Top 10 albums of 2009 - Tony Montague
Politicians climb the greasy pole, make speeches from their own assholes, deny the climate’s fate foretold, gag voices that they can’t control, the arts hold out a begging bowl, and the band plays on and on and on on the Titanic. The silver swine trough is always filled, and it’s the poor who foot the bill—but it’s all right, Ma, we got the Olympics.
Together Through Life
Words and music carved by a master, with a combo that includes Los Lobos accordionist David Hidalgo. Check “If You Ever Go to Houston”, which takes a line from Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special” and weaves from it a raw and rambling lost-love tale.
Bob Dylan performs "If You Ever Go To Houston".
World-music star Oumou Sangare has been mostly absent for the past decade, raising a son. The Wassoulou nightingale is back on top of the tree, her voice as supple and nuanced as ever, leading a superb ensemble that draws on 50 musicians.
Oumou Sangaré's "Seya".
You can hear the winds and the heat of the Sahara in Tinariwen’s trance-y blend of call-and-response Tuareg songs with meshing electric guitars, traditional rhythms, handclaps, and hand drums. Includes a great DVD documentary to provide context.
Rupa and The April Fishes
San Francisco’s Rupa and the April Fishes are the top world-music fusion outfit on the West Coast. Indo-American leader Rupa Marya sings mainly in French and Spanish, blending European, Hindu, and Latin traditions into a unique Bay Area cocktail.
Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits
Sí£o Paulo–born, New York–based Cyro Baptista is a percussion crazy man who can’t stop making music and instruments. These restlessly imaginative, shape-shifting songs percolate with jazz, Brazilian rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies, and musical wit from a quartet that includes Matisyahu keyboardist Brian Marsella.