I discovered Arborea amid a sea of 1,300 songs that I heard in preparation for South by Southwest. The music stood out for its calm beauty, its rough edges, and the duo's ability to speak eloquently of life's precious moments, about the sea, and about wonder.
It's become virtually impossible to talk about the music of Sidi Touré without referencing the governmental crisis in his home country of Mali. The weight and particulars of Touré's work are rooted and steeped in that region, all of which casts a heavy shadow over his unofficial ambassadorship, but nothing standing could darken the intention or spirit of his music.
The man known as the Godfather of Go-Go has died. Chuck Brown pioneered a musical style of percussion-heavy funk that was born in Washington, D.C. Brown died at age 75 after suffering from pneumonia. Robert Siegel has this remembrance.
Chuck Brown, known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," shown in 1987.
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"Bustin' Loose," released in 1978, was Brown's biggest hit. The song, which contains elements of funk and disco, helped establish Brown's syncopated go-go style and reached number one on the Billboad R&B CHART in 1979.
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"I wanted my own sound," Brown said. While the rest of the country was discovering hip-hop, Brown was helping to make go-go THE official sound of Washington, D.C.
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"Go-go is not hard to play," Brown told the National Visionary Leadership Project's oral history archive in 2009. "If you got rhythm and you got the feel and the desire to play this music, you don't have to have a lot of experience."
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Brown became a fixture at events in the nation's capitol. Here, he greets members of the Washington Redskins Marching Band before a game in 2010.
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On Wednesday night, fans gathered to celebrate Brown's life outside the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.