Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fatmire Breçani | Fatmire Breçani

Freshly reupped here.

[Originally posted January 8, 2012.]

As I said in an earlier post, there are two kinds of shop keeps: Those who are thrilled to find someone besides their usual customers combing through their tapes and CDs and those who--

Every single guy who works in the Albanian bodega on Church Avenue a few blocks from my apartment is friendly, helpful and talkative--until you ask about the music on the wall behind them.

"Thees museek NOT for you."

[extreme sarcasm] "What you like? You speak Albanian, yes?" [/extreme sarcasm]

"I don't know thees music. You don't know? I don't know."

[extreme disgust] "Just tell me WHEECH one." [/extreme disgust]

"I cannot halp you."

Given the looks some of these guys would give me, you would think I was asking them which hand to use when wiping my ass with pages from the Koran. So, how, then, did I ever manage to amass my SuperPosse of Albanian pop CDs, given this gauntlet?

I'm not altogether sure. I know I faked it a couple of times:

"No--I really--[cough]--I especially like Dava [mumbles unpronounceable last name], do you have anything else by her?"

I even tried telling the truth now and then:

"I just--I LOVE music from around the WORLD ... including Albania."

I know nothing about Fatmire Breçani other than she has one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard. And I've put her song "Ani Rushe Ruxhes Kush O Ma Ka Pa" (the 4th track on the playlist above) on nearly every mix-tape CD I've ever made anyone.

I haven't, though, been back to the Albanian bodega since well before Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Maybe they've chilled out a bit since then?

Maxima Mejia | Greatest Hits

[Originally posted on March 12, 2012.] Several weeks ago, bored on a Saturday or Sunday, I decided it was time to revisit one of my favorite areas of Queens: Jackson Heights east. Basically, this means taking the 7 train out to the 82nd Street stop and walking east more-or-less along Roosevelt for 10-20 blocks or so. I won't go into the details of that trip, except to say that every single CD store that I used to frequent there when I was making more regular trips was gone. Most notably, the bodega with the wall of Ecuadoran CDs where I found this morning's offering. [Note on July 28, 2013: On a much more recent trip to the same area, I found a different store that I'd missed before -- I'll be posting some especially fabulous Ecuadorean CDs from that trip soon, perhaps even this evening.]

I know zip about Maxima Mejia other than that she was from Ecuador and sings passionately. And that I've been meaning to post her greatest hits CD here for quite a while, as I think you're going to like it.

Reupped in 320 thrill-seeking kbps here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

P. Ramlee & Saloma | Lagu Lagu Filum Box-Office

I've just reupped this 2-CD set here.

Found in the "World Music" section at Tower Records in Shibuya, Tokyo, in Spring of 2010. An import from Malaysia.

Actor, singer, comedian, songwriter, screenwriter and film director P. Ramlee died early, at the age of 44, but had by then written, sung and/or played on nearly 400 songs. I know almost next to nothing about him, other than he is considered one of the icons of Malaysian cinema. I also know that his music totally, totally rocks.

Watch "Bunyi Guitar"

Les Calamités | C'est Complet

Reupped by special request here.

[Originally posted on December 20, 2012.] God knows what led me to pluck this gem from the dollar bin of the record store around the corner from my friend Rodney's house here in Portland a couple of days ago, but I'm beyond super-Xtreme giddy that I did. Les Calamités formed in Beaune in Côte-d'Or in the early 1980s and released their first and only record, À bride abattue, in 1984. They broke up the next year and I've no idea what may have happened to them after that. This CD collects the songs on the first album along with all other singles/B sides the group recorded in their short-but-life-affirming career. 

Today is my last day in Portland; at around noon my mom & stepfather are driving up to take me and Rodney out to Pok Pok and then whisk me south to Corvalis for the holidays. I expect to have a bit of downtime while there; if so, you can be sure I'll be uploading a number of other Portland scores. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fréhel | La Java Bleue


Reupped by special request here.

[Originally posted July 14, 2011.] Happy Bastille Day, everyone. This rather fabulous CD was almost certainly found in a cheesy post-card shop in Paris in the early 2000s.

Fréhel had early success in Paris at the turn of the last century, but left France for the east, winding up in Russia, where she stayed for a decade. When she returned in the 1920s she revived her career, becoming a minor movie star in addition to a singer in the 1930s. She died alone in 1951 after having left the limelight a decade or so previously.

Here she is in a scene from "Pepe le Moko," singing along with a record:

Abigbo Cultural Group | Ahia Ndu

Reupped here.

[Originally posted June 12, 2012.] Abigbo is dance music of the Mbaise Igbo, who live in southeastern Nigeria. I'm starting to think that the women who run Blessing Udeagu, where I found all of this recent music, are either from Igboland or have ties there. 

Patrick Radden Keefe's The Snakehead, which chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most notorious human traffickers in history, explains that, while the first wave of Chinese in America was Cantonese, the second, beginning in the 1970s, was from Fuzhou, the capital of the Fujian province. Most of the Chinese in Manhattan's Chinatown are Fujianese, if that's the right word. And most of those who aren't are Cantonese. Imagine a reverse wave of American immigrants into China, all from, say, New Orleans. And Boston.