Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Popular Music  (Read 10702 times)
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harrie
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« Reply #390 on: July 04, 2007, 12:33:45 PM »

Maybe most of you know of this site but bottles post brought to mind a link an old friend Ayohn posted in the old NYTimes Meander forum many years ago about misheard lyrics. http://www.kissthisguy.com/

There's also www.amiright.com -- lots of misheard lyrics, and of course their correct counterparts. 

I always thought of Eleanor Rigby's face in a jar by the door in a slightly different way. Not as literal as being a jar of makeup, but that she has the face with which she meets the public -- that is, the nothing-wrong-no-I'm- not-horribly-depressed face that a lot of people use.  Like when someone says "Hi, how are you?"  And you reply "Fine. And you?"  when you're really thinking "Well, my hair looks goofy today, I'm 50 pounds overweight, I have a splitting headache and I think I'm going to throw up."  Of course, the "fine" answer is also the more polite way to go as well.

So, maybe people don't realize how miserable Ms. Rigby is because she puts on that brave face (that she keeps in a jar by the door).   Wonder if McCartney has a thing about that, with his other song "My Brave Face."
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tjaxon
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« Reply #391 on: July 04, 2007, 01:27:05 PM »


My son had a girlfriend named Mali but I never found out how she was given that name.



Some say the blues originated in Mali. Markus James spends a lot of time there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD8f95tUHSg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tB-20M-kHk
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madupont
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« Reply #392 on: July 04, 2007, 03:09:57 PM »

bosox18d, 

First to acknowledge the social-niceties, say Hi! to ayohn3 who gave me so much help at Nat Sec, one of our other pals has returned recently  which ,if ayohn was here ,would make it a threesome but then, if we knew  where Luz was, we'd have a fourth for whatever games the posters think they know how to play. Naturally it is all words without music.

Our fiercest opponents from those days have remained behind in the UK venues,preferring to go down in flames with Tony Blair (in whom, they believed).

That said, without belittling the funnin' aspects of Jimi Hendrix (who was one walking-social-commentary) having a good time putting on the so "far out" there audience, he did have a more soulful poetic side that appreciated the command,Kiss the Sky, and thus he died. If not for the demonstrative osculation and the frills on his clothes, which simply indicate he grew up in the day, influenced by little Richard Penniman, should he have come dressed like Huey Newton. Too risky: Everybody plays the Fool.
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madupont
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« Reply #393 on: July 04, 2007, 04:04:14 PM »

tjaxon, re: markus james

Whomever shot this provides good compositional sense (the first link is a better production than the second link which tried for drama that was too much of a stretch, nice thought about water in the desert and meant to be a moment in time slice of life vignette) while I'm listening to the music out of the corner of my ear, I'm recognizing the patterns as those similarly seen in the opening of The Constant Gardener where you see the endless crisscrossing of humanity across the focus of the camera which then reveals this is ongoing in the entire depth of the camera range
but,
by the time that we get the dancing chorus all in green doing the butterfly, you realize where you've seen this before.  Or, I have, all my life, on every playground and sidewalk of any ghetto in the US, that dance in time as the skip-rope double-dutches the butterfly. In other words one does not have to go to Africa to become experienced, as Jimi Hendrix asked, if you are experienced, nor to source the music. I would suggest it is even downright dangerous to do so in  a culture where your patterned West African cultural garment occasionally gives way to your religious vestments for formal occasions of musical performance.

Meanwhile, I pick up that the film editor is splicing in Minghella's desert shots of shifting patterns in the sand from The English Patient. All this before we get to the white man in the frame whom I immediately realize is standing in, while sitting in with Mali, for Paul Simon discovering Ladysmith Mombasa (unless that is Dobie Gillis on camera).

Of course, Zulus do sing differently than French West Africans who sing in patois; one group being sometimes ex-warriors, while the other know they are griots. I nevertheless saw comments posted in the Babouraka ("kar kar") Touare performances that read in Ndebele; showing that the music was appreciated further southeast.

I think though that if you  have a real ear for this music, go look up the film that I recommended to Dzimas from  Bertolucci, known as Beseiged, or just, Seige, in English with David Thewlis and Zimbabwean Thandie Newton learning to appreciate each other's feel for music originally foreign to them. There is  likewise footage of the authentic Griot wandering musician and holy man that still exists in Africa from sea to shining sea.

As a matter of fact, one just flew by me right now and took the thought right out of my head but I'll probably remember later what it was I saw in the Markus James tapes that the griot did not want me to see.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #394 on: July 05, 2007, 03:18:22 AM »

Maud,I no longer have a valid email for Ayohn.Another old poster Whitney is in touch but she is computerless for a few months.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #395 on: July 05, 2007, 03:36:17 AM »

There's so much to draw from when it comes to African music, that is hard to know where really to start.  I'm a big fan of Ali Farka Toure and Malian music in general.  For a completely different side of Malian music, Salif Keita offers an astonishing vocal range in his fabulous musical offerings.  There was a CD of Woman of Mali put out years ago, which was where I discovered Oumou Sangare.  I have her Worotan CD, which has a strong eastern flavor to it.  Festival in the Desert offers a mixed bag of music from the region, including Robert Plant offering his take on desert rhythms. 
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Dzimas
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« Reply #396 on: July 05, 2007, 03:52:43 AM »

