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Joan As Police Woman: Let It Be You

2 Sep
©reverbmusicblog_japw

Joan as Police Woman Bogen F, Zürich 2014

YES! JAPW will be releasing her new album ‘Let It Be You’, with multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, arranger, composer and producer; Benjamin Lazar Davis, this Autumn with tour dates to-boot.

LIBY will be releasd worldwide on 21st October. You can buy special editions via her website as pre order:  Gatefold Vinyl LP with CD and Poster + signed, coloured vinyl 7 inch single
Gatefold CD with poster insert + signed coloured vinyl 7 inch single.

The Tour dates below are taken from the JAPW website and I can’t recommend highly enough to buy all of her work and plan your own tour of all her dates…

I’m a bit of a fan.

November

14th – Glasgow, Art School
15th – Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
16th – Manchester, Gorilla
17th – Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
18th – Brighton, The Haunt
19th – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
20th – Bristol, Thekla
21st – London, Heaven
23rd – Vienna, Wiener Konzerthaus
25th – Rome, Monk Club
26th – Bologna, Locomotiv Club
27th – Milan, Magnolia
28th – Zurich, Bogen F
30th – Utrecht, Tivoli

December

1st – Paris, FLOW
2nd – Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
4th – Berlin, Heimathaffen
5th – Hamburg, Gruenspan
6th – Aarhus, Voxhall
7th – Copenhagen West, Pumpehuset

Here’s like a twin-set Video of what’s on offer on the new album – on the surface it’s electro-heavy layered pop, which I can imagine will get a lot of radio play, but there’s still the DNA which is unmistakably JAPW. Great stuff!

 

Scaffold Your Cause

18 Aug

 

 

‘Scaffold’ was written by Martin Bezzola and myself in 2013.
It grew from a piece of music Martin Bezzola (www.klanggestalter.ch) wrote and from there it transformed over time to what it is now.
The video was filmed by Kate Sweeney (www.thumbprod.wordpress.com) at the beach in Blythe in northern England on a very warm, sunny day. Expecting rolling clouds and rough seas, the weather was uncharacteristically the opposite.

If you happen to like the song and you would like to buy it, that isn’t possible to be honest. But you could share it and donate any pennies, rappen, centime – however small the amount to the the people who are helping refugees out of their own pocket and time at ‘Schwizerchruez’. http://schwizerchruez.herokuapp.com/en. Or even just check them out and decide for yourself.

With the above link you’ll find out everything about the organisation – and how to donate, there’s a lot of the website in English. Film reportage (also partly in english) can be also found here via Swiss TV about how Schwizerchuez are helping out with the refugees in Greece – which is beyond crisis and is still unfortunately a bitter and an ever growing seriously bad situation for all. It’s not about tying a yellow ribbon or bad conscience or good-doing, their help is just necessary.

 

 

Easter Playlist 2015

5 Apr

 

Keeping it short, I couldn’t resist choosing Herb Alpert’s ‘Rise’ as a topically tongue-in-cheek kick off to this years Easter playlist. It’s one of the more trimmed versions of the song – the Album track is 7’40” and co-written by Alpert’s nephew – Randy Badazz Alpert and Andy Armer. The song was recorded in 1979, along with the video and is the epitome of 70’s America with Herb Alpert’s wife Lani Hall adding a ‘grandma-skip’ and a few scantily clad dancers on a beach.

1. Herb Alpert ‘Rise’

Cecil Campbell aka Prince Buster, known as one of the major influences of the ska and rocksteady history during the 60’s and 70’s, is better known for his songs ‘Al Capone’ and ‘One Step Beyond’ which were later recorded by Madness in 1979.

2.  Prince Buster  ’30 Pieces of Silver’

3. The Bee Gees ‘Stayin Alive’

4. The Stranglers ‘Hanging Around’

5. Sparks ‘Number 1 Song All Over Heaven’

The Faith No More version of The Commadores ‘Easy’ isn’t superior to the original from my point of view but at the 1’54”  mark – it’s the funniest.

6. Faith No More ‘Easy’ (Like A Sunday Morning)

Jessica Rabbit with ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’ from the film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ – would be perfect for Easter, but Lil Greens original version of the song wins hands down. Written by Kansas Joe McCoy for Lil Green, they recorded it in 1941. McCoy took a song called ‘The Weed Smoker’s Dream’ by The Harlem Hamfats, worked his magic and voilà!

7.  Lil Green ‘ Why Don’t You Do Right’

8. The Manhattans ‘Let’s Just Kiss and Say Goodbye’

 

 

Aloha! Alternative Easter Playlist

18 Apr

 

images

The urge for flight when under attack is a natural human instinct so I’m taking my natural human instinct and pouring into the fantasy of running away to Hawaii over Easter. Why Hawaii? Well first of all I’ve never been, the music’s just pure magic and the biggest plus of all is that it has reputedly one of the lowest pollen count due to its geographical position. Millions, myself included – especially this year, are suffering under the attack of high levels of carbon dioxide in the air which in turn forces pollen production. So for just a short intermezzo – after taking the quality of life way too much for granted before I could hardly breathe, I’m going to indulge in my fantasy and take you off to Hawaii this Easter. Until the inevitable – of someone inventing spacey futuristic head-gear with integrated Ventolin that will become synonymous with the present ‘device’ generation, make a buck with it online and ignore the earths departure.

 

1. Keola Beamer – Kalena Kai from his album Wooden Boat

 

 

2. Hawaii On The Rocks-George Auld and His Hula-Gans

 

3. He’eia – Gabby Pahinui and The Sons of Hawaii

 

4. Sonny Chillingworth – Hi’ilawe from his album Sonny Solo

 

5. Ka Mele Oku’u Puuwai

 

6. Hawaiian Skies – The Descendants Soundtrack (Jeff Peterson)

 

7. kauai beauty – gabby pahinui

 

8. Aloha ‘Oe – Queen Lili`uokalani (1838–1917)

 

9. Vintage Hawaiian Film – Circa 1913 – Waikiki Honolulu surfing 

 

10. Hawaii Sang Me to Sleep

 

 

 

 

Lost In Music … Transdisciplinary Speaking

21 Mar
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau

After talking to a friend last night, I started thinking about Brad Meldhau – i’ll come to him in a bit. My friend is professionally involved with students of  ‘MA in Transdisciplinary Studies‘ or in the epistemological sense; the theory of knowledge from within the arts. It seems that a lot of classically trained musicians take the course – putting it simply; to further their research of experimentation, define and break out of the frames of their chosen passion and merge it with other disciplines and environments at an intellectual level. To cut a long conversation short, we meandered  to the subject of the definition of what makes a good musician and that’s when I started thinking about Mr. Mehldau.

He’s the one who composed that eerie Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack. He plays a weird kind of jazz – mixing his music as seamlessly as a sea’s hazy horizon merging with the sky. He throws it all his vast talent and musical knowledge together in cover versions like The Verves’ ‘Bittersweet Symphony‘, Nirvanas’ ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘,  Bill Monroe’s ‘Waltz for J.B.’ , Radioheads’ ‘Exit Music‘ and Massive Attacks ‘Teardrop‘, the list goes on. He perfectly demonstrates that music is flowing – not a rigid form that always has to be pigeon-holed. He’s educated in classical music, is a jazz pianist – but has eclectic influences. When you watch him in action he gets lost in what he’s doing like a classical composer serenading admirers at court, but instead of the 18th Century garb, Brad Mehldau dons a Grateful Dead T-shirt and tattoos.

Although you could argue that there isn’t a shimmer of relevance between the start of this post and the end of it. I like to think that this is also how transdisciplines can be connected; a honed free-fall of thought, connecting loosely to form something new or different.

Give it up for a man who can do all this with two hands and still find time drop a bit of the Les Dawson-esque into his tunes. Sorry to any jazz connoisseurs – I am but a heathen. Here he is giving a full nine yards  (55 minutes and 25 seconds) at the Vienne Festival.

International Women’s Day

8 Mar

One hundred and three years ago the first International Women’s Day was recognized in European countries – Germany, Austria and Denmark among others in 1911. In 1975 the UN officially recognized its observance and today it is a national holiday in 27 countries.

This years official global theme is ‘Inspiring Change’. The importance of equality for all women is the focus of this years events – not purely as a fundamental human right (the Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement) but also to enable progress. UN secretary General, Ban Ki-moon rightly states; “The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”

Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth.  Companies with more women leaders perform better.  Peace agreements that include women are more durable.  Parliaments
with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, antidiscrimination and child support.  Ban Ki-moon

‘The Industry’
In 1975 Helen Reddy’s number 1 hit song ‘I am Woman’ was claimed by the UN as their theme. But what’s going on for women in the music industry now?

Charlotte Church delivered her infamous Peel Lecture in 2013 debating the status of women in the music industry under the thumb of a male dominated music business and the consequent perception we have on what are mainly main stream women artists. She does have a point about Rihanna’s and Miley’s positions as role models to the more influenceable – but although the numbers are few there are role models – influent, strong women standing on and behind the stage. Women musicians who, by the omnipresence of ‘hits and clicks’ as a means of success, are granted a certain autonomy to do it their way. This is not to say that sexism and inequality don’t exist. A controversy from Japan is a good example. The members of the Japanese girl group AKB48 are prohibited by contract of engaging in any romantic or sexual relations. When 20-year-old Minami Minegishi – a member of AKB48, shaved her head and made a tearful confession and apology for having a boyfriend on YouTube it caused a stir. The throng of 80 plus young women are part of a hit churning song and dance troupe who perform on a daily basis and work in shifts at the groups theatre. They are patronized to appear virginal and ‘available’ to the male audience. Record producer and AKB48 creator Professor Yasushi Akimoto is behind the record sales of over US$200million. The YouTube clip was also aired on femispire but slightly alarming is that one of the woman co-presenters who aired the video added that the young woman involved “broke the cardinal rule” and that it’s “hard for me to sympathise when she knows what she’s getting into”, Minami Minegishi apparently also “she sold her soul”. Am I now allowed to say ‘shame on you dumb blond woman presenter in a tight red dress’. Of course I’m not and wouldn’t dare.
The mountainous struggle women have in Japan to equal themselves to their male counterparts in the work place is as old as Confucius and that a young woman snatches any chance to promote any possibility of becoming independent is well … do the math.

Women in Radio
Between the hours of 7pm and 7am (7th – 8th March) BBC Radio 1 will be hosting its tribute to IWD which is a good thing but as Jane Martinson (The Guardian) writes; “Were they not allowed out during the day?”
Statistics given by Sound Women and Creative Skillset show that:

  • 1 in 5 solo voices on the radio is female
  • That figure is 1 in 8 during peak-time breakfast and drive hours
  • In co-hosted show, you are nearly 10 times as likely to hear 2+ male presenters as you are to hear 2+ female presenters
  • Solo women are more likely to be on air at weekends than during the week.

Finishing off my rant with a musical tone I leave you this weekends playlist for International Women. Enjoy!

1. Beth Ditto: Open Heart Surgery

2. Gaby Moreno: Ave Que Emigra

3. Dessa: Fighting Fish

4. Courtney Barnett: Anonymous Club

5. Lilly Allen: Hard Out Here

6. Angel Olsen: Forgiven/Forgotten

7. Julia Weldon: You Never Know

8. Annie Lennox, Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams

9. Beyoncé: Run The World (Girls)

10. Helen Reddy: I Am Woman

Reading:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/women-radio-presenters-under-pressure-to-sound-more-like-men-says-mary-beard-9166518.html

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN02936/international-womens-day-2014-background-statistics

http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/2014/sgmessage.shtml

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme.asp#.UxnQvyg08pQ

http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/am307e/am307e00.pdf

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp#.UxgTkSg08pQ

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beth-blatt/sing-for-international-womens-day_b_4892574.html

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/10/15/church

http://womeninmusic.org/web/

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/26/women-running-music-industry-feature

International Mother Language

23 Feb

Friday (21.2.14) saw the 14th year observance of ‘International Mother Language‘. UNESCO announced in 1999 that a day should be observed worldwide with focus on linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The United Nations Assembly also recognised this day and deemed 2008 the ‘International Year of Languages‘.

Awareness stems from the demonstrations of 1952, when students from Dhaka University, Jagannath University and the Dhaka Medical College all demonstrated in the capital Dhaka (in the present day Bangladesh) for the recognition of their mother tongue, Bengali, to be one of the two national languages of then Pakistan. The students were shot and killed by police near the capitals’ High Court.

The A, B, C Of It

‘Mother language’, is taken verbatim from the romance languages and is more commonly known by the terms ‘mother tongue’ or ‘native tongue’. In linguistics however it is known as an ancestral language or ‘protolanguage’ of which there is no documentation but from which modern languages have evolved.
As someone who lives in a country where communicating in a second language is not quite second nature, it’s a welcome occasion – I often find speaking in a second language difficult and I can find myself in some pretty hot water from time to time with misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Perhaps many a battle could be quelled if we took more time and interest in understanding at least the ‘A,B,C’ of one another’s mother tongue.

Here are three personal favourites, sung in Spanish, Arabic and French. 

1.The first from the Nomadic artist Lhasa De Sela with Por Eso Me Quedo (That’s Why I’m Staying). Lhasa died way too early, at the age of 37 of breast cancer in 2010. 

2. Yasmine Hamdan with Khalas (All right-then)
Born in Beirut in 1976, the stunning Hamdan travelled – due to the Civil War, between Beirut, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Greece together with her family, she sings in Arabic, is an accomplished artist and actor, she also appears cameo in Jim Jarmusch’ film; Only Lovers Left Alive singing ‘Hal’ with her bandSoapkills‘. Amazing!

3. Les Rita Mitsouko with Y’a De L’Haine (There Is Hate)
Catherine Ringer and Frédéric Chichin formed the band in 1980 and remained a duo until Chichin died due to cancer in 2007, aged 53. The french couple were adept in melting different music styles from Jazz to Hip Hop to form an innovative style of their own.

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