But I can't choose where the blame should lie. So instead, some news and music for you.
The whole challenge was to present it as if this was some kind of contemporary music, not something that only somebody who was interested in something far away and "exotic" would be interested in. That sometimes worked. It didn't always work. Sometimes the European and North American public like some things to be exotic and kept at arm's length. They don't want sometimes to know that foreign artists are doing something that's at least as relevant as what's being done here. But I think that's changed a lot in the last 20 years or so.
That's David Byrne in an interview largely about the re-release of the 1981 Byrne-Eno album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Read the interview at Pitchfork.
We're not going to get into the politics of the Middle East this morning, but we'll do the music. Like Brazilian-born Elisete, who sent this note:
Because of the sad situation we are having here I decided to give a song from my first CD 'Luar e cafe' for free download. The name of the song is 'Lifaamim'. I wrote this song in the year 2003 and I'm astonished at how much it is actual these days... I hope you enjoy it.
[mp3] Elisete: "Lifaamim"
Elisete's website is www.elisete.com, and her music is available at CDbaby.
Over to Bollywood now, where the superhero everyone's talking about isn't from Krypton or afflicted with spider bites. No, it's Krrish. It's a follow-up to the blockbuster film Koi Mil Gaya, which was billed as the first Bollywood science fiction movie. (While hugely entertaining, that film had very little science to accompany its fantasy/fiction.).
Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) is born with magical powers - a legacy from his father, Rohit Mehra. Priya (Priyanka Chopra) comes into his life and becomes his world. When she beckons him to Singapore, he follows. In Singapore, Dr.Siddhant Arya (Naseeruddin Shah), the megalomaniac scientist is on the verge of changing the future forever. Only one man stands between Dr. Arya and his destructive dreams. To block his ruthless ambitions...Krishna must become KRRISH.
Can't wait to see it.
Finally, I mentioned Denmark. here's one of the bands I've been listening to, called Oriental Mood. How could you resist a track that begins with beatboxing and flows into Middle Eastern percussion? Oh, and Johnny Kalsi (of the Afro Celts) plays with them. Have a listen, and visit them at oriental-mood.dk
[mp3] Oriental Mood: "On Para Etmes" (60 sec. sample)
Okay, one more since I teased you about Tuva. The group Chirgilchin will be in town tomorrow for an afternoon singing workshop and evening performance at the historic Capitol Theater. Chirgilchin is one of the up-and-coming young groups from the land known for its overtone singing, and I'm eager to see them.
[mp3] Chirgilchin: "Khoomeige Yoreel"
From the album Collectible. Tour info and CDs available at tuvatrader.com
Time to sneak off and practice your throat-singing....