Marimbas marimbas I love marimbas! Which are like giant xylophones! Masanga are a 7-piece group, who except for a drummer, play all sorts of marimbas - enormous bass ones, baritone, and various smaller ones, creating a veritable marimba orchestra. Are there really people who think this is "weird" and only want to hear guitars and pianos? This stuff is rock'n'roll - three-chord tunes pounded out with mad energy, making me want to jump and dance like a silly person.
Masanga are lead by a music prof from my alma mater Cal State Northridge (go Matadors!) and the band is composed of his students. Don't worry, this isn't bland "World Music" - said band leader Ric Alviso studied in Zimbabwe and brings an authentic African energy and excitement to the music. "Skokiana" is a version of an old Zimbabwean tune that, as "Skokkian," was a big American hit in the '50s.
Strangely enough, only days before I discovered this group in live performance and bought their album, I had heard a remix of Louis Armstrong's version of "Skokkian" by DJ Dale B. It's a great bit of Ursula 1000-ish lounge-tronica, which you can listen to or download here.