Musical Masala

Meaning I have a number of little notes on topics I wish to cover this week, and they'll all be mixed together in  what I hope will be a somewhat spicy fashion. Get your mortar and pestle ready and start roasting those seeds. Roast each one separately!  They do not cook at the same rate!  (I really do make my own garam masala -- it's fun and stinks up the house in a rather great way.  But that's another story.)  And we did have Indian food for supper tonight...


Anyway, in no particular order.

I woke up today feeling somehow like the winter torpor season is really gone and it's time to get moving; in my case to think about my garden and my orchard and repainting the back porch and a million other things.  We're really starting to crank out at the greenhouse (my day job) and the thaw is happening (for the second time this spring) and the days are really getting longer.  With all that in mind, I give you today's blog soundtrack, "Un Canto A Mi Tierra" from Quantic and his Combo Barbaro, with the amazing Nidia Gongora on vocals.  It's another great Pacifico anthem via the west coast of Colombia.  You could translate that as "a song to my earth" or "a tribute to my land" but I am thinking of earth in the sense of soil, because that's the level where I interface with it.  Anyway, there are other vids with better sound quality (new window so you can keep reading) of this track, but I like the energy and the dancing in the live one here. When the horns go down and she starts to rock with all the percussion, can you stop yourself from turkey necking or at least head bobbing ?  No way!  Spring is here.  Love your land!  Whee!




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Regular readers may have noticed that I have been going on and on about music from Colombia for the last little while.  Old stuff from the Discos Fuentes label, new stuff like Choc Quib Town and Bomba Estereo. (Er...and Quantic and Nidia Gongora...) Sorry, it's just one of the epicenters for global roots music right now (along with anything from the MidEast) and I'm just trying to keep up.  Feeling a little overwhelmed by all the genres and rhythms?  Can't remember exactly what a cumbia is?  If you've got an hour, Georges Collinet and the Afropop Worldwide crew sort it all out rather nicely in the special extended podcast link.  In the process they cover a number of bands that I have mentioned in this space and plenty of others besides from all over Latin America and a few from the U.S.  If you don't think you have an hour, just head to the page and scroll through the extensive list of bands including links and videos.  They have the resources to globe trot so we can sit at home with our computers and our earbuds.  Enjoy!  Lots of fun stuff here.

Bomba Estereo at Latin Alternative Conference

Don't forget the Bomba Estereo show at the Cedar is less than two months away.  Although I am a winter lover and all around cold weather type of gal, for some reason I am hoping for a mini heat wave the night of Sunday, May 15.  It just needs to be one of those sweaty tropical nights!  No, you will not be able to sit down.

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You know all those -- OK, well, both  of those, posts I wrote about cello music last month?  Seems like the local classical cello community is going avant garde as well.  Members of the Bakken Trio put on a conert of "cello ensembles and solos as heard on YouTube"  which ended in a big cello jam session of Apocolyptica tunes.  (scroll down to the March 20 lineup at their link. )  Jelloslave joined in the fun over at the MacPhail Center and I was very sorry to miss it.  Because I was here at the Cedar working for the East Meets West concert featuring Subhendra and Saskia Rao -- in which she played a modified cello.

Exciting news for lovers of the out there cello thing: we just booked Zoe Keating!  The cello loop goddess and her Mac and pedals comes to the Cedar Wednesday, May 18.  Opener not yet confirmed but I have my fingers crossed about a certain local trio featuring a cello, guitar and human beat box/loop artist which I raved about in one of the aforementioned posts...

zoe keating with more hair


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I would not call the Balkans the hot world music epicenter any more although lots of fun and high energy music still comes out of Eastern Europe. To wit, Asphalt Tango's promotional campaign for the tour they're calling Balkan Brass Battle.  The tour is Fanfare Ciocarlia from rural Transylvania and urban Serbs the Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra, and they are playing it up the rivalry in a big way,  Rumble in the Jungle style. The posters are funny, but the videos are even better.  If you have a few minutes, this clip has some great brass (of course), a dose of poking fun at rural Gypsy stereoypes (the chicken and the drum??), some big city attitude in tight jeans and a whole lot of swagger all around.  After my night of running back and forth to keep Mahala Rai Banda happy and well fed and beverage-d at Global Roots Fest 2010, I send out a hearty "good luck with that" to whomever is doing hospitality for this pack of wild men on tour.  P.S. Free downloads at the links above.

