Time for one of those obsessive-compulsive projects that the Internet seems to encourage and facilitate: I have just spent a rainy afternoon meticulously poring over the last two and a half years of "Global Hit" segments from the PRI/BBC program The World cataloguing my favorite segments and several I've been meaning to catch up on. I always feel like I am in some way making myself a better citizen of the world by listening to this show, which reports on goings-on around the entire planet instead of just the English-speaking parts. But in reality, I usually only pay attention to the final five mintues, which focus on music. Thanks to streaming audio, and later podcasting, I can now head straight to that part and skip anything resembling actual news. There goes my Global Citizen of the Year award.
I'm going to break this down into two installments. This one catalogues all (or almost all) the episodes from January 2004 through March 2006 that focus on Brazilian music. One of the coolest things about the show is that it looks way beyond well-known artists and predictable genres, which means that alongside usual suspects like Bebel G, Caetano V, samba, and bossa, you'll find segments on death metal, klezmer, obscure instruments, and so on.
The program's podcast archive is a little clunky to search, so I'm listing these in alphabetical order (by first name, which is my own personal rebellion against the tyranny of language, or maybe just sheer perversity).
The Bezerra Family (Hanukkah music from Brazilian Jews living in New Hampshire)
Caetano Veloso on A Foreign Sound
DJ Gilles Peterson's Brazil compilation
Luiz Bonfa, Paula Morelembaum
Maria Rita #1
Maria Rita #2 (short)
Renata Rosa (Brazilian/Afghani overlap)
Sergio Mendes' Timeless album
Seu Jorge #1 (mostly songs from Cru)
Seu Jorge #2 ( Life Aquatic sessions)
Tom Capone (producer, Maria Rita, Carlinhos Brown)
Tropicalia retrospective exhibition
Wagner Pa & Brazuca Matraca
Marco Werman's album picks of 2005 (incl. Luiz Bonfa and Marcelo D2)
Needless to say, the show covers far more than Brazil, and I'll post some other episodes of interest from other regions of the world very soon. But don't limit yourself to my picks: if you want to educate yourself about music outside the anglophone world, you truly should check out the program on a regular basis, either on the radio or via podcast. (Tip: you can find the latter via iTunes.)