Northern Thorns

Dance Rock | Seattle

Tag: African music

Matthew LaVoie’s Fantastic Orchestre Kiam History

Matthew Lavoie found me through this very website because I was nerding out and blogging about my favorite band Orchestre Kiam. We had some correspondence on the band (which was wonderful, as I often feel I have no peers regarding this matter), and I’m proud to have contributed some info and recordings to his comprehensive history of the great 70s Kinshasa band Orchestre Kiam. Check out this Afropop Worldwide post on Lavoie’s work and the band. Be sure to click all the links, and if you like classic Afropop and soukous music, check out the free ZIP downloads.

Here’s one of precious few photos of the group known to exist:

Orchestre Kiam

Orchestre Kiam

Kiam – Lola

This is a first for me; I’ve digitized a song from a 45RPM record, converted it into a video, and uploaded it to YouTube for everyone to hear.

Some months ago I decided to try and collect the entire Kiam discography on vinyl. This will likely be a very long term project, but for the meantime I’d be happy to at least have heard all of their songs. There are a small number that I know exist but I’ve not heard. This one is from a single released in their early career. I prefer their songs from the late 70’s, but this one is lovely too.

A good chunk of the Kiam digital recordings that I have came from YouTube and online converters. So this is my way of giving back, as this song did not exist online anywhere before my upload, as far as I can tell.

More to come later. I have another to upload shortly.

Paul Simon

I need to remember to feed my creativity. When I listen to music I love, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that’s when I get new musical ideas. I’ve known that for a long time, but for some reason I just today put together that music sung in Lingala doesn’t help me think of lyrics in English. I was listening to The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon today while driving around, and his lyrical ability inspires my own. So, though I’m not so into most music in English these days (hip hop is an exception but much as I love the genre, I don’t feel any drive to write vocals or lyrics in a hip hop style).

Paul Simon is a favorite of mine. Obviously he bridges the divide between American and African (or Brazilian) music, deliberately so. And he’s one of the greatest American songwriters of the 20th century. Love him.

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