Yes, I've been neglecting the bodega. To make it up to you, how about a genuinely thrilling six volume set of French femme-pop from the 1960s? Hear a couple of tracks in Bodega Pop Live's WFMU / Give the Drummer Radio show, here.
On Wednesday, July 15, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrated Cassette Culture! We explored some of the best -- and strangest -- the medium has to offer, from forgotten post-revolution Iranian songbirds to Japanese and American tape experiments of the 1980s and '90s to obscure Brazilian punk, New Jersey Hardcore and Moroccan rock and roll. Listen to the show in the archives
On Wednesday, Jun 8, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrated Bastille Day half-a-dozen days early with a three-hour selection of music from la République française. Inspired by Jonathyne Briggs' recent book on postwar popular music, SOUNDS FRENCH, we explored early French rock, psychedelic, punk, hip hop from the banlieues, raï from the Algerian diaspora, and choice new tracks from the contemporary French underground. Listen to the archived show now
Hurry! Grab it right now, right here Uh ... do I even need to ... well ... [cough] ... YES, Mr. or Ms. Smartypants, the music most certainly DOES live up to that admittedly very, very special cover. You're looking at Sidney, aka Rap Ninja, Ghana's most controversial hiplife artist, a man who recently changed his name, speaking of man, to "Man" ("Barima" means "Man" in Twi). This super-delicious offering was plucked from a Ghanian bodega at 96-07 57th Avenue in Lefrak City, Queens. Along with a number of other seriously delightful things that, if you're nice, I'll consider sharing in the days and weeks to come. ...
Grab the album here What can I say? Today, Jesse from Afropop Worldwide, his girlfriend, Hil, and I drove out to see about interviewing Blessing Udeagu, the owner of the eponymous shop where I found most of the Nigerian music I've shared here in the past. While we were there, Blessing's daughter told us about another place to find African music, around the corner, down the street, and a couple of blocks east. The market -- the name of which I've forgotten, but which was something like Gift Toca -- had a locked wall-mounted display sparsely populated with a few sun-blued CDs ... and then, a few feet away, across the from the checkout counter, a whole table filled with smallish box after box of mostly Ghanian CDs. I bought ... let's say that I now have a verging-on-respectable collection of Ghanian music. Key word "verging," but still. Take this collection for instance. Holy Effing Expletive. Terrific Ghanian music from the 1950s and '60s. Take a quick listen, if you need aural proof before clickin:
See? Told you. Now, next time I offer up a free Ghanian album and am all like "This is some sweet fine la musica, mon ami," are you going to hesitate before clicking?
Grab this terrific Senegalese album from 2004 here.
Maty Thiam Dogo was born in Dakar in 1965 into a fairly musical family. By the time she was 15 she was singing backup with her maternal aunt, Soda Mama Fall. I found this cassette-to-CD transfer of her fourth and last album in a bus terminal video store off 165th Street in Jamaica, Queens, last week while out searching for music and potential interviewees with two guys -- Jesse and Sam -- from Afropop Worldwide.
It took us well over an hour to find the video store in question, in large part because everyone we asked -- and we asked people in Jamaican music stores, hair salons, clothing stalls, and cell phone stores -- everyone had a different idea as to where we might find sellers of African tapes and CDs in the neighborhood.
More about this and similar excursions -- and more booty -- in the days and weeks to come ...