divendres, 30 d’abril de 2010

Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks

Llegint sobre un altre festival de música al qual no aniré, el FIB, he vist que aquest any vindrà el Ray Davies, líder dels The Kinks. Wow!
Bé, escoltem al Sunny Afternoon (Davies) un single dels The Kinks de l’any 1966.

Another fantastic music festival I’m not going to this summer, is the FIB in Benicassim. This year the leader of The Kinks, Ray Davies, is playing!!
So, here’s Sunny Afternoon (Davies) , a 1966 single by The Kinks.





dijous, 29 d’abril de 2010

Prince Charming - Adam and the Ants

Avui parlant a classe amb els estudiants m'he adonat que no sabien qui era aquell altre crak dels 80, Adam Ant! Aqui li tenim, Adam and the Ants cantant Prince Charming del LP el mateix nom, de l'any 1981.

After realising my students had never heard of Adam and the Ants, I've decided to post this hit, Prince Charming, from their 1981 album Prince Charming.


dimecres, 28 d’abril de 2010

Highway To Hell - AC/DC

La banda sonora de la nova pel·lícula de Iron Man 2 té música de AC/DC!
Aquí els tenim amb el sempre increible Highway To Hell...

Great combination - Iron Man with AC/DC! Here's Highway To Hell, just as good as it ever was ...

dilluns, 26 d’abril de 2010

Bye, Bye, Baby - Bay City Rollers

Fa 35 anys avui, els Bay City Rollers estaven al numero 1 de les llistes d'èxits a Anglaterra amb Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye) (Gaudio/Crewe). Aquesta cançó ja havia sigut un èxit pels Four Seasons a l'any 1965

A mere 35 years ago today, the Bay City Rollers were at number one in England with their version of the Four Seasons' 1965 hit Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye) (Gaudio/Crewe).


diumenge, 25 d’abril de 2010

El home que treballa fent de gos - Els Amics de les Arts

Alguna cosa en català, per a canviar. Els Amics de les Arts, amb El home que treballa fent de gos, del LP Bed & Breakfast, de l'any 2009.

Something in Catalan for a change. The group Els Amics de les Arts with their single El home que treballa fent de gos (about a man whose job is being a "dog" at children's parties!) from their 2009 LP Bed & Breakfast.


dissabte, 24 d’abril de 2010

Tuva or bust

Tannu Tuva, pensaments i anècdotes sense ordre - segona part.

Al segle 19 un anglès excèntric de qui ningú sap el nom, va decidir viatjar fins al centre de cada continent per construir-n’hi un petit monument. Ell va calcular (amb algun petit error, ara sabem) que el centre de Asia estava a Tivà (nom actual de Tannu Tuva).
Referent a la seva historia, originalment un poble escites (s’han trobat autèntiques “joies” arqueològiques d’aquest període), la regió de Tivà estava controlada pels Mongols des del 1207 fins al 1757, i llavors va passar a formar part del Imperi Xines fins l’any 1911. Durant la següent dècada turbulenta, va passar diferents períodes de temps baix el control dels russos “blancs”, dels russos “rojos”, de la Xina, i fins i tot van estar independents, fins que a l’any 1921, amb els Bolxeviks al poder, van declarar la República Popular de Tannu Tuva, donant el nom Kyzyl (literalment, vermell) al seu capital.
Però, quan Tannu Tuva va mirar cap a Mongolia i el Budisme, els russos van instigar un cop d’estat per tenir un líder pro-rus a la dècada dels 30, i finalment a l’any 1944 el parlament de Tannu Tuva va “demanar” formar part de la URSS, on es quedaria fins la dècada dels 90 i el final del Unió Soviètic. Ara forma part de la Federació Russa.



La clima és continental, i pot variar enter els 40 graus baix zero fins 40 graus positiu!
La meitat del país esta format per muntanyes, el més alt sent el Mongun-Tajga a 3.976m.
Esports – els agraden els cavalls, el tir amb arc, la lluita lliure ...
La bandera actual està formada per tres colors, groc que representa la prosperitat, blau per coratge i força, i blanc per la puresa.

El cantant de blues Paul Pena va viatjar allí per a gravar el documental Ghengis Blues, el qual ha ajudat a donar a conèixer la música de Tivà, per exemple el cantant Kongar-ool Ondar, qui ha fet moltes gires pels paisos de l’occident.
A l’actualitat si volem sentir alguna cosa, els Alash Ensemble estan de gir pels EEUU fins el mes de maig.

