Norway’s Sami singer supreme Mari Boine and her “Vuoi Vuoi Mu.” The vastness of the north!
“The Punch Line” by fellow San Pedrans (aka “Chawvevits” in Tongva) the Minutemen, one of the finest American bands, period. Cyclicity beats progress, myth beats history, aboriginality beats hubris—the punchline to modernity’s killing joke.
“You’re Lookin’ at Country” by no-nonsense Loretta Lynn. Beyond (post)industrial ambition, pastoral insularity, and agricultural domesticity is an indigenous culture of place—”country” or “folk” by any other name.
Scene from photographer Edward Curtis’ 1914 silent film, “In the Land of the Head Hunters,” later renamed “In the Land of the War Canoes.” Elaborate pageantry is generally a bad sign for a culture: think the Bushman’s mouth bow v. western orchestral music. But for complex foragers, the Kwakwaka’wakw (aka Kwakiutl) filmed here are tops.
The timeless Sade, “In Another Time.” ‘Nuff said.
Once again, Dead Can Dance performing “Children of the Sun,” a fitting epithet for the Tongva, Chumash, and company.
“La Morena” by the incomparable Oro Solido. Merengue is part punk rock, part trance, but pure joy—echoes of Arawak indios. And with hips popped in place, a dance so easy even a white boy can do it.
“Rakim” performed by the incredible Dead Can Dance in Santa Monica (of course!).
Brazil’s Tribalistas, with the divine Marisa Monte, performing “Velha Infancia” (“Old Infancy” or “Old Childhood”). Recall how Mother Nature piggybacks on successful patterns and how the parent-child bond blueprints our pair-bonds later in life—the sliding scale of neoteny.
“Bicho do Mato” (or “Backwoodsman”) by Rastape. Currently my favorite forro, the quintessential music genre of Brazil’s northeast.