Awesome music from around the world, part 8

After a year-long hiatus, “Awesome music from around the world” is back. This dance-heavy entry ventures to Senegal and double-dips into Japan, India, Spain, and Sweden. The love of dance is apparently what unites James Bond villains, underage African folk heroes, and highly coordinated Japanese pop stars.

51.Japan (World Order) – Welcome to Tokyo

The Japanese pop band World Order specializes in elaborate, synchronized dancing routines and revolutionary protest songs. Their teamwork and dedication make the act of walking into performance art. In addition to being one of their catchiest tunes, “Welcome to Tokyo” features amazing dance numbers in various locations throughout the Japanese capital.

52. India – Various – Deewangi Deewangi (Om Shanti Om)

This nine-minute song and dance number from the bollywood musical Om Shanti Om is an ode to the joy of dancing for all ages (when was the last time you saw a woman over 40 consigned to anything other than a mother, grandmother, or witch in an American movie?). It’s also just one of many standout sequences from the Indian equivalent to Singing in the Rain that just happens to involve reincarnation, disco, and shuttlecock.


53. Senegal – Youssou N’ Dour. (Senegal)  (Kirikou and the Sorceress)

Speaking of joy, this clip from Kirkikou and the Sorceress is a breath of fresh air, both for the audience and literally for its protagonist. A bit of context: the boy, Kirikou, is the hero of an African village who also happens to be a young baby. On a quest to find the evil sorceress who has kidnapped the men of his village, Kirikou has emerged from traveling underground. Having just saved a family of prairie dogs from a burrowing predator of some kind he finds himself rewarded for his efforts. The movie, drawn from traditional West African folk tales, is a great example of children’s animation that doesn’t involve Pixar, Disney, or anime, but Yousso N’Dour’s guitars give this sequence a power all on its own.

54. Spain (Manu Chao) Me gustas tu

Spanish alternative rocker Manu Chao proclaims his enjoyment of everything from traveling to the wind to marijuana in addition to his love of you in “Me gustas tu.” This song will burrow its way into your head, where it will teach and then reinforce the proper use of verbs and indirect objects.

55. Sweden – Miike Snow – Genghis Khan

The video to Miike Snow’s latest earworm explores the obsessive relationship that builds between a Bond villain and his captive with dancing, a genuine emotional bond and wry humor, all things that have been lacking in the Bond series recently. Whoever produces the next Bond movie should take notes.


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