countries and they have released at least two albums. Their music was featured in the movie Borat. This song, Romni Latci, can be found on their debut album Mahala Rai Banda, released in 2005.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

But Nothing: Bab & Rolando 808 with "Mas Que Nada"

Mas Que Nada is the title of our random tune for today. Performed by Bab & Rolando 808, the tune features the voice of respected Brazilian singer Rolando Farias, who now lives in Paris and teamed up with African DJ Alioume Ba to cover this tune. The song was originally written by Brazilian legend Jorge Ben but was made famous by Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66. The song is a celebration of the samba. Mas Que Nada can be found on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Brazilian Groove (2003).

Friday, November 6, 2015

Delightful to View by Light of the Dawn: Déanta and "The Benedy Glen"

A nice Celtic ode is in store for you in today's random tune. The Benedy Glen is by the Celtic group Déanta, an Irish traditional group from Northern Ireland. Déanta formed in the late 1980s and performed until 1997, and then regrouped in 2008. In 1990 they won the Trophée Loïc Raison at the Lorient Interceltic Festival in Brittany as best band. They released three albums, and their songs reflect traditional music with occasional forays into more contemporary music. You can find The Benedy Glen on their 1994 album Ready for the Storm and on the 2005 Green Linnet compilation album Celtic Wonder.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Don't Leave Me Alone: Vanessa da Mata and "Não Me Deixe Só"

Brazilian singer, songwriter and novelist Vanessa da Mata brings us our random tune today, a nice number called Não Me Deixe Só. Da Mata was self-taught in music and listened to many different genres in her youth. At age 14, she realized that her passion was singing and at 16 she moved to São Paulo where she started singing in a female reggae band. At 19 she became a backing vocalist for Black Uhuru during their tour of Brazil. She also played professional basketball and worked as a model. At 21, she wrote a song that was nominated for a Latin Grammy, and started writing songs for a number of Brazilian artists. She began doing backing vocals for many Brazilian artists, but in 2002 released her first album. This song was was that album's biggest hit, peaking at #25 on the Brazilian charts and 42 on the Portuguese charts. She has since scored many number one hits in Brazil. You can find Não Me Deixe Só on Vanessa da Mata's eponymous first album, released in 2002 and re-released in 2008.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Day of the Dead: Listen to the Global Music Show on the KUNM Two-Week Archive!

Hi readers and visitors: Want to hear the Global Music show that spawns this blog? Go to the KUNM Two Week Archive!

Just key in Monday, November 2 at 10 pm and let the player go. The show is three hours of global music with some commentary!  If you wonder why songs about death are sprinkled in, we did the show the day after Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

 Here's the playlist for the show:

All Souls Night - Loreena McKennitt (Canada)
Wheel Inside the Wheel - Mary Gauthier (United States)
A Todos Ellos - Mexican Institute of Sound (Mexico)
Dead Man - Nitin Sawhney (United Kingdom)
He No Dead Yet - King Fighter (Guyana)
Cumbia de los Muertos - Ozomatli (United States)
Aankharli Pharookai - Karam Abbas & Mai Dhas (Pakistan)
Piya Dekhan Ko - Nafees Ahmad Khan & Ustad Amid Ali Khan (Pakistan)
Jig O' Beer and Chai - Zakir Hussain (India)
Debho - Daby Toure (Mauritania)
Selfie - Koffi Olomide (Dem. Republic of Congo)
Tiè Faring - Kandia Kouyate (Mali)
Meshe Dehina Ederu - Ephrem Tamiru & Roha Band (Ethiopia)
La Llorona - Kočani Orkestar (Macedonia)
El Baile de la Lechuza - Daniel Santos (Puerto Rico)
An Cailleach - Salsa Celtica (Scotland)
Baba Yaga - Lily of the Valley (Germany)
Baba Yaga - Tuatha (United States)
Good Men - Buika (Spain)
Colibria - Nicola Cruz (France/Ecuador)
Avalanche - Boogarins (Brazil)
Oile Le La - Forro in the Dark (United States)
El Lado Mas Bestia de la Vida - Albert Pla (Spain)
Low Rider - Jake Shimabukuro (United States)
All Along the Watchtower - Eliades Ochoa (Cuba)
Harvest Moon - Bebel Gilberto (Brazil)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (United States)
Claire In Heaven - Capercaille (Scotland)
I Am Stretched On Your Grave - Kate Rusby (United Kingdom)
Ghost Lake - A Moving Sound (Taiwan)

