Music/Popular Culture

On the road to Phelamanga: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 29 – a song you like by a band or artist that isn't from North America, Europe or Australia

I really enjoyed the original 30-Day Song Challenge and my hat’s off to whoever created it. But it seemed a little obvious to me in places, so when I set out to create the sequel I wanted to tackle some ideas that we may not think about as often as we might. Today, one of the big ones.

We here in the US think of rock and roll as something that’s pretty much American and British, with perhaps a bit of Canadian and Aussie thrown in. In other words, Anglo. Which is cool, but the truth is that there are some outstanding artists elsewhere in the world, and I thought it appropriate to acknowledge them.

Anybody who knows me won’t be surprised where I’m heading. Since the late 1980s one of my favorite artists has been Johnny Clegg. Whether with Juluka, Johnny Clegg & Savuka or solo, his blend of Anglo/Celt and township street music has been some of the best and most politically vital popular music on Earth. Let’s remember: when Juluka formed Apartheid was still in existence and, if I’m not mistaken, interracial bands were technically illegal.

His history has not been without controversy and tragedy, with sideman/percussionist/dancer Dudu Zulu’s death being the most significant. So while in America it has often been about drugs and sex and rock and roll, elsewhere the stakes can be considerably higher.

I once founded a new soccer team in the league I played in back in North Carolina and I called it Scatterlings United. Here’s where the name came from.

4 replies »

  1. I could go on and on. As i’ve posted before, i like Russian rock (and hip hop and even pop).

    I’ve long been a fan of S. African township music. Fela, fer sure. Baaba Maal is another favorite. Tunes from both Mali and Ghana generally rank high for me. I’m listening to the below right now.

    It’s not rock, but i’ve been into Triagritrika lately and i like Vitya AK, so there’s this:

    And one of my all time favorite songs from a pillar of Russian rock: