Global A Go-Go
Bill Lupoletti | Fridays 5 - 7pm
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:
Maybe it's a phenomenon unique to my ears, but I've always felt that reggae and jazz go together like beer and pretzels (or fill in your preferred "complements" analogy here). Whenever I hear a good one-drop riddim, I immediately jump to all the great improvisational ideas that it triggers.
I don't hear too many bands working in that direction, so when I do I pay extra close attention. You'll hear a new one on this week's show: they're from Chicago, they're called Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub, their debut album is produced by legendary Jamaican mixologist Scientist and it's the real deal.
Also this week: a few recent favorites from West Africa, the "spatial organ" (his term) of Peru's Carlos Pickling, and the glory days of South African kwaito.
Global A Go-Go kicks off Mardi Gras weekend 2014 with a set of carnival tunes from the Crescent City, everything from Professor Longhair to Gypsyphonic Disko. Hey, how about a Gypsyphonic Disko / Professor Longhair mash-up? Coming right up.
The remainder of today's program will be devoted to North African music: "la guitare" from the Sahara, including a new album by Imarhan Timbuktu (who'll be performing in Richmond in March); soulful Ethio-jazz, featuring the latest by Canada's Souljazz Orchestra; and a brilliant new album by Alsarah (pictured above) & The Nubatones, playing what they call "East African retro pop."
Leonardo (Flaco) Jimenez (pictured above with his Hohner accordion) has probably done more than any other living musician to popularize Tex-Mex norteno music in the English-speaking world.
At age 74, Flaco has a wonderful new album coming out next week; you'll hear a track from it, and a brief sampler of his illustrious career, this week on Global A Go-Go.
Also on this week's program: roots reggae including one from Culture, who'll be here in Richmond Friday night; funky, funky Latin soul; and more killer music from Haiti.
Tinariwen (pictured above) are the undisputed heavyweight champions of what the Tamasheq people simply call "la guitare"; we usually call it "desert blues." Due to the recent unpleasantness in Mali, their new album Emmaar (roughly "the heat on the breeze") was recorded in Joshua Tree, California where the climate is to their liking. The album is quite wonderful and you'll hear a song from it on this week's program, part of a full set of desert blues from across Northwest Africa.
Also this week: a Caribbean-African connection, French and Spanish folk-rock; the sounds of Casamance; and a track by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, who'll be performing in Richmond on Saturday.
This week, Global A Go-Go takes you to the party -- it's two hours of music to get you warmed up and psyched up for the ninth annual Party For The Rest Of Us, which gets started on Friday at 7 PM at the Renaissance Ballroom, 107 W. Broad Street.
Here's the schedule for the pre-party: a set of Ethiopian jams, some champeta and terapia from Colombia, vintage boogaloo circa 1968, and some Afrobeat to send you on your way. See you at the party!
Just fifteen tracks this week on Global A Go-Go -- I have some long songs lined up for you this time. But in those fifteen we'll touch down in thirteen different countries, so things will be as global as always.
Mamani Keita (pictured above) counts for two of those countries -- she's a native of Mali, but she's lived in France for the last 27 years. Mamani has a superb new album (release date is February 11), and we'll hear a number from it on today's show.