Posts Tagged ‘La Llorona’

remembering Lhasa de Sela

January 7, 2010

The new year begins with the loss of a genuinely original voice in our world’s music.

Word has been slow to circulate, as the family mourns and final arrangements are made for the Montreal-based singer Lhasa de Sela. She was 37 when she died on New Year’s day after a long battle with breast cancer.

I discovered Lhasa’s music with her debut 1998 recording La Llorona. A friend who knew how much I loved the music of Violeta Parra suggested I might like Lhasa’s debut release, which had just come out. (The same friend turned me on Lila Downs. What would we ever do without our friends and the invaluable introductions like this that shape our listening lives?) I did enjoy it very much, appreciating in particular the intimacy and warmth of Lhasa’s singing and the strength of her songwriting.

Her 2003 followup recording, The Living Road, expands on the life experiences described in La Llorona as Lhasa’s own creative life flourished by moving to Marseilles. (She lived the rest of her life shared between France and Canada.) The Living Road is another solid collection of originals sung in French, Spanish, and English.

Lhasa’s final, eponymous recording was released last spring, and it’s her first recording sung entirely in English. I haven’t heard it yet. When I do, I know it will be with no small measure of sadness in realizing that Lhasa represents the final expression of an artistic spirit silenced far too soon.

The official obituary for Lhasa concludes with a line that is especially touching:

“It has snowed more than 40 hours in Montreal since Lhasa’s departure.”

playlist #87 (11/2/2009)-dia de los muertos / day of the dead

November 2, 2009
World of Music
Pgm #87 – In the spirit(s) of All Souls Day & Dia de Los Muertos
Listen Mondays 3-5pm EDT  – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / – (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Los Camperos de Valles: El Llorar (The Weeping) / Dancing With the Dead / Ellipsis Arts 4200 – (OAXACA,MEXICO)
Puerto Candelaria: Muerta! (Death!) / Puerta Candelaria / Merlin Studios 2009 – (COLOMBIA) *NEW*
Cyril Smith with Rudy Vallee’s Connecticut Yankees: With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm / The Haunted House / Nimbus 2008 – (ENGLAND)
Lila Downs: La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) / La Sanduga / Narada World 72435 – (MEXICO)
Neville Brothers: Voo Doo / Yellow Moon / A&M Records 5240 – (N’AWLINS)
Robert Faltus: Black Panthers / Catalan World Music Sampler 2008 / Picap 2008 – (SPAIN)
Marco Calliari: Bella Luna / Marco Calliari / Casa Nostra     N/A – (ITALY / CANADA)
Jake Shimabukuro: Thriller / Live / Hitchhike Records 1109 – (HAWAII) *NEW*
Robert Johnson: Hellhound On My Trail / Hellhound On My Trail / Indigo Records 2017 – (USA)
Cuadrilla de Don Manuel Mugarra: Son de los Diablos (Song of the Devils) / Lo Mejor de…Ritmo Negro / Peruano Iempesa 1355 – (PERU)
Bob French’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Band with Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown: St. James Infirmary Blues / New Orleans Brass / Putumayo 270 – (N’AWLINS)
Kermit Ruffins feat. Juanita Brooks: When I Die (You Better Second Line) / Every Day Is A Holiday / Basin Street Records 703 – (N’AWLINS)
Louis Prima: I’ll Die Happy / Capitol Blues Collection Sampler / Capitol 1997 – (USA)
Fela Kuti: Zombie / Fela Kuti: The Best of the Black President / EMI 3145431972 – (NIGERIA)
Bishi: Vicious Stories / Nights At The Circus / Gryphon Records 3 – (ENGLAND / INDIA)
Café Tacuba: Esa Noche / RE / WEA 967842 – (ARGENTINA)
Los Hombres Caliente (Bill Summers & Irvin Mayfield): Vodou Hoodoo Babalu / Volume 4: Vodou Dance/  Basin Street Records 204 – (N’AWLINS)
Alejandra Robles: La Bruja (The Witch) / La Morena / AJ Records 1 – (MEXICO)
Papando Moscas: El Esqueleto del Terror (The Skeleton of Terror) / Cabeza de Chorlito! / RGS Music (N/A) – (ARGENTINA)
NG La Banda: La Bruja (The Witch) / The Best of NG La Banda / Metro Blue Music 21391 – (CUBA)
Googie Rene: The Chiller/  Hip To The Jive 2 / Sonic Scenery    708021 – (USA)
Dinah Shore: The Scene of the Crime / Hip To The Jive 2 / Sonic Scenery 808021 – (USA)
Tony Trischka: The Leatherwing Bat / Territory / Smithsonian Folkways 40169 – (USA)
Alessandra Bellini with I Giullari di Piazza: Canto di Hecate (Song of Hecate) / Divine Divas / Rounder 5071 – (ITALY) – [Hecate, the Greco-Roman goddess, often associated with magic, witches, ghosts, and crossroads]
Paul Metsa: Whistling Past the Graveyard / Whistling Past the Graveyard / Raven Records     93 – (USA)
Lazaro Ros & Mezcla: Ibanlayé / Cantos / Intuition Music 3080 – (CUBA)
Sonny Landreth: Congo Square / Legends of New Orleans / Blue Marble Music 2 – (N’AWLINS)
Lila Downs: Black Magic Woman / Shake Away / EMI 92437 – (MEXICO)

dia de los muertos

November 1, 2009
this is what radio DJs have on their Day of the Dead altar.

answering the age-old question, "what do radio DJs have on their Day of the Dead altar?"

November 2nd: All Souls Day and the conclusion of Mexico’s Diá de los Muertos commemoration. And, there’s a full moon tonight! This week’s World of Music digs deep to unearth an other-worldly mix of spirited sounds for the season.

We’ll hear from Lila Downs, a native of Oaxaca, Mexico – her La Llorona tells the traditional folk tale of the “weeping woman” who haunts the banks of the river where she drowned her children. Fela Kuti’s Zombie, Tony Trischka’s Leatherwing Bat, and El Esqueleto del Terror (“The Skeleton of Terror”) will all make appearances along with a grooving mix of voudou drums and chants from Haitian and Creole origins.

World of Music is a haunting blend of blues, jazz, poetry, and world music every Monday on the Radiator, 3-5pm ET. Online, or at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT.

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