“Wellington” by new artist Ronan Kelleher

This is the first offering from Kelleher Records, the kind of song you want to play over and over (preferably with headphones). Ronan Kelleher is an extremely talented musician who plays multiple instruments as well as composing. You would never guess that this polished, sophisticated song is by a 14 year old. Pre-order this song to get it as soon as it comes out in a couple of weeks (itunes, amazon, etc.)


Wellington by Ronan Kelleher


Here’s a song about people who get on a bus with the promise that they are going to a party with food and other good stuff. They don’t notice that the bus is driving backwards, away from where they think they are going. The bus driver, is so not-taking-care-of business that while the bus drives he shaves and eats spaghetti.

Human/Mon Bon Ami together (not one after the other)

Machel Montano and Angela Hunte both have songs to Ti’ Punch Riddim and the same background track (as far as I can tell). I like both songs and want to hear what they would sound like together at the same time. Today I put the two songs together in Audacity to see. I didn’t do anything to them except synch the start, so the background is too loud, Angela Hunte’s vocals are not load enough, etc. I don’t know anything about mixing and am using the final songs. That said, the songs do work together and would sound good if mixed right.

Both together:

Stromae videos “Tous Les Mêmes”


This is the new video for the song Tous Les Mêmes. It is a complicated, conceptual video with dance, lights, and post production effects. Part of the complexity is that Stromae plays both members of a couple at once, by switching which profile is showing. It must be hard to choreograph always walking one direction when it’s the man and the other direction when it’s the woman. There are also red and green lights which show who’s turn it is. Stromae did a good job of switching between roles in the first video when it was a solo. The old video is lighter, but the song is pretty dark.

Papaoutai is another excellent Stromae video.

MP3 Songs I Can’t Buy in the USA

Here’s a list of songs that I heard and tried to buy on iTunes USA or Amazon and couldn’t. I would like to buy them legally, and some of the sites out there selling them might be legal, but it’s confusing. I’m annoyed that iTunes has different music in the different international stores and won’t let you buy from a store outside your own country. (The last time I looked into it, your credit card address had to match the store’s region.) These are the songs I’m thinking of at the moment, but will add to the list as I remember more.

Bradez – Simple

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca

A week ago we saw Ricardo Lemvo and his band Makina Loca at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in SF.  I had a great time and danced for most of the concert!  The whole thing was really together, the band was tight.  They played mostly dance songs with a wide variety of rhythms. Ricardo Lemvo plays  congolese rumba, son montuno, soukous, mutuashi, cumbia, and more.  For the encore a band member from Montana played a cowboy song.  Ricardo Lemvo writes his songs. The band is extremely talented. I appreciate that that there is a strong horn section as well as a soukous guitar player. The band acted as a group with no individual showboating, yet all of them sounded great.

We first saw Ricardo Lemvo roughly 10 years ago when he played with Sam Mangwana. At that time, I was there to see Sam Mangwana and hadn’t heard of Ricardo Lemvo.  Both musicians have a lot in common including being two of my favorite musicians.

I won an 18-CD boxed set! Africa – 50 Years of Music

Afropop.org had the contest.

Here’s the description:

Africa – 50 Years of Music (Sterns Africa, 2010) might be one of the most comprehensive compilation of African music ever compiled. The 18 volume boxed set collects 182 classic recordings by 182 key artists from 39 countries and covers the length and breadth of the entire African continent. The artists include universal stars such as Miriam Makeba, Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour, Franco, Cheb Khaled, Cesaria Evora, Mahmoud Ahmed, Salif Keita, Manu Dibango and Umm Kulthum.

The tracks, licensed from some of the world’s most respected record companies, are all original studio recordings or famous concert performances. Most of them were made in the 50 years from 1960 to 2010 – the era of African independence – but two landmark Egyptian classics date from the 1940s.

Many of these songs are known and loved worldwide: ‘Pata Pata,’ ‘Soul Makossa,’ ‘Yeke Yeke,’ ‘Sweet Mother,’ ‘Mario,’ ‘Shakara,’ ‘Jive Soweto.’ Others will be revelations to even the most dedicated record collectors.

The deluxe boxed set includes a 76-page bi-lingual booklet with photographs, record-cover reproductions, specially-commissioned artwork and essays by experts on each of Africa’s popular styles.

That’s a $140.00 set with 2 5-star rave reviews on Amazon!

My son will be studying geography this semester and I told him that I think he’ll be able to pick almost any (or any?) country in Africa and hear a song from there in this CD set. That’s pretty cool, huh? A mini-music library with highlights from each place. I have always thought that it’s much easier and more fun to learn geography if you learn about the culture of the countries. Music is great that way because the music from neighboring countries often sounds similar enough so that you can remember they are close together. In the case of Africa, the languages of the music help to learn about the history of the country. I already own a lot of African music, but my son doesn’t know which thing is from where, and it would be much easier for him to use the boxed set.