A molts de col·leccionistes de segells, els intrigaven els segells i els seus dibuixos dramàtics publicats a Tannu Tuva als anys 1930. El físic Richard Feynman havia tingut aquests segells quan era un nen, i va preguntar al seu amic Ralph Leighton a l’any 1977 si sabia que havia passat amb aquell país que per llavors havia desaparegut dels mapes .... aquella pregunta els va posar Tannu Tuva dins de les seves vides, i van passar anys i anys buscant informació (pre-Google) i intentant fer un viatge. Aquest interès, o potser obsessió, és el que ha ajudat, en gran part, donar a conèixer aquest país i la seva cultura – cosa que es intenta continuar fent des del grup informal, Friends of Tuva. Fem click.


Tannu Tuva, random information and anecdotes – part two.
In the 19th century and eccentric Englishman decided to search for the centre of each continent and erect monuments in the relevant locations. He worked out that the centre of Asia was in Tannu Tuva (with a slight error as we now know).
Back to Tuvan history, but with more dates. This region was originally Scythian as can be seen through magnificent archaeological finds. From 1207 to 1757 it formed part of the Mongolian Empire, before being taken over by China. It remained in Chinese hands till 1911. The following decade was a very turbulent one politically speaking and Tannu Tuva would spend periods of time under the control of the White Russians, the Red Russians, the Chinese, and even existed as an independent country. When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1921 they declared it to be an independent country, the People’s Republic of Tannu Tuva, naming the capital city as Kyzyl (literally, red).
However, when Tannu Tuva looked for political and spiritual support from Mongolia and Buddhism, the Russians encouraged a coup to install a pro-Russian government. Finally in 1944 the Tuvan parliament officially “requested” to join the URSS. It remained here until the Soviet Union broke up and now it forms part of the Russian Federation and is known as the Tyva Republic, or simply Tuva.

Continental climate with temperatures varying between 40 degrees Centigrade, and minus 40!
Half of the country is extremely mountainous, with Mongun-Tajga being the highest peak at 3,976m.
Sport-wise. Tuvans enjoy horse sports, archery, and wrestling ...
The current flag is made up of three colours – yellow for prosperity, blue for courage and strength, and white for purity.

The late blues singer Paul Pena travelled there to record the excellent documentary Ghengis Blues, which has helped to make Tuvan music world-famous. One of the most popular singers who featured in the film is Kongar-ool Ondar, who has toured extensively in the West.
If you want to catch some Tuvan singing, the Alash Ensemble are currently on tour in the USA.


Many stamp collectors were, and are, fascinated by the stamps printed in Tannu Tuva during its brief independence in the 1930s. The design and illustrations are very impressive and unusual. The physicist Richard Feynman collected these stamps as a child, and in 1977 he asked his friend Ralph Leighton if he knew what had happened to Tannu Tuva as it no longer appeared on any maps .... this simple question led the two friends on a life-long adventure, or obsession, to find out all they could about this country (this was before Google!) and even attempt, unsuccessfully, to travel there. Thanks to them and their interest and efforts, Tuva and its culture have become much more well-known in the West, a knowledge-spreading task still being carried out today by the informal group Friends of Tuva. Click here.




And, why not some music?
Paul Pena and Kongar ool Ondar




A bit more Kongar



And the Alash Ensemble. Party all night!!

divendres, 23 d’abril de 2010

Tannu Tuva

Avui és l’aniversari del bloc Tannu Tuva, tot un any! En aquest any he “invertit” temps, penjant 264 punts amb cançons, entre un total de 268 apunts. Hem rebut 6.800 visites. I m’ho he passat bé. Això de les “noves” (ja no tan) tecnologies és fantàstic - ara tinc mil i una maneres d’ocupar els 24 hores del dia!

Fa uns mesos per a marcar el primer centenar de cançons penjades, vaig penjar el següent escrit amb una mica d’informació sobre el país que ha donat nom al bloc, Tannu Tuva. Com que últimament, he començat a escriure els apunts no només en català sinó en anglès, pos, ho torno a penjar avui però ara en versió bilingüe. I demà penjarem una segona, nova, part dels anècdotes sobre Tannu Tuva.
Que passeu un gran dia de Sant Jordi!

