Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
For even casual visitors to these pages—and for all other music obsessives to boot—this coming weekend, October 22-24, should be considered nothing less than the highest holy days of the year. You see, the annual WFMU Record Fair is set to kick off this Friday (opening at 7pm for the merely obsessed; 4pm for the pathologically obsessed) and will run right through to Sunday at 7pm. My advice to you is to tune in to WFMU for the rest of the week and jot down the name of every mind-blowing track you hear. (Keep an extra pencil handy.) Then, take your list the record fair and see how many gems you can dig up.
Sure, we miners here at the Motherlode claw away at the rocky substrata searching for music so you don't have to, but don't get complacent. The Record Fair is a fund-raiser for WFMU and represents a significant source of much-needed $$ for the station (and Beware of the Blog, too). So, be sure to make it if you can. For information about the fair or maybe even to offer your volunteer services, please email the station.
Now, let us pray...
Bezunesh Bekele ~ "Greatest Hits"
No Addis Respect
Anyone know if the world-class Ethiopian long-distance runner Bezunesh Bekele is related to the late, deeply soulful singer of the same name? Beginning in the 1950s, Bekele was a tremendously popular vocalist well into the mid-'70s, when she was often backed by the Imperial Body Guard band. (I read on one site that, after the 1974 revolution Bekele and other top singers were forced to sing with military bands.) For a few more of her songs, check out Volume #13 of the Ethiopiques Series from Buda Musique. Praises to FreedomBlues for reposting this two-year-old offering from the Decent Island Albums blog.
E Zezi ~ "Tammurriata dell'Alfasud"
(Blog: Italian Folk Music)
I've long adored the Lyrichord release Pummarola Black from these Neapolitan purveyors of musical agitprop. Apparently there's a culture of street performance amongst labor groups in the unions of Naples. This troupe of Fiat workers is now clanging, banging and sanging into its third decade.
Unidentified Brass Band ~ "Lao Duang Duean"
Another stellar post from Peter at the mighty Monrakplengthai. Much of the music on this cassette was performed using standard Western marching band instrumentation. In fact, the tunes sound like the ideal accompaniment to a far-out halftime show at the local high school football game. (Imagine the uniforms!) The standout numbers here feature traditional Thai wind and percussion instruments playing hypnotic, droning lines over plodding brass blowing. Glorious!
Various ~ "Classical Music of India"
(Blog: Anthems for the Nation of Luobaniya)
Along with the stunning Ocora releases from Radio France, Nonesuch's old series of Explorer recordings offers among the most pleasing, informative, and wide-ranging investigations of music from across the planet. Inexplicably, this album represents one of the few in the Nonesuch vaults yet to be reissued. I have always treasured this record most for one particular performance it contains, a magical jaltarang (tuned water bowls) solo that sounds like no other music I've ever heard.
Various ~ "Musical Fever 1967 - 1968"
(Blog: Global Grooves)
Released in 1989 as part of the Producer Series from Trojan Records, this double-album set delivers more than two dozen obscure late '60s tracks, including one of the only known records by Bumps Oakley, a song by Jacob "Killer" Miller when he was only 13, and the fab '60s comp Rock Steady Coxsone Style in its entirety.
Listen to my radio show Give the Drummer Some—Tuesdays 6-7pm, on WFMU and Fridays 9 to noon—on WFMU's web stream Give the Drummer Radio.
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