All We Need is Love: Lira and "Ixesha"

Lira, whose name translates to "love" in the Sesotho language, brings us today's tune, Ixesha. Lira grew up in apartheid South Africa listening to musicians such as Miriam Makeba, Steve Wonder, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin, and decided she would be a musician. After attending college, she got a job as an accountant and used her skills to record a demo CD. An accountant for two years, she turned in a letter of resignation and devoted herself to a five year plan to make it in music. She was discovered in 2000 by musician/producer Arthur Mafokate. She has since come to be considered South Africa's most prominent adult contemporary artist. Lira describes her music as elements of soul, funk, elements of jazz and African. Ixesha can be found on Lira's 2014 album Rise Again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

All Aboard!: Moussu T E Lei Jovents and "Embarcatz!"

Our random tune for today is Embarcatz! (All Aboard!) by Moussu T e Lei Jovents, a band that splits its time between Marseilles, a French commune called La Ciotat, and Recife, Brazil. They are inspired by the music of Marseilles between 1920 and 1930 and the melting pot that the city was and remains. They range musically from the blues to reggae to Brazilian music to music hall, and they are very comfortable singing in Occitan, the regional language of the southern third of France. They have released eight albums. This is a really fun tune that you can turn up. The song is about traveling once bridges are burned and heading toward new adventure. As the refrain says:

In the world's great salad bowl
We'll add our pinch of salt
Here we are when the music starts
Let the ship sail away!
To the planet's great hymn
We want to bring our energy
Like a never ending groundswell
We will visit every port.

Embarcatz! can be found on their 2013 CD Artemis.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Where the Stars are Bright: Los Texmaniacs and "The Eyes of Texas/Deep in the Heart of Texas"

Today's song is by San Antonio, Texas group Los Texmaniacs. Los Texmaniacs were created in 1997 by Max Baca to play traditional conjunto and tejano music but also to incorporate rock and jazz while honoring the old traditions. Baca was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and followed his grandfather and father in learning the accordion beginning at age 5. He was invited by one of his idols, the great Flaco Jiménez, to play in Jiménez' band in San Antonio where he learned to play the bajo sexto (bass) using all six sets of strings in the traditional style. In forming Los Texmaniacs, Baca wanted to keep alive the style of another groundbreaking band, The Texas Tornados. This song, The Eyes of Texas/Deep in the Heart of Texas, can be found on their 2012 CD Texas Towns and Tex-Mex Sounds.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Is She a Red Too?: The Chieftains and "Bean An Fhir Rua"

A nice whistle tune comes to us today from The Chieftains in the form of Bean An Fhir Rua (The Red Haired Man's Wife) from their 1999 CD Water From the Well. The Chieftains are an Irish ensemble, formed in 1962 in Dublin, who helped introduced the wider world to Irish music. They made a new and unique sound for themselves by playing their music primarily around the distinctive sound of uileann pipes. Besides releasing several critically acclaimed albums, they are just as well known for their collaborations with such artists as Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and Roger Daltry. They have released 44 albums.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Who Remembers Gondwanaland and Laurasia: Pangea and "Memories of Pangea"

Pangea brings us the random tune for today, titled Memories of Pangea. Pangea is a project of Dan Lacksman, a Belgian composer and sound engineer. He has mixed and produced albums in a variety of genres, such as pop, rock, jazz, classic, dance and electronica. He is a co-founder and member of the avant-garde electronica group Telex, and a producer of the world music group Deep Forest. In fact, this video mixes those two projects- the music of Pangea combined with a video of Deep Forest. On the whole, Pangea was formed to make world music more accessible to European and American audiences. You can find Memories of Pangea on the 1996 album Pangea.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Love in the Morna: Ana Firmino and Tito Paris with "Chico Malandro"

