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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

Music in stores is always an odd thing. But in Lilongwe, there have been a couple of events that are just plain strange.


Liz and Brian heard Neil Young "Heart of Gold" done up indian style while picking up takeaway in an indian food joint. Then a few days later I heard The Smiths "Girlfriend in a Coma" in the supermarket. I should have made a recording of it, but was too stunned.


In South Africa I heard a lot of music, lots that I didn't recognize, and a little bit that I did kind of. The Zulu music seemed to be the most familiar. As far as western pop, they seem to have an odd taste for Michael Jackson. I also heard a couple of Peter Gabriel songs, and kept having "Biko" buzz around in my head. Paul Simon's graceland has been playing in my head as well, then on our last Saturday night it was on the stereo at the house we had dinner at.


In Nkhotakota the first night, the people in the restaurant were thoughtful enough to take off that african stuff and set us at ease with some Genesis while we ate. Too bad.


As far as radio, I listened to a bit in South Africa, mostly in Johannesburg. In Malawi, I have been putting on the car radio when I get a chance. There is a pretty interesting radio scene. The music is good, but I don't recognize it and can't understand the speaking as it is mostly in chichewa. The christians are here, and have parked themselves on the radio dial as well as the streets and beaches. Mostly they talk.


In the towns, you can sometimes see people walking around with small transistor radios. Others are wearing earbuds as they ride on bicycles as drivers or passengers.


The radio transmitters I brought to build haven't gotten made yet. There isn't anybody I have met that seems interested in tinkering with solder and components. I left some in Soshonguve for them to build and test.


While in South Africa, I started thinking about Live Aid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_aid a concert held in the summer of 1985. I remember seeing the footage on tv, and have been thinking about how Phil Collins appeared at both the London and US concerts with the help of the Concorde. The jet's been grounded, so supersonic flight would not be available for current day concerts. One of the artists that had been billed to play the show was from South Africa, and there were boycotts of South African goods and even a cultural blockade, so they were not able to perform. I have looked around, but have not been able to find reference to it. I think it was Ladysmith Black Mambazo. There was a similar concert called Live Earth http://www.liveearth.org/, held while I was in Soshonguve billed to raise awareness of current issues around global warming.


With the advent of Ipods and mp3 players and digital libraries of music, it is very possible to bring all your music from home and just listen to what you already know. Podcasts are helping the expats here keep in touch with news and info from the homeland, but I haven't really listened to any. Mostly, Brian and Mike listen to their ipods on their own, at night or in their vehicles.


At the market on 7-30-07 I picked up two cd's of Malawian music - Lawrence Mbenjele's album Sewere. He was featured in the newspaper on Saturday.


Lucius Banda - Surviors Brian says he is pretty much the biggest thing in local music.


Digging through their cd collection I found an album by Johnny Clegg and Savuka Third World Child. It is from 1987, and the band was from South Africa, multiracial, revolutionary for its time. I recall hearing Scatterlings and playing it on the radio way back then. Not much info in the liner notes about the band or recording. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Clegg





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