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Show #41: Carnival Celebrations

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Carnival is here again beginning this weekend and continuing until next Wednesday, which is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Although Carnival (Brazil spells it Carnaval) may seem like one big Bacchanalian orgy,  it has a religious origin: the Catholic church allowed this once-pagan ritual to precede Lent (the 40 days of abstinence, fasting, etc., that mirrored the 40 days Christ spent in the …

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RIP: Flamenco Giant Paco de Lucia

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Paco de Lucia, a giant of flamenco, has died of a sudden heart attack. He passed away yesterday while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico with his children. He had several homes, both in Spain, Mexico, and other places.  He was 66.
“Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” a statement offered by the de Lucia family …

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100 Years Of Bollywood

Posted February 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Last year, Bollywood, as the Indian film industry is known, turned 100. Its first film, Raja Harishchandra, was a silent film released in 1913. This was seventeen years after the very first films arrived in India from England, using technology derived from the French Lumiere Brothers, who created the first moving pictures in 1895.
For decades the Bombay film industry has produced 10 times as …

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Show #40: A Dozen Choice New Releases

Posted February 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week Rhythm Planet celebrates a dozen new albums from many places: Cuba, Brazil, Tuva, Mali, Brazil, and Haiti. Plus a couple of jazz albums and a retro album of Viper rag.
We begin with the new album from the Northern Mali tuareg group Tinariwen. Years ago they were mercenary soldiers riding the Sahara who gave up their guns for guitars and formed a band. …

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Upcoming Benefit for Tourette’s Syndrome on 2/27

Posted February 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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One of my favorite jazz musicians, pianist Michael Wolff, told me about this upcoming fundraiser at The Conga Room downtown on Feb. 27th that he’s a part of. It’s Hollywood Heals: Spotlight On Tourette Syndrome. Wolff has tourette syndrome, which causes tics in people who have it. Michael was the inspiration for the 2000 movie The Tic Code, starring Gregory Hines.

Many people didn’t know what …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

How Baden Powell Got His Name

Posted February 17, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Baden Powell (1937-2000) was an amazing and very influential guitar player from Brazil. I have featured his music on my shows for many years, and enjoyed it long before that, beginning with an MPS LP Apaixonado from Germany in the 1960s. I even have a picture of him on my wall, a more formal portrait where his hands and fingers look like something out of …

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Show #39: The Dark Side Of Love

Posted February 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Valentine’s Day is the last of the holidays that begin with Halloween: Turkey Day, Christmas, and now Valentine’s Day. “V-Day” is a mixed bag: a celebration of love (if you have it now) or a reminder of past conquests, failures, and mistakes. In the latter case, many will be happy to just see it go away for another year.
With this in mind, and after …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History »

The Hip Lyrics of Tom Jobim

Posted February 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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It’s been said  poetry is that which is lost in translation. Not so with the songs of Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim. Aside from such wonderful wordplay on The Girl from Ipanema as “But each day when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead – not at he…” Then there’s Jobim’s song “Desafinado (“Off Key”), written in response to those who claimed Brazilian singers …

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Daft Punk’s Get Lucky: Soviet Style

Posted February 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Though we might not know them (until now, that is) The Russian Police Choir has almost legendary status in Russia.  Formed in 1939 under Josef Stalin’s iron-fisted rule of the U.S.S.R., the choir has performed over 7000 concerts all over the world, even a show for Pope John Paul II.
With Daft Punk‘s recent Grammy wins, popular soundtracks and worldwide fame, most people have heard …

Artist Spotlight, Headline, Music History, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #38: Women Poets Celebrated in Music

Posted February 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Pictured above from left to right: Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale.
A recent album by Swiss singer Susanne Abbuehl has really captivated me. It features her musical settings of poetry by Victorian poets Emily Dickinson (U.S. 1830-1886), Emily Bronte (U.K. 1818-1848), and Sara Teasdale (U.S. 1884-1933).
These women wrote poetry that expressed strong but bridled passion: in spite of their living in an age of …

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