Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I've moved!

It might have taken a little longer than I intended, but I finally have the new and improved Nomad's Playlist up and running.

Nomad's Playlist can now be found at www.nomadsplaylist.com

I will be posting from the new site from now on, so I do hope you'll make the move with me.

Thanks and see you over there!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The winds of change

Just a quick post to let you know I've got lots of great changes coming up for NP.

I'm currently putting together some exciting stuff behind the scenes, and might even be changing blog hosts, so please stay posted! 

But to keep you occupied while I get some of these changes going, here's an audio slideshow I've recently put together for a course. I'm thinking about enhancing it with some audio story telling over the top, but I'd love to know what you think. Enjoy!

Monday, 6 February 2012

I'm back! ...well almost

Yoohoo! Remember me? The person who used to post regularly about world music?

Well, I'm finally back...sort of.

Staying true to my habit of telling people stories they really don't care about, I'll tell you why I disappeared. I had been hoping to connect the blog to my course Introduction to World Music, sharing videos/audio related to weekly topics in the course. But the course didn't run and I kind of gave up to focus on the blog that I get paid to write (Songlines in case you haven't checked that one out yet).

However, here I am again, mainly to encourage anyone even remotely interested to head on over to the Mary Ward Centre website and sign up for the next term of my Introduction to World Music course. It starts in April and is going to be great fun! (Please email me if you'd like any more information about the course)

In the meantime, I will try my best to post regularly with some good music and who knows, maybe some actual writing.

And so I leave you with this, my current favourite video (apologies for the explicit language, but it's a good track):

Balkan Beat Box (BBB) – 'Political F*ck'

Monday, 10 October 2011

This Week's Picks #52

In a terrible and wound-up mood, I'm in need of a major cool down. So, apologies in advance but this week's playlist is a bit angsty and moody – something to chill out (or belt out) to.

Please enjoy!

"City of Refuge" - Abigail Washburn 

Some good ol' banjo music from Bela Fleck's clawhammering wife, Abigail Washburn. Influenced by her time in China, Washburn's banjo playing is not quite what you expect for old fashion Americana. New sounds find there way into the folk strumming for sounds that are both familiar and very strange at the same time.

"You've Got the Kind of Nerve I Like" - Tiny Ruins

I heard this track on Mark Coles' 'The Shed: A Whole New World of Music' show several weeks ago and fell in love. There's something so sweet about this song and though a bit moody, it's just what I needed today.

"Run Away" - Sarah Jarosz

It's all about the lady singers today, and not only is Jarosz an amazing singer with a smooth voice that I can't get enough of, she's a spectacular instrumentalist. A virtuoso on the clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar, and octave mandolin, there's not much this New England Conservatory student can't do.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

This Week's Picks #51

After taking a much needed break, I'm coming back atcha with some great tunes. Enjoy!

"Gorpuru" - Gurrumul
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is a blind Aboriginal singer and member of the Gumatj clan of north east Arnhemland. His debut album Gurrumul took the world by storm in 2009, making a name for indigenous music and artists. This track is from his recently released second album Rrakala, that appears to be receiving just as much acclaim as his debut.

"Unuttun Mu Beni" - Sezen Aksu

One of my new favourites is the Queen of Turkish Pop, Sezen Aksu. I can hear you asking, 'How can she be the Queen of Turkish Pop? I've never heard of her!' While I'm sure you are probably up-to-date on your pop queens, the album from which this is the first track, Öptum, is her 24th release and still only her first to make it beyond the borders of Turkey. I hope it will be the first of many.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

This week's reader pick comes from Susan Crocenzi.

"Leaving Soon" - Meklit Hadero

Hadero is an Ethiopian-born and San Francisco-based singer that is able to combine all her influences into beautiful and poetic jazz-fusion. Recently selected as one of Google's Artists of the week, US readers can download a few of her tracks here.

Have a great track you want posted? Let me know via Facebook, Twitter, email or in the comments below. And remember: Good music transcends language barriers & cultural differences. Great music blows your mind.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Middle Eastern Protest Singers Targeted

Songlines magazine recently posted an evocative blog about protest singers in the Middle East and their oppression by the current regimes:

With the death toll rising from the ongoing Syrian uprising, one of the voices of the movement, 42-year-old singer Ibrahim Qashoush, has met a gruesome end at the hands of the regime’s security forces. Qashoush, a fireman and poet from the city of Hama in central Syria, had written and sung verses that had become popular features of the uprising in his city, calling on Bashar al-Assad to leave.
      On July 3, he disappeared and according to reports, his body was found in the city’s river with its throat cut and vocal cords ripped out. It suggests the brutality of the regime in the face of open articulation of dissent by protest singers and poets, though all reports from within Syria are impossible to verify due to the regime’s media blackout.
      Hear Qashoush leading the crowds in Hama on this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH57lRemXtw&feature=player_embedded 

      Meanwhile, across the border in Lebanon, where Syria has for so long had a political as well as military presence, the uprising is building tensions. Beirut hipster Zeid Hamdan was jailed temporarily in July over slander charges he faces for defamation of the Lebanese president Suleiman in a song he posted on YouTube in August 2010. The track, ‘General Suleiman’, calls on not only the president, but also the country’s militiamen, corrupt politicians, arms dealers and foreign intelligence operatives to, ‘go home’. 
     The 35-year-old musician is a veteran of Beirut’s outspoken independent music scene and used to be one half of the electronica fusion duo Soap Kills. Prosecutors will now decide whether to press formal charges in a Middle East climate of increasing discontent towards those in power. 
     Judge the song for yourself at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L83n4zhg8Jw

See the original article here. You can also read my review of the Barbican's recent Night in Tahrir Square here.