18 November 2009

Global Odds, Ends, & Freebies

Some DVD and CD reviews coming your way soon, but today it's a pre-holiday cleanup of things that have been cluttering up my desk, my email, and my mind.

Another NYC show that sounds amazing:
Fire + Fire / Black + Gypsy: The Sounds and Stories of Two Cultures Bound by Rhythm and Race
at Symphony Space Nov. 19 and Nov. 21.
Day of Show: $35 / Advance: $30 / Symphony Space Members: $25

As part of the yearlong Extremely Hungary festival, FIRE + FIRE is a collaborative and conceptual music production that will explore and underscore the dual histories of musical expression and political oppressionthat mark Black American and Roma peoples in, respectively, the USA and Hungary. It will feature an ensemble of 16 performers from both cultures who are both deeply rooted in their ancestral traditions and intensely experimental in their expression of them. The ensemble employs a fusion of spoken word, movement and "jam sessions" to create a brand new vernacular that will spring this tale of two cultures to life.

Hungarian artists: Béla Szakcsi Lakatos, Ági Szalóki, Fatima, Mihály Farkas, Richard Farkas, Robert Farkas, Zsolt Farkas, Gusztáv Balogh, Kiégő Izzók

American artists: Melvin Gibbs, Valerie June, Mazz Swift, Latasha Nevad Diggs, David Pleasant, Ayodele Maakheru, Marilys Ernst

More Info: http://extremelyhungary.org/fire

fire+fire video:

Mitch over at Sum of Change writes to announce a new weekly music feature called Music Monday. The first installment looks at the waves of ska that have washed over the globe.
We're curious about the new site Create Culture -- it promises to be "a cultural community of artists and arts lovers who seek hands-on, high-quality and immersive artistic encounters in their travels." We haven't had time to dig around in it yet. If you have, please share your thoughts.
The 2nd International Body Music Festival is coming up soon -- it will be at various venues in California's  Bay Area from Dec. 1-6. Performers include LeeLa Petronio, a tap dancer from France who will be combining non-tap footwork with body percussion; Max Pollak, another soloist, performs what he calls RumbaTap, a form that combines foot-driven percussion with the organic flow of Afro-Cuban rumba; Rashidi Omari, a young Bay Area dancer who specializes in hip-hop contemporary dance, an expression derived from local Oakland culture marked by high energy and a frenetic pace; Festival director Keith Terry’s own solo contemporary body music as well as his duo work with Evie Ladin; the Prescott Clowns, an Oakland youth performance group led by hambone artist Derique McGee; and a student performance group from the San Francisco School, led by Sofia Ibor Lopez. It all sounds amazing.
If you, like us, are facing the impending Northern Hemisphere winter with a bit of grumpiness, the perfect antidote is some summer music. Like a free summer music mixtape from our friends at Delhi 2 Dublin featuring tracks from MIA, Amadou & Mariam, MIDIval PunditZ, and much more. Seriously, check it out.
Other free (or almost free) music:
  • More bouncy music comes from La Family Dub, who have put together some tasty bhangra and other songs in their "Hot as Curry" mixtape
  • "The Response" from Tommy T's Ethiopian-flavored album The Prester John Sessions (requires email signup)
  • "Mul Sheshe" from Fantazia's The Lost Place.
  • "Caravan" from global percussionist Tom Teasley
  • Crazy Siberian rock outfit Bugotak offers their entire album Wheels Must Roll for free download.You can also catch a grainy but fascinating video interview with members of Bugotak at archive.org
  • Not for sale or download, but you can stream all manner of great music from our Canada-based Indian-fusion friends Autorickshaw on their bandcamp site.
  • Hundreds of recordings are available at the British Library's Archival Sound Recordings site. They don't have a slick audio interface, but with a little work I'm listening now to the music of the Accra Gaily Choir from Decca's archive of West African recordings. Very cool...
  •  Gotan Project offers several free mp3s on the site for their release Gotan Project Live, including "Sola" and "Diferente." For more (including a downloadable interview), see gotanproject.com
  • If you're into German ska, here's the deal for you. Two free tracks from BerlinBOOMOrchestra: "Nein, Mann" and "Achtung, Achtung!"
I have to admit I'm unfamiliar with the Uncut Music Award. But the fact that they've chosen Imidiwan: Companions by desert rebels Tinariwen as their winner for the "most inspirational and rewarding album of 2008" does make one sit up and take notice (read more). Not sure why they're a year late, but one can't argue with panel judge Billy Bragg, who says "I think this band will be hugely influential. In the next couple of years we’ll be hearing young bands lifting the tensions and the rhythms of Tinariwen. You find yourself reaching back to the blues to explain what they do, it’s like they’ve turned the whole bloody thing upside down. I really do think they are an Uncut band."
Cuban diva Omara Portuondo recently had two noteworthy triumphs, becoming one of the first Cuban artists in many years to obtain a performance visa, then winning Best Contemporary Tropical Album at the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards on Nov. 5 for her CD Gracias. Watch for her US performances in 2010, including Feb. 24 in Washington DC, Feb. 26 in Boston, and Feb. 27 in New York.
Finally, the North American World Music Coalition has dissolved, largely for organizational reasons, and at the same time it released a roadmap of how global music promotion can move forward on the continent. Here's hoping nothing gets lost in the transition.
Okay, just one more freebie for you. The Brazilian Music Export Office want you to hear new Brazilian artists. So badly do they want this that they insist you immediately download 36 free songs. You can also listen to and download the songs individually, should you wish.
That should keep you busy for a while. Back soon with more global goodness.

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