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I have been called "ornery" and things worse than ornery for my stubbornness on the issue, but most of my friends just say "Really?!  Why not?" when they realize I am a Facebook Resister.  They don't buy my excuse that I have plenty of ways to waste time online already...ummm, like this blog, perhaps?  In some ways it's gotten to the point  where it would be easier to just give in and make a Facebook page.  Sure would make it easier to keep up with bands since nobody updates their Myspace pages anymore.  Including me. 

OK, it's getting a little silly, but that somehow makes my determination stronger to NOT GIVE IN.  WIll. not. submit. to Facebook Empire.  Must resist.  Know what happens when you google the phrase "facebook resister?"  It directs you to a whole lot of hits to register for Facebook!  Is resistance futile?

Fun stats about social networking sites to mull over here.  And you can call me whatever names you like.  It's still more fun to resist.  Ha!

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One other non-music comment, then I am off sports for the next six month or longer.  The new TV thing really took a lot of the fun out of March Madness this year.  Boooo!  Gone are the frenzied cuts from thrilling finish to last minute bucket, racing from game to game across regions.  Instead we got each game on a different channel, three of the four channels on cable and a lot more talking head sports analysis and commercials.  Inevitably the hot games were on cable for the first three rounds. Hey!  If I wanted to watch all of one game I'd put it on the computer, OK?  Anyway, love ya VCU Rams, but I think it's Butler's turn to go all the way.  (But don't tell my Kentucky native hoops-watching pal neighbor I wrote that.)

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That post on vinyl blogs I put up a few weeks ago?  The tippiest tip of the tip of the iceberg, people!  Many of these bloggers are starting to put up links to their fave vinyl bloggers.  African, Latin, punk, whatever...somebody somehere's putting their whole record collection on line and telling you all about it.  Start at the ever popular Global Groovers and see where his pals lead you. Scroll down on the left to "latest pal posts." Rabbit hole indeed.  Didn't I just say I already have plenty of ways to waste time online already?

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Just a couple weeks until the U.S. release of the first new Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo disc in 20 years.  The European release Tuesday had the reviewers humming already.   Mmmm.  The track I heard sounds good.  Not as raw as my fave early Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo stuff, but I love it that the new material was all recorded on analog equipment.  Can't wait! 



Ooooh, look what else Strut's got on tap!  Wasn't I just wishing for more information on Ghana's Afro-beat great Ebo Taylor the other week?  They are putting out a retrospective next month.  The new material of his they released last year  is great, but I have been searching for more of his 1970's output. Yay! Thank you, Strut records.

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Not to end on a downer, but Veronica Fever's posting of the folk song about Chernobyl last week made me feel like I had to put up the Ukrainians who were kids at that time saying their piece about it.  I am referring, of course, to brassy rockin' brave boys in Haydamaky. The news from Japan slowly gets more worrisome, but I sure hope we'll never see anything like this again.  There are some images here that never made it across the Iron Curtain back in the day ( and I don't mean lead singer  Oleksandr Yarmola's Captain Kirk thing; he always seems to take his shirt off somewhere in their videos.)  This is powerful and sobering stuff. Here's " Meni Zdaetsia" in memory of the clean up workers who never came back.



 This band not only rocks very hard, they are great cultural ambassadors.  Peace and global understanding through loud brass-n-accordion music!

So get yourself out under the blue sky today. Blue above and gold below, just like the Ukrainian flag, but here the gold is dead grass, not endless sunflower fields.