Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lots of news and it's not about the damn Beatles

Sometimes don't you just feel magic? I mean really. I seem to be having a string of "just write a wonder-what-ever-happened-to "blogs and the next thing you know the artist in question reemerges. Last fall I reintroduced the younger generation to Cornershop; they came back with their first disc in ages this summer. I wondered what happened to Vilddas last month and they're in the recording studio and putting new tracks on their MySpace. Earlier this summer I wrote a post fantasizing about the ultimate brass band festival and wondered what was up with Bucharest's Mahala Rai Banda. Hey, guess what? First new disc in about five years due out next month. So I'll take credit for that too.

OK, not really, but listen up because these guys have a little different offering than the standard old school Balkan brass band. (not that there's anything wrong with that, either. ) The guys in the "Noble Band from the Ghetto" (a rough translation of their name) have a special synergy that erupts from the interaction of older generation traditional horn players and techno savvy hip youngsters on clarinet, fiddle and vocals. The two distinct kinds of rockin' energy propel each other to the next level. Their self titled debut from 2004 was a great party disc and the track "l'est Sexy" made into onto every mixtape I did for the next three years. So I'm super pyched to check out their new one Ghetto Blasters, the minute it drops! (Do I even have to put in the obligatory Mama E Dub whine about when do we get it over here in the U.S....) Oh yeah, and there's a free download of stuff from the new disc right here.

* * * * * * *

Whoo hoo! New stuff from mighty Central-Euro mixmaster Shantel (aka the Bucovina Club guy.) Planet Paprika comes fully equipped with stories of mean border guards who don't like that disko boy/brass band combo. Check the samples in the link above for a nice slinky version of "Usti Usti Baba!" Glad he got rid of the curly comb-over, too. By the way, Mr. Hantel produced the first Mahala Rai Banda disc and did the kick-ass remix of "l'est Sexy" to which I referred a moment ago.

* * * * * * *

Balkan Beat Box
has a little promo film about the making of their new disk. The album's due next January; the film's on YouTube now. A bunch of the sessions were in Belgrad. Cool. I'm pretty sure I see Uri Brauner Kinrot and his blue Stratocaster there at those sessions. Even cooler! (Kinrot tours with BBB sometimes and plays on some of their best tunes, and his complex surfy wanking takes everything to the next level. See the huge post I wrote last spring about Kinrot's band Boom Pam if you don't believe me! (Don't forget, it has that link at the end to the classic vid Hashish: Drug of a Nation )

Bet you didn't know Tomer Yusef is Romanian. Uhhh, not! Hey, me too, Tomer. I hope BBB will be the soundtrack for peace in the Middle East, too. So blessed Eid and happy Rosh Hashanah to all your fans this weekend!

* * * * * * *

They rarely leave Ireland, but Kila is probably still my favorite group from that magic isle. The O' Snodaigh brothers and pals enlisted help from Irish critic Colm O Siochan to pick out 25 tunes from their back catalogue for a double sized best-of disc. They're calling it Rogha, Irish for "choice."
Subtle political commentary in a very Catholic nation, anyone?

Kila is and has been for over a decade the only Irish band from whom I will always pick up every new release...and actually pay for it! Famous for their over-the-top stage events with crazy costumes and dancers, their innovative arrangements of percussion with trad Irish instrumentation (way before and WAY better than AfroCelt Sound System, thanks), and their repeated cancellations of U.S. tours in their glory years early in this decade following a big showing at WOMEX in '97, Kila remains one of the more idiosyncratic bands out there. Longtime Cedar artistic director Bill K. used to love to repeat the story of how Kila was scheduled to play the Guiness Fleah in the late '90's in a slot between Richard Thompson and Van in who would even think of even giving up their seat to go grab a pint...and they blew it off!

So they never did play the Cedar back in the day when they actually used to leave Ireland. I did roadtrip to the Milwaukee Irish Festival in 2002 to see them. Dee wasn't along for the trip, so they went fiddle-less, but one of their three sets I caught that weekend was over the top amazing. I remember having to kick a little chatty-kathy ass when the idiots in front of me wouldn't shut up. Something like "I didn't drive 300 miles to listen to you fools, so shut up or leave!" and turned around to high fives from fellow fans. Kila-heads knew what a rare treat that show was.

This could and should be subject for a new post, but don't mix Kila from Ireland up with Kiila from Finland. Kiila's disc Tuota Tuota was handed to me by Operations Manger Dave P. last week and I'm really enjoying with swim through its dense warm waves.

Both very cool bands with great creative arrangements, but not the same at all!

OK, enough of all this chattering. The Chicha Libre show was lots of fun Saturday night. Loved the electronic accordion covering all those Farfisa solos! The COWBELL wasn't bad either.

1 comment:

Veronica Fever said...

Kila fan here too. Fave is 'Luna Park.' Ignoring COWBELL comment.