29 November 2007

Island Surf Holiday

SoundRoots loves its readers! All of you! But today we're thinking particularly of those of you on the islands of the world. Yes, in addition to all of us mainlanders, the tubes of the Internet cross the vast oceans to reach places like Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Iceland, Mauritius, even a few places we're not sure we've heard of.

www.SoundRoots.org visitor map - islands!
And while there's probably minimal surfing going on in Iceland this season (or has global warming progressed that far?!?!), islands make us think of surfing. Combine that with the holiday season, and what elseBlame It On Christmas CD could you get but a traditional carol done up in surf-guitar fashion? My friends, I give you...

[mp3] Monty, Dale, & the 2 x 2's: The Lil' Endless Summer Boy
from the album Blame It On Christmas
(1995, Schoolkids Records)

This album apparently is out of print, but it's worth finding. Also includes gems like "That Swingin' Manger" and "Shlepp the Halls with Loaves of Hallah" (which we shared earlier).

27 November 2007

Dancing Dreydls

Hanukkah doesn't start until sundown Dec. 4, but after yesterday's Nutcracker posting, I just couldn't get this out of my head. So you get it a little early.Shirim - Klezmer Nutcracker

Based on the same Tchaikovsky piece as the big-band-jazz song posted yesterday, this takes the original in a very different and delightful direction. Arranger Michael McLaughlin squeezes all manner of klezmer stuff into this, from pinched clarinet to swinging brass and that characteristic Middle-Eastern beat. I don't really have an explanation for the banjo...is that somehow more common in klezmer than I've been led to believe?

Anyway, enjoy this piece. Listen to it next to yesterday's Ellington. Compare and contrast. I'll expect a brief, pithy essay by the end of the day tomorrow (or at least your thoughtful comments).

[mp3] Shirim: Dance of the Dreydls
from Klezmer Nutcracker - also available at CDbaby

Like the Ellington disc, Shirim adds some other tunes after the seven Nutcracker adaptations, in this case similar klezmerifications of Mahler, Satie, Brahms, Chopin, and other tunes. All good, but the Nutcracker part is still my favorite. I think someplace there's a CD of a live performance of this complete with narration.

26 November 2007

Mondays mp3: Sacred Ellington

Duke Ellington - Three SuitesI'm off in a minute to the benefit concert for the World Sacred Music Festival, so this is a very brief posting. In case you can't get to the show, here's a little taste. The Jazz Senators will be playing Duke Ellington's version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite (it's first live performance in Olympia!), as well as klezmer and holiday tunes.

I'm not a huge fan of the original Nutcracker, perhaps because of oversaturation. But I like Ellington's version almost as much as I like Shirim's Klezmer Nutcracker (about which, more on a future date).

[mp3] Duke Ellington: Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of The Reed-Pipes)
from Three Suites

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23 November 2007

Sacred World Music: Spin The Globe playlist 23 NOV 2007

The Evergreen campus was silent the morning of Black Friday -- not a soul in sight amid the frost-encrusted lawns and trees clinging to their last few leaves. But the chimerical allure of consumerist nirvana doesn't stop the radio. Indeed, I'd much rather be broadcasting good music than fighting crowds at the mall.
So the show went on with a mix of sacred world music in the first hour and wider variety in the second hour. I've raved before about the Kobo Town CD Independence; again on this day their lyrics ring true but sometimes forgotten facts about each of us:

Urban Autumn - photo (c) 2007 Scott Allan Stevens, earball visionsthey whisper in your ears, play your fears,
summon smiles, conjure tears,
but you're still the image of the Most High
no matter how you look in their eyes
so don't let them seduce you
don't let them reduce you
don't let them define you
never let them refine you
you are more than you consume
much more than you presume
more than others might assume
beautiful soul
--Kobo Town, "Beautiful Soul"

(If you missed the show you can listen or download the show archive below.)

