mon 10/08/2020

New Music Features

Unexpected Party Starters

Thomas H Green Ghenghis Khan, dressing down to make unexpected dancefloor dynamite

Over the last 25 years I've done a lot of DJing, or at least playing records in public that, occasionally, people have been refreshed enough to dance to. I've done sets in all manner of scenarios, from nightclubs to house parties, to gallery events, to a Finnish festival in front of thousands, to a Balham comedy club. The last used to pay me £300 a night to play the same cheese and predictability week after week, but one evening when I put on "Fools Gold" by The Stone Roses and my...

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Captain Beefheart, 1941-2010

sue Steward

"The way I keep in touch with the world… is very gingerly… because the world touches too hard." That honest and hugely poignant statement by the musician, composer, songwriter, painter and full-on eccentric Captain Beefheart comes from a documentary film by Anton Corbijn titled Don van Vliet: Some Yo Yo Stuff (1994).

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theartsdesk in Rennes: 32nd Trans Musicales Festival

Kieron Tyler

The Breton capital Rennes is an attractive city. Move north from the train station, pass through a covered market with tripe and saucisse sellers, cross a canal and there's a series of Italianate squares and arcades. Further along is the quaint Place St Anne and a warren of medieval streets lined with half-timbered buildings. It’s an inspiring cityscape.

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theartsdesk's Christmas Presents Guide

theartsdesk

With the lightning speed of online delivery, there is still masses of time to select the best and most enjoyable presents for Christmas, thanks to the taste and wisdom of theartsdesk's pack of writers.

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John Lennon's Love and Death: 30 Years On, Part 2

james Woodall

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John Lennon's Love and Death: 30 Years On, Part 1

james Woodall

The couples profiled in the series included the likes of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Sartre and de Beauvoir, Monroe and Miller, and remoter figures from the German 19th century. Pop hadn’t made it onto the list, though I learnt, once embarked on the commission, that Lennon-Ono had been considered but no author found. In 1996, I happened to be in the right place (Berlin) at the right time.

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theartsdesk in Luxembourg: The Sonic Visions Festival

Kieron Tyler

Luxembourg's musical landscape has few claims to represent the Grand Duchy itself. Most of Luxembourg's Eurovision entries weren't actually from the Duchy, as there was little local music to draw on. So Belgium's cod punk-gone-blando Plastic Bertrand became 1987's entry (with “Amour, Amour”).

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theartsdesk in Colombo: Where Music Matters as East Meets West

ASH Smyth Eshanta Peiris: the multifaceted Sri Lankan musician

For hundreds of years now the island currently known as Sri Lanka has had a thriving musical culture (or cultures, not to politicise the issue). There’s been folk music for as long as there’ve been folks. The various strata of society have refined their ceremonial music, be it sacred or profane. Each ethnic group in each part of the island has hived off its own sub-genres over the centuries. And in the colonial era (eras) a whole new batch of influences arrived, fully formed, ready...

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theartsdesk in Brooklyn: The CMJ Festival

Alice Vincent

Nobody really knows what CMJ stands for, but then few of New York’s residents know of the five-day music festival’s existence either. Involving more than 1200 bands and 75 cross-borough venues, CMJ is for the real music fans - dare I say, geeks even - as the smallest, newest and most unlikely of musical acts enjoy the opportunity of a truly open platform for industry professionals, bloggers and downtown hipsters’ appreciation alike. Closest comparisons include the Edinburgh Fringe and Austin...

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Éthiopiques: Mulatu Astatke and the Story of Ethiopian Jazz

Peter Culshaw

As the London Jazz Festival approaches, it's an unlikely fact worth noting that some of the bestselling instrumental jazz records of the last few years have been from Ethiopia. Ethiopian jazz composer Mulatu Astatke, now 66, is the best-known practitioner and enjoying an Indian summer. A key feature of the 2007 The Very Best of Éthiopiques compilation, once heard his music is not easily forgotten.

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