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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2006 » Archive through September 15, 2006 » Desi Beats, World Music « Previous Next »

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Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4288
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post

I've recently become more interested in what I guess is termed "world music". I get the impression that the bands fellow member Jazzyvee plays in might fall under this category. For those of you who know more about this music than I, examples of what I'm listening to are Rara Avis and Jai Uttal.

The point of my saying this is to segue into an article I read in this morning's New York Times. The article, written by Gautam Malkani, a novelist who works as an editor at the Financial Times, talks about the role of music, and in particular I type of music called Desi Beats, in helping to integrate an increasingly multicultural British population. The article talks about the recent London Mela, an annual festival that celebrates British South Asian culture. And the article talks about the Desi Beats in the wider context of perceived successes and failures of government policies regarding multiculturalism in Britain.

I don't know anything about Desi Beats and I've probably never heard an example. My guess is that club members who live in Britain might have a greater appreciation of the article I've cited. However, the idea of music, of world music, as a bridge between people of differing cultures, if very appealing to me.

In a world where many political and religious leaders seem to believe that violence is the only response to violence, the idea of picking up guitars and drums and dancing together at street festivals seems revolutionary.
Advanced Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 258
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post

Well said Dave, I'd love to see someone with your vision in the White House.

Multi Cheers!
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 2452
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

yes! Moder Dave for president!
The term "world music" is something that is common used ovehee in Europe. Giving the fact that countries like France, UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany etc ...have a "colony"-past it is not so strange to see cultural mix-ups.
Those other countries are "other continents" so the worh ""world" is appropriate.

Paul TBO
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1007
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 2:39 am:   Edit Post

The funny thing of course being that these days local ethnic music also gets labeled as "world music", and (in Europe) Americana too ... It's become a pointless category.
Advanced Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 359
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 7:03 am:   Edit Post

Kinda like affluent suburban white kids with dredlocks who drive to festivals in BMW 4 bys?

I seem to recall the first association with the term World Music was Peter Gabriel a long time ago. He was ahead of the curve bringing attention to the difficulties of the people of the non-West.
Also what do you call famous white musicians who breeze in, adopt a band, make an album, become lauded as noble heroes, sell a few million copies then move on to the next enclave?

Sorry for the rant, a bit off this morning. Off to Ch'i Kung class to get some balance.
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 1046
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

I'm a big fan of the Chieftains. Those guys tour with the most interesting folks. I saw them a few years ago and their guest was an Asian fellow, Mongolian if memory serves, who could vocalize two different sounds at the same time. Amazing. Sadly they only make it around here every 3 or 4 years.

Advanced Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 360
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post

I belive that type of vocalizing is referred to as "throat singing" practiced by Tibetan monks written about by Houston Smith and a fellow professor about 40 odd years ago. Mickey Hart recorded them ( the monks) at his studio.
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 2:10 pm:   Edit Post

You'd be amazed how many of the most exotic cultures do yodeling.

And some even sing and play a stringed instrument!

Of course Duke Ellington put it much better - there's only two kinds of music: good and bad.
Username: mica

Post Number: 3475
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post

"Namaste America" is aired every Saturday on one of our local stations. On their website is a list of markets you can watch. One of the segments, Desi Jams, focuses on the Desi Beats music. I don't own Rough Guide to Bhangra Dance, but you can listen to some clips on Amazon.

You might have seen this before, but César López makes guitars from AK-47s. It seems mildly related to your original post, Dave.

Music is powerful stuff.

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