Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
At the beginning of this year, I had a grand ambition to explore world music and write about it. I got off to a pretty good start and then my year took a turn. For me, music is a happy experience and I haven’t had a particularly happy year. As a results, I’ve had almost zero interest in listening even to my favorites, let alone exploring new musical styles.
But 2009 is ending on a bit of a high note. I’m about to make a big change and in honor of that change, I’m resurrecting the world music series with a post in honor of my soon-to-be new home: Jakarta. [Read more]
When you think about music and Argentina, do you immediately think tango?
You’re not alone. Argentina is known for unleashing the sexy style on the world in the early twentieth century. Over almost a hundred years, the tango has been an obsession of many, even leading to an explosion of tango-themed vacation tours. [Read more]
It’s not surprising that few acts out of
I’m not quite ready to let the inauguration of President Barack Obama be in the past, so this week, I’ve been looking into the music of Kenya, home of Obama’s father.
First up: Ken wa Maria, headliner of the Yatta Orchestra International Band, a popular Kamba act. wa Maria seems to be a bit larger than life, attracting as much attention for his controversial lyrics and his will-he-or-won’t-he-run political ambitions as for his music. [Read more]
In honor of the 44th President, this week I went looking for some songs about the good ole US of A. There’s actually a current ranking of patriotic songs, which I must admit seems a little bizarre. But people listen to the nose flute, so who am I to judge?
Atop the list, sits Lee Greenwood and “God Bless the USA.” I’d rather listen to a chorus of nose flutes playing “It’s a Small World After All” than listen to a trite, overplayed, twangy Republican anthem. But if you like that kind of thing, I’m sure you can find it on You Tube. [Read more]
Our resident Czech, Codegen86, tells me that I should spend several weeks sampling Czech music before reaching any sort of general conclusion, and I think he is probably right. But I just don't have that kind of time! I've at least been able to identify what I would consider three different broad categories of modern Czech music, though I'm sure I'm leaving many out. [Read more]
My New Year’s resolution for 2009 is to keep myself entertained. And, I ask you, what could be more entertaining than launching a worldwide exploration of music together? We’ll be starting our tour in South America—specifically Brazil, because I have a special place in my heart for all things Brazilian.
Befitting such a large and geographically diverse country, the musical styles of Brazil run the gamut from Bossa Nova to Rap to Metal. But my favorite style, not just of Brazil, but of any music anywhere, is Samba. [Read more]