Monday, June 23, 2008


Listen to BETTER CHANGE YOUR MIND by William Onyeabor.

Before we start again this week, can I just pass along our thanks to all of you loyal readers out there? Thanks. I'm looking back over the last few weeks of posts and noticing the music is just all over the map. (It must be the brilliant prose that keeps you all coming back....)

Anyway, in an effort to drive the rest of you away, this week I'm going in the weeds for an artist 99% of you have never heard of, with songs that are 7, 8, 10 minutes long, and of varying sound quality. Yes, readers, that's the thanks you get! But before you click away, have a peek at this capsule biography of William Onyeabor, and ask yourself if it's not one of the most intriguing artist bios you've ever read:

William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was "Atomic Bomb" in 1978. "Better Change Your Mind" is taken from the same album, and, as well as slating the power-crazed nations of the world, the second half settles into a unique slice of stripped down spacey, lo-fi funk which is unlike any other Nigerian music being made at the time. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill.

Doesn't that make you want to hear more??? Today's track (and the above biography) is featured on the awesome, now-out-of-print "Nigeria 70" compilation, and if you've ever heard one William Onyeabor track, it's probably this one. It's equal parts Cold War paranoia and stoned space jam, and it's a jewel.

Photo: Old India snapshots--We are the relics of your culture.


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