And I’m pleased to announce that prolific Mexican producer DJ Javier Estrada will be my special guest on tomorrow’s radio show. The young powerhouse from Monterrey is one of the most interesting beatmakers around right now, and I’ve got a coupla thousand of words-in-progress on why… Coming soon.
Until then — tune in tomorrow to catch DJ Javier Estrada live from 8-9pm EST, on WFMU! We’ll be talkin in Spanish with simultaneous translation by Talacha so all you monolingual gorillas can enjoy.
The radio show comes on the eve of Estrada’s NYC debut. We’ll have some tix to giveaway for his Thursday event with A Tribe Called Red.
Cairo, Egypt. A few yards down from this graffiti lies the city’s best English language bookstore, and a few yards beyond that, the former British army barracks turned into traffic circle elevated into iconic revolutionary space. Tahrir means Liberation.
With Egyptian presidential elections getting very close, now’s a good time to listen to Cairo, its sounds & music, its clamor and dignity.
Last Wednesday’s radio show with Arabic translator Humphrey Davies, recorded on location in Egypt, is now streaming, and it’s fantastic:
In it he discusses the sounds of Cairo from car-horn honking Morse code obscenities to the changing ways of voicing the divine; nostalgia for the 1940s and brand new sha3by lyrics; Nancy Arjam’s class-bending single and Oum Koulsoum’s ongoing appeal. We also touch upon the world of Egyptian publishing and get insight about Davies work as a translator (I just finished his translation of Alaa Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building, and it is excellent. Highly recommended.) including a preview into the amazing 19th ct Lebanese book he’s working on right now (which includes lists of “well known locations in hell” and “17 types of medieval glue”).
Special guest next week: Monterrey Mexico’s DJ Javier Estrada! Info soon.
Next Wednesday, May 16th, award-winning translator Humphrey Davies (The Yacoubian Building, Naguib Mahfouz, Elias Khoury) will be the special guest on my weekly radio show. Davies is going to share some of his favorite sounds from Cairo and the Middle East — everything from spellbinding Quranic recitation to a surprisingly convincing defense of Nancy Arjam. We’ll also discuss his process of literary translations from Arabic to English. We recorded this episode at Humphrey’s apartment in downtown Cairo last month, and I have to say, you are in for a treat! Eloquent insight from a man who has made Cairo his home for more than 35 years.
As always, you can subscribe to the Mudd Up! podcast for downloadable versions, issued about a week after FM broadcast: . Also useful: WFMUâ€™s free iPhone app. We also have a version for Android (search for “WFMU” in the marketplace).
Tomorrow I’m DJing an *all-ages* party at 285 Kent in Brooklyn with Prince Rama, Eva Aridjis, Weird Magic, and more. FB invite. dance dance explode dance.
I spent today working on a mix, which meant that by the time the radio show rolled around, I was all beat-ed out, so it starts off on a classical/float/peat-bog tip. Now streaming:
Podcast subscribers: We’ve been a bit behind on getting the last month or so out, but things should be back on track shortly. Maybe already? The podcast version gets trimmed a bit, so tune in live or catch the stream for maxximum mudd.
I’ve been remiss in posting up my radio shows, but to get back on track — last night’s show – Throw Me Anywhere, Lord -, started with the powerful acapella spirituals of the Georgia Sea Island singers spread from there. (Anyboy read the new Alan Lomax biography? He recorded the Sea Island singers back in the day).
And if you are going to Coachella this weekend, friends and I will be DJing an Ace Hotel takeover tomorrow, Friday night. Details.
Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2011 album, Replica, was a rare type of excellent — not only was it a moving & detailed work of experimental/ambient goodness, it also felt significantly different from OPN’s earlier releases, adding uniquely arranged samples and rhythmic moments which conjured a pop spirit into experimental sound bodies. The trend tends to be for musicians to become more… standardized? commercially groomed?.. as their visibility rises, so it was so refreshing to hear Replica pull things even further out.
So. Join us on Wednesday night to hear OPN share music and chat about his songwriting + live performance approaches, VHS-visions in the era of YouTube, synthesizers, slowness, what he is up to co-running the Software label. Also for discussion: Mexican border sci-fi (Sleep Dealer reference anyone?), and, if we’re lucky & can get the muddy scoop declassified in time, we’ll get to learn about Lopatin’s very recent work mixing a great indie band.
The show will be two-hour special, 7-9pm on Wednesday March 14th.
Last week’s radio show with USC professor Josh Kun was a real treat – and it’s now streaming. An hour of real talk on the current state of narcocorridos – Mexican drug ballads – prefaced by two new heaters from Tijuana’s blooming indie scene. Listen close:
WFMU is in the middle of its yearly fundraising marathon! Our independent, advertising-free FM radio station is almost entirely listener supported (which is incredible, in today’s rapidly consolidating and corporatizing mediascape), all on-air DJs are 100% volunteer (aka I don’t get paid), and now’s the time when we asking for your help… For more reasons on what this fundraiser is all about, you can listen back to my show this week with co-host Therese, or simply tune in to WFMU 91.1FM NYC.
Or go straight into altruism mode by donating and telling your peoples what’s what:
As always, thanks for listening. FILE UNDER: Generosity.
This Wednesday at 8pm on WFMU, USC professor Josh Kun will join me on Mudd Up!, to discuss the current wave of hyperviolent Mexican drug ballads (largely produced in L.A., it turns out) and to examine the question ‘why aren’t other songs being sung?’ Kun is a rare academic who manages to do inspirational work both in & out of the academy — such as TED-talking with Ozomatli, curating the Grammy Museum’s current exhibition Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles 1945-1975, and doing smart, passionate writing about Tijuana & the complex membrane that is the US-Mexico border. His knowledge of Mexican music goes deep… So tune in! Wednesday night, 8-9pm WFMU 91.1FM, streaming at wfmu.org.
If you are unfamiliar with contemporary Mexican corridos in light of the drug war, Kun’s recent essay on what he’s termed ‘necrocorridos,’ is a good place to start. As is this video from Movimiento Alterado, where catchy and lush horn production sparkles alongside bejeweled bulletproof vests as the ‘Sanguinarios del M1’ sing from the assassin’s bloody viewpoint and proudly name the narcos they work for.
And check out the first few minutes of the Kun-Ozomatli “Edge of Urban Identity” TED talk! Josh on the mic, rapping about the new gospel of the monkey (“One of the 20 figures on the ancient ritual Mexican calendar, the monkey sported an ear-ring and wore a crew cut. He was a shapeshifter, a transformer, a changeling…”) It’s great: