Heh, a minor milestone; for the first time, I put something back into CDDB. Which makes me think that I should take a moment to plug the disk Talking Timbuktu, by Ali Farka Toure (from Mali) and Ry Cooder. CDDB is magic, so is the record, read all about it.

For those who don't know about it, CDDB is this wonderful database out there on the Net, currently operated by Gracenote (I'm fuzzy on the history, I seem to recall CDDB used to be a standalone indie thing). Anyhow, when you stick a music CD into a Mac, and it's connected to the Internet, iTunes pops up and goes and hits CDDB and tells you what all the track titles and so on are. Except for, I put in Talking Timbuktu and it didn't; instead, it asked me “Do you want to provide the track details?”, and I did, and now I guess the rest of the world can use them.

iTunes screen snap with Talking Timbuktu tracks

It's nice to be a little part of something big.

And now for the music. I can't imagine anyone not liking Talking Timbuktu, except maybe my Mom who just doesn't like the way electric guitars sound. Here you will find a music as organic and rooted as exists: a swirl of Malian voices, acoustic and electric instruments, and the accustomed electric grace of Ry Cooder's slide dancing attendance. And Ali Farka Toure is a wonderful singer.

Several tracks are straightforward slow blues that wouldn't sound out of place in a John Lee Hooker set except for some of the instruments are one-string African violins and hand drums and so on; candy for the ears indeed.

The liner notes are worth checking out, there's a lot of background to this story.

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April 16, 2003
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