I’m a little late with the Amoeba Hollywood World Music best sellers list for March, so here it goes.
1. Charlotte Gainsbourg-IRM
2. Basseko Kouyate-I Speak Fula
3. Bunbury-Las Consecuencias
6. Julieta Venegas-Otra Cosa
7. V/A-Pomegranates (LP version)
8. V/A-Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia
9. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate-Ali & Toumani
10. V/A-Nigeria Special Vol.2
Charlotte tops the chart for the third month in a row. Most likely she will bumped by the new Ozomatli in April (More on that later). If you live in or near San Francisco, take note: Charlotte Gainsbourg will be appearing at the SF Amoeba for Record Store Day, where she will be doing a signing at 12 noon! The Pomegranates compilation scores double positions on the chart with both the CD and LP version making the top ten. Two in-store performances fueled the sales of Basseko Kouyate and Chatmonchy. None of the releases on the top ten show any signs of slowing down; if anything, some may sell more than when they were first released in the coming weeks!
April is turning into another busy month of new releases. So far we had releases by Angelique Kidjo’s Oyo, Mulatu Astatke's Steps Ahead and Richard Bona’s The Ten Shades of Blues. Another B-Music compilation, Absolute Belter, is a collection of Psychedelic pop nuggets from Spain from the late 60’s/early 70’s. The LP version will be out soon, so I hear.
April 13th will bring us a new live Lila Downs release, Lila Downs y La Misteriosa en Paris Live a FIP. Lila is a great live performer that is matched by very few. This performance was in front of an intimate audience and live and intimate is how you should experience Lila’s work.
Lila Downs-"El Relampago"
Also out on April 13th is The Nortec Collective's Corrido Urbanos, which features Clorofila (Jorge Verdin), producer and graphic designer for the collective. The sound is what you expect from Team Nortec, electronica mixed with Mexican Banda and Corridos with a few special guest appearances by the likes of Australian singer Supina Bytol and David J of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets fame. Corridos Urbanos is a nostalgic look of Tijuana from Jorge's past -- the record stores and radio stations that influenced him in his youth, and the days before the Narcotraficantes took over the city.
Nortec Collective Featuring Clorofila-"Discotecta Nacional"
April 20th will bring us the new Ozomatli, Fire Away. I have to admit, I was not a fan of their last album, Don’t Mess With The Dragon, at all and when I heard the first single for the new one, “It’s Only Paper” featuring Jack Johnson, I figured they were going the same route. However, Fire Away has some great tracks with raw production, such as “45,” which sounds like something Cody Chestnutt could have written, and “Nadas For Free,” which reminds me of Mellow Man Ace’s “Mentirosa” (which some deejays are rediscovering!). But by far the best jam is “Gay Vatos In Love,” a Los Lobos-esque jam about love and how it is for EVERYONE. It’s probably the most polarizing song they have ever written. At a recent show, they asked the audience to sing along with the chorus. Only the women and the few gay men sang along. Come on, fellas! What are you afraid of? If you can throw your fist in the air for equality, then you can sing for gay vatos!
Ozomatli- "Gay Vatos In Love"
By the way, Ozomatli will also perform live at Amoeba Hollywood on 4/20 ( the day of the release), with live streaming on our website for those of you who can't make it in person. I believe this is Ozo’s forth time performing at Amoeba Hollywood and each previous instore has been packed! If you plan to attend, come early!
Last but not least, April 27th will bring us Ana Tijoux's first U.S. release, 1977. Most Spanish rappers do not impress me; in fact, I can count my favorite Rappers en Español on one hand: Control Machete, Tego Calderon, Residente, Bocafloja and Olmeca. Now I've got to use my other hand to include Ana Tijoux. Ana grew up in France. Her mother is French and her father was a political exile from Chile. When she was in her teens she moved to Chile with her father and started rapping. She was part of Chile’s biggest Hip-hop group in the 90’s, Makiza. Soon after she went solo and collaborated with Julieta Venegas on her big hit, “Eres Para Mi.” 1977 is Ana’s second solo album and her first on Nacional Records. She’s currently on a big tour in the U.S that so far has included well-received shows in L.A., Berkeley, Austin, Chicago and New York. The reason I like her flow is that you can tell she is a student of Hip-Hop, You can hear the flow of Paris, New York and Latin America in her voice when she raps, yet her her style is all her own.