Odds and Ends 020
As pop is measured, all Afrogrooves seem pretty rare from here
Juju: Justin Adams and Judeh Camara: In Trance (Realworld)
You'd never know there was only one African on this rocking piece of Sahel high-energy‑-Camara, sing-shouting hoarsely and making a racket on his self-fabricated one-string violin ("Djanfa Moja," "Deep Sahara") ***
Zani Diabaté & les Héritiers: Tientalaw (Sterns Africa)
Underrecorded Malian guitarist's final album goes long on balafon and doesn't corral the singers he deserves ("Soubagaya," "Moussolankolo") ***
Sofrito: International Soundclash (Strut)
Pokier and more clackety than the first, second rare-Afrogrooves-international comp is heavy on Caribbean Francophonie (Luis Kalaff y Su Alegres Dominicanos, "Agarraio Que Eso Es Tuyo"; Grupo Canalon de Timbiqui, "La Zorra y El Perol") **
Sékouba Bambino: The Griot's Craft (Sterns Africa)
Doesn't get his groove on as often as his craft, which as with all griots is best understood in its native language(s?) ("Diatiguya," "Moya Kankoun") **
Sory Kandia Kouyaté: La Voix de la Révolution (Sterns Africa)
Projecting quite a lot of voix and not all that much révolution, Guinean paladin is less overbearing in his acoustic manifestation ("Fouba," "Namatimbaye") **
Sotho Sounds: Junk Funk (Riverboat)
Roots revival fully worthy of the concept's primitivist conceit‑-Lesotho shepherds piece together their own guitars, fiddles, and drums ("Ha Kele Monateng," "Jerusalem") **
African Blues (Putumayo)
World-music easy-listening specialists achieve enjoyable as opposed to the usual saccharine (Mali Latino, "Ni Koh Bedy"; Issa Bagayogo, "Djigui") *
Gnonnas Pedro: Volume 1 (Syllart)
Two discs worth of the Baobab of Benin, or so 'twas claimed‑-a little too dependent on Other People's Clave, I'd say ("Las Melodias," "Atimawuin Dagamasi") *
Odds & Sods 021 most likely......PE, dBs, Death Grips and hopefully Wussy, YLT and more great '50s music.
In light of my recent discovery of the Allo Darlin’s “Tallulah” (thanks Joey), I though I would share a few Aussie songs that may appeal to a select bunch of Ewers. I can’t vouch for the albums from where they sprung, but at least the Waifs and Weddings, Parties, Anything are essentially songsters- aint all folkies. Cold Chisel beat Bruce to “Born in the USA” by seven years and the “Bridal Train” and “Fathers Day” are tearworthy. “Lap it Up” never broke Penny Flanagan out of her hometown, but it sounds good 19 years later. I’m not being nostalgic, honest.
The Waifs (2007)
Weddings, Parties, Anything (1993)
Penny Flanagan (1994)
Cold Chisel (long, long, time ago)youtube.com/watch?v=inKlN0ScObA
Yoooowzaaaaah- 7 from my list in the Dean's Top Ten, with another couple hovering nearby. But before I get too excited, where did my recommendations come from?
Anyone else surprised "Americana" placed higher than "Older than My Old Man Now"?. And the Dean needn't worry about his ".........failure to feel truly excited about any of these underappreciated albums is a function of the aging process. Maybe I've become so goop-averse in my battle against creeping cornballism that I'm turning cynic-not-skeptic like too many bad critics do". There just hasn't been a great-great album (A+) since "Modern Times" in 2006 or "Kala" or "Neon Bible" in 2007. "Francophonic" and "Road Shows Vol 1" don't count.
Anyway, Dean, many thanks for sharing your list and excellent essay once again. I guess I'll have to check out Dabke now.
Point of clarification on the old music discussion: The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (the one richbogrich was originally referring to) is superior to the original Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (the one Milo seems to have heard) - a point acknowledged by A*az*n reviewer Comment Man. Probably has to do with the fact that rarity was the main (only?) criterion used for track selection for the first volume, while a lot of songs on the second volume are better known, and better. Enough finds and a high enough hit rate for me to recommend it, though I am hardly an early music specialist. I look forward to hearing the Work, Play, Pray collection.
By the way, the year-end lists favor "Psychedelic Pill" over "Americana" by a little more than 4 to 1.
Boomkat.com - a British music retailer. It comes to just under $10 and they accept paypal.
I will be burning a copy for my Syrian mother-in-law shortly.
Bob and all - thanks for a great year. Hope to meet some of you at the Todd Snider show in March.
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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