Artist - Song - Album
hour 1
Mercan Dede - Gunes Dogudan Dogar - 800
Savina Yannatou - Ah Mon Die - Virgin Maries of the World
Kosher Red Hots - Avram Avinu / Our Father Abraham - One With Everything On It
Tendai Muparutsa - Nyama Yekugocha - Zimbabwe Acoustics
Svetilen Enesmble - By the Waters of Babylon - My Soul, Rise Up!
Jai Uttal - Radhe Govinda - Dial M for Mantra
Unidentified artists - Arranque de Condor - Celebrating Divinity in the High Andes
Hans Raj Hans - Nit Khair Manga - Sufi Music from India
Dave Stringer with Dasi Karnamrita - Aja Uttama - Divas & Devas
Alash - Dynggyldia - Alash
Gonchime - Borobudur - Gongchime
Duke Ellington - Danse of the Floreadores - Thaikovsky: Nutcracker Suites

hour 2
Cheick Hamala Diabate & Bob Carlin - Baba Cissoko - From Mali to America
Youssou N’Dour - 4-4-44 - Rokku Mi Rokka
Sidh - La Ilah illa Allah - Lila
Naqqara & Salsabil - Hareket - Oriental Percussion, Rhythms & Music
Taoist Music Orchestra of the Shanghai City God Temple - Xianhua Ji / Flower Offering Hymn - Chinese Taoist Music
Kobo Town - Beautiful Soul - Independence
Sola Akingbola - Olukumi / My Friend - Routes to Roots
The Afromotive - Scare Tactics - Scare Tactics
Tango No. 9 - Here Live No Fish - Here Live No Fish
Zuco 103 - Duele Le Le - Whaa!
Tacheles Klezmer Company - Trink Bruder - Balkan Reggae
Bombay Rockers - Ari Ari Part II - Outsourced Soundtrack
SONiA & Disappear Fear - Porque Estamos Aqui - Tango

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20 November 2007

Global Sounds, Global Visions

You know I don't like blogs that are bloated with embedded youtubisms, and you won't find that at SoundRoots. But there are some good and worthy videos out there, and here's a roundup of some you can view online.

Tinariwen are still on tour, with performances still to come in Sherbrooke QC, Montreal QC, Quebec City QC, Boston MA, Burlington VT, New York NY, and Santa Fe NM. For a taste of their sound and look, check out this Tinariwen video.

[mp3] Tinariwen: Mano Dayak
from Aman Iman: Water Is Life (Outside Music)

Buy at iTunes Music Store

And yet more global videos:

Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers (really amazing!)
Hermeto Pascoal & other semi-naked Brazilian men making music in a river (another favorite)
Forro in the Dark: Forrowest
Gabriela Mendes: Tradiciao
Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Sarah McLachlan on Jay Leno
Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble: Talking Gongs
Huun Huur Tu live in Munich, Germany

and you can find a heap of Mauritanian videos of various quality -- including music videos of Malouma, Daby Toure, and Dimi Mint Abby -- here (the site also has videos from other African nations)

I don't actually receive Link TV, but I know people who do, and it sounds wonderful. Here are their Best Video Finds for 2007 -- just click the link to view the video.

Manu Chao "Rainin' in Paradize" (Spain/France) The color and pacing is bright and fast in this animated video and images fly by almost too quickly to register. It adds up to a visual approximation of how we are bombarded by world news, reflecting the lyric itself.

Abjeez "Eddeaa" (Iran/Sweden) The Iranian sisters Melodi and Safoura Safavi send up some Farsi Ska that pokes fun of the cultural pretensions of the older generation of Persians.

Rabbi Shergil "Bulla Ki Jana" (India) This was an immense hit for Shergil. Although it is a pure pop setting of words by the great Sufi Poet Baba Bulleh Shah, Shergil injects just enough traditional ornament into his singing to anchor it firmly in India.

Maui y los Serenidos "Para no Pensar a Nada" (Spain) This flamenco fusion group from Granada created a charming video with the help of friends. Small budget, big Art. The way we like 'em.

Gotan Project "Diferente" (Argentina/France)The doppelganger concept is milked for all its worth in this tightly knit video that quite literally mirrors the way tango partners must each be one half of a whole.

Richard Galiano "Michelangelo" (France) Beautifully shot and recorded, this performance video captures the dynamic interaction between players as they whip their way through one of Astor Piazzola's classic Nuevo Tangos.

Enver Ismailov "D'Enver Blues" (Ukraine) Truly a guitar wizard, Ismailov references Indian tabla vocalise, Balkan dance rhythms and a battery of foot pedals in this amazing excerpt from the Mamakabo festival in Russia.

