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:
Just for the record, world music artists, promoters and labels sent 544 recordings to WRIR in the last year. On my next two programs, I'll feature the top 7%: my 40 favorites amongst them. (Oh, there are a few items in there that I bought on my own -- but as you can imagine, most of my new-music-listening time is dedicated to stuff that arrives at WRIR.)
This week, you'll hear tracks from my top ten new releases of 2014, plus as many honorable mentions as I can fit in. Next week, it will be time for my favorite compilations, reissues and historic recordings of 2014.
And two weeks after that, on January 2, I'll wrap up my look at 2014 with the best of the rest: all the great stuff that didn't fit on the two previous programs. I love doing these year-end wrap-ups -- it gets me in the mood for the new year and all the great new music that it's likely to include. Happy listening!
Click "Read more" to see my 2014 Top Ten (new releases division).
This week's program starts with a tribute to Cayman Mooney (pictured above), who died on Monday. Cayman was a former WRIR volunteer (co-host of The Odyssey Hours, part of WRIR's stable of amazing late-night shows), a hell of an accordion player (with My Son The Doctor, Richmanian Ramblers, busking on the street, or in any situation), a man equally passionate about Eastern European music and social justice.
I'll try to reflect all of those characteristics in a set of music that I think Cayman would have approved of, including several songs from his personal library and a never-before-heard performance of his own. The world's a poorer place without you, my friend.
Also on this week's program: cumbia power, elegancia tropical; sounds from the Sahara and Ethiopia; and soukous lives.
Global A Go-Go visits southern Africa this week with a set of music from South Africa (naturally), Zimbabwe, and Madagascar (that's Malagasy singer Jean Emilien pictured above).
Also this week: the Senegalese tinge, Afrobeat meets rap, and the glorious global sound of brass-rock circa 1972.
That arrow above is pointing to the frog's external hearing structure or tympanum. My guest co-host this week is Jacobi (J.R.) Harris, who hosts one of WRIR's newest music programs, Tympanum Effect, every Thursday morning (or Wednesday night, if you prefer) at 3 AM.
If you haven't heard Tympanum Effect yet, I recommend that you check it out via broadcast or by using WRIR's new listening portal at wrir.org/tunein. And if you'd like a taste of what J.R. brings to the airwaves, tune in this week to hear his take on "music from around the world in the universal language of groove."
I'll spin a few this week too: Ukrainian "ethno-chaos" by DakhaBrakha (who are performing in Richmond on Sunday), new Italian folk by Antonio Castrignano, golden age Malian Afropop by Les Ambassadeurs, and more.
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble (pictured above) is a band that got started in Chicago, is now based in Barcelona, and is the only Afrobeat band I know that has a bassoon player. You'll hear a track from their excellent new album on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go.
Also this week: more Asian psychedelia; deep, dubby blues from Mississippi to the Sahara; and Indian music meets jazz.