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2008 - week 2, from 12 January

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:11 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Devendra Banhart - Cristobal - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon - USA - XL - XLCD 283

2 - Carmen Miranda - Deixa Comigo - Brazil: 1914- 1945 - Brazil - Fremeux - FA 077

3 - Volga - Pomol - Pomol - Russia - Manas - MR 7016

4 - Ibrahim Maalouf - Diaspora - Diasporas - France/Lebanon - Discograph - IBM1

5 - Karjam Saeji - Danlih - Pilgrimage - Tibet/USA - Saeji - 2007

6 - Gorillaz - Hong Kong - D Sides - UK - Parlophone - 50999 510545 2

Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart sings ‘Go Home, Yanqui’ only once and very softy in ‘Cristobal’, but it sticks out in a song that is otherwise sung entirely in Spanish. Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, his second album on XL, is another quirky mixture of hard and soft rock and folk, written and sung with no apparent thought of who might like it. It’s been a while since anybody confessed to living in the indulgent canyons of the Hollywood Hills but Devendra doesn’t care what you think about him.

Carmen Miranda

A recent three-part documentary series about Brazilian music on BBC4 revealed several things about Carmen Miranda that I didn’t know before, including that she was actually born in Portugal. She had a successful career in Brazil before going to Hollywood, where she sang in English. Remembering her in a hat stuffed with bananas, I had dismissed her as a novelty act, but as this recording from 1939 demonstrates, she had been a really good singer.

Volga [photo courtesy]

The album Three Fields by the Russian group Volga was one of my most played records in 2004-2005, but the follow-up Pomol didn’t seem nearly as good and I set it aside after playing the title track just once. Now the same album has been released in different packaging and it seems better than I remembered. But still the title track stands out.

Ibrahim Maalouf
[photo courtesy ]

I’ve championed the Paris-based trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf for his sympathetic, distinctive work on albums by Lhasa and Amadou & Mariam, and invited him to take part in a live session for the World Service with the Russian singer Julia Vorontsova. On his debut album, Diasporas, Ibrahim explores a variety of moods that might be filed in a box called Middle East Ambient.

Karjam Saeji

Karjam Saeji is a Tibetan musician based in the United States, who made contact via my MySpace profile [ ]. Attracted by the sound of the samples on his site, I asked him to send his album and am pleased to present a song from it. So much music with the same ingredients slips into the deep black hole called New Age Music, but somehow Karjem safely skirts around the edge of the precipice without ever falling into the pit.


When I told Damon Albarn that I liked his track ‘Hong Kong’ on the D-Sides album by Gorillaz, he pulled a face and said that although he had enjoyed his trip to record it in Hong Kong, it hadn’t come out right. Sounds good to me.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:13 pm
by Charlie
emails from

1. Peter Hankard, Alconbury, UK

The only presenter in any medium who makes me want to find out more about every artist and /or track played on his shows. Salutations.


2. Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel, a Rwandan in Cameroon

As usual Mr. Charlie Gillett,

I enjoy your programme because music is my first hobby.

This time around I enjoyed most this one:

Title: Cristobal
Artist: Devendra Banhart
CD Title: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

My regards,


3. Artemis Burton, Ipswich

I thoroughly enjoy your programme and am amazed by the diversity of offering. However, I notice you hardly ever play 'highlife' which is a mainstay of music in Ghana and there is a growing trend to going back to this music. Ditto also for Greek music, especially rembetika. C'mmon, Charlie, you have taught us to expect hight standards!!


CG reply

check out next week's Radio 3 show for a nice slice of Highlife from Eric Agyeman