Kou Chou Ching "Black Heart" (Taiwan) This video was completely created on a computer, and has a timely message about the impact of runaway capitalism on the quality of goods, and ultimately, the quality of life.

Dadawa "In the Setting of the Sun" (China) This is probably the most aesthetically adventurous video of the sequence. The song is hypnotic
and ambient, and the images seem to come right off a Chinese lacquered

Estrella Morente "Zambra" (Spain) Spanish Director Fernando Trueba lavished much love on this video. It has the chiaroscuro of 17th century Spanish painting, and is a perfect setting for Flamenco --and for Morente's brooding, passionate persona.

Zulya and the Children of the Underground "Children of the Underground" (Russia) A retro animation style bolsters the sense of nostalgia in this bittersweet song about the Moscow Metro.

La Mano Ajena "Aves Errantes" (Chile) Another example of a low budget/high creativity video, the song starts out whimsical, but packs a topical punch about the plight of immigrants at the end.

Finally, as long as you're watching videos, take a few minutes to watch this engaging and thoughtful proposal to approach human-induced climate change from a risk-management angle: How It All Ends

19 November 2007

Monday's mp3: Giving Thanks Interfaithfully

Yesterday I attended an interfaith Thanksgiving celebration featuring music, chant, and prayers from many faith traditions. It was inspiring, and is still in my mind this morning as I enter a new week that's capped by the great holiday of gratitude this Thursday.

In that spirit, today's posting has interfaith aspects. For one, the Sufis are undoubtedly an open-minded bunch. And this track, taken from a compilation of Sufi music put out by Shanachie in 1999, features Sufi music from a Hindu musician. Don't ask me to explain the theological delicacies of that; just breath deeply and enjoy.Zen Mountains - (c)Scott Allan Stevens, www.earball.net

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

Land of the SufisKirshan Lal Bheel, the liner notes tell us, is a Bheel musician from the desert of Cholestan, adjacent to Rajasthan. "He sings Hindu Bhajans in praise of Krishna with equal conviction as the verses of the Muslim saints. Here, he picks up the mystical love story of Omar and the Marvi which was sung in its most famous version by Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit, the most important Sufi saint of Sindh, in a local variant in the Marwari language spoken in the Cholestan desert.

[mp3] Kirshan Lal Bheel: Song Of Shah Abdul Latif 'Omar Andi Marvi Kujo Allaa Dee Ahhee'
from the album Land of the Sufis: Soul Music from the Indus Valley

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16 November 2007

South of the Border: STG playlist 16 NOV 2007

Spin the Globe Playlist for 16 November 2007
heard on KAOS-fm or streaming live
Correo Aereo
Music from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Cuba, and beyond in the first hour of this week's show, followed by more global wandering in hour 2.

hour 1
Color Tango de Roberto Alvarez - Yunta de Oro - Tango a Pugliese vol. 3
Maria Rita - Cria - Samba Meu
DJ Bitman - Black Bossa - Latin Bitman
Percentie Brothers - Goombay Drum - Putumayo Presents Calypso
Federico Aubele - Pena - Tango Around the World
Gloria Estefan - Lo Nuestro - 90 Millas
Correo Aereo - Al Son de la Tambora - Lo Que Me Dijo El Viento
Orishas - A Lo Cubano - A Lo Cubano
Upground - Recumbia - Feel the Vibe
Lataye - Sa w Fe Pou Yo - Tou Manbre
Guinga - Di Menor - Dialetto Carioca
SambaDa - Baiana - Salve a Bahia
Gabriel Moura - Tem Fila - Brazilian Playground
Los Destellos - Para Elisa - Roots of Chicha
Aterciopelados - Cruz de Sal - Oye

hour 2
Bafo Bafo - Manje - Jiving to the Weekend Beat
Reem Kelani - Sprinting Gazelle - Sprinting Gazelle
MC Rai - Hen’alina - Raivolution
Habib Koite & Bamada - N’tesse / I Cannot - Afriki
A Filial - Camina - New Sounds of Rio De Janeiro
Mynta - Red Departure - Teabreak
Taraf de Haidouks - Asturias - Maskarada
Baka Beyond & Baka Gbine - Sad Among Strangers - Baka Live
Youssou N’Dour - Lett Ma / Indecision - Rokku Mi Rokka / Give and Take
Tabu Ley Rochereau - Mbanda Nayei - The Voice of Lightness
Geraldo Pino & the Heartbeats - Heavy Heavy Heavy - Heavy Heavy Heavy

