August Odds & Ends

“The Strange Alchemy of Fool’s Gold” on NPR
A radio feature on the LA-based indie rock/African sounds/Hebrew lyrics band. They’re just about to release a new CD (lyrics in English this time), and will be coming to Toronto this fall for the Small World Music festival. (Sep 22-Oct 2).

More from NPR: “The Music of Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary”

“It’s been called the “Alcatraz of the South.” Locals call it “The Farm.” The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has been synonymous with brutality, suffering and executions for much of its 110-year history. There was a time when even the most hardened criminals were said to break down and cry when they were sentenced to time there. Yet as prisons go, it stands out for an entirely different reason: its music.

It was one of the first stops for legendary folklorist John Lomax and his son Alan (who was just 18 at the time) when they set off on a year-and-a-half long odyssey on America’s back roads in 1933. They were on a mission to gather folk songs of African-Americans, specifically music born of slavery, and they wanted it in its purest form. “

Read & listen here


Classic moment preserved: Mike Bloomfield with Electric Flag doing “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee” at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival. (Although the backing vocals oddly weren’t preserved!).

The original version of the song is here: recorded in 1947, by “Stick” McGhee, with his brother Brownie. (The notes for the video indicate that before it was recorded the chorus used a different refrain than “Spo-Dee-O-Dee”…)
And, watch Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at the Hillside Festival last month
Last: a reminder of videos from some recent shows at