Tuesday, 30 August 2011

This Week's Picks #50

I am finally home after one of the longest weekends of my life – Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Now, to be fair, I'm not the biggest folk fan, but I do enjoy a few good bands. However, this weekend was not only complete with freezing cold, rain and blow away tents but also chock-full of tin whistle workshops at 8am, bagpipe workshops at 8am, more Morris dancing than you know what to do with and the most miserable punters you've ever met. To be fair, Shrewsbury is a great festival...for those that LOVE folk. It's on a beautiful site, has great sound, and full of interesting workshops and dancing. And the punters do love their folk and make you feel like you're selling a dirty magazine if it's filled with *gasp* world music.

Therefore in protest to this weekend, please enjoy this week's picks inspired by folk – as in this is as opposite of English folk as it gets.

"Secret Agent" - Tony Allen

 Throw out the clogs and bring out the booty! This famous Nigerian drummer/singer-songwriter knows how to get down and doesn't spend time crying about the 'good old days'.

"Ina Mina Dika" - Goldspot

The Bollywood classic gets an indie remake by the American band Goldspot. Originally sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar, this remake was recently heard in the film Today's Special.

"Blue Eyed Black Boy" - Balkan Beat Box

I've featured these guys a few times, but I really do like them that much. This is the title track from their latest album and you won't see any of those folkies jamming out to it.

How many folkies does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change the bulb and one to write about how good the old one was.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

Well, there were no suggestions this week, so I'll post this beautiful video of the Malian songbird Fatoumata Diawara tweeted this afternoon by @SonglinesMag.

The track is 'Kanou' from Fatoumata's debut album (out 19 September). There is some really beautiful movement and cinematography in this video that makes me love the track even more. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

This Week's Picks #49

The kings of desert blues, Tinariwen, are in the news (hehe, that rhymes!) . This weekend The Observer gave away an eight-track live album by them (which you can still download here for a few more days), Songlines magazine is soon to feature them on their cover, an album set to be released at the end of the month, and their extensive autumn tour will include London's KOKO. So, in anticipation, this week's picks are all Tinariwen inspired.

"Tenere Taqhim Tossam" - Tinariwen feat. TV on the Radio

This is a track off Tinariwen's new album, Tassili, due to be released at the end of this month. This has got to be my favourite track by them so far. They are joined by Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, whose sound fits perfectly into Tinariwen's acoustic album.

"Nak Amadjar Nidounia" - Tamikrest  

The younger Touareg blues band, Tamikrest, have been doing their best to keep up with the pace set by Tinariwen. They recently released an album Toumastin to rave reviews. This is my favorite track from that album.

"Adounia" - Bombino

It's unsurprising that the popularity of Tinariwen in the past decade has given birth to numerous Touareg rockers. The latest on the scene is Bombino, and he's good. I had the pleasure to briefly meet Bombino at this year's WOMAD, if only to say hello. I highly recommend checking out his debut album, Agadez.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Rhythm Passport

With so many gigs, tours, shows and concerts out there, it is hard to know where to start looking. But, if you're free this weekend, next Tuesday, or even some evening in October, I've recently discovered a new website that makes it easier to find world music gigs and puts my 'Nomad's Calendar' to shame.

Rhythm Passport was recently launched and is a user-run event listings website that focuses on 'traditional world music to global beats'. Apologies to all my international readers, but Rhythm Passport is only UK-based, though that does not mean 'London-based'. You can find event listings from all over the UK.

The search allows you to filter by date, region, town, venue name as well as the country or continent the music is from. Another great feature is that the next 30 days worth of events are uploaded onto Facebook, making it easy to remind yourself of an upcoming gig you really wanted to check out.

Finally, the best feature of the site are the customised emailing list. If you register and adjust your email settings, the site will email you once a month with a list of events specifically tailored to your preferences (say, South American music in London, or bluegrass in Scotland). You need to register for this feature, but it's definitely worth it! You can register here.  