365 days later, Tannu Tuva has been up and running for a year now! My time “well-spent” blogging has included 264 songs, within a total of 268 posts. I’ve been visited 6,800 times. And I’ve enjoyed the experience! These (not so) “modern” technologies really do help you to find new ways to use up the 24 hours in a day!

Some time back, to celebrate the first 100 songs, I posted the following text in Catalan about Tannu Tuva, the country which (unknowingly) lends its name to this blog. Since then I have started writing my posts in English too, so today we’ll repeat that post with the excuse of it being “now available in English”! Tomorrow I’ll post a second part of these fascinating features of the little known country of Tannu Tuva.
For now, enjoy yourselves and have a great Saint Jordi’s Day!


Tannu Tuva era el nom utilitzat a principis del segle XX per al país conegut actualment com a la República de Tivà (o Tuva, o Tyva, segons l’ idioma), el qual ara forma part de la Federació de Rússia. D’aquest país tradicionalment s’ha sabut ben poca cosa, per no dir no res. Molt lluny d’aquí, tancat a les muntanyes de Sibèria, era tan difícil arribar-hi com que en sortissin notícies. Avui en dia és diferent, ja que per internet tots podem aprendre alguna cosa – encara que físicament continua sent difícil anar-hi. No sóc cap expert però he vist algunes coses per la xarxa que m’han cridat l’atenció (si algú vol corregir/afegir informació, millor que millor).
En diferents moments de la història Tivà ha sigut independent o ha format part de Mongòlia, de la Xina, o de la Unió Soviètica/Rússia, amb diferents estatus d’autonomia. Concretament del 1921 fins al 1944 va ser un estat independent (baix la “vigilància” dels soviets) amb el nom de Tannu Tuva. Després van “demanar” entrar en la URSS i ara tenen una mena d’autonomia dins de Rússia i algunes veus que voldrien tornar a separar-se. Seria molt difícil, però, ser un país petit al mig de Rússia i la Xina. A més, la seva supervivència econòmica actualment depèn dels ingressos que els arriben des de Moscou, sense els quals no tindrien gaire cosa. Hi ha hagut certs intents d’industrialització i mineria amb més o menys èxit, barrejat amb molta agricultura de subsistència i els ramats de cabres i vaques per poder tirar endavant.
Hi viuen 310.000 habitants, en una àrea cinc vegades més gran que Catalunya.
El 75% de la població és d’origen tuvinià i parla tuvinià, el 20% són russos.
És conegut com el país dels rius ja que en té més de 9.000!
La gent és molt (massa) aficionada a una beguda alcohòlica feta de llet agra, l’araka.
Per entrar al país aparentment hi ha tres carreteres, un petit aeroport i cap via de tren.
Probablement una de les coses més interessants de la cultura de Tivà és la seva peculiar forma de cantar, khoomei, throat singing en anglès. Khoomei és una tècnica que jo no sé explicar gaire però, pel que entenc, consisteix en què el cantant emet diverses notes de música simultàniament i en registres molt diferents. A continuació un exemple:
...
Tannu Tuva was the name used in the early 20th century for the region currently known as the Tuvan Republic, which now forms part of the Russian Federation. Until very recently, little was known about this country. Far, far away, in the mountains of Siberia, it was (and is) almost as hard to reach as it was for news to get out! Given the miracles of internet, nowadays we can all find out about the country at the click of a mouse, although it’s still hard to physically travel there. I’m afraid I’m no expert but here are a few things which have caught my eye (if anyone can correct or add info, please do).
At different times throughout its history, Tuva has been independent or formed part of Mongolia, China, or the Soviet Union/Russia, with varying states of autonomy. From 1921 to 1944 it was an independent state (though under the watchful eye of the Soviets) known as Tannu Tuva. In 1944 it “requested” to join the USSR and now has a certain degree of political autonomy within the Russian Federation, although some citizens would like it to become independent once more. However, its survival as a small free nation stuck between China and Russia would be very difficult to guarantee. Also, its economical survival seems to depend, to a certain degree, on help and investment from Moscow. There have been attempts to industrialize Tuva, which now exist alongside subsistence farming and goat/cattle herding as a way to make ends meet for many Tuvans. All in all, a mixture of tradition and industry using the resources found there.
It has a population of 310,000 living in an area five times that of Catalonia (with a population of 7 million).
75% of the population is Tuvan in origin and speak Tuvan, while 20% are Russian.
It is known as the Country of Rivers – there are over 9,000!
Its people are keen (perhaps too keen) drinkers of araka, an alcoholic drink made from sour milk.
To enter Tuva, apparently there are three roads, a small airport, but no train-line.

