SoundRoots / Spin The Globe
Top 10 World Music Albums - January 2007
1.Ojos de Brujo: Techari
2. Samba Squad: Batuque
3. Forro in the Dark: Bonfires of Sao Joao
4. Ismael Lo: Senegal
5. Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective: Watina
6. Tartit: Abacabok
7. Vieux Farka Toure: Vieux Farka Toure
8. Chambao: Pokito a Poko
9. Vajas: Sacred Stone
10. Boom Pam: Boom Pam
World Music Tidbits:
Last weekend's 3rd annual World Sacred Music Festival featured stunning performances, and I feel sorry for the folks who stayed home to watch what I understand was a dismal Super Bowl game. I'll try to refrain from saying "nyah, nyah, nah nyah, nyah!"
Favela Chic: An acquaintance recently told me she prefers resorts to third-world villages because she doesn't like her vacations tinged with guilt. She would undoubtedly shudder at the rich but emotionally powerful vacations some are choosing. I keep running across articles on tourism in South African townships (Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor), for example. In fact, Johannesburg provides a handy Tourist Guide to Visiting Soweto. The favelas of Rio are also luring tourists (Christian Science Monitor).
We've been greatly enjoying the CBC TV series "Little Mosque on the Prairie," a light but smart look at a small Canadian prairie town dealing in various ways with Muslims in their midst. There's the ignorant, incendiary radio host, the shallow mayor, a helpful older Anglican minister (and the mosque's landlord), and a variety of Muslims including the open-minded but inexperienced imam, older immigrants from Nigeria, Pakistan, and Lebanon, and a Canadian woman convert. The characters (at least the Muslim ones) are developing some depth, and the clever writing makes religion funny again. When told to keep certain things to himself so as not to offend Christians coming to a mosque open house, Pakistani Baber Siddiqui says "They'll think we're wierd? They drink the blood of Christ!" You can catch some clips at the show's website.
The results of the pop-oriented World Song Festival 2006 are out, though not of much interest to fans of world music with real roots.
Finally, we've been inundated recently with people touting new technologies and such. What do they want you to know? Among other things, that there's a new flash music player called MOG, with content focusing on roots, rock, and reggae (what, no ragas?); there's a new peer-to-peer thing out called GigaTribe; and the Guardian shares a list of where to download music legally. Other suggestions removed for your mental protection.