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Listen to These Five Acts for a Musical Staycation in Africa

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​So here we are in the dying days of summer vacation, and if you get paid like some of us around these here parts, chances are your "getaway" these past few months has been on the couch, compliments of your basic cable subscription. We feel your pain and hear your desperate cries for something new so well that we will aid your at-home vacay by sending you out musically to the mysterious and exciting continent of Africa! Exotic? Yes? Gonna cost you an arm and a leg? No.

We here at County Grind appreciate the value of the hard-earned dollar, and through the miracle of the internet we can go back and forth for pennies on the FPL bill. Enjoy a musician for each finger on your right hand that can take you directly to Africa!

Easily one of the most charismatic and across-the-genres figures on the contemporary African music scene, Papa Wemba is a crossover sensation breaking into music and film with the auto-didactic niceness of a benevolent family elder. Hailing from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), his infectious rumba/soukous style permeates the run of this track as well as the rags-to-riches film of the same name that he stars in. Do yourself a favor and seek it out, a true gem of African cinema.

Papa Wemba - "La Vie Est Belle"

Liking jazz and knowing about it is one way of leading oneself through life. Not appreciating the fact that a sizeable portion of jazz music is based on sweet African rhythms is a lie best kept for the coffin. The Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Cotonou hails out of Benin, a country you've probably never heard of. While the obvious choice here would've been Fela Kuti, we lowly County Grind scribes have to earn our Canadian dollars the hard way. Afrobeat, Afro-steady, it's all here and with a mean underlying head-bopping rhythm that'll get even the most ass-backward Grand Wizard of the KKK dancing along. If you ever hear me say that African music is infectious, I probably mean this long-running outfit. Go ahead. Declare break time at the office and get your gyrating dance on!!!

Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Cotonou

I hate to think the following: many times we fall prey to our own inner demons and suspicious demeanors and go ahead living our lives thinking certain things just don't occur in other parts of the world. What IS true and unfortunate is that other parts of the world do not have huge conglomerates peddling their wares as hardcore as we have it here. Case in point is the great Chrissy Zebby Tembo. Start with this track and dive deep into his small catalogue. This guy scorches the earth and brings famine to the musically starved/challenged. Zamrock!!!

Chrissy Zebby Tembo and Ngozi Family - "Troublemaker"

If you know me and by now dear readers I would hope you know me well enough that I always try to stick (read: lord over) some of my sensibilities into these posts with my punk rock roots. The Genuines come from struggle with a very adept and completely jangly jangle of punk rock that can only be defined as polka meets the Minutemen in a ska-punk face-off where the winner takes all with metallic edges that cut. Termed Goema punk, I wish I knew more about these guys, please share in the "comments" section below. In the meantime, really fucking good! Check this webber for info.

The Genuines - 'Die Struggle"

I have been warned by my sheriffs in the past to be inclusive and sensitive to your (dear reader) cultural/religious/gender/socio-political needs in the past so we will conclude this international jaunt with an exciting and deliciously delicious young lady by the name of Ary. I may not know a lot about "pop" music but "pop" music is pretty much the same between here and Timbuktu. What sets her aside is her fantastic hairdo, and a few other choice aspects of her physical being...

Ary - 'Teu Grande Amor"

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