Alternative Thursdays - Week 4 (May 26, 2005)
Revolutions per Beats: Part 3
I should have mentioned Teddy Afro earlier as he is the very “NOW” thing in Addis but waiting has also got me to digest his new album. Teddy Afro has been an Ethiopian musical sensation for some 6years. My first acquaintance came in a period when I started to get aggravated by the excessive use keyboards in Ethiopian music. It didn’t take me very long to yank his first album Abugida from the CD player throw it in to the condemned pile. I have a very damn good reason for that.
After I moved back, I heard the song “Tarik Tesera” (history is made) he wrote for his sensational match up, Kenenisa Bekele; a 21 year old athlete, and what an athlete, who is expected to replace our one and only Haile Gebresilase. Despite the use of the keyboards, it is a very good song; very timely considering it was right after our two gems, Kenenisa and Haile, came in first and second at the Athens Olympics 10000m, where Kenenisa came spearheading the Ethiopian flood. The story is, Teddy wrote the song right after watching the race while he was still intoxicated with the triumph so he captured his and every other Ethiopian feeling in his lyrics. The music video is a real tear jerker when you see the part where Kenenisa overtakes Haile but refuses to leave him to far behind but Haile gives him the ‘go get them’ nod (sniff sniff). “Tarik Tesera” was a transition point for teddy, since then I can say his music has been conscious of happenings including the one he wrote for bob Marley also in time for the 60th birthday celebrations. Who would forget the cheesy yet catchy line “Rita Marley, bring the body”.
His recent album is called ‘Yasteseryal’, which translates to “it heals” in reference to the divine, is by far the most socio-politically loaded album to come out in recent years. I didn’t pay much attention when it first came out until I went in the studio for my 3rd week Alternative Thursdays and got a barage of requests to play “Teddy’s new album”. Very irritating at the time nonetheless got me curious. So I got the album, I subdued my hatred for tacky keyboards arrangements, and clicked play.
- Leonard Cohen – Democracy
- Catpower – Free
- Controller Controller – History
- Johnny Cash – Man in Black
- The Specials – a message to you Rudy
- The Tragically Hip – Natical Disaster
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Rise or Fall
- Modest Mouse – Float on
Teddy Afro – Jah YasteseryalTom Waits – Starving in the belly of the Whale
- King Tubby and Soul Syndicate – Leaving Babylon dub
- Dub Pistols – World Gone Crazy
- Dj Shadow – War is Hell