When I was recently driving home from New Orleans after fixing some more hurricane damage, I heard a new song that I really enjoyed on a tiny independent station near the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border. It was a song that I guessed was called "Hey, Borneo" by the chorus, and it seemed to have a very liberal, anti-Bush and big oil kind of bent.
When I got home I googled it, and sure enough there is a new album out by a group called Firewater, which is made up of someone named Todd A. and random other musicians. I had never heard of him or them before. The album is called The Golden Hour, and gets its name from that beautiful last hour of sunlight that lends such a beautiful glow over the ocean when sitting on a beautiful beach in the south Pacific. Information about the band can be found at: http://www.firewater.tv/.
It turns out that Todd A was so fed up with the United States and George Bush (despite loving his country) that he headed to Southeast Asia and the Middle East to meet the people that supposedly hate us so and that we have to go to war with.
(Sound familiar? My kind of guy)
He would check into cheap hotels in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and Israel and set up music jams: as he describes "I would tell the owner I wanted to have belly dancing without the belly dancers". He traveled with a Mac and used that to record the sounds and the songs. He got back in 2007 (wonder if we crossed paths, as we certainly visited many of the same places, and probably some of the same cheap hotels!) and put together this CD.
I got it in the mail a couple days ago and can't stop playing it. It is the best new album I have heard in years, with politically charged lyrics, myriad sounds and styles evocative of those parts of the world, and it is just danceable and fun to listen to. I can't recommend it enough.
There is also a youtube video about his trip and an explanation of his album at: