Monday, May 15, 2017


On Wednesday, May 17, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spins ear-searing tracks from more than three dozen Zambian records released ca. 1972-78.

Bookmark the page and see you Wednesday night

"There was a kind of magic here," Emanuel "Jagari" Chanda, lead singer of the legendary band WITCH, has said of Zambia in the 1970s, when he, along with Rikki Ililonga, Paul Ngozi, Zimbabwean-born Teddy Khuluzwa, Keith Mlevhu and dozens of others recorded some of the greatest rock 'n' roll on the planet.

Heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and James Brown (who in 1970 gave culture-shifting performances in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, and in the country's copper mining center, Ndola), participants in Zambia's rock scene may have been further spurred on by an unlikely irritant: President Kenneth Kaunda's decree sometime in the mid- to late-1970s that 95% of music on the radio had to be Zambian. Unable to tune in and get their fix of British and American rock and funk, of Nigerian afrobeat, they had to create more of their own. And, once pressed, a Zambian record was virtually assured air time.

But the country's economy was dependent on copper and, when the price fell in 1974, Zambia slid into debt and living standards fell. In the 1980s, many of those musicians whose careers hadn't yet been silenced by evaporating record sales faced a much greater horror: the AIDS epidemic devastated the local music industry, taking with it the lives of a disproportionate number of Zambia's artists. 

It is a history that has made preservation of the music difficult. Few playable copies of even the top acts of the era exist; not even Chanda and Ililonga, the sole survivors of their respective bands WITCH and Musi-O-Tunya, had copies of all of their records when foreigners started showing up in the aughts looking to reissue some of the defining albums.

Since 2010, working with Ililonga, Chanda and other survivors, Now-Again Records has reissued a number of boxed-set retrospectives and single-album titles from the era, including all five WITCH albums before Chandra left the group. Earlier this month they announced the release of Welcome to Zamrock! Vol. 1, with a second volume in the wings for June.

A good portion of what we'll hear on Wednesday comes from these remastered reissues, along with similar efforts by Strawberry Rain and Shadoks, but a number of the tracks we'll hear are from crackly original vinyl shared by bloggers around the world. 

What we'll be hearing from:

WITCH, Introduction, 1974

Keith Mlevhu, Love and Freedom, 1976

The Peace, Black Power, 1975

Ngozi Family, 45,000 Volts, 1977

Musi-O-Tunya, Wings of Africa, 1975

5 Revolutions, Instrumental, date unknown

Various Artists, Welcome to Zamrock!, 2017

Rikki Ililonga, Zambia, 1975

Crossbones, Mweba Lume Bandi

Amanaz, Africa, 1975

Dr. Footswitch, Everyday Has Got a New Dream, 1975

Harry Mwale Experience, Harry Mwale Experience with Greg Miyanda, 1978

Rikki Ililonga & Musi-O-Tunya, Dark Sunrise (The Birth Of Zamrock As Told Through The Music Of Its Pioneer: 1973-1976), 2010

Alex Kunda, Kingdom of Heaven, 1977

Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family, My Ancestors, 1974

Mike Nyoni, I Can't Understand You, 1978

Blackfoot, Youth Power, 1975

Musi-O-Tunya, Give Love to Your Children, 1976

WITCH, Lazy Bones, 1975

The Broadway Quintet, Amalume (Lekani Mowa), 1976

Keith Mlevhu, Banafimbusa, 1976

Ngozi Family, 99% Confusion, 1977

Musi-O-Tunya, Tsegulani

Blackfoot, The Foot Steps, 1978

Teddy Chisi, Funky Lady, 1978

Born Free, Mukaziwa Chingoni, 1975

Cosmos Zani, Humanism, 1976

5 Revolutions, I'm a Free Man, 1976

Paul Ngozi, The Ghetto, 1977

Rikki Ililonga, Sunshine Love, 1976

Ricky Banda, Niwanji Walwa Amwishyo

WITCH, Lukombo Vibes, 1976

WITCH, We Intend to Cause Havoc!, 2012

Ngozi Family, Day of Judgement, 1976

Salty Dog, Salty Dog, 1976

Crossbones, Wise Man, 1976

Blackfoot, Millie, 1976

Witch, Including Janet, 1977

Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Chrissy Zebby Tembo

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Golden Age Bollywood

On Wednesday, May 10, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spins several dozen tracks from Bollywood's Golden Age, from Naushad Ali's trailblazing Anmol Ghadi (1946) to his enduring masterpiece, Mughal-e-Azam (1960), with dips into OSTs by Anil Biswas, O.P. Nayyar, Khemchand Prakash, SD Burman, Shanker-Jaikishan, C. Ramchandra, Madan Mohan, Salil Choudhury, and more. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Girls' Night Out

TONIGHT from 7-10 PM EDT Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spends a night out with Suzanne Atiyya, Isengart Daniel, Connie Kim, Maryam Saleh, Oumou Sangare, and dozens more of our favorite XXers.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, You There! The Awesome World of Imants Kalniņš

On Wednesday, April 26, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrates the most diverse music-related personality we know of: Latvian legend, Imants Kalniņš. Classical composer, rocker, dissident, folk hero, jazz artist -- you name it, Kalniņš lived it.

Bookmark the page and see you Wednesday night!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lao New Year with Rattana!

This Wednesday, April 19, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio welcomes special guest Rattana; together we'll spin some of our favorite Lao tracks for Pi Mai Lao 2017! Classical, mor lam, post-rock, lam luang, hip hop, khaplam wai, synth pop, and much, much more.

Monday, April 10, 2017

An Evening with Phew

Phew is new ... again. The pioneering punker cum avant-gardist has been rediscovered here in the United States, following the release of 2017's solo Light Sleep and her debut U.S. performance last Thursday at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in downtown Brooklyn.

Born in Osaka in 1957, Hiromi Moritani felt early on she was not like the others. "When I was at school, if the teacher told a joke and everyone else in the class laughed, I was always the one who couldn't see what was funny," she told The Japan Times in a 2015 interview

In a culture with no short supply of distinctive, groundbreaking sonic artists, Phew is still at one remove. It's not just the dizzying array of genres she inhabits -- punk, post-punk, synth pop, jazz, experimental, folk, noise, electronic -- nor the stunning list of her collaborators -- Yasuko "Bikke" Mori, Dieter Mobius, Anton Fier, Holger Czukay, Jun Togawa, Bootsy Collins, Jaki Liebezeit, Buckethead, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Otomo Yoshihide. 

It's that voice. And sensibility, for want of a better word. It often feels like she is simultaneously flat and emotionless, wound up so tight you expect her to snap at any moment, and in a constant state of raw? playful? abandon. There's a richness to her that renders what she does "indecipherable" to some, but extraordinarily rich -- relentlessly so -- to the rest of us.

This Wednesday, April 12, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrates four decades of Phew's work, from late 1970s punk outfit Aunt Sally, through her edgy synth-pop solo albums of the 1980s, her collaborative efforts of the 1990s, her return to rock in the aughts, and her embrace of analog electronica in the 2010s. And, you know what? We'll throw in a recording we made at the aforementioned performance at the First Unitarian.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Louie Louie Palooza

In advance of International Louie Louie Day, on Wednesday, April 5, from 7:00-10:00 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio honors the most recorded rock song of all time with three solid hours of covers from around the world. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Altın Mikrofon 1965-68

Join me this Wednesday from 7-10 PM EDT for a very special episode of Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: We'll be spinning every track published as part of Turkey's legendary Altın Mikrofon contest -- for the first time ever on American radio.

Organized annually by Turkey's largest newspaper, Hürriyet, the Altın Mikrofon contest could easily have been lost to history as one of thousands of similar "battle of the bands" competitions scuffling across the cultural lamescape from Houston's Catacombs of the 1960s to today's GBOB

Instead, Altın Mikrofon (English: Golden Microphone) became a far-reaching aesthetic rallying cry that shaped Anatolian rock to come, similar to the effect closer to home of Lenny Kaye's original Nuggets. A key difference being that these bands weren't writing someone else's future; they were writing their own: Mavi Işıklar, the so-called "Turkish Beatles," took 2nd place in 1965 and 1966, Cem Karaca ve Apaşlar (Cem Karaca and Apaşlar) took 2nd in 1967, and in the contest's final year, Haramiler, Moğollar, and Erkin Koray Dörtlüsü (Erkin Koray Quartet) took 2nd place, 3rd place, and 4th runner up, respectively. Altın Mikrofon gave these and several other prominent acts of the sixties and seventies, their first (and in some cases first and second) 7" hit singles, propelling them onto the national stage to stick or slide. Many stuck. 

As unlikely as it seems, Hürriyet's call to action almost ensured the acts debuted something more than admirably chuffed versions of "Pushin' Too Hard." The ad launching the contest specified that bands should deliver Turkish music, however that be interpreted, but using Western instruments, formats, and techniques. A very few simply wrote Turkish lyrics to Western melodies. Most, however, wrote original works or rearranged traditional Turkish folk songs for electric guitar, piano, jazz band. For anyone paying passing attention to the annual battle, it might have been a bit like catching a glimpse of your family in a fun house mirror.

Another reason the contest had such a defining impact on the music of the day and that which followed: 7" singles were published and distributed, widely, by all of the finalists -- there were 10 in 1965, seven in 1966, six in 1967, and five in 1968. That's 28 discs, or 56 tracks; not so many as to suffocate the market, but enough to make an impression. 

These 56 remarkable tracks have never been compiled and reissued outside of the Republic. I found a three-CD set of the whole shebang published in Turkey in 2005 at Uludag Video (1922 Avenue W, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn), a few years before the shop stopped importing CDs. I had no idea what they were at the time, but my guy there implored me to pick up all three, promising me I'd only ever regret leaving them there for someone else to snatch up.

When I took them home and first punched them into my player, I knew immediately not only that he was right, but just how right he was. This is culture-shifting music, each track a nudge pushing Anatolian rock into the full glory we've come to know and love.

Here's a peek at what we'll be hearing Wednesday night:


Cahit Oben
Makaram Sarı Bağlar / Halime
Hürriyet ‎– H-001

Ferdi Özbeğen
Kes-Kes / Sandığımı Açamadım
Hürriyet ‎– H-002

İlham Gencer
Zamane Kızları / İstanbul
Hürriyet ‎– H-003

Kanat Gür
Karadır Kaşların / İçimdesin
Hürriyet ‎– H-004

Mavi Işıklar
Helvacı / Kanamam
Hürriyet ‎– H-005

Metin Alkanlı
Karadut / Gül Dalında Öten
Hürriyet ‎– H-006

Selçuk Alagöz
Kaleden İndir Beni / Kemerin Naftaları
Hürriyet ‎– H-007

Sis / Kaşık Havası
Hürriyet ‎– H-008

Grup Sonya Dores
Gemiciler / Espanola
Hürriyet ‎– H-009

Yıldırım Gürses
Gençliğe Veda / Canım İstanbul
Hürriyet ‎– H-010


Ali Atasagun
Yarim / Eminem
Hürriyet ‎– H-011

Kent Yedilisi
Kara Kasli Haticem / Mühür Gözlüm
Hürriyet ‎– H-012

Mavi Işıklar
Çayır Çimen Geze Geze / Pınarbaşı
Hürriyet ‎– H-013

Selçuk Alagöz
Ararım Senı Her Yerde / Bahçelere Geldi Bahar
Hürriyet ‎– H-014

Lorke Lorke / Dede Efendi 66
Hürriyet ‎– H-015

T.P.A.O. Orkestrası
Kaleden Top Atarlar / Fırat Kenarinda Yüzer Kayıklar
Hürriyet ‎– H-016

Cahit Oben
Hergün Kavga Var / Şey
Hürriyet ‎– H-017


Cem Karaca & Apaşlar
Emrah / Karacaoğlan
Hürriyet ‎– H-018

Çamlıca Yolunda / Adanalı
Hürriyet ‎– H-019

Mavi Çocuklar
Develi Daylar / Tanzara
Hürriyet ‎– H-020

Rana Alagöz
Konya Kabağı / Bahçelerde Böğrülce
Hürriyet ‎– H-021

T.P.A.O. Batman Orkestrası
Kara Toprak / Ay Beyaz Deniz Mavi
Hürriyet ‎– H-022

Agit / Kayalar
Hürriyet ‎– H-023


Sis Beşlisi & Turgut Oksay 
Sis Beşlisi ‎– Çarşambayı Sel Aldı

Erkin Koray
Çiçek Dağı / Meçhul

Kaleden Kaleye Şahin Uçurdum

Aya Bak Yıldıza Bak

T.P.A.O. Batman Orkestrası
Aç Aç Kollarını / Meşelidir Enginde Dağlar Meşeli