TONIGHT, Wednesday April 18, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spins three solid hours of scorchers from Mali. From classics and contemporaries to field recordings and unfairly forgottens ... Bookmark the page and see you at 7!
With the exception of King Sunny Ade's 1984 Aura, I came to Nigerian music late -- embarrassingly so. And it wasn't through Fela. It wasn't through Now-Again or Soul Jazz. And it wasn't through any of the amazing African music blogs of the last decade or two. It was all because I stopped for water at a bodega on the corner of 99th Street and Lewis Avenue in Corona on a hotter-than-usual early June day in 2012, two years after I'd moved to Queens. After quenching my thirst, I took a look around my surroundings, spotting the words "AFRICAN MOVIES" in red on a yellow awning two doors down. I walked over and stepped inside. Blessing Udeagu moved to the U.S. in 1986 and opened her eponymous tax preparation / Nigerian video and CD shop on Lewis Avenue in Corona, Queens, two days before September 11, 2001. On Wednesday, April 4, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio played some of the most incredible pop and folk we've ever heard, all plucked from the shelves of Blessing's remarkable store. Listen to the show now in the archives