Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Steely Dan Interviews

Steely Dan on Making New Music: 'We've Been Talking'
Band kick off 53-date Mood Swings tour this weekend

By Andy Greene
July 18, 2013 11:40 AM ET

Interviewing Steely Dan is no easy task. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen turned messing with journalists into an art form back in the Seventies. Rolling Stone checked in with Becker and Fagen during the final days of rehearsal for their upcoming 53-date Mood Swings American tour. It kicks off on July 19th in Atlantic City and runs through October 8th in New York. Select shows will include complete performances of Aja, Gaucho and The Royal Scam.

We spoke with Fagen first, and he lulled us into a false sense of security by casually answering our questions in a relatively straightforward manner. A couple of hours later, Becker called. He was a little less cooperative, though equally sardonic. The pair talked about choosing songs for this tour, the possibility of a new Steely Dan record, their aging fan base, what songs they're sick of playing and many other topics.

Read the full interview HERE in Rolling Stone.

And here's one from Scene HERE.

Awesome Donald Fagen Interview from 2006 about His Bard Days

Back to Annadale
The origins of Steely Dan -- Donald Fagen returns to campus and revisits the origin of his old grudge
By Rob Brunner on Mar 17, 2006

On Halloween 1967, a party is raging inside Ward Manor, an Elizabethan-style mansion-turned-dorm at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. On a small stage set up in the corner of the common room, a band called the Leather Canary tears through the Rolling Stones' ''Dandelion,'' Moby Grape's ''Hey Grandma,'' and Willie Dixon's ''Spoonful,'' along with a few recently penned originals. It's a typical late-'60s student shindig — most of the audience is tripping on acid — but it's hardly an ordinary band. Behind the drums is Chevy Chase, familiar around campus as a gifted musician and good-natured goofball who's been known to drop his pants after losing late-night games of ''dare'' poker. Just in front of him is a long-haired muso named Walter Becker, one of the school's most accomplished guitarists. And the shy singer behind the electric piano? That's Don Fagen, decked out in a leather jacket with feathers attached to it (hence the band's name). Just a few years later, Chase will find fame as one of the greatest comedians of his generation. Fagen and Becker, meanwhile, will evolve into Steely Dan, score huge hits with songs like ''Rikki Don't Lose That Number'' and ''Reelin' in the Years,'' and create several of the most beloved and enduring albums of the 1970s. And in 1973, on their second LP, they will record ''My Old School,'' an angry kiss-off that, for reasons that have never been entirely clear, takes a very public swipe at Bard. ''California tumbles into the sea/That'll be the day I go back to Annandale,'' Fagen famously sings. ''I'm never going back to my old school.'' You can practically hear him sneer.

Almost four decades after that Halloween gig, Donald Fagen is back at Ward Manor, gazing around the very same common room. In many ways, this quiet lounge — its ornate wood-paneled walls and elaborately plastered ceiling unchanged after all these years — is where Steely Dan sputtered to life. Fagen and Becker both lived here, and they wrote their first, now-forgotten songs together on an old piano that disappeared from the corner years ago.
Read the whole interview in Entertainment Weekly HERE.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Star Wars/Thomas Kinkade

A delicious gallery from Deviant Art. A sample:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Zen Pencils Illustrates Cartoonist Bill Watterson's Advice

Illustration by Zen Pencils, words by cartoonist Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) given at a commencement address. Apparently part of the illustration is autobiographical for Zen Pencils. You can check out Zen Pencils HERE and a fullsize version of this comic HERE.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Awkward Jesus Paintings from American Jesus

Ah, "Business Jesus" is just one of the awkwardly bad Jesus paintings posted at American Jesus. Check out the rest THERE.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recording Diana Ross' "Love Hangover"

A great story from producer Hal Davis that mostly comes from the biography Diana. Best part:

"No one really liked disco here at Motown," producer Hal Davis said in J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography, Diana. "The company wasn't heavily into it, so I figured I'd take advantage of that. When I did the track for 'Love Hangover,' I knew it was a hot track. But when I played it for Diana, well, she wasn't too sure about it. She was used to singing more lush songs by producers like Michael Masser and the public sort of identified her with arrangements like "Touch Me In The Morning." She liked the lyric to 'Love Hangover,' but people thought I was a little off for even suggesting that Diana do this song."

