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Video: Playing for Change 2- Songs Around the World

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The two-disc CD/DVD set PFC 2: Songs Around The World is out now via Hear Music/Concord and available at all Starbucks (!!) locations and traditional retail outlets nationwide.  To create PFC 2: Songs Around The World, Mark Johnson spent 10 months traveling to over 25 countries to connect nearly 150 musicians including Baaba Maal, Keb Mo, the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Tinariwen, Grandpa Elliot, and Stephen Marley to name a few - all with the goal of using music to  break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.  The musicians, who each use their instruments and talents in their own home countries to record a single song together, are seamlessly recorded through mobile laptop mini-studios powered by car batteries. The ensemble of musicians was recently featured on NBC's the today show.  Check out PFC 2's latest video for "Gimme Shelter" below - it's mind blowing - and learn more about the organization by clicking HERE.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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