Paul Simon took a lot of heat for Graceland (undeserved I thought). It was a wonderful album, showcasing some of South Africa's and Zimbabwe's finest pop talents.  Miriam Makeba joined him for a concert in Harare, but it seems Harry Belafonte still holds a grudge against Simon.  I think it is more professional jealousy, and maybe even personal jealousy in the case of Makeba, than political reasons.  But, if you can find it, maddie, South African Jazz and Jive is a wonderful compilation of 1950's South African music, with Makeba appearing on it with the famous Spokes Mashiane, distributed by Stern music. Then there is Abdullah Ibrahim, one of my personal favorites.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #397 on: July 05, 2007, 05:37:57 AM »

An interesting Russian band that has a pension for bluegrass and other forms of Americana:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxW_Ho89c8g&mode=related&search=
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Dzimas
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« Reply #398 on: July 05, 2007, 05:41:32 AM »

Here they are combing Russian folk with Bluegrass:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVyOt4hJlRk&mode=related&search=

interesting confluence, to say the least.  Country and bluegrass music are both very popular in Eastern Europe.

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cincy--man
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« Reply #399 on: July 05, 2007, 10:03:05 AM »

The Mali music video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwSZM1QT1yU, totally rocks. I would not presume to say where the concept of dance originates (it likely originates from many places on parallel paths independently and then converges as cultures converge), but it is impossible to listen to this and not think of dancing and moving to it.

Markus James is a awesome musician….I know his name has come up before. He creates a sublime fusion of styles.

Bering Straight…sigh….I was fascinated by the group when they first came around a few years ago. Got their initial disc and it still has a few decent moments. Then got the second release about three months ago. I played it once….and have yet to listen to it since. A complete and total stinker.

If you want much much much better bluegrass, there are scores of  better choices.

NP : Turtle Island String Quartet: Stolen Moments
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madupont
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« Reply #400 on: July 05, 2007, 01:07:11 PM »

Paul Simon took a lot of heat for Graceland (undeserved I thought). It was a wonderful album, showcasing some of South Africa's and Zimbabwe's finest pop talents.  Miriam Makeba joined him for a concert in Harare, but it seems Harry Belafonte still holds a grudge against Simon.  I think it is more professional jealousy, and maybe even personal jealousy in the case of Makeba, than political reasons.  But, if you can find it, maddie, South African Jazz and Jive is a wonderful compilation of 1950's South African music, with Makeba appearing on it with the famous Spokes Mashiane, distributed by Stern music. Then there is Abdullah Ibrahim, one of my personal favorites.


I have to disagree with you here, alas.  And also ask a few questions: Why did Simon take a lot of heat for Graceland? See, pop singers of that scope were not on my radar; they were just background. You will probably understand in a minute as to why.  I was already discussing African music with the Africans.


"Miriam Makeba joined him for a concert in Harare, but it seems Harry Belafonte still holds a grudge against Simon.  I think it is more professional jealousy, and maybe even personal jealousy in the case of Makeba, than political reasons."  What professional jealousy? What personal jealousy?  In the years, it was pretty definitely political reason.

I have made a few notes to refresh my memory of what we were going through in those years, so I looked through her biographical material because I'd already heard Makeba sing and then heard her again in political discussion when she traveled with her husband on the lecture circuit and I am not speaking of Masekela but Stokely Carmichael who was a real cutie . You've got to remember Miriam Makeba and I are of the same generation. If, Belafonte had any cause to cause jealousy, Stokely would have whopped his a_zzz! But possibly you meant Makeba had personal jealousy of Paul Simon? I don't think so, here's why, or did he take a turn for the worse after that and keep singing the same old songs?

Makeba like her mother was a "sangoma"(which I was referring to earlier when speaking of the West African musicians as griot, which has several connotations to the word but, in either case , griot or sangoma, these are ritual musicians or singers who effect healing). So, rather than find it, I was already familiar in the 1950s with South African Music.  It would have been impossible to be on the American Jazz scene without knowing about it. Besides, being so, meant we were supportive of  Stokely's civil rights position and the Black Panthers. It wasn't until 1969 that I saw Panthers being locally prosecuted like Africans. Up until then Stokely was on a par with Angela Davis, for getting his propers, but speaking politically with Makeba had something to do with it whereas Angela Davis was clearly speaking out against the Vietnam war and as the A number one student of Herbert Marcuse out at Santa Barbara was resolutely anti-Fascist; so, people, mostly white intelligentsia and artists swarmed to meet her at receptions that they sponsored at places available to them so they could have a chance to speak to her one on one. She absolutely radiated an enlightened power of intellectual health you might say.

But back to Miriam. In a nutshell, big nutshell but nevertheless:"she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959. When the Italian government invited her to the premier of the film at the Venice Film Festival, she decided not to return home. Her South African passport was revoked shortly afterwards.