The random tune for today is Chico Malandro by Ana Firmino with Tito Paris. Firmino and Paris are both from Cape Verde. Firmino is a singer and is regarded as a fine interpreter of the native Cape Verdean morna genre as well as other traditional styles of music. Paris is a singer and musician (guitar and bass) who now lives in Portugal. He has released eight albums. Chico Malandro, written by Paris on the topic of love, is considered Firmino's signature song. It can be found on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Cape Verde.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Africa's Premier Diva: Angélique Kidjo and "Bahia"

The legendary Angélique Kidjo sings the random tune for today, Bahia. A Grammy award winning singer-songwriter from Benin, Kidjo regularly makes world lists of notable and inspiring African women and as one of the world's greatest musicians. She is known for an astonishing variety of musical influences from diverse musical personalities and an array of genres. She sings in four languages (Fon, Yoruba, French and English) as well as her own personal language. After a childhood in Benin listening to traditional Beninese music as well as other world stars such as Fela Kuti, James Brown, Miriam Makeba, Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Masakela and Stevie Wonder, among others, she began her musical career in Benin before moving to Paris in 1983 where she was discovered and signed to a major label. She has put out at least 15 albums. She does various forms of advocacy for UNICEF, African girls' education, hunger and third world health, among other things. Bahia can be found on her 2002 album Black Ivory Soul, and on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Women of Africa (2004). This video is from a live performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Strange, Beautiful Bedfellows: Inflame and "9 Beats"

A mix of two traditions is featured in today's random song. 9 Beats is by Inflame, a New York City quartet that got together a few years ago and realized they had something with a combination of traditional flamenco and classical Indian music. Featuring mandolin, flamenco guitar, tabla, flamenco cajon and darbuka, Inflame creates a new sound that still sounds rooted in the traditional. 9 Beats can be found on Inflame's eponymous 2013 release.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gypsy Moths: The Barons of Tang and "St. Vitus Dance"

Today's song is by The Barons of Tang, a Melbourne, Australia based group that provide what they call "gypsy deathcore." Begun in 2007, they began performing for underground theater and circus troupes. After their initial performances, they began touring Australia and other parts of the world, bringing their eclectic mix of tango, rockabilly, metal and gypsy music. They are relentless in their touring, and their music certainly has an edge. You can find this song, St. Vitus Dance, on their 2010 release Knots and Tangles.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Christmas in Siberia: White Fort and "Svyatki"

Well, we are a little early for this song, but so what? It's a pretty good song! Svyatki! is by Russian duo White Fort, also known as Two Siberians. The do consists of Artyom Yakushenko on electric violin and Yuriy Matveyev on electric guitar. Actual Siberians, they won a festival award in Novasibirsk in 1986 as best new artists, which almost got them expelled from high school. In 1997, they captured the attention of an American producer while playing for vodka shots at a Moscow photography exhibit, who casually mentioned that they should make a recording in the US. He was surprised to get a call from them at JFK airport as they seriously took him up on his offer. No major label was willing to sign them, and they embarked on a club tour of the US and then financed their own CD, engaging a number of major jazz artists on the recording. They broke up in 2009, but reunited onstage in Moscow in 2012. Not long after that performance, their song 6/8 won first place in the instrumental category of the International Songwriting Competition. The win gave them new energy, and they began performing and touring again. Though it is almost impossible to find their original recordings in the United States save their lone US release (Out of Nowhere), they did release two Anglicized versions of their Russian albums Two Kings and 6/8 in the US, and they have recorded songs in Seattle for a coming release to be announced. Svyatki!, a Christmas song, can be found on their 2012 album 6/8.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Minting Hits: Noura Mint Seymali and "Tzenni"

