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Show #66: Nigeria’s Musical Rebels

Posted August 1, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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This week’s show is about songs that take Nigeria’s government and politics to task. Nigeria is rich in natural resources but has been plagued since time immemorial by government corruption. ‘Kleptocracy’ is a word sometimes employed. Nigeria exported 37.2 billion barrels of oil in 2011 at the average price of $110 per barrel, which would follow that 2011 revenues should have added up to…er…my calculator can’t …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin, Performances & Events »

Chappottin: Legendary Cuban Band Plays LA

Posted July 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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It’s an embarrassment of riches–of a good thing I mean!
Two weeks ago, the New York group Tipica Novel wove its Cuban charanga magic at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. The group is celebrating their 50th birthday this year. Now we have another legendary Cuban group who is also celebrating its 50th birthday, Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas coming to Skirball Cultural Center this Thursday on …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Featured »

The Song of the Bed

Posted July 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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As we kick off our week, there are those of us who wish we could stay in bed a little longer. I’ve actually been on a mission to buy a new bed of late. I’ve been researching beds and there are several interesting types to chose from: Japanese cotton-batting beds, tempurpedic with cooling pillow tops, and expensive European models like Hasten and Duxiana. Duxiana’s current …

Featured, Headline, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #65: Great Music Intros

Posted July 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I’m a big fan of emcees who do great concert intros, which is what this week’s recorded show is all about.
We start with what is perhaps the greatest of them all: James Brown at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, 1962. Along with another great intro from our #1 Soul Brother and his band the JB’s.
After that come two Francophone intros, Miles Davis at the first Paris …

African, Artist Spotlight, Featured, Performances & Events »

Moorish Grooves Come to LA

Posted July 22, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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It’s not every day, week, month or year that you get a concert of deep Mauritanian blues in Los Angeles. But that very thing happens Thursday at the Skirball Cultural Center at 8pm. For more details, click here. I remember another compelling Mauritanian singer, Dimi Mint Abba, was booked by the World Music Institute in New York City. That was around 20 years ago. …

Art, Literature & Film, Asia, Featured »

Hip Hop In Mongolia

Posted July 20, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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I was doing full-time radio when hip hop started gaining popularity with artists like Grandmaster Flash, Kool Moe Dee, Run DMC, and the Sugar Hill Gang. Major labels were initially reluctant to issue the music, but you could find it on smaller labels. Now, of course, hip hop is a main stream American genre and has been dominating American music award shows in past years.
Hip …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #64: Remembering Charlie Haden (1937–2014)

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 6 Comments
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Charlie Haden died last Friday at the age of 77. He had contracted polio as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri, and the dreaded disease returned in 2011 like Faust from Hell.
Charlie was a great friend of KCRW. He probably visited both myself and Chris Douridas at least 30 times on Morning Becomes Eclectic. But he didn’t want us just to play his music; he …

Art, Literature & Film, Featured, Jazz »

The Ocean, Surfing & Music

Posted July 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Water has always fascinated me–the way it looks, the way it moves and flows, the way it feels when you’re enveloped by it. It allows you a reprieve from gravity, an environment where you can float suspended and temporarily occupy another mental and spiritual zone.
I especially love the power and unbridled energy of the sea and I savor the color of oceans in different …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History »

Billie Holiday’s Saddest Song

Posted July 13, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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The other night I heard an instrumental version of “You’ve Changed”, which is unusual; you don’t hear very many versions of this most sad of songs, either vocal or instrumental. The most famous version is Billie Holiday‘s version from her swan song album, Lady in Satin.

She was dying in the hospital when that record was released in 1958. She has the sad distinction of …

Featured, Headline, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #63: Crème de la Crème of New Releases

Posted July 11, 2014 by | 4 Comments
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The new albums that I’m always grateful to receive piled up again and I need to share the best of them. Here is this week’s crème de la crème of fantastic new releases.
Los Hacheros: This group of New York City musicians play some of the best Cuban-style salsa of any band I’ve heard. They recorded it all live. Remember that many albums are produced, …

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