Gatekeepers, Online attention, and too much music--- various thoughts
I guess everybody doesn't download from slsk, or read blogs. I'm trying to figure out why
Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats ( Essay Recordings import) which seemingly got a fair amount of online attention, only received 13 votes in the Pazz & Jop poll of 793 voters. Alright maybe, folks just didn't like its Portuguese language hybrid of Southern U.S. booty bass rap, Afrika Bambaata and Run D.M.C., or just maybe they don't download from slsk (I don't), or maybe they didn't get a press copy of this German import in the mail and had trouble finding it. While the M.I.A. mix was available for sale online, it seems Rio was and then it wasn't.
I didn't vote for Theodis Easley's single "Stand Up In It," but I should have(I forgot). Easley's double-entendre-filled bluesy-soul song always sounded great when I heard it on the Gator's show on Saturday afternoon on WPFW 89.3 in D.C. I'm not sure that Easley got any Pazz & Jop votes as I don't think his label pushes their stuff to Pazz & Jop critics. But I see that a guy/gal who calls themselves "ain't saying" posted a best of soul/blues 2004 list at Amazon that includes Easley. Is Easley's sound retro, sure, but it ain't like some of that their dancepunk and kompakt dance stuff and hiphop is exactly new-sounding... Now Easley should appeal to smart writers like Douglas Wolk and Michelangelo Matos who have waxed grandiously about Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a retro-soul outfit that I believe involves a member of Brooklyn's Antibalas(a critic fave afrobeat band that gets more ink and attention from indie-rock fans than actual African bands, but that's a whole 'nuther story), but I guess they don't have a Gator show or other source to be their Southern soul gatekeeper (let alone a press copy of the cd).
In December 2004 the Kora awards were held in South Africa. These awards were given out to African artists from throughout the continent. Most of the winners are utterly unknown to Americans and Brits. From what I can gather from a posting I did on Dissensus, there are several South African kwaito and Ghanian hiphop groups I/you/we should check out.
I know I know, you're trying to keep up on grime and country, and then there are those reggaeton and rock en espanol groups, not to mention some good ol' MTV hits pop and BET rap.
We really need a gatekeeper or 3 for all of the above.