Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The Super Rail Band of the Buffet Hotel de la Gare, Bamako
I am ‘it’. George Szirtes has tagged me and asks me to name seven songs I’m listening to at the moment and give reasons why. Assuming that ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which I’m listening to as I type this, doesn’t count as a mere song, I am forced to inflict some of my less high-minded listening tastes on you.
Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola, ‘Bean Pháidín’, from An Raicín Alainn.
I was a contemporary of this woman’s at some institution of tertiary education or other I used to attend. She is a sean-nós singer from Inis Oírr, and I was reminded of her recently when I discovered that the man I was having an increasingly desperate conversation with in the Irish-language bookshop in Bray (I’m talking about the state of my Irish here) was her brother, Macdara. Planxty fans will know Dónal Lunny’s throaty version of this song from The Well Below the Valley, though I notice Lasairfhíona’s lyrics are slightly different. Thankfully they still have the bit about breaking the other woman’s legs. Always a useful skill to have. And go on, try pronouncing her name. You know you want to.
Oumou Sangaré, ‘Denw’, from Worotan.
This woman has had a car named after her in China, I believe. She is also currently touring the UK but doesn’t seem to be coming to Hull. I wonder why.
Super Rail Band, ‘Mansa’, from the album of the same name.
I think this is my single favourite piece of Afro-pop. The Super Rail Band, or more formally the Super Rail Band of the Buffet Hotel de la Gare, Bamako, are easily the best group named after a railway line in West Africa, ever.
Staff Benda Bilili, ‘Je t’aime’, from Très Très Fort.
This is the group of paraplegic street musicians from Congo I mentioned on here a while back. The song appears to be a version, on some obscure level, of James Brown’s ‘Sex Machine’.
Bob Dylan, ‘Shake Shake Mama’, from Together Through Life.
Much as it pains me to confess that I listen to anything at all in English, I think this is one of two outstanding tracks on the new Dylan album, the other being ‘I Feel A Change Comin’ On’. It’s true, as Alexis Petridis was pointing out in The Guardian, that not a few sufferers from Dylan Derangement Syndrome lose possession of their faculties when Dylan does anything, just anything, but it’s not a bad album. And this is a great track.
Bray Vista, ‘This Time is the First Time’, from Let It Ride.
My brother is in a country rock band this is from their new album. Dig it.
Mayra Andrade, ‘Dimokransa’, from Navega.
The youtube clip up above. This is slightly older. Mayra Andrade is from Cape Verde, and sings in a creole language with Portuguese elements that is very easy on the ear. Youtube clips of her are also (sorry, bro) slightly easier on the eye than any amount clips of my brother playing keyboards for Bray Vista, it has to be said.
The one part of this tagging I can’t really handle is asking seven other people to join in and give their own play-lists, for the simple reason that I don’t actually know seven people. But nevertheless, as custom dictates, I hereby tag the authors of Deconstructive Wasteland, Stonechat, War Poets, Isola di Rifiuti, Cuckoo Spell, Lightbox and Bibliophilic Blogger. (Maybe if I don’t tell them they won’t notice.)