A New Groove
¬†World music pioneering label Putumayo gets hip with its Groove series this time paying homage to bedroom DJs and producers who have broken beyond the confines of obscurity often in part to innovation and the Internet. With artists from around the world you need to only plug in to travel the planet. My picks: Radio Citizen‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Hop,‚ÄĚ K-os‚Äô ‚ÄúCrabbuckit‚ÄĚ Alice Russell‚Äôs ‚ÄúHigh Up On The Hook,‚ÄĚ The Cat Empire‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Lost Song‚ÄĚ and Bitter:Sweet‚Äôs ‚ÄúDirty Laundry.‚ÄĚErich Kunzel
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
¬†From delightful whimsy to orchestral full-stop drama and plenty of emotion turns and twists between ‚Äď the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Erich Kunzel again delivers a passionate and full helping of classical treats from Russia‚Äôs best known composers. My picks: ‚ÄúOverture To Russian And Ludmilla,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúII. Variazoni,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIII. Alborada,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIV. Scena Canto Gitano,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúLove Theme From Spartacus,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúRussian Dance (Trepak) From The Nutcracker, Op. 71,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúPolonaise From Boris Godunov‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Music Box, Op. 32.‚ÄĚAndy Palacio &
The Garifuna Collective
¬†Instantly transporting to another time and place is the enchanting and fluid modern-ancient Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective preserving and performing the near extinct Garifuna rhythms and language. The Garifuna, in Central America were formed when two slave ships filled with West Africans sunk of the coast of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in 1635. The culture had all but disappeared when Andy Palacio ran into an old Garifunan man and was inspired to revive the original musical heritage rather than turn to technological music methods. Like a Mariachi caller beckoning all to dance the soulful poetry is part celebration part remembrance and all deeply enriched. My picks: ‚ÄúWeyu L√°rigi Weyu (Day by Day),‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúBaba (Father),‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúGag√°nbadib√° (Take Advice),‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúAy√≥ Da (Goodbye My Dear)‚ÄĚ and ‚Äú√Āmeuyeng√ľ (In Times to Come).‚ÄĚBen Bowen King
¬†Have a yearning for old-timey, porch sittin‚Äô, guitar pickin‚Äô Southern comfort? Want to dig up some of the roots popularized by Jack of the White Stripes? Then look no further than Ben Bowen King‚Äôs homage to the Southern masters of sidewalk guitar ministry on Sidewalk Saints where he documents and shares the story of pre-World War II gospel music that was the sidewalk saints. Named for the gospel music played on the sidewalks and street corners of the Midwest and South, some only played gospel and others would play the gospel only when they needed to in front of church folks or police and then switch back to blues, Black gospel, ragtime jazz or even Appalachian ballads. The instrument of choice was the resonator or National Steel Guitar made of brass that had a natural speaker sound and would carry above the street noise. Performers would sometimes play for hours to raise gas money being extraordinarily creative to use the instrument as the lead and choir to save their voice and would switch songs mid-sentence to suit the next listeners walking by. The art form was all but wiped out by store owners and politicians cleaning up the streets of performers in the shopping districts but when the music disappeared so did the shoppers. My picks: ‚ÄúWill The Circle Be Unbroken,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúSatan-Surely Your Evil Empire Will Fall Someday,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúShall We Gather At The River,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúBathe In The Jordan,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúBlessed Be The Name‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúAmazing Grace.‚ÄĚMalajube
¬†Sonic washes and walls of shimmering wahs wahs punctuated with lyrical percussion, dreamy French post-mod rockers and lilting leanings of Romanticism share a shifting bed with balls to walls noise rockers. Buckle up for a bumpy ride and bring a towel for Montreal‚Äôs indie rock quartet Malajube. My picks: ‚ÄúP√Ęte Filo,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúLa Monogamie,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúLa Russe,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúFille √Ä Plumes,‚ÄĚ ‚Äú√Čtienne D‚Äôao√Ľt‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúSt-Fortunat.‚ÄĚ Gig alert! Malajube defines French indie-rock freedom March 2 @ San Francisco‚Äôs The Independent as part of the Noise Pop Festival.Naked Rhythm
¬†Dubby Mid-East polyrhythms dance along cinematic and fluid percussive symphonies for a glorious world music lounge tour from hip-hop to breakbeats, house and beyond. Production duo Alex Spurkel and Avi Sills combine forces to serve up remixes of traditional music and original tracks that draw from Middle-Eastern, Indian, Latin, and Brazilian influences. Think Circe du Soliel for the hip club set.
My picks: ‚ÄúBabylon,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúSandstorm,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúMoon Over Ala Nar,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúMirage,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDeep Lotus‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúGypsy Majik.‚ÄĚHella
There‚Äôs No 666
In Outer Space
¬†Want to get rid of a neighbor or roommate ‚Äď maybe even a relative? Hella will do the trick with a cacophony of acid-metal neo-psychedelic full-frontal rock drama spoiling the troubled waters with an aesthetic for chaos and angsty unsettled driving fury. Then the experimental noise rock kicks in... My picks: ‚ÄúFriends Don‚Äôt Let Friends Win,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThe Things That People Do When They Think No One‚Äôs Looking,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúHand That Rocks The Cradle,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúAnarchists Just Wanna Have Fun‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs No 666 In Outer Space.‚ÄĚ Gig alert! Hella kicks down the doors Feb 28 @ SF‚Äôs Bottom of The Hill.
Women Of The World
¬†In part to celebrate International Women‚Äôs Day on March 8th and also to raise funds for the Global Fund For Women (www.GlobalFundForWomen.org) to promote and defend human rights of women and girls around the world Putumayo releases another women of the world compilation on the acoustic tip with some of the leading female artists from around the planet. Celebrating the traditions of women making history as they struggle for equality, justice, peace and development, Women Of The World offers a rich and fulfilling trip into the deep swells of passion that lurks within the acoustic soul that‚Äôs within the heartbeat of women around the world. My picks: Marta Topferova‚Äôs ‚ÄúGrano De Arena,‚ÄĚ Emiliana Torrini‚Äôs ‚ÄúSunnyroad,‚ÄĚ Luca Mundaca‚Äôs ‚ÄúNao Se Apavare,‚ÄĚ Lura‚Äôs ‚ÄúBida Mariadu,‚ÄĚ Mona‚Äôs ‚ÄúSekna‚ÄĚ and The Wailin‚Äô Jennys‚Äô ‚ÄúOne Voice.‚ÄĚ