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12 November 2007

Mondays mp3: Ska Mitzva

It started out as a wildly stormy day: cold, windy, rainy. But then I was asked to fill in this afternoon. Another chance to share global tunes? Of course, I said yes. So below is a bonus playlist. Sorry, no audio archive for this bonus show, but I'll share one piece of it, an under-appreciated and very fun Jewish ska tune.

King Django is the musical alter-identity of Jeff Baker, who's been part of a number of NYC ska bands and record labels. And the song? Let's turn to the King himself, in an israelbeat interview:

[W]hen Stubborn All Stars were signed to Profile Records, the guy that signed us had asked me if I wanted to make a Stubborn All Stars Christmas record. And I just told him, naa, I can't make a Christmas record because I'm Jewish. About a week later I was in the office doing some stuff and he came over to me and he said 'I've got it!' And I was like what do you mean? He said, 'Ska-Mitzvah!' I was looking at him like, what are you talking about? And he said, you know, remember I asked you to do that Christmas record? Well why don't you make a Jewish ska record instead. And I said, 'that's an awesome idea'. And that's basically how that record was born.

[mp3] King Django: Ska Mitzvah
from the 1998 album King Django’s Roots & Culture

King Django's website

And the playlist for today's bonus radio show:

Hour 1
Shukar Collective - Oh Girl - Rromatek
Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara - Naafigi - Soul Science
DJ Bitman - Me Gustan - Latin Bitman
James Whetzel - Everything Strange - Subcontinental Palmwine Electro Live
Ojos de Brujo - Tiempo de Solea - Bari
Michael Spiro & Michael Williams - Butsu Mutandari / Iyesa - BataMbira
Setsubun Bean Unit - Tsugaru Jinku - Setsubun Bean Unit
King Django - Ska Mitzva - King Django’s Roots & Culture
Taj Weekes & Adowa - Orphans Cry - Deidem EP
Tendai Muparutsa - Nyamaropa / Ngomakurira - Zimbabwe Acoustics
Dazibao - Chesy Mum - E40
El Hadj N’Diaye - Yoon Wii / This Road - Xel
Madame Afrique - Swamp Thing - She’s Hot
Zoboly - Korossorok - Ertem a Kujonsagot

Hour 2
M. I. A. - Mango Pickle Down River - Kala
Alacran - Reflejo de Luna - Tango Motion/Neo Tango Chill
Sevda Alekperzade - Lolo - Gul acdi
Tango No. 9 feat. Jonathan Richman - Amor de Mis Amores - Here Live No Fish
Zap Mama - Comment Ca Va - A Ma Zone
Kobo Town - Higher Than Mercy - Independence
Brian Bender & the World Beatniks - Jah Spirit - Urban Jungle
Shantel - Disko Partizani - Disko Partizani
Mau Mau - Il Treno del Sole - Dea
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Guajara Ska - Another Dance
Sola Akingbola - Seegesi Olooya - Routes to Roots
Albino - Democracy - Rhino

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11 November 2007

World Music Top 10 - November 2007

SoundRoots / Spin The Globe
Top 10 World Music Albums - November 2007

1. Shantel:
Disco Partizani!

Germany's Balkan beatmeister shines on this infectious party album.

2. various artists: Rough Guide to Latin Funk
This fantastic compilation drops from #1, but stays high on the charts this month.

3. Albino: Rhino
Bay Area Afrobeat ensemble now on tour, keeping Fela's musical legacy (and the art of musical politics) alive.

4. Shukar Collective: Rromatek
Rromatek tosses out the roots-city balance of their first album and leaps into a more techno sound, letting the beats and programming dominate much of the album, with mixed results.

5. Habib Koite & Bamada: Afriki
Mali's guitar-toting griot's powerful new album.

6. Manu Dibango: Lion of Africa
Don't think of Dibango as a relic of the synth-laden Afropop past; his new CD will win him new fans.