One of the most interesting cultural aspects of Tuva is khoomei -throat singing. This is an amazing technique where the singers actually sing different musical notes at the same time! I can’t really explain how it is done, but here’s an example....


dijous, 22 d’abril de 2010

(Who wrote) The Book of Love - The Monotones


Demà, dia 23 d’abril, és el primer aniversari del bloc. És un dia especial per molta gent. Però, començar aquest bloc el dia de Sant Jordi va ser una pura casualitat. El fet és que portava dies fent proves, i el 22 d’abril ja estava a punt per penjar-ho, i quan em vaig adonar, ja havia passat mitjanit i .... el resto és historia!

Entre llibres, roses i altres gestos romàntics, la cançó no podria ser altre que (Who Wrote) The Book Of Love (Davis/Malone/Patrick) dels The Monotones, de l’any 1958. Qui va escriure el llibre de l’amor?


Tomorrow is the 23rd April - a very special day in Catalonia. The Catalans’ Patron Saint happens to be Saint Jordi (or George in English), you know, the guy who killed the dragon. On this day it is customary to walk the streets with your family looking at the open-air book stalls set out this day, as the Catalans celebrate this day by giving books and roses to their lovers/partners. Tradition dictates books for men and roses for women, though many men give both a book and a rose to their “better half”. It is an extremely beautiful, cultural and peaceful celebration. As such, many countries have also tried copying this idea of a “book giving day”, and in 1995 UNESCO declared 23rd April to be World Book Day (even though, for reasons better known to themselves, the UK celebrates its “World” Book Day in March!).
Cervantes was born and died on the 23rd April, and Shakespeare also died on this date – but as the English and Spanish used different calendars back then, these “23rd”s were not exactly the same day, if that makes sense!
Click here for more info.
This blog started out one year ago, on St Jordi’s Day 2009, but it was a pure coincidence even though it is such an important date here. After days of experimenting with the idea, on the night of the 22nd the first post was ready but, as is usual with computers, it took longer than expected and the next thing we knew we were in the early hours of the 23rd!

Anyway, for a song .... books, romantic gestures, .... what about the Monotones with (Who Wrote) The Book of Love (Davis/Malone/Patrick) from 1958?



dimecres, 21 d’abril de 2010

Let The Earth Bear Witness - The Waterboys / WB Yeats


Un dels inconvenients de treballar des de l’ordenador de casa es diu el Senyor Google. Qui pot concentrar-se en la feina i no obrir l’internet per a mirar les noticies, comprovar si tens un mail, llegir algun bloc, mirar allò que t’intriga ... i així fins que t’adonis que no has avançat res en la feina que tenies que fer!
Per sort, la gran avantatge que té la feina és que, si no ho fas avui, no marxa a cap lloc i demà estarà allí esperant-te com un gos lleial!


En fi, després de penjar el Whole of the Moon, no he pogut estar sense mirar que estan fent els Waterboys ara, i així he passat més temps del que tinc llegint webs i mirant YouTubes. Anyway, resulta que ara s’han dedicat a preparar una actuació amb 20 poemes de WB Yeats musicalitzades – acaben d’estrenar el show An Evening With Mr Yeats a Dublin, i s’espera que a la tardor tornaran a presentar-ho. Ha de ser impressionant, trobo jo!


Bé, navegant una mica més, resulta que han barrejat dos poemes de Yeats per a formar una peça anomenada Let The Earth Bear Witness – que la terra sigui el testimoni. I profunditzant una mica més, resulta que durant les protestes a Iran per les ultimes “eleccions”, van preparar aquest vídeo per acompanyar la peça. I aquí callo, ja que sobren les paraules ..... (gràcies Senyor Google).


...........................


