domingo, julho 27, 2008

Flaming Homers

On my trip to Copenhagen I listened to some random CD’s that I pulled from my collection. Stuff that I haven’t listened to for a long time. It turned out to be a rather traditional soundtrack which suited very well the nice winding green and yellow rural landscapes that I passed while driving.
I normally listen to more modern, electronic and rather advanced stuff but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know or appreciate the classics or the roots where it all comes from. I really like all kinds of traditional folk music from around the world. It’s always good to know and to cherish the originals. It gives one a sense of history and evolution and besides that it’s most of all great music.

After checking out Mediafire I found this alternative to Box called… Boxstr. I like the prelistening feature from snapshots so that you know what you’re downloading but that’s impossible with Mediafire. Boxstr on the other hand, does the trick.

One collection was an all-star band performing songs from the Stephen Foster's All American songbook. Almost everybody knows these tunes or has heard them in one of the many different versions which exist. Both black and white performers and musicians have played and recorded them over the many years. They’re truly traditional songs and because of that I thought for a long time that they belonged to the public domain, meaning that nobody knew who wrote them. I was wrong. I learned that a lot of these tunes were written by one and same person called Stephen Foster in the mid 19th century. Before and during the Civil War.
He was really ahead of his time being an independent songwriter trying to make a living out of purely written music in a time which practically knew no copy write laws but most of all for mixing and transforming the many vulgar rural musical styles of settlers and slaves into popular tunes for the entire nation. They became the soundtrack of an era and gave way to practically all of the present American music. Many call it the trunk of the tree of the Great American songbook. Whether its country, bluegrass, gospel or the blues and rock music. Even classic composers as Charles Ives have been influenced by his music. Many of his songs have the solemn grandeur of hymns but still manage to remain true to their ‘plain folk’ origin. Is not that difficult to make great music if one can stand on the shoulder of such giants.

Another collection was Hot Women, a compilation Robert Crumb made from his old 78 records from around the world. They’re all female voices from various torrid southern regions. From the States to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and beyond.

Toña La Negre – Cacahuatero
Grupo De La Alegria – Tambor de la Alegria
Leona Gabriel-Soime with A. Kindou Orchestra – Liva
Araci Côrtes with The Brunswick Orcherstra – Quero Sossego
Las Cuatro Huasas – Papa Araucana

La Niña de Los Peines y Niño Ricardo – Sevillanas No. 2
Rosina Trubia Gioiosa – Lu Fistinu Di Palermo
Rita Abadzi – Mime Stelis Mana Anastin Ameriki
Maria Vasileiathou – Arostisa Manoula Mou

Cheikha Tetma – Guenene Tini
Julie Marsellaise – Yama N'Chauf Haja Tegennen
Noforonin-Dratsiambakaina, Hirain-Drazaivelo and Christine Zanany – Miverena Rahavana

The third one was second volume in a series of music related to the Italian Maffia. Omertà, Onuri e Sangu – La Musica Della Mafia. Old traditional songs about la Malavida dressed up in very typical sweet and bitter Italian ballads and tarantellas.
The last one is the odd one out. Flaming Fle(a)mes is a compilation which the Dutch music magazine OOR made a couple of years ago about recent pop and rock music trends in the Northern Flemish Part of Belgium. It’s proof of how much they appreciate our (native) music just across the northern border.

Admiral Freebee - There's a Road (Noorderlaan) live
If you know which road he’s talking about it becomes a bit funny considering the fact that it’s not really that much of a long winding road but I like the feel of it and like the idea of addressing that feeling to that road at the edge of the city where harbor and city come together.
Sukilove – As Long as I Survive Tonight
Das Pop – You
At the time of release many people found this song to be a bit lame or even gay but it turned out to be one of most common loved and requested songs on radio, a classic.
Thou – Speakers
Dead Man Ray – Landslide
One of my favorite local bands but they’re not really that successful so they only release music every once in awhile even though they’re very active in other projects
Mauro Pawlowski And The Grooms – Ghost Rock
Mauro what he does best – rock.
Mintzkov Luna – Mimosa
A very typical Belgian popsong in terms of songwriting, style and (lack of) singing, an average example of what people have been doing around these parts for the last 10/15 years. Nothing special but it ain’t bad either.
PJDS – No Suprise
Sioen – Cruisin’
‘t Hof Van Commerce – Zonder Totetrekkerie
If you’re not acquainted with the language, the music and type of band it probably sounds like wiggers to you, but it’s actually pretty good, trust me, and above all funny. They never take themselves too seriously. Literally it means: without pulling faces or making tricks but the concepts goes beyond that of course. Hip-hop rules the nation :)
Buscemi – Seaside
Yes, we have a seaside but it generally doesn’t inspire music like this. Maybe it’s the lack of.
Gabriel Rios – Bonus Bugalu
A migrated Puertorican who became Belgian and who should have been world famous by now. Instead he’s famous in you know where and he’s quite happy with it, like most artists from these parts.

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