7. Mau Mau: Dea
Raucous Italian group mixes rock and roots in a unique, high-energy blend.

8. Gipsy.cz: Romano Hip Hop
Yes, Gipsy kids can get u down!

9. various artists- The Roots of Chicha
On the edge of the Amazon in the ’60s, a sound emerged that united Peru's indigenous melodies with Colombia’s highly-danceable cumbia rhythm, surf rock wah-wah pedals, and rock and roll’s organ-playing.

10. Jake Shimabukuro: Hula Girls Soundtrack
Jake's sweet ukulele plus some guest vocalists on this soundtrack of a movie described by one fan as "The Full Monty with grass skirts set in Japan." How can you resist that? [Watch the Japanese trailer]

Impacts of Lucky Dube's murder (Christian Science Monitor)
Manu Chao interview (Pitchforkmedia)
Interview with Thomas Mapfumo (Kentucky.com)
Kites help heal Darfur's children (Christian Science Monitor)
Youssou N'Dour interview (Telegraph)
Canadian Folk Music Award Nominees announced
Trailer for the film Sonic Mirror

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09 November 2007

Afrobeat Meets Indonesia - STG playlist 9 NOV 07

Spin the Globe Playlist for 2 November 2007
heard on KAOS-fm or streaming live
Planet Olympia - photo (c) Scott Allan Stevens
More strange bedfellows this week, as we ping-ponged between Afrobeat jams and music from Indonesia. Plus new releases and concert previews in hour 2. Got lots of calls for the ticket giveaways to Gamelan Cudamani and Afrobeat group Albino (see calendar for details on those and other upcoming shows).

hour 1 - Artist - Song - Album
SambaSunda - Lost Two Tigers - Berekis
Euforquestra - Obatala - Explorations in Afrobeat
Detty Kurnia - Dar Der Dor - Rough Guide to Indonesia
Albino - Jing Bongwa - Rhino
Debu - Ya Laitani - International sampler
Tony Allen - Crazy Afrobeat - Home Cooking
Orkes Kroncong Mutiara - Langgam Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama - Music of Indonesia 20: Indonesian Guitars
The Afromotive - On the Cuff - Scare Tactics
Marsada - Silambiak Ni Pinasa / the Soft Inside of the Jackfruit - Pulo Samosir
Chicago Afrobeat Project - - (a) Move to Silent Unrest
STSI Surakart - Ketawang Mijil Dhempel - Gamelan of Central Java: IV. Spiritual Music

hour 2
Mercan Dede - 800 - 800
Fortuna - Tango Idishe - Tango Around the World
Ceu - Rainha (Zaman 8’s Cadence Remix) - Remixed EP
Metin & Kemal Kahraman - Vay Bavo / Oh Bavo - Ferfecir
Ilgi - Move Apart Flock of Geese - Ne Uz Vienu Dienu
Bevinda - O Grito - Outubro live at Suoni Migranti
SONiA & Dissapear Fear - La Tormenta Santa / The Holy Story - Tango
Maurice El Medioni - Ahla Ouassahla - Pinaoriental
Tacheles Klezmer Company - The Black Wedding - Balkan Reggae
Mike Marshall & Hamilton de Holanda - Receita de Samba - New words / novas palavras
Jake Shimabukuro - Walking Down Rainhill - Hula Girls Original Soundtrack
Jai Uttal - Maha Dev - Dial M for Mantra

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07 November 2007

The Mystery of Hungarian Beatboxing

So I recently ran across an album that blew me away. It's called Ertem a Kujonsagot. I don't know how to say that. I don't know what it means. And I know almost nothing about the group behind the music.

The band is Zuboly, and they hail from Hungary. (My Hungarian-ancestored friend Juli says their name is pronounced Zu-bowl, or something like that.)

Zuboly does something that appears to be a blend of traditional and experimental along with...wait for it... beatboxing! I can't explain why it works, but it does. Remember when you whistled using a piece of grass? Well, one of the Zuboly members seems to have become accomplished at that, playing actual melodies. Also harmonica, drums, bass, sax, bagpipes. And a fellow named Busa Istvan is apparently responsible for the beatboxing.

Here are a couple brief song samples from the album: Boldog Karácsonyt M.J., D.J a Gekkoman

And yes, I have a complete song for you as well. Is it a cover, or just sampling? Whatever, this is surely one of the more unusual versions of Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" you'll run across...

