World in Stereo: Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band’s Anda Jaleo

Each week, World in Stereo examines classic and modern world music while striving for a greater appreciation of other cultures.

Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band: Anda Jaleo (Fire Records, 11/2/10)

Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band: “Los Cuarto Muleros”

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“Anda Jaleo” has a long history as a Spanish folk standard; its melody repeatedly transforms and reemerges anew. First recorded in 1931 by poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca and flamenco singer/dancer La Argentinita, it was a popular dance before it was adopted by the Republican Army as a resistance song during the Spanish Civil War.  But under head of state Franciso Franco’s repressive military regime, Lorca’s leftist art was outlawed, including the folk-song collection Las Canciones Populares Españolas, which features “Anda Jaleo” and many others.

The song’s name appears again in avant-folk artist Josephine Foster and husband Victor Herrero’s recent reworking of Lorca’s Las Canciones, a simple and skilled record that shows the songbook’s ability to connect with audiences 80 years later. Along with Herrero’s acoustic band, Anda Jaleo was recorded live in the Grenadine Sierra, capturing a rich, lively mood that stays within the traditional framework of the 1931 original.

What We’re Seeing Friday: Patti Smith: Dream of Life, The Alaya Conscious

Our plans for Friday involve the impressionistic Patti Smith documentary, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which includes an after-film conversation with Smith, director Steven Sebring, and Chicago Sun-Times pop critic Jim DeRogatis.

Later in the night, progressive-metal power trio The Alaya Conscious prepares for a new EP with a show at Chicago’s Elbo Room.

BPM Counter: First Five of 2009

ALARM columnist Sean-Michael Yoder shares his first five electronic picks in 2009. The list includes Aether’s “melodic” Artifacts, London’s John Tejada with Fabric 44, the pop/dance beats of Hercules and Love Affair’s self-titled album, a Lollapalooza mix, and Jaga Jazzist leader Lars Horntveth’s 37-minute song, “Kaleidoscopic.”