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Felix Lakjo & Garth Cartwright, Worldon3, Friday 16 Jan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:51 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - C W Stoneking's King Hokum - Don't Go Dancin' Down The Darktown Strutter's Ball - C W Stoneking's King Hokum - Australia - Voodoo Rhythms - VRCD38

2 - Goreala - Outro - Metaphor Za Mtaa - Kenya - Culture Taxi -

Radio Ping Pong with Garth Cartwright (*)

*3 - Dzansever: - Ce Aysunu - Princes amongst Men - Macedonia - Asphalt Tango - CD-ATR 1608

4 - Sexteto Nacional featuring Carusito - Siboney - The Music of Cuba 1909-51 - Cuba - Columbia - 498 709-2 t.7

5 - Felix Lajko - BBC Improvisation 1 (violin) - In session - Hungary/Serbia

*6 - Azis - Buda Bar - Naked - Serbia - Sunny Music - MK 10465

7 - Kries - Lepi Juro Kries Nalaze - Kocijani - Croatia - Kopito - KR 006 CD

*8 - Gazmend Rama - untitled excerpt - Tallava Turbo Live - Kosovo (NB, not Albania -see Garth's note below) - - CD-R

9 - Group Doueh - Cheyla Ya Haiuune - Guitar Music from Western Sahara - Mauritania - Sublime Frequencies -


10 - Jae-P - Latinos Unidos - Esperanza - USA - Univision - 0883 10278 2

11 - Alejandro Fernandez - Paso del Norte - Que Seas Muy Feliz - Mexico - Epic - EPC 479 835

*12 - Lydia Mendoza - Mi Problema - La Gloria de Texas - USA - Arhoolie - CD3012

13 - John Trudell - Dizzy Duck - Blue Indians - USA - Ulftone - UTCD813

*14 - Willy DeVille - The Band Played On - Pistola - USA - Eagle - CD 368

14 - Felix Lajko - BBC Improvisation 2 (violin) - In session - Hungary/Serbia

15 - Felix Lajko - BBC Improvisation 3 (zither) - In session - Hungary/Serbia

16 - Felix Lajko - BBC Improvisation 4 (violin & zither) - In session - Hungary/Serbia

17 - Diana Jones - Pony - Live in session - USA

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Image
Felix Lajko
(photo by Felix Carey)

Felix Lajko is a violin wizard from Serbia who also plays zither. In this programme, he played a couple of violin improvisations and ended by double tracking himself, first laying down a backing track on zither. He then had a practice run on violin and then, having learned where the gaps were, he played the finished take. Thrilling and impressive.

Garth Cartwright is the writer familiar to readers of the forum for his forthright views, and it can be a surprise to find the man himself is much more gentle than the impression left by his words on a page. His unerringly hones in the best tracks to play and ranges as far and wide as anyone he likely to run across.

Garth's current book is Prince Amongst Men and his next will be More Miles Than Money. The music in this selection illustrates both of them.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:27 pm
by garth cartwright
Let's hope it sounds good - I was down with the flu when we recorded! Charlie, one correction - Gazmend Rama is from Kosovo, not Albania, although he sings in Albanian. I played him both because it's amazing music - tallava a form of Roma trance music from that region - and to highlight what has happened to Kosovo's Roma: most were ethnically cleansed by extremist Albanians once Nato had bombed the Serbs out. What had the Roma done to extract such treatment? Nothing. The old fascist construct of a Greater Albania aims for a territory including Albania-Kosovo and part of Macedonia that is populated only by Albanians. At present some of the Roma refugees still in Kosovo live in camps built by the UN on toxic waste dumping grounds. They and their children are dieing of lead poisoning and being Gypsies can be ignored by the international community. More info:

This week, Germany's second largest NGO, the "Society for Threatened Peoples" will be sending its Head of Mission for Kosovo and Serbia to the House of Commons, London and to the EU Headquarters in Brussels in an attempt to save 130 Roma families placed by the United Nations in what it calls "death camps" in Kosovo.
The camps, at Osterode and Cesmin Lug, were built by the UN on ground so toxic that when the World Health Organisation took samples, they declared that the camps should be evacuated within 24 hours and the children treated for lead poisoning. In fact, the levels of lead and other heavy metals in the blood were found to be sufficient to cause irreversible brain damage in children under the age of 6 years, according the expert toxicologists. Some levels were even beyond what the WHO instruments could measure. After nine years, these camps are still open, the UN has failed to follow the WHO recommendation, and 217 children under ten are today still at risk.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:13 pm
by Alan
Listen again (highly recommended) for 7 days up until 23 January 11.15pm http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00gh5s0

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:33 pm
by Charlie
As I noted the record label of the Jae P album that Garth brought in, I wondered what Univision was - a name I had not run across before. In today's Observer is a long piece about the Univision TV station, the biggest Hispanic station in the US which sometimes gets bigger figures than any of the major networks, especially for its soaps. I had not realised that Ugly Betty is an English language remake of a Spanish-language original, produced by Univision. The station's biggest show is Sin Tetas No Hay Paradiso (Without Breasts There is No Heaven), about a prostitute using breast enhancement to increase her earning powers, which is the show that's beating all its rivals. I've been waiting for signs of American media recognising the Hispanic market as a significant factor - when will top 40 radio start to play Latin music as a matter of course?

