March 3rd, 2009

monkey pirate

Music Monday: Staff Banda Bilili

My friend, Amanda-who-saves-the-world is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she found out about this band, "Staff Banda Bilili" - a group of polio-disabled musicians who make their living busking in Kinshasa.
There's a very thorough, albeit purple and insufferable in the way that rock criticism so often is, article about them here in The Independent.

Give a listen to one of their songs here. They all play kit-bashed instruments, and most of them are on kit-bashed wheelchairs made from old scooter parts and whatever else they could scrounge. The one able-bodied band member is a 15 year old kid who makes that stringed instrument out of old parts and one electrified string, but he makes it sing and wail like an angel hopped up on goofballs. Their music is liquid, upbeat, and evolves from moment to moment in a way that's just amazing. If you listen to any music this Monday, give Staff Banda Bilili a chance, they're like nothing you've ever heard before.

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