Davis went on to describe the evening that Diana recorded the Pam Sawyer-Marilyn McLeod song. "It was a late session; we started at about nine o'clock at night. I had it all planned out because I know how Diana is about atmosphere in the studio.

So I told them to have some hot red lights put around and also a strobe light. Diana came in, took her shoes off, and got into it sort of slow. The song had two tempos, starting off kind of sultry, which was easy for her. But when we got to the disco part, I remember her laughing and saying, 'I can not do that!'

"So at that point, I had them turn the lights on and we had the place jumpin' like a disco. That's all she needed; she just took off after that. It turned out to be a lot of fun for her and she even improvised a little Billie Holiday in there that I didn't expect. There's even a part in there where she's laughing on the track. I didn't edit it because I wanted to keep that sense of spontaneity."

Diana is quoted by Taraborrelli on the session: "It was a spontaneous thing that we captured on record and if I had to go back in and do it again, I couldn't have. The music was me and I was the music. Things came out of my mouth that I didn't even expect."

From superseventies.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Studio Bass Legend Carol Kaye Multi-Part Video Interview 2013

A great series of interviews with Carol Kaye produced by Snapshots Music:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Calvin Grown Up

by Craig Mahoney.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tin Man Yoga

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Harry Connick Jr. Schools American Idol Contestants on the Great American Songbook

Why Harry Connick Jr. Couldn't Sit Idle During 'Idol'
The star couldn't stand hearing young singers mangle the Great American Songbook

posted by John Stark, May 4, 2013

From the Daily Roadmap

Those of us who grew up in the 1950s and '60s got to constantly hear — on radio, TV and vinyl — the Great American Songbook sung by the likes of Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Sarah Vaughan. ... The list goes on. These were singers who belonged to our parents more than to us. Still, they set a high bar for crooners, even if we didn’t fully appreciate it when we were kids. Besides having intonation, perfect pitch and beautiful voices, these artists respected a song, its melody and lyrics.

They made singing sound easy, which it isn’t.

My favorite singer as of this week is Harry Connick Jr., but not for his vocal talent. As a guest mentor on Wednesday's American Idol, he did something I’d never seen done on that show — and it was long overdue. He made it clear why, despite the impressive vocal abilities of the four finalists — Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison — they probably will never be truly great singers in the mode of those who came before, like Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Vic Damone and Billy Eckstine. Again, the list goes on.

Idol's theme on Wednesday was “Then and Now.” Each contestant was asked in the first hour of the show to perform a current hit song. They chose newly released tunes by Pink, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Carrie Underwood, who won American Idol in 2005. In the second half, they were asked to sing a classic from the Great American Songbook.

During the mentoring sessions, Connick would listen to the singers perform the songs they had chosen and advise them how to do it better. He was a kindly coach throughout the "Now" portion of the show, teasing, praising and hugging the contestants. But when it came to the “Then” segment, the joking stopped. His demeanor changed.

Songs of the past are an essential part of Connick's repertoire. He loves, respects and understands their exquisite craftsmanship. He knows how to make them sound “now” without losing what they were "then."

As Amber started to sing Rodgers & Hart’s “My Funny Valentine,” Connick stopped her. He asked her what the song is about. "What does it mean, 'Your looks are laughable?'" he asked her, or "'Is your figure less than Greek?'" Amber looked blank — she had no idea. She struggled for words. He told her to go do some research on the lyricist, Lorenz Hart, a physically diminutive, closeted homosexual who died of alcoholism at age 48. Before singing the song, Connick sternly told Amber, you need to understand what Hart was writing about.

Kree also got stopped shortly after she launched into Harold Arlen’s “Stormy Weather.” She was singing in a loose, bluesy manner, like she said she'd heard Etta James do the song. But for Kree to do those fancy runs, Connick said, were diluting the meaning of the lyrics. The woman in this song, he explained, is sad and depressed; she's lost her man. “You don’t sound depressed,” Connick observed. He wanted Kree to do it more like Lena Horne, who introduced the song in 1940. No frills needed.