Incidentally, the Observer has for many years been a dire source of news or original material, not a patch on its parent daily paper, The Guardian, but has improved noticably in the past few weeks.

Croatia online

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:39 pm
by Simon Broughton
There was a good selection of tracks on Fri - partic the extraordinary Azis. But I was astonished that neither Charlie and Garth - both men of the world and one with some experience in the region - were puzzling over the internet address for the Kries album (wondering if it was made in Hungary) and didn't realise that .hr is the suffix for Croatia and is what you see on the back of Croatian cars. Hrvatska is the name of the country in Croatian so it's not surprising - like Germany is .de or Switzerland .ch

Sorry to bring it up, but it made me squirm mostly because I thought how insularly English it must have sounded to any of Kries listening online or on listen again. Ugh

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:43 pm
by garth cartwright
Interesting what you found about Univision Charlie - I wasn't aware of that at all. I had an idea they were a powerful music player as when in California and buying Mexican American CDs they are often on Univision. That company obviously has its ear to the ground, signing up acts like Jae-P and the narco-corrido stars that begin on tiny indie labels.

I've no idea what Simon's on about but will relisten when back in the UK later this week. I had the flu - that's my excuse!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:54 pm
by garth cartwright
Final note: I agree that the US - and rest of the Western world - remain blissfully ignorant about mexican american culture. Hopefully More Miles Than Money will do a bit to rectify that as i consider their music alongside blues, soul, funk, country and other US roots musics.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:04 am
by Seb Merrick
I also squirmed about the hr mistake whilst holding a live commentary on the programme with a bulgarian friend on facebook. (we both thought the aziz track garth selected was ok, though there would be others that aren't...)

I do think it is really important on the few world music programmes in the uk for presenters to confidently know about the music and context - as much as they can within reason - or admit ignorance.

There will always be an element of education in presenting work music to British audiences, and as listeners we find it interesting to have correct information, and annoying when we know it isn't.

It is interesting that very few presenters say anything abot the meaning of lyrics. It would be great to hear more about song lyrics.

For example, listening to Ritu on bbc london on saturday me and my wife laughed at a Turkish track whose lyrics were... something like 'Shall I buy a fish....' and 'You are in a crazy crowded place' . Not to say that it wasn't a good song to play - apparently a classic Anatolian number - but an email to a sympathetic Turkish (Hindi/Greek/Hausa etc) speaker would get a quick reply I'm sure, and that would be an appreciated service to listeners.

Then again, no one is paid for reseach like that, I know.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:53 am
by John Leeson
On hearing the Willie (or Mink) deVille song and comments on the show, I recalled having read something about him recently in regards to Doc Pomus.

It wasn't from the excellent Pomus biography, Lonely Avenue but from a book published last year titled Tell the Truth Until They Bleed by Josh Alan Friedman. It includes a chapter on Pomus (the entire chapter is available here: http://www.wfmu.org/LCD/23/docpomus.html).

Toward the end of Doc's life, Friedman wrote:

He collaborated with Willie DeVille, who affected a cotton-picker's doo-rag look. Privately, he was dumbstruck that DeVille could sit for hours strumming a guitar aimlessly without an idea in his head. (Their collaboration did yield several acclaimed albums.)


I'm pretty much unfamiliar with DeVille's music, strumming or head, so have no idea whether that's at all accurate, but the description stuck with me.

Re: Croatia online

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:23 am
by Charlie
Simon Broughton wrote:Sorry to bring it up, but it made me squirm mostly because I thought how insularly English it must have sounded to any of Kries listening online or on listen again. Ugh

Thanks Simon, I'm not surprised you squirmed and am disappointed to be the source of such ignorance. I haven't been in that region for many years and although Garth has, he's not a driver and doesn't pay attention to the insignia on their tails.

garth cartwright wrote:Hopefully More Miles Than Money will do a bit to rectify that as i consider their music alongside blues, soul, funk, country and other US roots musics.

I'm touched at your optimistic hope that a book may radically change such perceptions, Garth, although it may be true that your first has already done so regarding the people and music of the Balkans

Seb Merrick wrote:I do think it is really important on the few world music programmes in the uk for presenters to confidently know about the music and context - as much as they can within reason - or admit ignorance.

