I’d like to pretend I’m all badass and have been listening to Orchestra Baobab since I was six. But anyone who’s ever met my family knows it is unlikely that there was any Senegalese music coming out of the stereo when we were growing up (although, to be fair, my mother did own some calypso records). Instead, this list gives me a chance to give another shout-out to the awesome blog World Is Africa by Djibril, which continues to introduce me to many great artists from that continent.
So I’m at brunch, and my friend Jerusalem is talking about how much she loves Miriam Makeba, and I’m thinking, “Perfect timing! I just posted my Miriam Makeba list!” And then I’m thinking, “Wait. Did I actually post the list? I don’t remember.” And I check, and sure enough … I completely skipped over it. And this time, I can’t even blame Joni Mitchell.
Many of these round 2 lists are artists who made a 1- or 2-song appearance on a genre list in round 1, but whom I decided were important enough to get the full shebang. Hugh Masekala makes the cut, and not just because he is a borderline member of the “quite the looker in his younger days” club. I’m not that shallow. Much.
If you are, as I was until recently, unfamiliar with Angelique Kidjo’s music, you’re in for a treat. I Kidjo not. (And as penance for that attempt at humor, I will now listen to a full day of Celine Dion.)
Ali Farka Toure
The problem with being a music junkie blogger is that you read that Vieux Farka Touré, son of Ali Farka Touré, is coming to town, and you think, “Hmmm. I should really do a post on Ali Farka Touré.” And then you get this far and you realize, “Hmmm. I don’t have a thing to say about Ali Farka Touré.”
Z IS HERE! BE SURE TO SEND IN YOUR ARTIST/GROUP SUGGESTIONS FOR POTD, ROUND 2!
I don’t know a note of their music, but I’d like to say here that “Zap Mama” is by far the coolest band name ever.
Z IS COMING SOON! BE SURE TO SEND IN YOUR ARTIST/GROUP SUGGESTIONS FOR POTD, ROUND 2!
Before I became an educated music junkie, I would have said Youssou N’Dour was a groundbreaking world musician. But now, thanks to always informative and insightful World Is Africa blog, I know that he basically just slicked up and genericized all of Orchestra Baobab’s innovations.
My original idea for this list was to focus on Ladysmith Black Mambazo and township jive. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized how widespread the music of southern Africa really is. That is because I am a dumb white American.
My first introduction to Salif Keita was him covering “Begin the Beguine” on the Red Hot & Blue Cole Porter tribute/AIDS fundraising album back in the late 80s. His voice? Amazing. Him singing “Begin the Beguine” in Malinke? Weird.
When my friend Lisa (who put the “T” in “trip”) came to visit many years ago, she found a pop-rai compliation I had and spent the next two weeks listening to “Ma-Nsal” nonstop. Because she is awesome. (Also awesome: This World Is Africa post on Khaled, the king of rai.)