Working on the computer at home has one Big Problem – Mr . Google. Who can actually sit there concentrating on work and resist the temptation to see the news, check your mails, browse a few blogs, look up that thing that has always baffled you ... and so on, till you realise you’re getting nowhere fast with what you are supposed to be doing!
Fortunately, work is like a faithful dog, and it will still be there waiting for you tomorrow if you don’t get it done today!


So, after posting the Whole of the Moon last week, instead of working, I’ve been surfing to see what the Waterboys are up to now. Turns out they’ve prepared a show/recital/concert with 20 WB Yeats’ poems set to music. They have just performed this in public for the first time and will be playing it again in the autumn. I’d love to be there ...


Anyway, still surfing, they’ve mixed excerpts from two poems to come up with this piece, Let The Earth Bear Witness. Surfing a little further, I’ve come across this clip. The Waterboys prepared this video clip with the poem during the protests against the Iranian “election process” last year. And watching this, there’s not much more to say .... (except thanks to Mr Google!)









A song from the play Cathleen ni Houlihan (1902), sung by the Poor Old Woman:



They shall be remembered for ever, They shall be alive for ever,


They shall be speaking for ever, The people shall hear them for ever.



From "The Blood Bond," a song from the play Diarmuid and Grania (1901), by Yeats and Moore:


Let the sea bear witness, Let the wind bear witness,


Let the earth bear witness, Let the fire bear witness,


Let the dew bear witness, Let the stars bear witness!

dimarts, 20 d’abril de 2010

Volcano - Jimmy Buffet

Sutilment, la cançó d’avui es diu Volcano, del cantautor america Jimmy Buffet, del seu LP Volcano, de l’any 1979.

Nothing if not subtle, today’s song is called Volcano. From Jimmy Buffet’s 1979 LP Volcano.

dissabte, 17 d’abril de 2010

The Whole Of The Moon - The Waterboys

Si hem de buscar candidats per a la Millor Cançó De l’Historia de l’Univers, aquesta seria una. The Waterboys amb The Whole of The Moon (Scott) del LP This is the Sea, 1985.

If you ever need to make a short-list for Best Song Ever in the Whole Universe, don’t forget this one. The Whole of the Moon (Scott) from The Waterboys’ 1985 album This is the Sea.


I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands
I had flashes but you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon


You were there in the turnstiles with the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars and you know how it feels
To reach too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon


I spoke about wings, you just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried, you just knew
I sighed, and you swooned
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket and the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder and you know how it feels
To get too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon, the whole of the moon, hey yeah


Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision underneath the stars
Yes, you climbed on the ladder with the wind in your sails
You came like a comet, blazing your trail
Too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

dijous, 15 d’abril de 2010

April Skies - The Jesus and Mary Chain

Baix els cels d'abril, de vegades fa sol, de vegades plou, sovint gris ..... April Skies (Reid/Reid) dels Jesus and Mary Chain, del LP Darklands - any 1987.

April Skies, sometimes blue and sunny, often grey and damp ... Jesus and Mary Chain from their 1987 LP Darklands.


dimecres, 14 d’abril de 2010

Monturiol a les TTE i el Yellow Submarine dels The Beatles

Hi ha invents dels que tots tenim clar qui va ser l’inventor. Hi ha un abans i un després. No obstant això, hi ha altres invents que s’han anat evolucionant, poc a poc, amb un intent per aquí, un avanç per allí, fins arribar a l’objecte que tots coneixem. El submarí és un d’aquests casos. Hi ha documentat diversos intents, experiments, projectes, alguns amb més èxit que altres. Però un dels possibles noms que poden reclamar amb més força ser-ne l’inventor és el del català Narcis Monturiol.
El seu submarí va ser el primer intent serio amb “cara i ulls”, amb l’objectiu de complir uns mínims requisits del que tots entenem quan pensem en aquesta maquina. Narcis Monturiol (1819 – 1885), és tot un personatge, inventor, activista política, artista, escriptor, i sobretot un creient en l’utopia de l’humanitat.

Monturiol va ajuntar tota l’informació sobre els possibles intents anteriors, i després es va posar a estudiar, fent-se un auto-expert en tots els camps necessaris, la física, la biologia, la meteorologia, l’oceanografia etc, per aconseguir el seu desig. Entre els anys 1857-67 va treballar en l’invent del submarí arribant a fer funcionar dos versions, el Ictíneo I i II, però els aires que es respiraven en aquella època no eren els més adequats i quan es va acabar els seus fons econòmics, va haver de deixar el tema.
L’Observatori de l’Ebre (Roquetes) té a la seva biblioteca alguns dels documents amb que treballava Monturiol i des d’avui fins el 15 de maig els exposen en una exposició publica. Per informació sobre l’horaris i contingut, clikeja aquí.