[mp3] Zuboly: Másfél millió tépés Magyrországon

This actually isn't the version that's on the album. But if you leave comments and ask nice, maybe I'll post another of their tunes later.

Zuboly on youtube

Your job: If you live in Hungary or know someone who knows someone who does, get me more info on Zuboly. Hook them up with SoundRoots and Spin The Globe. Tell me about them and their music. Translate the song names. Send CDs. Tell them to tour the left coast of the USA. Do something! I really want to know more about these guys...

05 November 2007

Antonio Adolfo, soft and funky (CD Review)

Antonio Adolfo, Brazil & Brazuka: Destiny
(Far Out Recordings)

After listening to Destiny, I felt compelled to pull out Sergio Mendes’ 2006 release Timeless. Adolfo and Mendes were contemporaries, after all, and their recent releases both hail back in some ways to that 1960s heyday of their Brazilian pop stylings. But while Mendes brought in contemporary artists – most prominently the Black Eyed Peas – to build a bridge between old and new, Adolfo takes a dramatically different approach.

Destiny eschews contemporary references, pairing the soft vocal harmonies of sisters Carol Saboya and Luisa Saboia with the gently funky guitar of Jose Carlos and Adolfo’s own keyboards, along with a rich, smooth backing of percussion, horns, and strings.

Amid the current flood of re-releases and retrospectives (not that I have anything against the better ones, mind you), it’s a fresh approach to have a musician record fresh takes of the music thatAntonio Adolfo, Brazil & Brazuka: Destiny was popular nearly a half-century ago. I’m not very familiar with Adolfo’s past work; he’s certainly not as well known as Mendes here in the US. But his productivity over the years is amazing, and has resulted in his compositions being recorded more than 500 times by artists such as Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert, even Earl Klugh!

Of the ten tracks on this album (or 12, if you download it from the label), my favorites may be the energetic “SOS Amazonas” [sample], “Luizão” [sample] and the “Tudo É Brasil,” which I offer below for your consideration. Alas, no lyrics or song notes are provided with the CD.

Listening to Destiny, I occasionally think of a 1970s TV theme song, or expect to hear the music morph into a rap. But I respect the decision to keep the music focused on what it is. The soft, withdrawn vocal style at first put me off with its dated feel, but I’m warming to it. Yes, it would be easy to mock this music as so much more Girl-From-Ipanema elevator schlock, but that’s only the surface. Just because an album is subdued and doesn’t include dance remixes doesn’t mean it’s not great music. If you like the more subtle aspects of Brazilian music, give this one a listen.

[mp3] Antonio Adolfo, Brazil & Brazuka: Tudo É Brasil
from the album Destiny

Antonio Adolfo's website

04 November 2007

Muslim Meanderings [book review]

I remember clearly the feeling I had after I’d stepped off of the container ship and walked into downtown Auckland. I stood on a corner weighed down by both my heavy backpack and the unexpected question “What do I do now?”

The simple answer is that I spent the next nine months exploring New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The deeper questions, to some degree, haunt every traveler (and perhaps a few tourists): “Why am I here?” “What pushed me to leave home?” And then, there’s “Where will I sleep tonight?”

In her travels through Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey, Maliha Masood faced additional questions. A Pakistan-born American Muslim woman, she ponders in her travel journal Zaatar Days, Henna Nights additional questions about the meaning of identity, religion, home, and friendship.

Masood frequently ruminates on her ambiguous standing. As an American (and as a woman defying local norms by traveling without a plan, and without male supervision) she’s an odd outsider. As a Muslim and by the grace of her ethnically ambiguous looks, she’s often able to fit it visually and culturally better than any tourist.

Striking is Masood’s willingness to be swept along by spontaneous events. A dinner invitation here, a new friendship with a student there. I cringed a little at each such story, imagining the worst. Masood does get into some sticky situationson: She's mistaken for a Kurdish militant in Turkey, and has to escape the home of one over-eager admirer via a hasty jump from a rooftop. But overall her openness to synchronicity serves her well, resulting in close friendships and a number of tour guides considering her more a friend than another customer.

