Global A Go-Go
Bill Lupoletti | 3:00 - 5:00p.m. Wednesdays
I describe Global A Go-Go as "music from around the world in the universal language of groove." In short, you could call it a world music program that emphasizes the danceable over the folkloric.
"World music" is one of those terms that everybody uses but nobody claims to like; I guess I'm that group too. My favorite definition of world music is that it's "local music from somewhere else." That's a pretty good description of my show as well: most of the artists I play aren't the least bit obscure, they're just popular somewhere other than Richmond Virginia.
I live in a metropolitan area (and a country, for that matter) that is becoming more diverse at a rapid pace. Not everybody recognizes it, and more than a few people are actively resistant to it. But resistance is futile: America has always been a multicultural nation, and now's the time for a little bit more multicultural radio programming.
I've been recording and podcasting my show since 2004, even before WRIR began broadcasting. You can find a ridiculously large number of Global A Go-Go podcasts here:
This week, Global A Go-Go presents a special in-studio performance by Zedashe (pictured above) from the Republic of Georgia.
Their seventh album, Our Earth And Water, is currently on WRIR's New & Recommended list; they are finishing up their fifth USA tour here in Richmond at the Folk Festival, where you can see them on Saturday at 3:45 and on Sunday at 2:45 and 4:00. But before that, you can hear them Wednesday in WRIR's Studio C.
Zedashe's specialty is the polyphonic vocal music of Georgia, which is literally millenia old: it predates the introduction of Christianity to the region, which happened in the fourth century AD. In addition, the ensemble performs music from all the regions of their home country, and they accompany themselves on a variety of instruments: hand drums, lutes, accordion and goat-skin bagpipes.
I hope you can join me for this unique Richmond radio experience.
Ceu (pictured above) is a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose first three albums have earned her four Grammy nominations and a slew of fans, both at home and around the world.
Her new live album is the rock 'n' roll record I've been waiting for her to make. You'll hear a cut from it, and music from some of her Brazilian peers, this week on Global A Go-Go.
Also this week: crazy rhythms of West Africa; dancehall and ska, including a great new track from Macka B; and Grupo Fantasma's single plus more Latin rock.
Richmond has a lot of visitors this week, and maybe a few of them will be tuning in to WRIR and checking out Global A Go-Go. So I've been thinking about what I'd want to tell them about my home town.
We've got a pretty great music scene here for all sorts of sounds: punk and metal, bluegrass and old-time, indie rock and indie hip-hop, jazz and classical, roots rock and singer-songwriters. If you live here and you don't know have at least one friend who's a musician, you're probably just lame. Or lying.
Of course, my thing is world music, and we've got some amazing, imaginative, skilled and experienced world music acts here in Richmond. (None more experienced than Hotel X, pictured above in their original 1992 incarnation.) I'll feature four of them on this week's program.
Also this week: some songs from behind the former Iron Curtain, that rockin' Central African guitar sound, and what's new in desert blues.
Well, it was a great music weekend for yours truly last weekend. I got to see legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed play to an adoring nearly-all-Ethiopian audience, plus one of my favorite contemporary bands, Cambodian-American rockers Dengue Fever, on the next night.
And somewhere in between I heard two of the best albums I've come across so far in 2015: Resistance by Ottawa, Canada's Souljazz Orchestra (pictured above) and Volume Two by Qwanqwa, a remarkable Ethiopian-American quartet.
You'll hear The Souljazz Orchestra play Afrobeat and Caribbean cadence on this week's show, and Qwanqwa will anchor an Ethiopian set that'll also feature Mahmoud Ahmed, naturally. And I'll work in some chicha and cumbia as well, just for good measure.
Cabo Verde is a nation of 500,000 people (with a disapora of equal size) where it seems like every fifth person is a musician. You'll hear three of those musicians, all women, on this week's program. That includes Lura (pictured above), whose wonderful new album will be released on October 16.
Also this week: the sound of the balafon; ska, rocksteady and Afro-reggae; and the new wave of indie-salsa.
Orquesta El Macabeo (pictured above) is a 12-piece salsa band from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Their members' backgrounds are in punk, metal, ska, reggae and hip hop -- pretty much everything but salsa. That back-story may remind you of Richmond's Bio Ritmo.
On Wednesday night, Bio Ritmo and Orquesta El Macabeo will share the stage at the Broadberry, along with Miramar and the Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew. But before that happens, Orquesta El Macabeo will play a live set on Global A Go-Go, direct from WRIR's new Studio C, the Community's Studio.
And I'll also interview DJ Bongohead and DJ Andujar from Peace & Rhythm, a new record label specializing in funk, world and jazz 45s. They'll soon be releasing a new Bio Ritmo single, and we're planning to give it a world premiere on this week's program.