A vore, quina cançó parla de submarins? No sabem si Monturiol hagués pintat groc futurs versions del seu, però és igual. Yellow Submarine (Lennon/McCartney) dels The Beatles, 1966.

We often have a clear idea who invented a machine, but some inventions are not a simple case of black and white. Some have evolved over time, with different people involved, sometimes working off each other, sometimes independently, before the machine in question eventually reaches the form we all know. The submarine is one such case. Its history includes many names, many attempts to achieve the dream of travelling under water. However, if we have to choose one name as the inventor perhaps it would be that of the Catalan, Narcis Monturiol.
His submarine was probably the first serious attempt to bring together knowledge from every scientific field to design a reliable, controllable and sea-worthy machine and not just being able to dive under water for a brief time as with many previous attempts – often with disastrous results.
Monturiol was an exceptional man, an artist, political activist, writer, inventor, but above all a believer in a future utopia of mankind. Between 1857-67 he dedicated his life to designing the submarine, coming up with two note-worthy successes, the Ictineo I and II. Unfortunately the political and economic climate was not favourable and once his money ran out and he received no support, he had to abandon the idea.

The Ebre Observatory (Roquetes) has many of the original documents Monturiol worked from in its library. From today till the 15th May these papers and books will be on show in a public exhibition – click here for more details.

A song about submarines? It does not seem likely that Monturiol ever thought about painting his yellow, but the Beatles did. Yellow Submarine (Lennon/McCartney) from 1966.



dimarts, 13 d’abril de 2010

The great gig in the sky - The Flaming Lips

Aquesta setmana es “celebra” 40 anys des d’una de les proeses més impressionants de la tecnologia i imaginació humana. Poder fer tornar a terra el coet Apollo 13 amb els astronauts sans i estalvis, serà recordat per a sempre com un miracle, però un d’aquests milacres basats en la intel·ligència humana i no en coses més misterioses. El Apollo 13 va marxar de la terra el 11 d’abril, 1970, i després de sofrir problemes greus, la missió va haver de ser avortada i tots els esforços es dedicaven d’intentar salvar les vides humanes que hi viatjaven. Va tornar a la terra sis dies després, sis dies que semblaven una eternitat. Si no heu vist la pel·lícula, podeu llegir els detalls de que els va passar aquí o aquí.

Lligant amb alguna cançó, el primer que em ve al cap, evidentment, és alguna peça del LP Dark Side of the Moon, del Pink Floyd. Aquí tenim The Great Gig in the Sky, versionada pels Flaming Lips junts amb Stardeath i els White Dwarfs. La peça original és de l’any 1973 però aquesta versió és d’un concert gravat al canvi de l’any 2009-2010.

Forty years ago this week, everyone was nervously waiting to see the outcome of the Apollo 13 mission. Launched on the 11th April 1970 it soon ran into serious difficulties and the fact that NASA managed to bring it back to Earth six days later with its crew safe and sound will always be remembered as one of the greatest achievements of mankind’s engineering abilities and imagination. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, you can read about it here or here.

Looking for some kind of musical connection, I came up with Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon, of course! From that album, The Great Gig In The Sky, performed by the Flaming Lips together with Stardeath and the White Dwarfs in their 2010 new year’s concert.



dilluns, 12 d’abril de 2010

Perfect - Lightning Seeds

Dos dies després i la ressaca encara continua, una esclatada d’alegria que continua i continua des de fa temps – i que duri! La veritat és que aquest Barça està superant els somnis més impossibles que havíem tingut.
La cançó d’avui no té res a veure amb futbol, simplement la he triat pel títol – Perfect! Dels Lightning Seeds, del LP Jollification, de l’any 1994.
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Barcelona Football Club, el Barça, are special for many reasons – their rivalry with Real Madrid has always represented the political struggle between Catalonia and Spain. A struggle which continues today. And back in the darkest times of Franco’s dictatorship, the Barça stadium was one of the few places where Catalans were safe to express their feelings. As they say, it is something more than just a football club.