Not one of the contestants took Connick's "Then" advice when they got on stage. Substance was thrown out the window for pyrotechnic vocal tricks. Angie sang Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me,” an ode to vulnerability, in full-power voice. She hardly came off as “a little lamb who’s lost in the wood,” as the lyric says. More like a John Deere tree cutter.

The judges loved Candice’s version of Billie Holiday’s “You’ve Changed,” giving her a standing O. Not Connick, whose tip to "Keep it simple" went completely over her head. “One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is when the other person starts to drift away from you,” Connick told Candice. She needed to express that feeling. Her blaring version had no poignancy.

Connick squirmed in his front-row seat during the “Then” performances. I haven’t seen such facial contortions since Linda Blair got anointed with holy water in The Exorcist.

His breaking point came when Randy Jackson implied that Connick's advice had hindered Kree’s vacuous rendition of "Stormy Weather," which none of the judges liked. He thought she should have sung it more like Etta James, as she had wanted to do. As it turned out, her rendition was neither Etta nor Lena, nor even Kree. It lacked any personality or feeling. You could see Connick about to pop his cork. That's when Keith Urban went into the audience, took Connick by the hand and brought him to the judge’s table. Taking a seat, Connick proceeded to school a very defensive Jackson in the art of singing standards. The point Connick tried to make, which Jackson didn't want to hear, was that the show’s contestants didn't know these classic songs well enough to take liberties with their melodies and lyrics. In doing so, they were murdering the music.

To me this made an even bigger point. Since its debut in 2002, Idol has always put value on over-the-top vocal performances. Subtlety and intimacy gets you the boot. If minimalists like Peggy Lee or Billy Holiday were to compete on Idol today the judges would eat them alive.

I was friends with Hal Schaefer, a famous vocal coach who died last October. He’s credited with teaching Marilyn Monroe to sing. I once asked him what he thought of Barbra Streisand. “When she was a teenager she came to my apartment on Riverside Drive to see if I would give her vocal lessons,” said Schaefer, who was then living in New York. “I was blown away not just by her voice, but her knowledge. She knew who every composer and lyricist was. She knew the entire American songbook. I told her after she sang for me that I would not work with her. She didn’t need me. But I told her she had to promise me never to take vocal lessons from anyone, because what she did was completely right. Once in a while that kind of talent comes along.”

On a recent NPR interview Streisand talked about how, when interpreting a song, she never violates its melody or lyrics, even when putting her own distinct spin on it. That’s why she's so great. And that's why Connick got so frustrated with the Idol contestants.

He listened to them, but they wouldn't listen to him.

Re-made PG Porn

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cha-chá Plays Rumba

The great Esteban Vega Bacallao, otherwise known as Cha-Chá, video posted by Mark Sanders. I logged many a day in that room, but Cha-Chá is younger here than when I first met him in 1996:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bass Humor

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bonnie Raitt's Cover of Randall Bramlett's "Used To Rule the World"

A great blues ode to the fall of aged winners:

Then listen to his intro anecdote about her request to change one line:

I heard Raitt's cover first. Interestingly, the line I think is best is the one Bonnie Raitt changed. Original: Miss Cocktail Dress, looking in the bathroom sink, did anybody find the ring? Raitt's: Miss Cocktail Dress, standing at the bathroom sink, looking for a back way out. The new line is so much more pathetic and desperate, the difference between misplacing something (first version and a theme in the song) and an unfortunate/bad choice (the second), a potent image that suggests a hope gone wrong set within an implied bigger failure. Subtle, but some serious lyric chops there.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Daily Show: Darwin's Theory of (Political) Evolution of Gay Marriage

That's Illegal --- God Hates You --- God Hates You But Will and Grace Is Entertaining --- How About a Civil Union? --- Congrats Mr. and Mr. Smith

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Photos of children around the world with their most prized possessions; a photo collection by Gabriele Galimberti. Check out the collection HERE.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Actress Tilda Swinton on Display at MOMA

As part of a performance art display at MOMA, actress Tilda Swinton is periodically appearing in a glass case, sleeping. Story HERE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kenny Loggins Jesus

SO I was working at home today and I answer the door to be greeted by people who want to educate me about religion. Imagine my astonishment when I learn that Kenny Loggins died for my sins. Who knew?

