The Rough Guide to Highlife/Electric Highlife
Highlife as Pop and Not
The Rough Guide to Highlife (World Music Network)
Although the label's second pass at this expandable concept--which as has been its regrettable recent practice isn't marked as such anywhere on a package that in this case is orange and bears the serial number 1280CD--tends quirkier and quieter, in-house compiler Rachel Jackson goes for the gut tunewise. From the surprising pre-Afrobeat Fela who opens to the gospel falsetto-as-girl group who close, every song stands out, so much so that Jackson really could have risked Celestine Ukwu's "Osundu" rather than repeating the oft-compiled "Igede." Special faves: the Black Beats' "Tsutsu Tsonemo" for hook, Gentleman Bobby Benson's "Taxi Driver" for lyric, Francis Kenya's "Memia" for guitar compression, and Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe's "Osondi Owendi" for guitar expansion. There's a slight tailoff before the gospel closer, but not so as to spoil your appetite for the bonus disc by the university-based trio Seprewa Kasa. On Riverboat four years ago, I found their preservationism a mite polite. Here the same album provides a graceful, restful, informative coda. A
Electric Highlife: Sessions From the Bokoor Studios (Naxos World '02)
Ghanaian-Nigerian highlife was a pop music not just because it was urban and popular, but because it produced something resembling hits and stars‑-in their world, the Victors Uwaifo and Olaiya were genuinely famous. Not these eight early-'80s guitar bands John Collins recorded in Accra. As all too part-time musicians in a ruined economy, they share a likably ramshackle feel, which infused by the good cheer they mustered in the face of 100 percent inflation is enough to sell this collection. But I noticed a funny thing when I looked closely at the second Rough Guide to Highlife, which is that its two finest tracks began their public life at Bokoor: the hummable one by the Black Beats, who had a long if varied career elsewhere, and the musicianly one by Francis Kenya, who seems to have been Collins's greatest protege. Think there were some players over in Ghana? Must have been. A MINUS
The United States of America-the only industrialized nation in the world without universal health care(No?).
Finally a step -albeit a small one-in that direction-and the right is having a nervous breakdown. At least with this ruling
they may be covered.
PS The individual mandate-how is it different than having to buy car insurance? It isn't..
PPS Alexander Vauche-where intelligence, common sense and a sense of fairness go to die.
Then don't buy it.
Being forced to get a driver's license or a gun permit isn't very rock and roll, either. But then again, I was never much for Hagar or the Nuge.
I always thought the lengthening pop tunes of the '80s were one sign of disco, with its exended workouts, crossing over as mainstream-hit influence.
I'm sure there's an Afropop critic in Nigeria who gets lambasted for occasionally writing about -- and legitimately liking -- the Beatles and the Stones. "You can't really take that music seriously," his readers complain, and how right they are.
Keep the racist **** coming. I find it entertaining.
On the other hand, I believe I got rid of post 121 on the previous thread (which of course I'd never seen, because it came in after I last looked down there) with my administrative powers, which don't always work so good. So that was a contribution.
Look, I'm just a firebell in the night 'round here fellas - it's all "fellas," right? - but promoting Rough Guide and similar product suggests, at best, musicians in all countries piously joining hands to sing "We Are The World" and, at worst, NPRism invading Xgauistan with a full forced march to plant its odious tricolor smack dab in the heart of rock and roll. We have met the enemy, and it is National Public Radio; it is Starbucks Coffee Company; it is the New York Yankees.
Oh, ClankFace, if you're not too busy smoking whatever bizarre tobacco you favor, please eliminate the final post (#121) to the Azealia / Rye Rye thread. It is barefaced sexual solicitation. With two thumbs up from my naughty little puppy dogs.
In the meantime (well after Amazon got socked with the sales tax) Wichita's big box bookstore coverage has dropped from four to one, and the remainder has less than 50% of its floor space used for books -- seems well on its way to becoming a toy store. Bookstores have always been my favorite hideouts, and as recently as a few years ago I would visit a couple times a week. Now it's more like once every other month, and a disappointing experience at that. Blame the internet if you like, but those now-closed stores were more often than not plush with customers. I don't know what killed them, but the main interest of investors these days seems to be in looting their businesses.
For several decades now we've let ourselves be seduced and defrauded by the mantra that businesses exist solely to profit their owners -- i.e., that customers, employees, and the public have no stake in their operation. Unions used to provide some form of check on this greed, and their destruction has gone hand-in-hand with the looting. For a counterexample, see Thomas Geoghegan's book on Germany -- at least see my excerpts at http://goo.gl/pHlP8 -- Germany has become the world's largest net exporter because it keeps its jobs at home, and it does that because the unions have a stake in every company. There are some problems with Germany, including that they're too successful -- that's a big part of the Eurozone crisis right now. But one thing that bummed me at the bookstore recently was the latest load of books warning of Obama's sinister plot to turn the US into "a European Socialist State," as if vacations, retirement, education, and health care are such bad things (not to mention as if Obama had the slightest such inkling).
I'm wondering if you guys actually know about this piece of legislation. In combination with the individual mandate, they set up extensive insurance reforms that include requiring each state to make a streamlined form available where people can apply for Medicare, Medicaid, subsidy programs, or individual insurance on a newly regulated individual insurance market. (the health insurance exchange). Premiums are now regulated on these plans, with multipliers limited based on age/smoking status etc. The idea is that they can control price competition by regulation and standardizing the plans.
Very important in this pursuit then, was the individual "mandate". Because encouraging people who were previously uninsured to enter the individual insurance market will increase money pooling and allow for the new lower premiums.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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