A Mystical Land // The North of Japan

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From left to right: Japanese tourist, teenage bear, Ainu couple.

The island of Hokkaido is a world of wonder and mystery. For this musical journey, we are joined by experimental multi-media artist/dancer, Sammy Chien, who recently visited Hokkaido and shares with us his experiences with the native Ainu people.

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Taiwanese artist Sammy Chien

There are fascinating and disturbing parallels between the Ainu of Japan and First Nations cultures of Canada, a history of colonization and oppression – yet both groups are reclaiming their homeland and moving forward with dignity and hope.

Behold a mix of Hokkaido music – folk, rock, hip hop and more. Kane inuma!

French-Canadian Folklore hits the Club

Mélisande Electrotrad performing live with guest artists Yaëlle Azoulay, Greg Krypto Selinger, and Yves Lambert

Mélisande [électrotrad] = Mouth harp, flute, bangers!

At last, something to bring together the folk heads and the candy ravers. One of the most ambitious projects to come out of Québec in quite some time, Mélisande [électrotrad] have concocted a booty-shaking fusion of Québecois folk music and electronic jams. Sounds like something that might upset the purists, but Mélisande have gone to great lengths to preserve the authenticity of the source material, even traveling to the U.S. Library of Congress to dig up ancient recordings. This program features an interview with Mélisande, discussing their tour and brand new album, les Millésimes.

¡También, vamos a España!

Stingray Citay

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Yes, Stingray City is a real place off the coast of Grand Cayman Island. Settled by stingrays from Jamaica and Cuba in the 17th century, it became a bustling stingray metropolis that attracted young intellectual rays from around the world. Stingray society went through a true ray-naissance. But then human tourists started to arrive, and they had very little interest in stingray culture and high art. They mostly wanted to touch the rays and make them pose for underwater selfies. Many stingrays fled, hoping to rebuild their culture far away from the groping hands of humans.  The ones that stayed became masseuses and masseurs of the humans.

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You’ll love the sensational stinging back massage!

But on the other hand, the Cayman Islands music scene has never been hotter!

Channel the Inner Stallion

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Man and horsehead fiddle

Happy year of the Rooster! However this week we travel to more of a horse lovin’ part of China. Explore the music of Inner Mongolia – an autonomous region rich in Mongol folk traditions mixing with Han Chinese culture and a serious inclination to rock. Throat singing and heavy guitars go together like boodog and Khar Khorum.

The Littlest Nation of Nauru

 

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Nauru: Independent since 1968. In need of tree planters since 1978.

You can circle the island of Nauru in about 30 leisurely minutes by car. Yet the world’s smallest independent republic faces some big world problems. The slow-motion threat of rising sea levels, rampant obesity, poverty, a controversial refugee detainment centre… A far cry from the roaring 70s, when vast phosphate deposits (a.k.a. bird poop) made Nauruans some of the wealthiest islanders in the world.

But humans tend to bounce back, and here we cheer for Nauru! Discover some far-out sounds that span both the ups and downs :

If all the kids are like this little unnamed artist, we can only assume that there’s a bright future ahead for Nauru. Environmentalism, killer hooks, and amazing special effects all rolled into one… also no doubt the lyrics are uplifting and amazing: