Red Baraat, bhangra brass

I heard these guys sometime last year, then COMPLETELY forgot about them somehow. Red Baraat are a New York outfit that combines Indian bhangra and filmi music with the infectious grooves of a New Orleans brass band. It’s some of the most fun world music I’ve heard in a while, and npr.org has an entire streaming concert available here. For the more visually minded among you, I’m including a YouTube vid of them below.

Forward to randomness

My wife has always been a big believer in listening to music randomly. Once upon a time that was done by blindly picking out a cassette tape. We are much, MUCH better at randomly generating music now. I’ve become a convert in recent years myself. Listening to a random selection from my music library is like having a schizophrenic DJ on the radio; I have some idea of what sorts of things I hear, but I can’t really know for sure. It’s reasonably guaranteed that I’ll like what comes on, and the process saves my deciding “Oh, I don’t know what I feel like listening to.” And every once in a while it creates beautiful juxtapositions that you could never have predicted.

In honor of randomness, I’m doing a random selection of tracks from my music library. The first 16 I can find available to stream are linked to below. [add.–OK, too many of the songs were hard to find, but I stuck to the artists in the order they came up!]

Joe W’s Random Playlist, Apr 3

Actors/Musicians 1: She & Him

Once upon a time, actors were expected to sing. Not everyone and everywhen, but there was a long stretch in American theatre and film when an actor who couldn’t sing and dance was at a real disadvantage. We’ve gotten away from that concept of the all-around performer, so I want to take a few posts to salute the folks who still manage to pull it off.

Zooey Deschanel is probably best known for her work on the TV medico/detective series Bones. But she’s also one half of She & Him, a performance duo that evokes a lost, suburban world of pre-Beatles pop music. Deschanel isn’t just a figurehead for producers and publicsts either–the act formed out of a film performance when Deschanel showed her secret songs to producer/guitarist M. Ward. It’s good gentle fun, and the song above is a welcome reprieve from the current depressing April snowstorm.