You can check out the website here: www.rhythmpassport.com
Or their Facebook here: www.facebook.com/pages/Rhythm-Passport/170367249680012

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

Have you recently heard a great track that you would like to share? Send in your review of a track for our weekly "Reader's Picks" series. Here, I want to know what you listen to.

Send the review you've written and a link to the track on YouTube to my email. Please include the name you would like us to use as the author of the review (it can be your full name, first name, or user name). We will post up to three tracks in a given week.

Not really up for writing something? No problem, just send me the link to the track.

Now...what's on your stereo?

Monday, 15 August 2011

This Week's Picks #48

On Thursday I went to Sadler's Wells to see the Tony Award-winning musical, FELA! It was a fantastic show with great music and even better dancing that tell the true story of Fela Kuti and his nightclub, The Shrine. As a result, I've had Fela's unique Afrobeat stuck in my head. So, please enjoy this week's picks, inspired by the legendary Fela Kuti.

"ITT (International Thief Thief)" - Fela Kuti

The Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was not only a legendary musician, but also a political activist, speaking when many would not. He set out to use his music as a weapon and fight the political corruption. This track was an attack on International Telegraph and Telecommunications.

"Dem Bobo" - Femi Kuti

The son of Fela, Femi is carrying the name of Afrobeat ambassador. Though one of Fela's other son's, Seun, is also continuing the tradition, I personally prefer Femi's music. 'Dem Bobo' is from Femi's most recent album Africa for Africa, which won the 2011 Songlines Music Award for Best Artist.

"Yellow Fever" - FELA!

Here's a sneak peek at a track from the musical FELA! The spectacular music and dancing make up for the jumpy story line. I highly recommended my London readers to pop over to Sadler's Wells and catch it before it leaves, and all my international readers to keep an ear out and definitely catch it if the show comes your way.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

This week's reader picks is coming at you from DJ Socrates.

'Kilimajaro' - The Shaolin Afronauts

Groovy. I'm loving this! The Shaolin Afronauts are a side project of the Adelaide band The Transatlantics and take their inspiration from 1970s Afrobeat. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

This Week's Picks #47

It's already been a week since I returned from WOMAD and I'm still reeling. I heard some amazing music despite the fact I was there to work and hope to share quick round up in the next few days. In the meantime, this week's picks are inspired by some of the music I heard. Enjoy!

"Galloping Horses" - AnDa Union

Like many attending this year's WOMAD Charlton Park, I was blown away by the Mongolian group AnDa Union. The combination of the two-stringed horse-headed fiddle and spectacular singing, this group is set to make it big. You can see a short clip of AnDa Union performing in the Songlines tent at WOMAD here, where you can hear the powerful voice of their singer.

"Karma Police" - Brassroots

Performing fun covers from the Charlie Gillett Stage, Brass Roots also became a quick favorite of mine. Their repertoire included greats like 'Karma Police' and 'Sweet Dreams' among others.

"Offsprunt" - Alejandro & The Magic Tombolinos

These guys have been everywhere this summer performing several festivals including Larmer Tree and WOMAD. A quintet of international musicians led by Argentinian sax man Alejandro Toledo, the Tombolinos really know how to get a crowd moving while playing their Gypsy stroke rock stroke Middle Eastern stroke Latin stroke a little bit of everything fusion.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

World music icons, any thoughts?

As some of you may have noticed, I am returning after almost a month's hiatus. I wish I could tell you that I had been traveling distant countries in search of good music, but instead I have been taking a much needed break. I would like to thank all those who have stuck around and assure you that Nomad's Playlist is back.

Now, on to more exciting business. Songlines magazine is asking for world music icon suggestions. Do you have an artist in mind that you think has changed the face of 'world music' or an artist is is chomping at the bit to follow in the footsteps of the greats? If so, hop on over to Songline's Facebook page and let them know. They will be putting some of the suggestions in their next issue.


For more details, read the Icons feature in their new issue (#78, August/September).