World Cup of Music June 25

Final Games; Groups G & H

Review of Matches June 24; And the shocks just keep on coming! Perhaps not? Italy had been dire but we expected their football smarts to see them through as they did in 2006. Despite Italy scoring 2 late goals once Pirlo came on Lippi got his desserts and Slovakia played as though they were the 1976 European Champions, Czechoslovakia. The dangerous Paraguay went through after their expected bore draw. In Group E Japan went epic as expected and scored two wonderful free kicks with Honda outstanding. Holland move smoothly through the gears and look good for the semis at the moment, as do Japan. Abavuki are a Cape Town musical collective and just released a terrific album called Africa Got Soul.  With South Africa out we will have to keep their music going. I prefer Shame, Shame, Shame, but for all the babies left at home by the footballers this is Papa Was Rolling Stone;

Preview of Group G; Brasil Portugal could still be the World Cup Final but this group game is dead as both teams have qualified so unless they play for pride, unlikely, this could be tame draw; 1-1? Mind you Brazil used to be the capital of Portugal after Napoleon invaded so they could still be divided by a common, if tough, language. Bom Dia! North Korea and Cote d’Ivoire only have pride to play for so this could be a cracking, if dead rubber. Thrilling draw; 1-1?

Portugal Critiano Ronaldo’s favourite music is dance but not many Portuguese dance acts go major. However one did and that was Rui da Silva. He actually had a Number One single in the Uk with his dance classic Touch Me

Brasil; And so to Salvador where Caetano Veloso comes from and where the radical Tropicalistas had their origins. They were actually exiled for singing ironic songs in 1968. But Salvador, Lower City and Upper City both, retains its radicalism. These days it is with the street musicians and drum collective Olodum, who Paul Simon used on The Obvious Child. They work to improve the self-esteem and pride of Afro-Brasilians. This is them in the street with Pelorinho

North Korea The estimable Andy Kershaw who, with the death of Charlie Gillett and John Peel, becomes the best British World Music DJ/authority on music visited North Korea and produced 2 amazing programmes still available on BBC iPlayer. Much better than this blog. The tea is better than the music in Pyongyang. In Korea the  Mansudae Art Troupe say of their ‘Dear Leader” We Shall Follow You Forever

Ivory Coast; Bird Flu is a dance invented by DJ Lewis from d’Ivoire who developed the from Coupé-Décalé, both styles of music designed to cheer the nation up during the bad days of the political crises of 2002. The must be made of strong stuff in Côte d’Ivoire as they dance the flu away. La Grippe Aviaire;

Preview of Group H; The last group to be settled and the European champions Spain are not guaranteed to go through. If Spain and Chile draw, and this is Chile’s chance to show that they are stronger outsiders than Japan, and Switzerland play as well as they did in beating Spain against Honduras then Chile and Switzerland go thorough, so Spain must go for the win. Could end up with 3 teams on 6 points and goals deciding. So a group that needs goals and wins to determine who goes through. Sounds like a fun Friday.

Switzerland;  In recent years German speakers have made more of an impact on the Swiss music scene, particularly with rapping and hip-hop. As ever like pop in the sixties and punk in the seventies, hip-hop offers minority groups a rout to the mainstream. One of the most successful Swiss rappers is Black Tiger and this is his 2 Wälte featuring Apache

Honduras; La Banda Blanca play Punta, a Garinagu dance music not unlike Salsa, which is big in Honduras and is sung in Spanish, which makes them popular across Central America. Punta sung in Spanish is more popular than Garifunan music in Honduras, and Honduran Punta bands have also had some success in the USA. This is a live version, played on the beach, of Sigan bailando

Chile Apparently the best Chilean album of all time is Alturas de Macchu Pichu by Los Jaires. Los Jaires from Vina del Mar seem to use their musicianship to combine progressive rock and Andean music! It works because it is a gentle and reflective music yet remains distinctly South American and unusually full of character. This is Aguila Sideral

Spain; Now this is a treat, one of my favourite songs of 2009 by Concha Buika which my iPod tells me is Latin Jazz. I think it comes more from the New Flamenco movement, with traces of ambient and cool jazz. She has a beautiful voice which has a Flamenco-inspired texture which combines the rough and the smooth which you feel you can touch. And then it touches you. Wow, she really can sing! Buika with La Falsa Moneda

The LEGO World Cup match replay today is the Germany Serbia match because of its brilliant reconstruction of the red card incident, the only one available in LEGO. Good prep for Sunday;

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