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Newest World Music

The Ides of March turned out to be a bummer for Caesar, however it also marked the beginning of the new year for the Romans. It’s a new season of world music releases at KZSC including station favorites from the experimental fusion group Beats Antique, internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist Bombino plus the collaborative work of Sudanese vocalist Alsarah with French electronic artist Debruit. A modern, haunting take on Sudanese music heard through the sonic lens of French electronic, I can’t tell you how much I’m loving “Aljawal Soundway”. And we just received one by Pink Martini with The (“Sound of Music”) Von Trapp Family. Theatrical world music? More on this one next time. Here’s a quick look at 10 new world recordings worth hearing:

1 BEATS ANTIQUE A Thousand Faces, Act I Beats Antique
2 BOMBINO Nomad Nonesuch
3 DEBRUIT AND ALSARAH Aljawal Soundway
4 OMAR SOULEYMAN Wenu Wenu Ribbon
5 LAS CAFETERAS It’s Time Self-Released
6 VAADAT CHARIGIM The World Is Well Lost Burger
7 DIDI FAVREAU Deal With It Didi Favreau
8 BOSSACUCANOVA Our Kind Of Bossa Six Degrees
9 ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES Silt Wonderwheel
10 JAMES WHETZEL Beats For Venus

 

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Extra Large March 15th

“Extra large what?” Well, this isn’t a “what”, it’s a “who”. Local favorites Extra Large have been called “uniquely Santa Cruz” by serving up their supersized sound of reggae, Latin, hip-hop, funk, and rock for years. Voted “Best Band” for many years by Santa Cruz Weekly and Good Times readers, Extra Large blends original material with creative takes on covers that are so funky you just gotta dance. Find out in person when Extra Large plays at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall  in Felton Saturday, March 15th. Showtime is 7 pm. Check out this selection from their first album “Dance to the Spin” https://soundcloud.com/vlealxl/dance-to-the-spin

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Hospitality Interview at Rickshaw Stop

Brooklyn trio Hospitality recently released their Sophomore LP, Trouble, on Merge. They have been supporting the album with a nation-wide tour and are about to go overseas starting in May. I was lucky enough to catch up with Amber Papini (guitar, vocals) and Brian Betancourt (bass) before their show at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco last February. In our interview, we cover influences for their new darker sound, what they’ve been listening to lately, and upcoming releases for the band. Friends of the band, Airwaves, opened as well as Matt Kivel, who you can hear sound-checking in the background.

Stream the full interview below:

 

 

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Año Nuevo Bluegrass Festival, March 7th-9th

The weekend-long Spring Brookdale Bluegrass Festival has moved 25 miles up the coast from Santa Cruz to Pescadero, CA, north of Año Nuevo State Park on Highway 1 to the Costanoa Lodge. Concerts start at 5:00pm on Friday evening March 7, 2014 followed by all-night jamming. Pete Wernick and  Jean Butterfield will lead workshops Saturday morning, followed by more concerts and non-stop jamming. The festival will conclude with an open mic on Sunday morning. Performers include Pete & Joan Wernick, David Thom and Jim Lewin, the Naked Bootleggers, Bill Evans, Cactus Bob & Prairie Flower, Regina Bartlett and Friends, The Stoney Mountain Ramblers, The Tuttles with A.J. Lee (sans Molly Tuttle who is away at college), and many others. Tickets are available for all or part of the weekend, as is lodging. No worries about the weather, as performances will be indoors as needed.

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Laura Marling

This post (and picture) comes courtesy of DJ Compost, one of the hosts of KZSC’s “Dead Energy” program.

Full Disclosure: The last time I saw Laura Marling in concert, it was before I came to KZSC. I used  a fake press pass to get into the 21+ venue. With a hand-crafted and surprisingly legitimate looking photo ID badge and the acting skills of Nicholas Cage on a good day, I somehow got into the show. When I told Laura about it after her performance, she called me a “fucking genius” and told me of her own experiences as an underage music aficionado in England where she’d sneak into shows with nothing more than fake DJ equipment and confidence. A bonding moment to remember. I recently saw Laura again at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and this time, as a real media-type person. Laura walked on stage to a microphone stand three inches taller than her pixie-like self. Standing on her tiptoes, she timidly chimed “hello,” before beginning to play. I thought she’d adjust her mic to better accommodate her height, but she never did. It seemed strategic for the self-proclaimed and endearingly awkward folk singer to hold her head craned upwards where her eyes could easily travel to the ceiling. She opened with the first four songs from her new album, “Once I Was An Eagle”, each one blending seamlessly into the next, which built to the fifth and angriest track on the album, “Master Hunter.” Laura joked that if she were us, she’d be rioting against hearing new material, then played a pair of brand new songs. Apologizing for her lack of bantering skills, she laughed ironically then announced, “Now for the hits”  and played gems from her previous three albums plus a beautiful Townes Van Zandt cover of “For the Sake of the Song.” Laura let us get to know her during the next hour and a half, but only as much as she wanted, keeping parts of herself hidden away-dark, mysterious, vulnerable and inviting at the same time. Closing with “Where Can I Go?” from “Once I Was An Eagle”, Laura cooed gently: “I am cold and I am bright/ It’s a curse of mine to be sad at night.” At 23 years old, she seems to bare more of the world on her shoulders than she should have to; a blessing and a curse as a songwriter. She voices an honest vulnerability that is absolutely inspiring as if she’s swallowed up the entire world and spat out the good in beautiful prose and the bad in fiery spurts of fury. Find out more about Laura Marling at her website and listen for her on KZSC.

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Beatles Unplugged March 14th

If you haven’t seen The White Album Ensemble, you should. They reproduce music that The Beatles recorded but did not perform (“Rubber Soul” through “Abbey Road” albums). The Kuumbwa Jazz Center, with its great acoustics and grand piano, provide a perfect setting for an intimate concert of Beatles songs “unplugged” – acoustic instruments with an accent on vocals and harmonies. Special guests include vocalists Tammi Brown and Alysha Antonino along with percussionist Steve Robertson. The White Album Ensemble’s “Beatles Unplugged” show comes to the Kuumbwa in downtown Santa Cruz Friday, March 14th at 8 pm.