It's no secret that the way to this girl's heart is through her ear canals. If you know anything about me, however, you know that the music I enjoy the *most* is not about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Or love. Or California girls. Or about drinking in a club. Or about times gone by. The music I enjoy the most is that which discusses the world around us. I want a song which points out the wrongdoings, the awfulness in this world and then tells you to do something, anything, about it. Add to that an unfamiliar yet entirely badass beat and a language I can't understand, and you'll have a combination resulting in my undying love and affection.
I love a myriad of bands whose lyrics are entrenched in activism and rebelliousness. Perhaps it's the fact that I was at a Rebellious Lawyering conference this weekend. Or that I saw Che on Monday night. Or that I'm feeling entirely too restless as of late. Whatever it may be, while searching for music to get me in a productive mood yesterday, I turned to El Gafla. The best description of the band's music comes from its very own webpage, where it states that their sounds "unite the shores of the Mediterranean by skilfully mixing châabi, gypsy jazz and French song, with African and Eastern groove sonorities." This is pretty much my musical dream team.
Their name means "The Caravan" in Arabic, which probably explains why the restless wanderer in me first felt such a connection to the group. The music has a tendency to make me more restless, even. I don't mean in the physical sense (well, at least not completely) but every one of their songs feels like a call to order--to refrain from becoming mentally lazy. To enjoy life while taking responsibility for yours and your neighbors.
Then again, I don't understand the lyrics--maybe you'll feel differently?
El Gafla - Le Marin (Mp3)
El Gafla - El Gafla (Mp3)
El Gafla - Lettre au Disparu (Mp3)
El Gafla - Clandestin [featuring Manu Chao] (Mp3)