Occur Goes Global - The Music of Ethiopia

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 10:30 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music The independent spirit lives in all of Ethiopia’s musicians. Originating from Africa’s oldest sovereign nation inspires these five acts to conjure wild and fierce tones, ranging from jazz to hard rock. Flutes and fine vocals invite listeners to Addis-Ababa and beyond.   Dawit Alemayehu This young man with a baby face and a genteel style has been winning over audiences since his stint on Ethiopian Idol. Tracks like the mellifluous “Mizanish Tezaba” have been compared to those of... READ MORE

What We're Digging Right Now: Killer Kaya

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 3:52 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music "Killer" is a name usually reserved for hardcore rap or punk bands, but psych-funk outfit Killer Kaya are just as sharp as any groups in those genres. The Santa Barbara-area sextet wowed the Pure Order Brewing audience Nov. 12 with their fluid, feel-good grooves. It's because of their easy-going wizardry that we've chosen them as one of our "What We're Digging Right Now" elite.   If you ever thought Jefferson Airplane or the Doors could use a... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Estonia

Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 4:02 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  After breaking free from the USSR in 1991, the tiny yet vibrant nation of Estonia established itself as an economically sound entity. Not that life is perfect here, but they did just elect their first woman president and have been experiencing a boon in great music. Here are five Estonian acts we highly recommend. Iiris   Grimes meets the Cocteau Twins in the guise of Iiris, a seraphic singer who has been hailed by the blogosphere.... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Eritrea

Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 7:01 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music There seems to be two Eritreas: One is the young nation who fiercely fought for independence from Ethiopia for 30 years. Another is the oppressive regime of Isaias Afwerki, from which thousands flee monthly to avoid military service and censorship. We’re recognizing artists from both sides of the conflict.   Yohannes Tikabo This revered Eritrean ex-patriot earned international acclaim in 2013 when his anti-government anthem “Hadnetna” went viral. Some listeners, cited by the BBC, referred to Tikabo as... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Equatorial Guinea

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:13 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Music has long been a form of escapism for those under the regime of Obiang Nguema, a ruler under global scrutiny for corruption. Though oil flows freely in the nation of about 800,000, only a sparse few enjoy wealth. Here are five artists confronting these inequities through the power of song and rhythm.   Las Hijas del Sol Aunt-and-niece duo Piruchi Apo Botupá and Paloma Loribo Apo traveled from their native land to Spain and forged a formidable... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of El Salvador

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 1:03 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music A Central American country that’s no stranger to hostility and upheaval, El Salvador finds comfort in its small but multifaceted music scene. From swing to metal to emotive electronica, here are five bands to fill your hearts with liberty.   Safari Volvo Do you miss bands like the Bravery and She Wants Revenge? The darkwave dance revival lives on through Safari Volvo. Synths and monotone, vampy vocals courtesy Gabriel and Rubrt lurk in the shadows on tracks such... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Egypt

Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 5:48 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music The birthplace of one of history’s greatest societies, Egypt has seen more than its share of dynamism, revolt and change. Throughout its eons of existence, from the creators of the pyramids to the militant rulers of today’s government, musicians and other fringe professionals have been telling their nation’s stories — the glorious and the ugly. Here are five Egyptian artists who are shaking things up.   HanyMust Hany Mustafa’s resume reads like that of a Hamilton cast member’s:... READ MORE

Sex Stains in the Land of La LA

Monday, September 5, 2016 at 12:48 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music “You’re like the first person I think I’ve talked to today,” Allison Wolfe says groggily. “There’s been a festival going on in the neighborhood and something kind of crazy. And we played last night. Everyone’s just been drinking all day and staying out really late.”   Such is the life of Sex Stains, a punky pandemonium with songs such as “Don’t Hate Me ’Cuz I’m Beautiful” and “Land of La LA.” The quintet is co-led by Wolfe,... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Ecuador

Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 11:44 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Ecuador boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, lush with mountains, beaches and jungles. The music scene of the South American country is similar, embracing the native rhythms of the Kichwa peoples, as well as the latest trends in EDM and more. Here are five standouts from Ecuador you need to know about:   Zanska Born of a love of brass and pride for their people, Zanska fuse Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Anglo styles in their... READ MORE