Monday, March 04, 2013

Missed Connections Study

A sad little graphic, indeed. I think Hawaii and Utah win with beach and college as their number 1 missed connection spots, though all the commuting ones are understandable, as are bars, gyms, grocery stores. Oklahoma, I gotta give you some respect and old-time tradition props for State Fair being your #1 spot. But Walmart? And Kansas, what the hell's up with McDonalds? [click to enlarge]

Banksy, Keeping It Real on a Monday Morning

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Danbert Nobacon Reflects on Chumbawamba's song "Tubthumping"

Gonzo Tubthumping, Getting Knocked Down And Getting Up Again Danbert Nobacon Wednesday, February 27, 2013 BEN AFFLECK SAID while accepting his Oscar for Best Picture for Argo that: “… It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life. That’s gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up.” He was talking about the resolve of artists, which we all encounter in the struggle to keep creating art. It is a testament to the spirit of human resilience in the face of sometimes overwhelming odds, which goes all the way back to our human core in the fact that homo sapiens even made it this far through the evolutionary maze. We feel it when we get the rejection letter but keep on writing or go on to do another show, or whatever it is our passion to do. We feel it in the small daily triumphs over the constraints imposed upon us by the capitalist business model. We feel it when we make the effort to go out instead of staying home. We feel it when our broken hearts begin to mend. We feel it in those moments when we transcend the pain and are fully present in the moment. We feel it when we stand up for what we believe in, and in a thousand different other ways. Chumbawamba once wrote a song called Tubthumping (and check this out for a flash mob) which unknowingly tapped into this quintessential strand of the human condition. It became a world-wide hit. It made us one-hit wonders despite us having eleven studio albums, some of which contained far better songs. It gave the eight people in the band, and still gives us, a modicum of financial security to subsist as working artists in increasingly varied fields. We got lucky, and for that and many other reasons, I still love that song. And as an artist I accept that sometimes your work rebels like a petulant teenager and goes off and has a life of its own over which you have no control. “The songs that inspire the troops on the road to Baghdad” This was a headline from the English Daily Telegraph when the invasion of Iraq was in full swing in early April 2003. The article was about DJ Jonathan Bennett, who was working for British Forces Broadcasting Services, Middle East, based in Kuwait. Because the US army had not set up their own locally based troops’ radio station, as they had done in the first Gulf War, Bennett had become a “GI’s favourite.” In addition to serving British troops, his show also reached and had a large listenership amongst US troops. Moreover, “improvements in mobile technology mean(t) that Bennett and his colleagues (were) broadcasting right to the front line.” “The guys can actually tune in while they are fighting, if they want,” Bennett was quoted as saying. The article went on, “Bennett has no doubt that the music he plays provides a vital emotional outlet for the troops. Indeed, some of the soldiers most popular requests, such as Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping (“I get knocked down, but I get up again / You never gonna keep me down”) sounded like rallying cries against not just the enemy in the desert, but the significant anti-war section of the British public.” I can only speculate, but to think a soldier may have a tune that one co-wrote running through his head as an earworm, in the moments before he kills or is killed is unsettling. That the song would be perceived as an anthem against anti-war sentiment is simply beyond. How sour the irony? It is one thing to have our taxes pay for wars we do not agree with — and this must surely be one of the most flagrantly abused shortcomings of our so-called democratic system. It is quite something else to have unwittingly provided part of the soundtrack for one of those wars as well. Whilst on reflection it did not come as a shock to us, as the authors of the song, that it would be used in this way, there was something shocking about the idea that part of ones’ art was being used to boost morale in fighting a war which we opposed with every bone in our collective political body. There are of course other cultural implications. The song had been popular for an eighteen-month period from summer 1997 into 1998. Having been an anarchist band for the previous fifteen years, inhabiting the underground or the distant fringes of the mainstream, it was in many ways a genuine, though not unpleasant, shock to us to have an international hit record. In so doing, through the mass mediums of daytime radio and TV, we reached a significantly younger audience than we would normally have done, not least in the United States. It meant that we were being heard by children, as well as older teenagers and beyond, and it began to show in the audiences at our live gigs. Quite suddenly we started seeing ten, eleven, twelve-year-olds down at the front of the stage, whilst in the back would be their sometimes hipster, sometimes bewildered, sometimes anxious-looking parents. Looking out into the crowd in Tempe in Arizona, in March 1998, during our song Big Mouth Strikes Again, where Alice Nutter comes on stage dressed as a cigarette-smoking, whiskey-drinking nun, we could see a worried parent stand up behind her daughter, putting her hands over the girl’s ears. That song was a tip of the hat, or should I say habit, to dead American comedian Lenny Bruce. Having had a hit record which did not necessarily reflect many of the other aspects of our work, not least the adaptation of Bruce’s exploration of profanity in the nun repeating the mantra “bullshit, motherf**ker, bullshit,” the parental reaction was hardly surprising. None of us in the band had children at the time, but we did perform that song late last year at the Chumbawamba farewell show in front of our own pre-teen children. ....... Read the full article HERE at the Weeklings.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Backbeat

