November 25, 2009

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Thanksgiving, blah, blah, blah. Inevitably, there are things that we are grateful for, but blogs are not the ideal forum to fulminate. Or maybe they are. Tucker Max had a movie made based on his sordid chicanery. Diablo Cody turned a season of stripping into stardom. Starting in January of 2010, Passion of the Weiss will turn into a Single Guy in the Big City Blog that will fill you in on my miscellaneous hijinks and tell you where to find the best red velvet cupcakes. Sach O will play my unhinged Montreal counterpart, gassed up on rum and DMT, fluent in French, English, and the ways of Shaolin. In no time at all, Showtime will option this space and we will be forcibly assigned snazzy nicknames. I will be The Grave Diggler. (On a tangential note, remember when the Rza was good at rapping?)

But I digress. It’s hard not to be thankful for the endless gravy train of archival releases that have been issued this year. My latest obsession has been Analog Africa’s Legends of Benin,  that compiles four of the finest band leaders (Honoré Avolonto, Antoine Dougbé, Gnonnas Pedro, and El Rego) from the tiny West African nation. Joe Tangari’s Best New Reissue review is highly recommended if you’re into the backstory, but vinyl nerds and amateur historians would be well-served to cop the actual release with its 40 pages of color photos and biography. Suffice to say, the comp illustrates how psych rock, soul, jazz, and Latin music blended with traditional African rhythms to form some of the funkiest music you’ve ever heard. It’s even better than red velvet cupcakes.

Happy turkey day.

Download:
MP3:Honoré Avolonto & Orchestre Poly-Rythmo-“Tin Lin Non”
MP3: Honoré Avolonto & Black Santiago-“Dou Dagbe We”