If that were not enough, their philosophy towards football is one of stylish elegant play, always looking to entertain and not just to win at all costs. They have made a huge effort to develop “home-grown” players, bringing young teenagers to Barcelona to live, continue their studies, and train together. The present team, for example, often has 7 or 8 players in the line-up who have come up through the ranks. Not for Barça the “players” more interested in advertising underwear or appearing in sensationalist news stories – as a rule, Barça players learn the club’s philosophy of humility and common sense. (Let’s not get carried away, of course they earn millions and drive fast cars just like any first class footballer, but in general there is a marked difference in attitude). To cap it all, while every other major team has sold their soul, well, shirt, to the highest bidding sponsor, Barça proudly bear the logo of Unicef on their shirts. An honour for which they donate money and time to Unicef, whereas other teams count the money their sponsors pour into their accounts.

Here endeth the lesson! Last year Barça won the Spanish League, Spanish King’s Cup, European Champions’ League, and World Club Championship – that’s to say, everything! In doing so they inflicted a very painful 2-6 home defeat on Real Madrid. Keeping our fingers crossed, they are on course for the League and European Champions’ once more (at least). And to round it all off, they have just beaten Madrid 0-2 at home!

The only song title to define this is Perfect. From the Lightning Seeds’ 1994 album Jollification.




diumenge, 11 d’abril de 2010

Paradise By The Dashboard Light - Meatloaf

Continuant amb el surrealisme, resulta que per fi Tortosa ha sortit a les noticies nacionals i espanyoles, a la Sexta, Antena 3, TVE1 etc. El motiu? El concert/missa del “rocker” Pare Jony a la Catedral de Tortosa!
Buñuel, on estàs quan et necessitem?
El millor invent de l’església, per a mi, ha sigut el concepte de l’infern i el dimoni perquè han donat molt de joc als rockers i heavys de veritat.

Aixi que passo pagina i anem a un dels millors rockers, Meatloaf. Aquí el tenim amb Paradise By The Dashboard Light (Steinmann) del multi-million selling LP Bat Out Of Hell, de l’any 1977. Tot un clàssic. Són 8 minuts però que són 8 minuts en un diumenge de primavera? I si enteneu la lletra, encara xalareu el doble ja que és molt divertida i original.

More local surrealism. Turns out that one of our local priests, Father Jony (pronounced Johnny) plays heavy rock to try and modernize his services and this week he has played a concert in Tortosa’s cathedral. Material for a Luis Buñuel film if ever there was!

Most rockers, though, sing about hell and the devil and here is one of the greatest – Meatloaf. Today’s video, Paradise By The Dashboard Light (Steinman) from his multi-million selling 1977 LP Bat Out Of Hell. A classic song. It’s a bit long, but what’s eight minutes when you’re enjoying yourself?



dissabte, 10 d’abril de 2010

Al vent - Raimon

Del país veí, Espanya - no és sorprenent que allí va néixer el gran maestro del surrealisme, Luis Buñuel, perquè és un país on es poden veure les coses més inversemblants. Ara resulta que jutjaran al jutge que vol investigar els crims de Franco i cia! Increïble!
No sóc cap expert en les cançons protesta d’aquella època, i tampoc és que m’entusiasmen els més famosos com Llach i Serrat, però si que m’agrada Raimon. Pos, pel meu gra de suport a Garzon i el seny, avui escoltarem a Al Vent, de l’any 1959.

The Spanish Civil War ended 71 years ago, and was followed by 36 years of Franco’s dictatorship. Luckily Franco died in 1975 and has been dead and buried, I hope, for 35 years now, and Spain and Catalunya seem to be democratic modern countries. So how come, when Judge Garzon has made moves to investigate some of the crimes carried out under Franco’s dictatorship, he’s the one being dragged into court? Read here.
It’s seeing things like this which explains why some of the great surrealists, such as Buñuel, could only have been born in Spain!
There were many protest songs sung openly, or clandestinely, during those dark years. One of my favourites is Al Vent, by Raimon, a cry for freedom from 1959.




divendres, 9 d’abril de 2010

Anarchy in the UK - Sex Pistols

Ahir, va morir el Malcolm McLaren, a l’edat de 64 anys. Va fer diverses coses en la vida, però serà recordat principalment per ser el manager dels Sex Pistols. I segons quina versió de l’historia llegeixes, el motiu del seu èxit o culpable del seu final. El que està clar és que tenia molt de visió de negocis i ell, i el grup, van aprofitar el boom del punk per arribar dalt de tot – per un dia.