Musicologist Steve Bauer discusses the history of the backbeat: Click HERE (original link removed because of autoplay).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stanford researcher maps melodies used in Holocaust to control prisoners

Stanford Report, July 18, 2012 Stanford researcher maps melodies used in Holocaust to control prisoners German Studies doctoral student Melissa Kagen examines where music was played in Nazi concentration camps, uncovering how music can function as a means for controlling and torturing prisoners in present-day detention facilities. By Benjamin Hein The Humanities at Stanford It's hard to imagine Bing Crosby's classic ragtime song "Sweet Sue, Just You" wafting through a Nazi German concentration camp. But at Auschwitz-Birkenau – the most infamous Holocaust prison – a mix of American jazz and ragtime classics, as well as somber hymns and marching songs, could often be heard within the camp walls. This strange medley of melodies has long intrigued Melissa Kagen, a doctoral candidate in German Studies at Stanford. So last winter, Kagen began a research project to examine the camp's musical culture in the context of geographical space. She wanted to know if where the music played in the camps – whether in the kitchen, near a gate or in cells – had different effects on the inhabitants. Using survivor testimonies and camp administration records, she is developing digital maps of the "musical geography" of the prison. By focusing on the spatial aspects of music, Kagen's research offers historical insight into how music can be used as a means for controlling and torturing prisoners in present-day detention facilities. Because it was among the first prison camps to systematically employ music in such a way, Auschwitz provides a valuable case study that sets a precedent for facilities such as Guantánamo Bay where music has been used as a form of "no-touch" torture. Measuring music's impact Scholars have long known that music was a regular part of life in Nazi concentration camps. But the inherently transient nature of sound has made it difficult to measure its impact on the camp and its inhabitants. "Music in the Holocaust is a relatively well-explored research topic," said Kagen, a student of modern German musicology and literature. "But because it does not leave a lasting historical footprint, it has not been considered spatially before." Kagen uses an unconventional interpretation method to translate the source material into a visual form. Rather than dwelling on the significance of a specific song, she focuses on references about the locations where music was heard. "Reading the first-hand accounts of prisoners, I noticed that one particular space – Block 24, near the camp entrance – kept coming up in relation to music," she said. Music, as Kagen discovered, provided a proportionally small number of prison guards with the means to maintain control over large portions of the camp without any actual physical presence. Read the full post HERE.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oldest Surviving Representative Sculpture?

This is a photo of the oldest known sculpture of a woman, created from mammoth ivory found at Dolní Věstonice, Moravia, Czech Republic. c.26,000 years old. Height 4.8 cm. Courtesy of the Moravian Museum, Anthropos Institute.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Earl "Fatha" Hines in 1979

This is one of those things where I say bless the internet. Pianists Joshua White reminded me of Fatha Hines today on Facebook, and it reminded me that I had seen him twice in the 70s when I was a teenager. I probably saw him in 1977 and 1978 or 1979, so I am really happy to have found this footage. I remember seeing him at the Mandeville Theater at UCSD and I was in the front row, right in front of the piano. And he was close enough to front stage that I could see his face while he played, even if he was hunched down over the keys. His toupee looked more artificial than ever, but his suit was still sharp enough to slice paper. Sometimes he played upright, facing the musicians, but there were times, especially on ballads, when he would bend over the keys, sometimes eyes closed, sometimes eyes scanning the keys, and I have to say that I felt honored to watch him in his private world, seeing him enchanted by his muse and filled by his own music, living in a musical world he helped create. It was really moving to watch him play then.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girl Dancing in Front of Painting

