FROM THE WIRES: This apparently went out to around 800 media outlets. It's not the most flattering profile that's ever been written about me. Actually, it is, but only because there aren't any others:
January 3, 2003 - Wireless Flash
Fake Middle East Records Don't Make Collector Falafel
BALTIMORE, Md. (Wireless Flash) -- You might not be able to stomach fake bellydancing music but it doesn't make Jesse Walker "falafel." The Baltimore-based journalist is, perhaps, the world's biggest fan of "fake Middle East music," a genre that usually features American musicians playing a westernized version of Arab music.
Walker says "fake Middle East music" has been around for more than 100 years and was most popular in the 1950s and 1960s, during that era's bellydancing craze.
However, the genre's best known song is "The Streets Of Cairo," a 1893 ditty known by its schoolyard lyrics: "There's a place in France/ Where the ladies wear no pants/ There's a hole in the wall/ Where the men can see it all."
So far, there are no signs of "fake Middle Eastern music" becoming popular with anyone other than Walker. Still, he's optimistic, figuring that, given enough time, "even fake traditions become living cultural currents."
Walker discusses "fake Middle Eastern music" in the latest issue of "Cool And Strange Music Magazine."
posted by Jesse 11:56 AM
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