It is interesting that very few presenters say anything about the meaning of lyrics. It would be great to hear more about song lyrics.

Then again, no one is paid for research like that, I know.

All valid comments, Seb.

I am uncomfortably aware of my shameful ignorance, in contrast for instance to Lucy Duran whose knowledge of languages and familiarity with cultural background is so impressive. I often think that I am not qualified to do what I'm doing and wonder how I have been allowed to get away with it for so long.

At the World Service I am provided with a pronunciation crib so I should be able to pronounce the artist names and song titles correctly. But so far nobody has offered translations which are such a handy feature on Putumayo albums

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:39 pm
by Jamie Renton
Lyrics, shmyrics: I seem to recall that the late John Peel claimed that, when asked if he was able to translate the words of a non-English language song he was playing, would always respond "Come let us go down to the mighty river where the running waters flow free" & that people were always quite happy with this.

Just listening to the programme now & very much enjoying it.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:50 pm
by garth cartwright
Oh, so that’s what Simon was on about. Blimey, talk about being tripped up by trivia. I’ve been in Croatia several times, generally passing through on my way to Bosnia, and can chat fluently on its culture, history, religion, athletes, politics, relations with neighbours, Ustashe supporting turbo folk stars, gorgeous coast and fabulously beautiful women. But I never once knew that hr was its code. Maybe if I’d ever phoned/e-mailed a Croat or bought a Croat CD I might have noticed. But I haven’t and hadn’t and am surprised by the emphasis put on this by Simon and Seb’. I wouldn’t recognize its flag either although I’ve obviously seen it many times. But that's me, an obsessive autistic type who studies the stuff that interests me intensely and pays little attention to other.

Charlie, don’t beat yourself up over this – Lucy Duran is a musicologist and thus an expert in a certain field of West African music and language. But as she admits she knows nothing about any other music (beyond a bit of Cuban via marriage). She doesn’t have the slightest grounding in Western popular music so always struggles when dealing with African acts whose influences are r&b, rap, rock rather than regional traditions. Which is why World Routes sounds more like a lecture – well informed but very dry, rarely engaging. You, on the other hand, may not be fluent in spoken languages and codes but you manage to map a huge range of music forms and link the best of them in a manner that makes for wonderfully engaging and entertaining radio. This is more important. You do a great job, keep it up.

As to Willy & Doc: yes, they wrote some brilliant songs together, songs both of them ranked as amongst their finest. 1980’s This World Outside is, for me, one of the most transcendent compositions of the 20th Century and I’m surprised it hasn’t become something of a standard. How Willy composes I have no idea – maybe doodling on a guitar for hours produces the songs for him – but he writes songs as fine as anyone alive so his process certainly works. And, yes, the Doc Pomus book is a masterful biography.

As for More Miles opening things up for Mexican American music - Charlie, I don't expect much, just extending the dialogue (hopefully) so others interested in US music check some tunes. Mex-Ams now make up a larger part of the US population than black Americans yet get very little media attention - cos of the Spanish language I guess. But the 21st C will see them enjoying a greater deal of attention, politically and culturally (I think).

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:57 pm
by David Flower
garth cartwright wrote: Lucy Duran is a musicologist and thus an expert in a certain field of West African music and language. But as she admits she knows nothing about any other music (beyond a bit of Cuban via marriage). She doesn’t have the slightest grounding in Western popular music


well that's remarkably dismissive Garth and I can't let it pass without defending the old girl. You know nothing about Lucy's personal life or you wouldn't make such a rude comment in reference to a marriage. Lucy was into Cuba long before that happened. I have little doubt that she'd give you a thrashing in any head-to-head quiz on Cuban music. Or African generally.
I also doubt she'd ever have said she knew nothing about any other type of music!

Lucy

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:51 pm
by Simon Broughton
Yes I want to leap to Lucy's defence here too - although she does sometimes have an irritating tendency to try and show off her knowledge. But her broadcasting is certainly not dry and she's a real enthusiast - even when she is in territories she doesn't know so well - amongst the Uighurs in Xinjiang, for example. Her Brazilian programmes recently were marvellous and were rightly picked up in the press for it. She's also, by the way, a fluent Greek speaker, with a good knowledge of the music.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:54 pm
by garth cartwright
OK, I overstated the case but I once had a chat with her at a world festival in Spain where she admitted that until attending that festival in the mid-90s (Cartagena) she had never listened to flamenco or any other Spanish music (despite being a Duran). And when her kids asked her about The Beatles and Pink Floyd and 60s stuff she tells them she completely ignored it at the time and still does! West Africa is her stomping ground and she's rightly recognised as the expert.

David, anyone could give me a thrashing on Cuban and African music. Not my beat bro!