Monday, July 27, 2015

Ultra Chicks Vols. 1-6

Reupped by reader demand on July 27, 2015, here.

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.


In 2005, music collector Stuart Ellis began a hunt for original, rare vinyl from Asia, Africa and the Middle East that would result in two collections (Bollywood Steel Guitar and Pakistan: Instrumental Folk & Pop Songs) and a blog, Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Index, which featured a new single every week from dozens of countries from around world. 

Ellis ceased updating Radiodiffusion in 2013, but the blog remains a favorite destination and resource for DJs, musicians and listeners around the globe.

On Wednesday, July 29, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrated Ellis's work discovering, compiling and contextualizing all of this terrific music with a three-hour mix of our favorite, ear-bending tracks.

Listen to the show now in the archives!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


On Wednesday, July 22, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrated music performed with electronic instruments. Taking our inspiration from Mark Brend's The Sound of Tomorrow: How Electronic Music Was Smuggled into the Mainstream, we travelled across the world and through time, from 20th century pop and avant-garde experiments on the wire recorder, Moog and theremin to contemporary breakcore, mashups and workstation-driven luk thung.

Listen to the show now in the archives

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Queens Is King!

TONIGHT, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio will serve up three hours of supersonic thrills repping the most diverse ZIP codes on planet Earth, from Bosnian, Greek and Egyptian pop and hip hop to rare Burmese, Pakistani and Ghanian tracks discovered in bodegas from Astoria to Flushing, Jamaica, Lefrak City ... and beyond.

Listen to the show (starts at 7:00 PM)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sidney | Barima Bii Ba

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. ...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

E.K.'s Band | Original 1950s-60s recordings

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? 

I didn't think so.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

West Africa | Bodega Pop Live

On Wednesday, June 24, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spun three hours of pop, hip hop and traditional music from Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal ... all from CDs recently plucked from the shelves of African bodegas and video stores in Jamaica, Queens and Harlem.

Listen to the show in the archives

Monday, June 22, 2015

Maty Thiam Dogo | Nobel

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 ...