Encara que McLaren ha gravat molta música en solitari i amb col·laboracions, no la conec i avui escoltarem als Sex Pistols. Anarchy in the UK va ser el seu primer single de l’any 1976, i desprès estaria al LP Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.

Malcolm McLaren died yesterday at the age of 64. Although he took on and carried out various business and artistic projects in his life, I think he’s most well-known for being the manager of the Sex Pistols. And, depending on whom you listen to, the driving force behind their success, or the one to blame for their rapid demise. What is clear is that McLaren had a clear vision for business opportunities and with the Sex Pistols they played their cards right to make the most out of the punk rock boom and become one of the most famous groups in the world, for a brief moment.

Although McLaren recorded music himself alone and in collaboration with other artists, I’m afraid I don’t really know it, so today we’ll listen to the Sex Pistols with Anarchy in the UK, their first single back in 1976. It would later appear on the LP Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.




dimecres, 7 d’abril de 2010

In The Winter - Janis Ian

Avui, dia 7 d’abril, és l’aniversari de la cantautora Janis Ian, nascuda l’any 1951.
Aqui tenim In The Winter, del LP Between The Lines, any 1975.

Janis Ian celebrates her 59th birthday today.
Here’s In The Winter from her 1975 album Between The Lines.


divendres, 2 d’abril de 2010

Easter Parade - Fred Astaire i Judy Garland

Setmana santa, en anglès Easter. Com és habitual, natros la estem celebrant en el part més lúdic, o sigui sortint amb la família, fent manualitats típics, i tipant-nos de xocolata.
Als EEUU es celebrava, però ara cada cop menys, la Easter Parade, literalment la processió de la setmana santa però als EEUU aquesta processió és més una rua de gent estrenant roba nova i passant-ho bé, i no una processió solemne i religiós com aquí a Catalunya.
Al 1948 és va fer la pel·lícula d’aquest nom amb Fred Astaire i Judy Garland, agafant de punt de partida la cançó Easter Parade escrita per Irving Berlin a l’any 1933.
Aquí els tenim amb la peça principal, Easter Parade.
Que tingueu bones festes i un bon descans!

Easter is here. the first cultural difference is that typically school children have this week off in Catalonia, the week from Palm Sunday up to and including Easter Monday – whereas in the UK, they usually don’t break up till Good Friday and then take the following week off. We intend to celebrate and enjoy our free time with the usual Easter crafts, walks out in the country, and plenty of chocolate.
Another difference is the Easter Parade, as in the Hollywood film – apparently in the USA it was (but now less so) a popular informal parade through town when people had the chance to show off their new clothes, with few religious connotations. In Catalonia there are several parades this week (or processions as they call them here) but all very solemn and religious.
Fred Astaire and Judy Garland starred in the 1948 film, Easter Parade, written around the song of the same name composed by Irving Berlin back in 1933. Here is the main song, Easter Parade, itself.

Hope everyone enjoys a good break and a well-deserved rest!


dijous, 1 d’abril de 2010

April Fools - Rufus Wainwright

El dia 1 d’abril a molts països del món, celebrem April Fools' Day - el dia dels tontos d'abril - algo com el Dia dels Innocents a Catalunya. Segons l’amic, Wikipedia, hi ha diverses teories de per que es celebra aquest dia però cap d’elles és definitiva.

Aquí tenim a Rufus Wainwright cantant April Fools, del seu primer LP Rufus Wainwright, any 1998.

I tot seguit dos dels millors innocentades que el BBC ha fet, de l’any 1957 i 2008, cultius de espaguetis i pingüins que volen per a emigrar ...

April Fool’s Day is very similar to a Catalan joke day, el Dia dels Innocents (day of the naive people, roughly speaking) celebrated on the 28th of December. According to Wikipedia there are several theories as to why, and when, we celebrate this day, but none of them are the definitive one.
Here’s Rufus Wainwright with April Fools from his self-titled 1998 debut LP.

Followed by two classic April Fools from the BBC, spaghetti plantations and flying penguins ...