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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

After the Rain

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That’s the english translation of the Xhosa song, Nomvula, from  Freshlyground (see previous post).

It’s the best song that I have on constant repeat these days.

Listen and watch on YouTube.


Written by Niall

July 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

Soul Power

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This documentary looks awesome:

Zaire ’74 almost didn’t happen. The festival was “a fool’s mission” from the start, said Stewart Levine…When Mr. Levine heard about the boxing match in Zaire, he said by telephone from Los Angeles, “it just hit me — how about a music festival?”

…The government of Zaire subsidized the boxing match; Zaire’s dictator,Mobutu Sese Seko, wanted to burnish his country’s image. But Zaire would not finance the festival. So Mr. Levine rounded up backing from bankers in Liberia…

…With contacts at ABC, Mr. Levine said, he prevailed on the sportscaster Howard Cosell to hold back for 24 hours the news that the fight had been postponed, lest the American musicians stay home. He was also lucky, he said, that it was Rosh Hashanah, and many of the performers’ managers were observing the holiday.

…Many of the performers and Mr. Ali himself are shown as starry-eyed about Africa. Mr. Withers, who was well-traveled after nine years in the Navy, was more levelheaded. “I felt like a very privileged person in an unprivileged setting,” he said. “This Mobutu guy, this dictator — that didn’t cheer me up, the disparity in the wealth. There seemed to be a large gap between the chosen people that were around him and everybody else.”

Seems like a must see.

Written by Niall

July 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

Jukebox: Freshlyground

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Good vibe and fun beats from South African band Freshlyground. I’m looking forward to downloading the full albums.

Shashank Bengali writes a positive review from the 10th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

One of the big draws was a young South African pop group called Freshlyground. A racially diverse group that mixes R&B, jazz and pop sounds — some record stores don’t seem to know in which section to stock their two successful albums — they’re one of the most popular homegrown bands today. After their set on Friday, when an announcer called their tunes “the soundtrack of a new South Africa,” you couldn’t help but feel he was right.

Written by Niall

April 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

Posted in music, South Africa

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Jukebox: American Election Edition

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Internet and Power have been unpredictable as of late, so I’m slow on this post. However, the US election has provoked me to play “The House I Live In” by Paul Robeson. I can think of no song that makes me feel more proud to be an American than this one. I also feel that it is quite apropriate following the victory of Barack Obama.

The House I Live In

Written by Abel Meeropol

What is America to me?
A name, a map, the flag I see;
A certain word, democracy.
What is America to me?

The house I live in,
A plot of earth, a street,
The grocer and the butcher,
And the people that I meet;
The children in the playground,
The faces that I see,
All races, all religions,
That’s America to me.

The place I work in,
The workers at my side,
The little town or city
Where my people lived and died.
The howdy and the handshake,
The air of feeling free,
The right to speak my mind out,
That’s America to me.

The words of old Abe Lincoln,
Of Jefferson and Paine,
Of Washington and Douglas
And the tasks that still remain;
The little bridge at Concord,
Where Freedom’s fight began,
Our Gettysburg and Midway
And the story of Bataan.

The town I live in,
The street, the house, the room,
The pavement of the city,
Or a garden all in bloom;
The church, the school, the clubhouse,
The million lights I see,
But especially the people;
That’s America to me.
But especially the people;
That’s America to me.

Written by Niall

November 7, 2008 at 6:17 am

Posted in music, politics

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Concert: Wye Oak

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Went to Black Cat for a drink and live music tonight.  As usual, the DC-Baltimore music scene impressed.  Though they were not the headliner, the sounds of Wye Oak definitely were the best of the night. The duo from Baltimore plays an addictive folk-tronic-rock sound that really caught my ear and interest.

Written by Niall

July 6, 2008 at 4:51 am

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Jukebox: The National

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Have I danced more to any song than I have in the past two days while listening to Fake Empire by The National?

The National – Fake Empire

Written by Niall

July 6, 2008 at 1:17 am

Posted in music

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