Archive for the ‘Folk’ Category


Arlo Guthrie: I’m Changing My Name to Chrysler

December 8, 2008

I heard this amazing Tom Paxton penned song by Arlo Guthrie this morning on KBOO’s Folk Espresso – in a car-industry themed set and my jaw dropped open. It sounds like it was penned this week, save for a few dating references (Iacoca, etc…)


Turkish Psych-Rock pt. 2: Erkin Koray

October 4, 2008

A little less croonin’ and a lot more rockin’. Erkin really knew which end of a guitar to strangle and there’s loads of fuzzed-out riffing and soloing here. He also apparently developed the electric bağlama and featured it on many of his albums.

Erkin Koray (born June 24, 1941), has been in the Turkish rock music scene since the late 1950s or early 1960s. He is widely acclaimed as being the first person to ever play rock and roll in Turkey; in 1957, he and his band gained notoriety by playing covers of Elvis Presley and Fats Domino. He was also one of the first Turkish musicians to embrace the electric guitar and modern amplification.

By the late 1960s, he was already a major figure in Turkish psychedelic music and Anatolian Rock, beginning with his first psychedelic single Anma Arkadaş in 1967. Koray followed this with a number of singles, both by himself and in collaboration with others, that established him as a force to be reckoned with on the Turkish rock scene. Koray became a controversial figure in Turkey during the 1960s and 1970s; he was actually assaulted in Istanbul, and on one occasion stabbed, for having long hair. <wik>

Download his album Elektronik Turkuler here (63 megs. Rapidshare)

I do not remember where I originally downloaded this from; I’ve had it for some time. Props to the original uploader.


Turkish Psych-Rock pt. 1: Cem Karaca ve Apaşlar

October 4, 2008

Pal Devin just gave me this amazing compilation of singles by the mighty Turkish folk rocker Cem Karaca and his original band – before going solo – Apaşlar.

About Cem:

In 1967, he started to write his own music, forming the band Apaşlar (Apachees), his first Turkish-language group. In 1969, Karaca and bass-player Serhan Karabay left Apaşlar and started an original Anatolian group called Kardaşlar (Brothers).

In 1972, Karaca joined the group Moğollar (Mongols) and wrote one of his best-known songs, “Namus Belası”. However, Cahit Berkay, the leader of Moğollar, wanted an international name for his band, and he left for France to take the group to another level. Karaca, who wanted to continue his Anatolian beat sound, left Moğollar and started his own band Dervişan (Dervishes) in 1974. Karaca and Dervişan sang poetic and progressive songs.

In the 1970s, Turkey’s image was damaged by political violence between supporters of the left and the right, separatist movements and the rise of Islamism. As the country fell into chaos, the government suspected Cem Karaca of involvement. At times he was accused of treason for being a separatist thinker and a Marxist-Leninist. The Turkish government tried to portray Karaca as a man, who was unknowingly writing songs to start a revolution. One politician was quoted as saying, “Karaca is simply calling citizens to a bloody war against the state.”  <wikipedia>

Download Cem Karaca ve Apaşlar (83.9 megs., Rapidshare)
21 amazing tracks with tracklist!

I’ve become a sucker for this fuzzed out Turkish psychedelic rock. Karaca’s stuff is a little more soulful and reverb-laden and not as prone to fuzztone guitar abuse like Selda, but I find his songs haunting.

Devin’s the St. Paul of Cem Karaca; he’ll play them for anyone and they become a convert, including me.

Cem’s the King, as far as I’m concerned.


Kultur Shock

January 20, 2008

Amazing Balkan Gypsy Punk band from Seattle, Kultur Shock, captured live at the Doug Fir Lounge.
I was there and have the ringing ears and crushed insteps to prove it.

More here and here.

Thanks to uploader Mr. Toasty for putting these up.

I recommend their album We Came to Take Your Jobs Away.
They are not too dissimilar to Gogol Bordello, only much harder rocking, with dual guitars and electric violin.
Highly recommended for those who like their Yugo/Bulgarian/Russkie-punk straight up.


Sublime Sounds from Sublime Frequencies

December 31, 2007

I’m sure many of you know about the fine releases from this amazing label, but if not, I cannot recommend any of their products enough. Founded by Sun City Girls alumni Alan and Sir Richard Bishop, as well as Hisham Mayet, Sublime Frequencies documents folk music from some of the furthest flung and most obscure corners of the world. Many albums contain audio recordings from the streets and from local radio of the country of focus. I own most of the ‘Radio’ series, each of which offers a dizzying array of found recordings and broadcast snippets of Morocco, Palestine, Syria and many other countries that the Bishop brothers and like-minded cohorts recorded on their many musical exploration treks throughout the last two decades.
Another amazing CD in this series is Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq, a collection of folk and pop songs from the pre-Gulf War I Saddam-era. It was nothing like I had anticipated it to be. Its modern -and at times militaristic- sound belies Hussein’s vision of a secular, Pan-Arabic future in the region. Highly recommended.

I also have seen many of their similarly-themed DVDs, all of which are breathtaking. All are shot cinema vérité style with no narration, set up or much post production at all. But the results are nothing short of hallucinogenic. You become totally immersed in the music and ritual of a world you’ve never been to before. My favorites were Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan, a Halloween-like spirit celebration in an obscure ethnic-minority of Thailand, with hypnotic music and amazing costumes; Jemaa El Fna: Morocco’s Rendezvous of the Dead, a bizarre night celebration of frantic music on the edge of the Sahara.

If you are a fan of world music, folk music, and even contemporary pop music from Asia, South East Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East, you owe it to yourself to check out this amazing collection.


Repost: Goran Bregovic’s Underground OST

June 16, 2007

Goran Bregovic
Mercury, France

An excellent soundtrack to one of the greatest movies of all time, Emir Kusturica’s Underground, aka Once Upon a Time There Was a Country.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing this film from the former Yugoslavia, the sound of the Gypsy brass band that is in virtually every other scene will be stuck in your head for months. The raucous sounding Kalasnjikov, which is heard throughout the film, is here, as is the haunting War, complete with a tragic children’s choir.
Here, rather than simply lift the songs from the soundtrack, many have been recreated and in some cases rearranged completely by Bregovic and his band.
Some songs are a beautiful fusion of Balkan folk with electronica, such as The Belly Button Of The World with great sounding Middle Eastern percussion as well as a pulsing electronic beat, which sounds oddly appropriate for a film that covers fifty years of the history of Yugoslavia.
Missing in action is the German hit song Lili Marleen that crops up throughout the film. First heard when the protagonist’s city falls to the Nazis and later when the Allies defeat them, it’s used throughout the movie to underscore the tragi-comic events. I’ve included it inside as a bonus track.
Lovers of traditional Balkan music, Euro-Folk, Klezmer or any exotic music will find this soundtrack enjoyable whether they’ve seen this film or not.

“A catastrophe!”

By request.