29 enero 2011

La canción de la semana #251

From Pedro Luis Ferrer, the creator of changüisa: Tangible, from his album of the same name (to be released in March).

21 enero 2011

La canción de la semana #250

Fifteen years ago, two Malian musicians, Bassekou Kouyate and Djelimady Tounkara, failed to get visas to Cuba. An unexpected result of that was... the phenomenally successful album Buena Vista Social Club, recorded with all-Cuban line-up. But last year, Nick Gold of World Circuit Records finally succeeded in bringing Cubans and Malians together as AfroCubism. No it is not Buena Vista Social Club #2 — it is much more interesting. Apart from Kouyate and Tounkara, AfroCubism features the BVSC veteran Eliades Ochoa and great Toumani Diabaté.

"Musically, the recording sessions worked very well, but we had some strange times when they asked each other what the songs are about," Gold says. "Eliades was asking me what one of Toumani's songs is about. Toumani said it was about a baby hippopotamus. Eliades raised his eyebrows, then Toumani said: 'Well, what's your song about?' 'It's about how when I get tired of the earth I'm going to live on the moon.' So Toumani's going: 'And you think my song is ridiculous?'"

Ridiculous or not, this week's song is Ochoa's A la luna yo me voy performed by AfroCubism!

10 enero 2011

xkcd en español

For once, reading the "frequently asked questions" (actually, answers to them) pays off. After a few years enjoying the comics by Randall Munroe, I finally had a look at the FAQs.
Q: Is xkcd translated?

A: Translating humor is often difficult between groups that speak the same language, let alone totally different cultures. So it's inherently a hard problem. However, a reader does translate xkcd strips into Spanish, which can be found at es.xkcd.com.
So, here it is.

(Here's the original comic.)

06 enero 2011

La canción de la semana #248

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

This week's song is Malika by Maurice El Médioni, from his 2006 album Descarga Oriental.

On first thought, one might be hard-pressed to find a common ground between Algerian raï music and Latin jazz. But for the pianist Maurice el Medioni, an Algerian-born Jew who left his home for France decades ago as an exile, and the Cuban-born, New York-based percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, the link connecting North Africa and Cuba is a direct one — by way of Spanish Andalusia.