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:
Global A Go-Go's on a Balkan high right now: Slavic Soul Party (pictured above) rocked the Modlin Center's season-opening party, Black Masala returns to Balliceaux on Saturday night, and the Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar (the world's baddest brass band) will be at the Richmond Folk Festival in October.
You'll hear all three of those bands, including a track from Slavic Soul Party's new 5-album reissue, plus more Balkan brass madness on this week's program. Also this week: Ethio-pop, Latin American big bands, and Australia's Shaolin Afronauts go Guineenne.
Les Ambassadeurs (pictured above in front of their headquarters, Le Motel De Bamako), one of West Africa's greatest bands, reunited this summer for a series of ten concerts, none unfortunately in the USA.
Sterns Records has just released the essential compilation of the best of Les Ambassadeurs; most of the tracks haven't been available since the original vinyl went out of print, so this is a major occasion for African music fans. You'll hear a track from that compilation on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go.
Also this week: two of the bands featured in Sunday's Modlin Center opening-day event; new Afrobeat by Sia Tolno and Zongo Junction; and an unlikely Cuban tribute to Buddy Holly, who would have been 78 years old this Sunday.
With Ukraine (in dark blue above, graphic courtesy of the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO, @CanadaNATO) in the news every day, I thought this would be a good time to feature that country's music on the radio.
I have some assistance in this effort: my frequent guest Vlad Cuiujuclu, the only person I know who has four U's in his surname, has selected most of the music for this week's program. Vlad, a native of Moldova, is well-versed in all forms of Eastern European music -- we'll spin everything from folk to punk and electronica on this mind-broadening, newsworthy edition of Global A Go-Go.
My colleague David Noyes of The Motherland Influence (Sundays at 5 PM on WRIR) has been raving all year about the compilation of music from Burkina Faso that's pictured above. I finally bought a copy, and guess what -- he's right to rave, it's fabulous, one of the best things I've heard all year. I'll play you a track this week (first of many to come, I'm sure) so you can hear for yourself.
Also on this week's program: brand new music by Malouma (not only one of Mauritania's most famous singers, also the first woman ever elected to that country's legislature); Manu Chao collaborating with Colombia's Doctor Krapula; and some killer salsa dura.
This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear Afrobeat in all its varieties: a 1969 Fela Kuti classic reissued; the jazzy influences of Shaolin Afronauts, Zongo Junction and Somi; and an Afro-Latin burner by Jungle Fire (pictured above). And they're all new releases, to boot.
Also this week: Turkish psych from the 60s, 70s and 80s; music of the maroons -- escaped African slaves in the Caribbean and South America; the Berlin beat -- my favorite Berlin bands that didn't play in town when I was there.
Bill's out of the office today, so I'm (Garry Morse, DJ for WRIR's Lost Music Saloon, Mondays 5-7 p.m.) filling in for him. I lived on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 8 years, and on Guam out in the Pacific Ocean for another 7 years. I've been lucky enough to be able to travel around the globe, and in addition to the sights and experiences that foreign trips allow, I've always made it a point to sample two things during my travels: Local music & local foods!
Today's Global a Go-Go will focus primarily on the music of Africa, and on the music of various islands around the world, but you'll also hear music from the Middle East, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia as well. That's a lot of exotic music, but most of it will be friendly to Western ears.
So kick back, and ENJOY!
Click on 'read more' below for the playlist.