This is Masood’s first book, and it shows in the occasional clunker of a sentence. Overall, however, the writing is fresh and honest and engaging. It’s important to bear in mind that her travels took place before the 9/11 attacks, and in her epilogue written back in her Seattle-area home, Masood includes a caution in her promotion of travel as a way to get to know the Middle East and its people.

“…I believe that the Middle East I once knew and loved can still be found in spirit if you only take the effort to go there and look. Maybe not in a crazy sort of way that blindly hurls you halfway across the world on a one-way ticket, but given the undeniable dangers in certain places, at least in a way that still is responsible, considerate, and open minded.”

And if you aren’t yet ready to go there, Zaatar Days, Henna Nights will certainly give a hint of the people and places of the Middle East, beyond the common newspaper headlines.

Zaatar Days, Henna Nights
by Maliha Masood

02 November 2007

Czech vs. Iran - STG playlist 2 NOV 07

Spin the Globe Playlist for 2 November 2007
heard on KAOS-fm or streaming live
Zombie Fish by Earball Visions
Today's show ping-ponged between music from the Czech Republic and Iran in the first hour, and wandered more globally in the second hour, including previews of upcoming performances by Albino, Vagabond Opera, Sonia & Dissapear Fear, and Correo Aereo. For details of those tours, see the Spin The Globe/SoundRoots Calendar. Oh, and happy Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos, with best wishes from Zombie Fish (pictured).

hour 1
Monika Jalili - Boyer Ahmadi - NoorSaaz
Triny - Adadzives – Dnes (Today) - Aven (Come On)
Arian Band - Afsoongar (Glamorous) - Rough Guide to Iran
Ahmed ma hlad - Dobro - Magadan
Rahmatollah Badiyi - Introduction II - Sounds of the Violin & Kamancheh
Vera Bila & Kale - Helena - Kale Kalore
Ekova - Sister - Heaven’s Dust
Tomas Kocko & Orchestr - Do tanca! - Do Tanca!
Chemirani Trio - Gerefte (Pris) - Qalam Kar
Pavel Fajt & Vaclav Korinek - Frajer Bodo - Ladakh 567
Sussan Deyhim - The Candle and the Moth - Madmen of God
Kiss Erzsi Music - Deladela - Deladela
Niyaz - Allahi Allah - Niyaz
Gipsy.cz - Palikeras Tumenge - Romano Hip Hop

hour 2
Vagabond Opera - Otchi Chornyia - Vagabond Opera
Correo Aereo - La Llorona - Lo Que Me Dijo el Viento
Yerba Buena - La Candela - Rough Guide to Latino Nuevo
Rekha - Chingari - Sufi Music from India
Getachew Abdi et al. - Tigringna Song - Kirar, Appolon’s Harp
Red Hot Chachkas - Chosidl Diddle - Spice It Up!
Antonio Adolfo - SOS Amazonas - Destiny
Zuboly - Pannondrama - Ertem a Kajunsagot
Naqqara & Salsabil - Raks-I Almah - Oriental Percussion, Rhythms & Music
Albino - Puppet Boy - Rhino
Los Diablos Rojos - Sacalo Sacalo - Roots of Chicha
Mau Mau - Dea - Dea
Sonia & Dissapear Fear - Milliones de Cuerdas - Tango

Tune in next week for an exploration of Afrobeat and Indonesian music: Friday 10-noon Pacific time. More info at Spin The Globe.

01 November 2007

Roma + Techno = Rromatek!

Shukar Collective: Rromatek (CD Review)
(Eastblok Records)

I've made no secret of my love for Shukar Collective's first album, Urban Gypsy. A graceful balance of traditional Romanian "bear-tamer" vocals with subtle programmed beats, it brought new life (and a new audience) to an old art form.
Shukar Collective - Rromatek
The collective's second album is a lateral move. They certainly won't be accused of recycling ideas, but neither is it clear that they're building on the first album. Rromatek tosses out the old balance, and leaps into a more techno sound, letting the beats and programming dominate much of the album.

Incessant thudding may be great for the club, but less appealing to the world music fan. Several tracks with less electronica work well for me, including "Oh, Girl," "Ragga Mami," "Napolament," and the "hidden track" at the end of the album, a re-imagined "Taraf." The rest...well, maybe you should hold off buying the album and instead catch it at your neighborhood global disco.

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