Monday, May 26, 2008

only 5 weeks left...

May 26th 2008

I guess right now is a good time to leave this country: Yesterday the news broke that the Guinean President has sacked the Prime Minister whose installment was one of the main demands by the unions during last years strike. There were reported road blocks in the forest region but here in the capital of Conakry, everything seems to remain calm so far. It is probably because that the prime Minister has done such a lousy job in battling corruption and improving living conditions that no-one seems to give much of a damn about him getting the boot.

I only hope that things will stay as calm as they are right now. I don't want to spend my last weeks here with bullets flying over my head like early in 2007. There are rumors that Rabiatou Diallo, one of Guinea's most prominent union leaders who became somewhat of a hero during last years strike and uprising has commented that she has lost trust in a political way out of the country's misery and that she now is in favor of a military regime. This statement is not confirmed yet but it seems that there are some unsettling things going on under the surface and inside some people's heads.

Anyway... I guess I will write a longer article on what I witnessed here as far as sociopolitical issues are concerned once I'm in NYC. There are definitely a few things I'd like to share.

As far as records go, I will leave on for one last digging trip to Accra in two weeks and I have also just plugged a "records wanted" ad in several Guinean newspapers. After packing the shipping container a few days ago, I left only two sets of pants,underwear & shirt and one pair of shoes. This way, once boarding the plane to NYC, I will be able to fill my entire 100 pounds airplane luggage with the vinyl that I will (hopefully) find on these last few days.

I'm already looking very forward to my first gig in NYC on Saturday the 12th of July.


Anonymous said...

Where's the gig? Would love to come see you stateside in your return to the Big Apple...

Frank said...

The club is called APT and it's located at 419 West 13th St. btw. 9th & Washington. Contact me a few days before for the reduced $ guest list!

Comb & Razor said...

man... sad news about the shit going down in Guinea right now, but best of luck on the DJ gig! i'll try to make it down there if i can...

Al said...

Safe journey back Frank! I'm gonna miss your amazing record digging exploits. Thanks for all your ear expanding mixes! Put a post up on the blog if you ever play in the UK, I'm there.

abudaiyo said...

Hey Frank, I know it's a tacky thing to ask, but roughly how many records did you ship in the end? Having just shipped some stuff (relatively miniscule by your standards, I'm sure) halfway round the world from the UK, I do not envy the logisitics of what you had to do.

So, spill the beans: how many were there?

Frank said...

Not too many.
I had frequently shipped stuff to Berlin during my stay here so it was "only" about 1.500 LPs and about 800 45s.

Looks like we have an army rebellion at our hands now here in Conakry. Since yesterday morning there has been intense and constant automatic gun fire inside the army barracks. A couple of heavy artillery shells were also going off.

There were reports that a large convoy of government loyal troups was on its way towards the capital yesterday afternoon and this morning on my way to the internet cafe downtown, I saw a big column of black smoke rising up from the direction of the military airport.

Abudaiyo said...


I hope you are keeping safe and sensible.


Brian said...

Really can't wait to see you at APT.

Glad you're coming to NYC, and
have really enjoyed reading about
your adventures.


Frank said...

Looks like we have a full blown military mutiny now. Gas stations have been plundered by the military, civilians have been dragged out of their cars, got beaten up, were stripped of cash, cell phones and their cars. A Palestinian man was shot in the head for no aparent reason inside a restaurant. All in all at leats 8 people were killed since Monday morning. Private residences and various stores were looted. All offences were commited by army personel in uniform. There are even reports that an army truck pulled up in front of a Conakry bordello last night and soldiers forced the prostitutes to service them for free. Like master like dog. This perfectly mirrors the attitude of Guinean government officials towards the people they're supposed to represent. Only that these dogs are armed and rabid.

gavin said...

shit, stay safe Frank!

James said...

I will unfortunately be out of town that weekend. I pray you are playing another night in the city that I can make it to. Please say this isnt the only date.

Vitor said...

hey Frank,

hope these lines find you safe and healthy. congratulats & many thanks for the work here and in the field, it must be a journey of a lifetime.

funny thing is i have been into music from west Africa only 2-3 years now, but i often find tunes in yr mixes that i already know from compilations and tape/vinyl rips that have been around in music forums and blogs. sometimes it's a same tune but a different performer maybe?

anyway, thanks for the music, you're doing a great public service both in the diggin and the mixin sides.

i mostly download stuff like this but i have to actually buy some re-releases and comps. it's important to make some money get to the musicians, while they're still alive - i hope it really gets

best luck for the future!

hugz from Portugal

Alan said...

I hope you are safe and sound and can make it out of the country OK?
The political climate sounds terrifying!!
Thank you so much for all your hard work and generosity in sharing this amazing music.
Safe travels!

Bill said...

Went to APT last night.
Much too early! ;)
I was there around eleven and told you wouldn't be on till one o'clock! ;)
Let me know when your doing a senior citizen early bird show ;) ;)
Also, when are you compiling and selling collected cds?
I'ld be interested!
Check my site. I have a short music vid, of a live event I stumbled onto. A pre wedding womens party, in Bamako. Features a griot singer and fourteen piece band. Pretty cool!
Thanks. Been enjoying your blog and mp3s!