Something about tradition inspires reverence and creativity. Throughout Latin America and parts of the U.S., musicians are exhuming centuries-old musical cultures and infusing them with new life to create songs that sound both familiar and new. Peru’s Novalima is doing just that with Afro-Peruvian music.
Over the course of three superb albums, the group has addressed the legacy of slavery in Peru in the form of the traditional lando, a dance rhythm with roots in West Africa. The slow, deliberate beats are played out on a variety of traditional instruments — most notably the cajon, a big rectangular box that drummers hit before drawing sounds out with their palms and fingers. The result can be as deep as a bass drum, but can also hit the high-pitched pops of finely tuned bongos or Middle Eastern dumbeks.
They play three songs which feature acoustic guitar and five string bas anda lot of percussion–including a donkey jawbone.
“Karimba”is sung by one of the men drumming. There’s lots of group singing as well–a real party feel.
“Guayabo” and “Festejo” are sung by the female singer. The bass line for “Guayabo” is just great–weird and almost punk. It’s kind of sinister even if they don’t sound sinister singing over it. He’s also wearing a strange kind of drum around his neck–like a box that opens and closes (and you store the sticks in it, apparently. The middle of the song is all percussion and voice–a celebration of sorts, before that bass returns.
“Festejo” also has a strange, interesting guitar riff. There’s some great call and response parts of the song–the men really getting into it. As the song ends the guy with the box and the woman get up and dance in the crowd. By the end of the song, you realize that it’ sa lot of fun–a groovy dance song like no song you’ve ever head before.
[READ: March 7, 2016] Johnny Boo Zooms to the Moon
As this fifth book opens Johnny is riding a skateboard and Squiggle is towing him. They are going to go to the moon. But even Squiggle Power cant get the skateboard to move more than a few inches. But Squiggles never give up so they wind up falling asleep, no further than when they started.
In the dark, stars come down to see what Johnny is doing. They tell him he needs star shaped wheels to go to the moon, and that “almost makes sense.”
The stars prove to be very funny–fighting over counting and them fixing his skateboard by braking the wheels of so the stars are now wheels.
And off they zoom, going very fast!
Johnny says he can do some tricks (the stars have been giving him a hard time for being boring). But once he does a super duper blah blah blah trick there is a giant boom. And a new character arrives!
Her name is Susie Boom and she is the awesomest girl ghost on the moon.
They are going to celebrate with ice cream, but Susie tells him to stop saying that word because even on the moon the Ice Cream Monster can show up–and a hilarious misunderstanding occurs.
I love that even with new characters being introduced, there’s still only those three main characters. I also love that Squiggle is asleep through all of this. And when the adventure is over he tells Johnny that Susie was an imaginary girlfriend.