Makeba then travelled to London where she met Harry Belafonte, who assisted her in gaining entry to and fame in the United States.Her marriage to Trinidadian civil rights activist and Black Panthers leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968 caused controversy in the United States, and her record deals and tours were cancelled. As a result of this, the couple moved to Guinea, where they became close with President Ahmed Sékou Touré and his wife. Makeba separated from Carmichael in 1973, and continued to perform primarily in Africa, South America and Europe. After the death of her only daughter Bongi Makeba in 1985, she moved to Brussels. She also served as a Guinean delegate to the United Nations, for which she won the Dag Hammarskjöld Peace Prize in 1986. 

In 2001 she was awarded the Gold Otto Hahn Peace Medal by the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin, "for outstanding services to peace and international understanding". "

I am not kidding, I actually inappropriately or not played African music back to Africans who were so resolutely colonial polite about it (unlike current Muslim adversaries who speak right up when they disagree with you about anything right from the bottom line) that I was no doubt an embarrassment to my husband.  I would not have known at that time why Paul Simon might have been criticized by Africans politically, unless you draw the parallel of how non-white American musicians have been taken to the cleaners by the producers in the music industry. Considering that Patrice Lumumba was murdered immediately thereafter, there may be a reason for mixed reactions to Paul Simon's good will (you'd have to ask Mandela about that one).

I was late getting in here yesterday, e-mailing my sister in law after our brother-in-law had phoned her long distance to talk with her about an hour and a half in regard to her health.  He just came back from his South African and Australian concert tour recently; so in fact he has been playing with African musicians,(as well as South American musicians hired) for going on just short of four decades. I  have met so many of them back-stage in passing that it would be impossible to keep them straight which is why I e-mailed to ask my Japanese-American s-i-l if she had heard these you-tube selections, which I told her about, because she is the party-girl who never misses a concert no matter how far she has to travel and just keeps on partying if she has to stay up all night. Being a grandmother usually makes this possible. We call these occasions,"Family reunions".


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jbottle
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« Reply #401 on: July 05, 2007, 01:18:26 PM »

Appropriating African talent in pop music by white people is a long-standing tradition in this country, Paul Simon was loaded beforehand, so what was the supposedly legitimate beef?  I like the album, and he probably gave money to some talented musicians and paid them for their work in the process, so, Barry Hellafonte, who really doesn't figure into pop-music in my mind the way that Paul Simon does, can go bitch at something that matters. 
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madupont
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« Reply #402 on: July 05, 2007, 01:31:02 PM »

cincy--man, #400

The Mali music video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwSZM1QT1yU, totally rocks. I would not presume to say where the concept of dance originates (it likely originates from many places on parallel paths independently and then converges as cultures converge), but it is impossible to listen to this and not think of dancing and moving to it.

Yo! That's what I was saying. I haven't heard music like that in years but,  you are right, dance is culturally independent and since music travels as language does, making adjustments as it crosses borders in an anthropological way, then dance catches up.  I studied dance after I had already been studying music but rather early I had to look at some of my favourite people and then listening to the music look for the alterations in how the body moved, so there is a big difference in how the African articulates compared to the Muslim idea selectively. In the greater part of Africa the two forms have had the opportunity to converge but the traditional dances are preserved through continual use and you have only to listen to the music to know what to do, which is why I listed to chauncy.g that Femi Kuti of Senegal making an appearance on tour in the Southwest is something to write home about.  His dance chorus behind his vocalization have to be seen to be believed; on the other hand, when you turn the camera around and see the expressions on the faces of the audience, they are absolutely hypnotized.  It is hard to draw the line between the musician and the political activist when you observe Femi Kuti. Music is politics in Africa.
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madupont
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« Reply #403 on: July 05, 2007, 01:37:21 PM »

Appropriating African talent in pop music by white people is a long-standing tradition in this country, Paul Simon was loaded beforehand, so what was the supposedly legitimate beef?  I like the album, and he probably gave money to some talented musicians and paid them for their work in the process, so, Barry Hellafonte, who really doesn't figure into pop-music in my mind the way that Paul Simon does, can go bitch at something that matters. 


I just said it, it is hard to draw the line between considering that Belafonte was a political activist and organizer before Paul Simon played a note of music or got to record anything. He gave work, Harry that is, to large groups of vocalists and musicians, mighty white of him because they in most cases were --right here in the States and then took them on tour overseas. Simon, I doubt has his load separated out of contract that you can assuredly swear the take is not going to the producer while he gets the publicity as Mr. Clean.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #404 on: July 05, 2007, 03:00:03 PM »

The cultural boycott against South Africa, which I think you are referring to Maddie, did more to stifle homegrown music than it did to topple the apartheid government.  Simon mercifully broke through this silly boycott, and created a much greater awareness of South African music in the general public.  Ladysmith Black Mambazo sold millions of records thanks to their association with Paul Simon, gaining international attention in the process.  Not to say Harry didn't promote South African musicians in his day like Makeba and Masekela but he seemed to act as if he was the sole arbiter of South African music.  The success of Graceland no doubt boosted interest in such albums as the Indestructable Beat of Soweto, which became an international hit.
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