Found this wonderful photo on The Mudflats Facebook page, which bore the caption: this is why we need art in our schools. Absolutely.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doctors: Junior Seau's Brain Had CTE

ESPN has the story regarding NFL great Junior Seau's autopsy, showing that he was suffering from CTE brain damage at the time of his suicide. Yet another shoe drops. See the story and video here. And in a follow up story, a teammate describes the damage done during practices: click here for the ESPN story.

KKK Child and African American State Trooper (1992 Photo)

Poynter has the background on the photo HERE. [click to enlarge]

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Islamist Extremists Ban Ali Farka Toure's Music in His Hometown

The bastards: from the BBC last month: 6 December 2012 Last updated at 12:24 ET Blues for Mali as Ali Farka Toure's music is banned By Thomas Fessy BBC News, Bamako After making northern Mali's "Blues" music famous around the world, Ali Farka Toure is a legend in his home town of Niafunke, where he was mayor until his death in 2006. The memorial to him is still intact but his music is no longer heard in the town's streets. "The town has gone silent," says 28-year-old farmer Ousmane Maiga (not his real name) over the phone. "It's way too quiet". Islamist fighters have taken over Niafunke, which sits on the banks of the river Niger 100km (60 miles) south-west of Timbuktu. They have introduced a strict social code: Women and girls must be covered, young men cannot wear loose trousers and all forms of music are banned. Residents say two young men were whipped last month after they were caught smoking tobacco. Toure was just one of a host of stars who have turned music into one of Mali's best known exports. "Music is so much part of our culture," says Mr Maiga. "It's everywhere here, I miss listening to it over tea with my friends on the weekend. I miss attending wedding ceremonies and baptisms." All time great It was the music of northern Mali that Toure took to the world, its lilting, mournful tones reaching an international audience when he teamed up with his US soulmate, Ry Cooder, to produce the Grammy-winning album Talking Timbuktu in 1994. He was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as among the 100 great guitarists of all time and starred in the Martin Scorsese documentary, Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of the blues back to West Africa. But these roots are now threatened. Niafunke and other towns in northern Mali have been plunged into a cultural darkness. Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have banned everything they deem to be against Sharia, or Islamic law. "They are destroying our culture," says another of Mali's most famous singers, Salif Keita. He is currently back home in Mali, preparing for a world tour to accompany the release of his latest album. "If there's no music, no Timbuktu, it means that there is no more culture in Mali," he adds, sitting in the grounds of his home on the small island he owns on the river Niger outside the capital, Bamako. Keita is referring to the destruction in June of the ancient shrines in Timbuktu's mosques. The buildings were Unesco World Heritage Sites but considered by the Islamists to be idolatrous. Dozens of musicians have fled south since the crisis began, among them Khaira Arby "the Voice of the North". She cannot return to her home in Timbuktu because Islamists have threatened to cut out her tongue, according to members of her band who have also fled south. She first stayed with a cousin but has resigned herself to renting a house in Bamako after she realised that she could be displaced for longer than she thought. "Islamists have jammed radio airwaves," she tells me while her guitarists and percussionist adjust their instruments for an evening rehearsal in her small living-room. The two guitars are plugged into one small amplifier producing a heavily distorted sound. The band's equipment was looted when rebels marched into Timbuktu. Arby sits on the edge of her sofa. She looks sad, but soon her eyes close and her voice climbs and falls with the guitar riffs. Ringtones banned Song completed, she tries to make sense of what is happening to her country. "They're even confiscating mobile phones and replacing ringtones with Koranic verses," she laments. From Timbuktu to Gao, telephones have become the only way to listen to music lately. Those who have risked turning a stereo on have immediately attracted the attention of the Islamist police. Their equipment would be either seized or smashed. Read the full story and additional information HERE.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Sound/Visual Artist Daito Manabe

Pretty amazing stuff: and story here.

Sunday, January 06, 2013