WTM #1101: Ghana vs USA in the Summer

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3

Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies
28 June 2010 // 16.30-18.30
“Here in Texas we have a saying: Don’t piss on me and tell me its raining.”
• Bryan Zygo, Major League Soccer Talk

Quantec Train + The Pledge by John Wayne & Torture > Quantec + B/art
Bottle of Losers > Eugene Chadbourne [Country Protest / Fundamental]
Goal > Depth Charge
Sharp As A Needle > Barmy Army
Study in Simplicity > Les Baxter [Conducts 101 Strings / Marble Arch]
Sunshine Day  > Fixbeat vs Osibisa
Sunny Tide > King Sunny Adè
Waka Waka > Shakira vs Freshlyground
Cri [French Version] > Lizzy Mercier Descloux [Zulu Rock / Ze]
Wakwazulu Kwezizulu Rock > Lizzy Mercier Descloux [Zulu Rock / Ze]
Institutionalized > Suicidal Tendencies [Suicidal Tendencies / Frontier]
England 2 Yugolsavia 0 > Barmy Army
Convention of Mercenaries > Eugene Chadbourne [Country Protest / Fundamental]
Emmanuella > Ofori Amponsah
Ay Me Duele > Brave Combo [Humansville / Rounder]
Gong Gong Song > Osibisa
Groovin’ > The Rascals
La Paloma Azul [the Blue Dove] > Dave Brubeck [Bravo! Brubeck! / CBS]
Summer in Paris > DJ Cam
Ja Fun Mi > King Sunny Adè
Hold Tight 1970 > African Brothers
Why I Love Her > John Wayne
American Eagle > Bruce Haack vs Miss Nelson [The Best of Dimension 5]

This was in celebration of an evening that saw the US soccer [football/voetbal] team lose to Ghana in the early rounds, effectively eliminating the US from the competition in the World Cup. Do I usually care? No. But that night I was actually watching and rooting for Ghana because they had a scrappy elegance, were one of the last surviving African nations and any team that comes from as poor and small a land as Ghana – well, you just have to like it. The difference in wealth, despite many, many pockets of Third World lifestyles in the US cropping up like little handfuls of Dust Bowls, is staggering. Americans make in a day what many Ghanians make in a year. The US is several hundred times larger, several thousand times more powerful etc. etc.

Every bit of shame and enforced modesty is helpful in the global struggle to minimize nationalism that, when it goes awry, people suffer.

The selection included 3 of my favorite sports songs by 2 of my favorite ‘bands’ from the 1980s – Depth Charge & Barmy Army. Brilliant use of actual football commentary and those emerging heavy dub beats that so mesmerized me in my early years of radio.

What this kind of show does is force me to wander outside my taste territory, cross some borders and listen to music from places I don’t usually end up going. And so I returned to the dyspeptic and caustically humorous twisted roots of Eugene Chadbourne or J. Saul Kane’s great radical beats as Depth Charge, or the tremendous blend of dub, football chants and radical critique where they actually make football chants seems like pitch arias. Although I have to say the game watched abstractly is beautiful I have become increasingly cynical regarding the hardcore hooligans worldwide who ruin the game, the fun, the cities they choose to trash, the people they beat up all in the name of seeking attention for their inability to cure their boredom in any other way. The price society pays for these over-wrought toughies and their self-righteous claims to some kind of pirate glory is total BS. These guys are mostly fascists afraid to put on their armbands and instead prefer to flap their testicles about wreaking havoc on the peace loving. The amount of money that amsterdam, for instance, pays for security, police, damage claims, arrests, extra personnel etc. Is enough to make you think that they should be put into work camps and made to serve the public with signs that highlight their shame…

And to Osibisa whom I haven’t played since high school when they were a kind of poor man’s Santana or that year’s ethnic band allowed to mount the Top 40. Or lovely Shakira the yodeling Nancy Sinatra of South America who wrote one of the 2 official World Cup songs, an afro-pop catchy tune that my daughter can play all day long and has by hitting repeat on iTunes. To the sadly departed LIzzy Mercier and to more summery/sunny themes as well. She remains one of my all-time favorites, a punk funk queen of insouciant elegance. To the great first album by Suicidal Tendencies and relating somehow awkwardly to hooliganism.

So you’re gonna be institutionalized
You’ll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
You won’t have anything to say
They’ll brainwash you until you see their way.
I’m not crazy – Institutionalized
You’re the one that’s crazy – Institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – Institutionalized
They stuck me in an institution,
Said it was the only solution,
to give me the needed professional help,
to protect me from the enemy – Myself

Never afraid to mix the sweet summery celebratory sounds of Emmanuella by Ofori Amponsah from Ghana with the post-american nihilism of youth under Reagan and brilliant debut hardcore also mixing songs of embrace and inclusion with the hard-ass patriotism of John wayne which makes macho look more ridiculous than ever when cloaked in pride of place which becomes code for exclusion. Thus a sonic mix of sun/summer celebration with the real politik-ish crap surrounding nation and football as cloaked patriotism…

lead photo courtesy of Major League Soccer Talk

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