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.