Thursday, December 02, 2010


View from the "booth" (of Sarah K & her work)

British Invasion playlist

Colonized v. UK playlist

George Williams Aingo "Akuko Nu Bonto" from the comp Living Is Hard: West African Music In Britain, 1927-1929
Fela Sowande "Akinla" from African Suite
Fela Kuti "Buy Africa" from London Scene


UK Sitar Takeover playlist

Covers of the Beatles playlist

UK v. Colonized playlist

Small hands, small hands all around for another great session last night. Special claps to Chit of ABCDs of Cooking for catering. She made us persimmon salsa (the fruit came from California!) and tzatziki with Indian spices (i.e., subtly spicy) which were promptly devoured. If you don't know about her American-Desi fusions, get the knowledge here.

Very much a coincidence, but the music theme mirrored the food: West meets East... and other points colonized. "British Invasion" was less about the Beatles, Stones, etc. crossing the pond and going all D-Day on the Billboard charts, but more about the interaction of English music culture with that of the Queen's subjects. Not to make light of or justify colonization, but there is a strangely fluid exchange of music ideas between colonizer and colonized.

Personally, I felt I kept the range narrow: UK v. India, UK v. Nigeria and UK v. U.S.A. (rhythm & blues, soul and hip-hop). But Keith mentioned that the music was probably my broadest stretch to date: from Lily Allen 50 Cent satires to mid-century Nigerian art music.

Even though the connections were pretty familiar (isn't the sitar in rock a joke?), the research process turned up goodies again. The extent of Chuck Berry material covered by the Beatles and the Stones was a bit surprising. I came to those Bombay Talkie cuts via the Darjeeling Limited soundtrack, but it also turned up a convenient connection to the former British overlords by being a Bollywood-style film produced by the famed Merchant-Ivory team. Should I be surprised that this (and Satyajit Ray) was the style of Indian film music that Wes Anderson would reference? Anyway, my favorite connections were by far the Nigerian/West African ones (sorry, couldn't find the tracks on YT, but the tracks are listed above). I couldn't make out the highlife influences in the George Williams Aingo track and African Suite until a few days ago. Proof of how the highlife rhythm is still not ingrained in my conscience, even after all these years. But how wonderful to hear that rhythm in two very different contexts.

Thanks again to y'all for coming through. Next session will happen in two weeks (12/16?), likely on a Thursday instead of a Wednesday. Stay glued to the f-book or this site for more deets.

PS: Don't get it twisted, this was not the first time we had food. Dr. D has been hooking us up since Day 1 and she once again came through with sweet cake to wash it all down. Lovin' it!

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