Archive | July, 2013

DJ Derek: Hanging Up His Discs

17 Jul


It all started at the Star and Garter

He’s probably the oldest (male) touring DJ in the country and he’s about to call it a day at 72.
Derek Morris, aka DJ Derek (*1941) will be giving his last public appearance and playing his last set at the Musicport Festival this year. His blend of 60s rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul has made him an icon for many in the industry, and his fans range from Jamaican music producers to Massive Attack.

Derek used to work as an accountant for Cadbury but gave it all up for the music. He kindled his love for music as a washboard player in the 1950s but also found an outlet at the Star and Garter pub in Bristol – where he would play his records to a largely Afro Caribbean audience. He’s played popular sets at many major festivals, including Glastonbury. He MCs in Jamaican patois while DJing – he just picked it up the accent from a Bristol based Jamaican barber, which helped him be accepted in the black music industry.

In 2006, He released the album DJ Derek Presents… Sweet Memory Sounds, a compilation of some of his favourite tunes and he’s also played cameo in Dizzie Rascals Dirtee Disco Video.

But no man is an island and were it for but the music alone who knows where Derek would be now. As his story largely started with a pint; Derek is well known for having visited every single Wetherspoons pub in the UK.

On April 27th 2012 Derek was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Medal for his outstanding work.

Derek we salute you – I can definitely say that you’re one of my heroes.

Musicport Festival Not To Be Missed

While the festival season this summer is well under way, showcasing all the mightiest of mighty pop-persons, who sing and gyrate upon many a stage throughout the land for a living. Musicport World Music Festival is probably just starting to pick up steam for this years annual indoor festival taking place 18th – 20th October. It’s the biggest event on the World Music calendar in England, which has been held each year in Whitby, North Yorkshire, GB since 2000 – apart from the diversion to Bridlington, North Yorks. between 2008 and 2011 when it was reported to have outgrown its birthplace; Whitby. The Festivals organiser Jim McLaughlin said: ‘the only reason it left was the financial problems caused by the former Quaker Meeting House Project which Scarborough Borough council planning committee and a self-serving town councillor between them managed to scupper’ (for anyone not from these parts; scupper: slang for ruin)

The festival returned to Whitby Pavilion for 2012, featuring Dub Colossus, Edward II, Reem Kelani, and Sona Jobarteh Band. Other acts that have appeared include Hugh Masekela, Kanda Bongo Man, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Caichaito Lopez etc., Misty In Roots, Rachid Taha, Mostar Sevdah Reunion, Ensemble Kabul, Courtney Pine, Mory Kante, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Vera Bila & Kale, Talvin Singh and many more.

This years line-up you can see here:

The Reverb Playlist for Derek (!the penultimate – Odetta, says it all)













An Alternative Playlist … Auf Deutsch

11 Jul
Süddeutsche Zeitungs' Diskotheke

Süddeutsche Zeitungs’ Diskotheke

‘Hey Hey, My My, Rock n Roll will never die’, goes the saying and in 2005 Süddeutsche Zeitung printed a library of music written in german – Süddeutsche Zeitung Diskothek, with the famous saying – coined by Neil Young, spread over the works fifty spines. Spanning 1955 – 2004, the library comprises of highlights over 50 years – combing news or historical anecdotes of each year with the music produced that year. Examples from its beginning in 1955, – the opening of the first McDonalds Restaurant in May 1955 to the scandalous film: Blackboard Jungle (Die Stadt der Gewalt), with Glenn Ford – Rick, a teacher at the helm of a bad-ass school with its bad-ass school kids who have come undone and rebellious because of old bad-ass rockers like Billy Hayley – it’s all Bills fault of course.

Unfortunately, when I started gathering all the german music on the discs to make the ‘German Playlist’ I came to the decision that most of them didn’t quite make the grade as a list on their own and was frankly quite boring. Eisbär by the Swiss band Grauzone doesn’t even make it on the 1981 list, which is a faux pas in not highlighting the song as a hit (placed 12. in the german charts) – so I made my own playlist up. The good thing about this collection though are written texts – and there is actually quite a lot of good music on the CDs. A follow on playlist is-a-brewin’ me thinks.


 Die Aeronauten,Too Big to Fail

Sybille Baier, Forget About

Manfred Krug, Danke für den Abend

Die Goldenen Zitronen, Wenn ich ein Turnschuh wär

Die Sputniks, Sputnik Theme

Marion Maerz, I Go To Sleep (Ray Davies)

Nina Hagen, Herrmann Heiss Er

Grauzone – Eisbaer

Ton Stein Scherben, Wenn Die Nacht Am Tiefsten

Westbam, We’ll Never Stop Living This Way

Kraftwerk Das Model

Die Regierung, Charlotte

Blumfeld – Testament der Angst

Kolossale Jugend – Bessere Zeiten

Ostzonensuppenwürfelmachenkrebs – Von Haus aus allein

Hemingway: Lady Gaga of the 20th Century

2 Jul
Ernest Hemingway 21.7.1899 – 2.7. 2013

Ernest Hemingway 21.7.1899 – 2.7. 1961

Ernest Hemingway  was the ‘The Lady Gaga of his era’, (Marty Beckerman: The Heming Way). He was as celebrated as the afore-mentioned in his day, he was controversial and one of the most important writers of the 20th century, revolutionising American writing.
Born on 21, July 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, Ernest Hemingway served in World War One as an ambulance driver before entering the world of journalism, which pathed the way to his literally style before publishing his story collection In Our Time. His novels; The Sun Also Rises, was written during the time he spent in Paris, where he met F. Scott Fitzgerald  – who in turn took the manuscript to his own publisher who published it … the rest as they say is history. A Farewell to Arms followed  about his experiences in the war, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, were acclaimed, the latter winning the 1951 Pulitzer.

He served as a newspaper war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and second world war In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Hemingway’s private life was more fragile and stormy than his professional and macho persona. In 1953 he was involved with two successive plane crashes while on Safari in Africa, newspapers reporting his death after the second. He suffered from alcoholism that may have exacerbated the onset of depression in his later life. After being clinically treat with electroshock treatment he became very sick and he lost his will to live.

Hemingway ended his own life with a rifle, aged 61 on this day 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.

Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba between 1940 and left midst the Cuban Revolution, he’d had a full life moving from war-time in Italy then to Paris, Key West, Africa, Spain and back to his final home in Ketchum, Idaho. I leave you with some wonderful music of that time and of those places… and a bit of BuenaVista Social Club for good measure.

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