Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tidying Up

The end of the year is approaching at alarming speed. This was brought home to me yesterday when I received an e-mail from the Hype Machine informing me that I had only a few weeks to publish my list of my top ten albums of 2010, which is apparently essential if I am to be considered an official Taste Maker. I just hope I can find the time - you may be hoping I don't.

Things are rather busy at the moment as I am not around much - off to Brussels this afternoon for four days work, then next weekend off to Budapest for a short break - and with Christmas planning now kicking in, with the result that I have not got round to listening to the new Danish and Tsonga Disco CDs I have mentioned previously.

So instead here are selections from a couple of CDs from my list of things to post when there is a gap to fill. If that makes it sound like they are second rate it is not intended, it is just there has always been something I have wanted to post just a little bit more. Now is their time to shine.

First up is The Candle Thieves, from their current album "Sunshine and Other Misfortunes". According to the blurb on their website, "they summon up the spirits of Eels, Sufjan Stevens and the Lucksmiths in their sounds". That's as maybe. To an old fart like me they sound like Prefab Sprout. Which is no bad thing.

"Stars" - The Candle Thieves

"Sharks And Bears" - The Candle Thieves

Masta Famedji, on the other hand, is a bit more of a mystery. His 2001 album, "Faso I Love", is dedicated to the people of Burkina Faso. However he sings in English rather than French, which suggests he is not from Burkina himself. All the clues are that he is Nigerian - little subtle clues like the song "Coming From Nigeria" and the other one dedicated to "Father Fela".

To add to the mystery there is a group playing regular gigs in France at the moment going by the name of Sylama and the Masta Famedji Group, led by a very un-Nigerian looking woman called Sylama. My knowledge of French is very shaky, but from reading the notes I fear this means Masta himself has passed on and Sylama is carrying the torch, a bit like Bonnie Tyler fronting the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

If anyone can shed any light on the mystery, please do. In the meantime, here is the Masta in his pomp.

"Coming From Nigeria" - Masta Famedji

"Faso I Love You" - Masta Famedji

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that I mentioned both Bonnie Tyler and Sufjan Stevens. Which is the perfect excuse to play you a clip of their marvellous remake of the old Brook Benton and Dinah Washington duet. Although in this clip Bonnie appears be auditioning for "Stars In Their Eyes" as Rod Stewart.

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