Accompanied by her husband on guitar, with drums and bass (played upside down by recent random tunist Ousmane Tourè, Noura Mint Seymali belts out Tzenni in today's random tune. From Mauritania, Seymali is from a long line of griots (musician, songwriter, and messenger caste in many parts of Africa). Part of this tradition is the pedigree - Seymali's mother was the equivalent of a national star and her father wrote Mauritania's national anthem. Seymali has created a sound melding traditional Moorish sounds with pop and funk, slowly stripping away the trappings and leaving something uniquely essential in the music while augmenting it with her amazing singing. Tzenni can be found on her 2014 album of the same name.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What Dem: Hakan Türkürer and Ali Sural with "Dem"

Hakan Türkürer & Ali Sural bring today's random song, entitled Dem. I couldn't find much information on Türkürer, who I assume is the trumpeter, but Ali Sural is a well known Turkish musician, DJ and prodcer from Istanbul who began his professional career at 17. He has continued to compose, perform on stage, has put out at least one album and has had his works included in many compilations, including the one from which this song was taken, Istanbul Calling, Vol. 2 (2007).

Friday, October 23, 2015

An Unrequited Love: Capercaillie and "Am Buachaille Ban"

Today's song's theme is made up of heartrending lyrics of unrequited love. It is brought to you by Capercaille, a Scottish folk band formed in the 1980s. Capercaille are named after the Scottish wood grouse. They perform traditional Gaelic songs along with songs in English of their own composition or by others, and often mix traditional songs with modern recording techniques, rhythms and instrumentation. At first sticking fairly closely to traditional styles and instrumentation, in the 1980s they added funk bass lines, synthesizers and electric guitar to traditional songs. In 1992, their EP A Prince Among Islands was the first Gaelic language record to reach the top 40 of the UK singles charts They have since been moving back toward more traditional music while retaining a slight fusion sound. This song, A Buachaille Ban, is from their 1987 album Crosswinds,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Desecration: Razia and "Slash and Burn"

Today's song is by Razia Said, also known as Razia, who hails from Madagascar. Drawing on her African influences and incorporating R&B and jazz, she records many songs in the Malagasay language, and aims the point of her songs toward protection and preservation of Madagascar's environment. A self-proclaimed nomad who has lived in Africa, France, Italy, Ibiza, Bali and New York City, she entertains us here with her song Slash and Burn. Recorded in English, it is an indictment of some of the techniques used in Madagascar to clear forest land. Slash and Burn can be found on her 2010 album Zebu Nation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wassalou Groove: Fatoumata Diawara and "Bissa"

Fatoumata Diawara is a Malian musician born in the Ivory Coast and currently living in France. She initially moved to France to try acting, but later took up guitar and began composing music that mixed her native Wassalou music of southern Mali with international influences. She has appeared in eight films and has released one solo album, Fatou, in 2011. She has collaborated with artists such as Bobby Womack, AfroCubism and Dee Dee Bridgewater. This song, Bissa, can be found on her 2012 release Fatou.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

To the Grave: The Olllam and "The Tryst After Death"

The Olllam was created in 2012 by Northern Irish piper and whistler John McSherry, along with American musicians Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin. Their first album was created across the Atlantic through Skype, email and cellphone messages. They seem to channel at once Radiohead and Coldplay, along with The Bothy Band and Planxty. This song, The Tryst After Death, can be found on their 2012 debut album The Olllam.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Blazing New Trails: Juan Formell and Los Van Van with "Chapeando"

Chapeando is the title of today's random tune. The performers are Juan Formell and Los Van Van. Los Van Van is considered the most well-known post-revolutionary Cuban musical group and Formell is one of the most important figures in contemporary Cuban music. Formell formed Los Van Van in 1969 after breaking with Orquesta Revé where he had been musical director. Los Van Van infused Cuban son with elements of North American pop to try to capture the imagination of Cuba's younger generation. And it worked as the band gained commercial popularity by shattering previous formulaic restrictions on Cuban music. The band continued to innovate through the years, introducing new instrumentation, harmonies and arrangements never before used in Cuban music. In the 80s, Formell added trombones and was the first Cuban group to use synthesizers and drum machines. The band launched the careers of many well known Cuban artists today. Los Van Van continues to perform despite the death of Formell in 2014. Chapeando can be found on their 2005 album of the same name.