In your quest to find new and interesting music from all over the planet, one of the best places to start is Calabash music and its affiliates, including the Spin the Globe Music Store. With world music as their focus, not an afterthought, it's a haven for global listeners. Check out the free mp3 downloads twice a week and the samples of nearly every song in their catalog before purchasing. The "recently added" section includes music by the likes of Kiran Ahluwalia (Canada/India), Bembeya Jazz (Guinea), Koffi Olomide (Congo), Jane Fostin (French Zouk), Cris Afalo (Brazil), and Nortec Collective (Mexico). The download process could use some fine tuning, but I'm always finding something new and interesting there, often browsing by country. They're not big enough to be a threat to iTunes, but they're big enough to have lots of interesting global music.
mp3: Interview with Calabash founder Brad Powell on Well Rounded Radio
Another exploratory tool I've been using recently is the Hype Machine. It is a convenient round-up of many recently publish mp3 blog postings. Like the population at large, you'll find it largely consumed with the big hits of the day. Also included are bloggers posting more obscure music, including rarities, oldies, and yes, world music. A quick glance at current postings shows tracks by Hula, Johnny Cash, Feist, Doris Day, Sudden Death, Massive Attack, Duran Duran.... If you don't mind doing a little sifting, it's a great way to discover new blogs and new music.
I mentioned my interview with Charlie Gillett the other day - you can hear/download the whole 2-hour radio show for the next week or so. Or go to Spin the Globe's "Listen" page to listen to interviews without all the surrounding music.
And one last blog lament: One of my all-time favorite mp3 blogs is Benn loxo du taccu, a stellar source of info and tunes from Africa. But author Matt seems AWOL, with just three postings in November and none since Nov. 11. Matt -we miss you. Come back!