I really like free stuff. I know this from years of experience obtaining free stuff, but I also know this because I recently had a coworker say to me, “You really like free stuff.” When I decided to write this post, I tried to remember the context in which he said this, but there were too many possibilities, and I gave up. Not so coincidentally, this same coworker and I have already updated our calendars with the best Richmond Flying Squirrels promotional giveaway nights, including the one in which they’re giving out an egg timer shaped like a pig, and the Father’s Day one, in which they’re giving the first 2,000 men 15 and older a visor that reads “Head Nut” (my love for the team’s marketing department knows no bounds). Neither of us has kids, but WHATEVER. It’s free! Speaking of free stuff and nuts (A segue for the ages!), many of the folks who stormed their local haunts on Record Store Day had the chance to grab a complimentary copy of the fifth volume in Sub Pop’s Terminal Sales sampler series, entitled Mixed Nuts (there may be no better example of how one should keep one’s head on a swivel for free stuff than RSD). Having had a little more than a week to check it out — no, I will not rat out the record store that gave it out early — I can confirm that each of the tracks has that extra measure of sweetness than can be found in the complimentary Slurpees dispensed each July 11, or the free scoops handed out on Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day. That said, one gave me a particularly potent sugar rush — “Asha Gedawo" by Debo Band, an 11-piece, Boston-based outfit, led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, with vocals provided by a man named Bruck Tesfaye who, as far as I can tell, is not related to Abel Tesfaye of the Weeknd. I’m having trouble tracking down the origins of “Asha Gedawo” — another rendition was released by someone named Mahmoud Ahmed in 2004,
but I can’t find any writing credits [UPDATE: The group tweeted to let me know this is a traditional song]. As with the Father’s Day visor, I’m giving this detail a big fat WHATEVER, because the track is too much fun to fret over. Buoyant to its core, and perfect for spring/summer cavorting, “Asha Gedawo” is the kind of song that makes you feel guilty for not being outside, taking advantage of the fact that, as soul-sapping as everyday life may be, carefree enjoyment is never more than one impulsive decision away. Check the song out here — if you dig it, click here to check out Bedo Band’s 2010 EP, Flamingoh (Pink Bird Dawn), and be on the lookout for their debut full-length, out sometime in July.