NEWS SOURCE : LA MUSICA -- Inside London -- 2010

I had to get home and when I inventoried the trip to England, the strongest emotion was gratitude to the people who took me in. You included me as if I was a part of your community.

In Time magazine’s May 10th issue entitled The 100 Most Influential People in the World—the musicians are scant on the ground according to the researchers at Time (according to Wikipedia Time is not as large as Vivendi but it is bigger than Disney and News Corporation.) The musicians are Elton John, Prince, Taylor Swift and LADY GAGA.

Cyndi Lauper evokes the 24 year-old singing and performance art sensation, Lady Gaga “Being around her I felt like the dust was shaken off of me. I find it very comforting to sit next to somebody and not have to worry that I look like the freak. She isn’t a pop act, she’s a performance artist.”

Stevie Nicks on Taylor Swift: “And it’s women like her that are going to save the music business.”

Stephen Daldry has the director’s pitch as he writes of Elton: “He is one of the world’s great artists, and he uses his considerable resources to protect and advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us.”

Prince is heralded by Usher whose writing seamlessly lights up the page: “Being in his presence is surreal. His energy is just so fly. He is so poised. He is the s____. He is what he called a Sexy M.F.”

As you can see I am down with the praise and admiration heaped upon TIME magazine’s choices, but there are other musical choices. I heard amazing music when I was in London.

JUDE RAWLINS, of musical fame and lineage, founder of THE SUBTERRANEANS has a new studio in Soho, London. Jude is the musical director and executive producer of the AIDS BeGone albums. I quote from his response to my request for a news update:

“The Courtesans don't have an album out yet, they are planning to record it this summer and have asked me to produce it, which of course I am more than happy to do. I recorded a live session for them last year and they liked the vibe, so we're going to do it properly. They have released an EP, which I think is out of print, but one of the songs, "Mazeltof", is going to be the opening track on AidsBeGone Volume 2. I will ask them if there is anywhere people can buy the EP, but I think it might only have been at live shows.

“Subterraneans activity, there is plenty. All of our albums are being reissued over the summer, and will be available on CD from and download from where ever, iTunes and such like I suppose. Then we have a new album scheduled for release on 6th September called This Too Shall Pass. Hard to believe it will be our NINTH album...

I have a solo album out on 19th July, it is actually my first officially released solo album. It is called The Haunting, and is NOT easy listening... The only solo show is 12th November at the Criterion in Leicester, supporting Factory Records legend Kevin Hewick.

Musically, I am totally besotted with a band called Madam fronted by the brilliant Sukie Smith, who is effortlessly writing the kind of stuff that we are constantly being told to expect from the likes of PJ Harvey... And Das Fluff are really great, like Goldfrapp if Sylvia Plath was writing the material for them.”

When I have time I may try to work out how to release my movie Albion Rising. I have decided that I don't really want to put it on the internet, I'd prefer people made some effort to see it.”

And there you have it from the man himself! Thanks Jude and I loved being in the same city as you being able to get together for a show, lunch a gig….I miss all you London Gang so much!


Mat SARGENT(SEX, DRUGS & HIV) a short from the film and some music is previewed are just a few of the musicians with whom I visited or had the pleasure of seeing perform.

THE DUEL’s new album cracks into life with Tara’s PUNK love song. The general effect is BLISS. TARA REZ is PUNK’S answer to Patsy Cline. Her rendering of anxiety and the search for meaning to the Human Condition are revelations of vocal expertise and lyrical adventure. Tara energizes full bodied electronic Patsy punked up “You keep telling me you gotta cool it down. Come be with me, come sit with me, love will make you crazy, I think I’m going to lose my mind, Lord I need someone to help me through the night….I won’t waste my time.” The Duel Andy, Pumpy and Dave are Magnifico! Rez is the lyricist to listen out for, she is cast from real life, true experience and none of her lyrics are second-hand! Rez injects harmony into the music by her relentless and cosmic self-examination in the style of Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf she scrutinizes the life she has created. Then she surprises me and sounds like a Brenda Lee from England. Every track is showcased by a wall of sound a pastiche of emotion riding the waves of techno and LIVE, garage and REAL TIME PASSION=PUNK! Her grasp of music as soundtrack to theater is demonstrated throughout the album but check out track 6 (please insert track name!)"

Ramon Judah presented ROOTS UPRISING.  The CD features the sound track for REGGAE ROAST events started in 2007 to chronicle the contribution and landscape of Dub and Reggae as part of British music. ROOTS UPRISING features two tracks by Ramon, the album is devoted to UK Reggae, Dub and Dubstep and features Adrian Sherwood, Dub Terror, Ghetto Priest, Dandelion, Overproof, Sound System, Moodie, MC ISHU, EXEL, Brother Culture. Love Watch What You Put Inna, Digital Rock, and now we dance, Equal Rights and Justice, Under Arrest, Serious addresses the necessity for artists and Rastafarians and other groups to become serious about all the aspects of getting a piece of life, getting the money and the perks of being serious about business. Judah’s songs SURVIVAL and SOUND BOY COME AWAY.  “Got the music opening up their eyes….Fire and Brimstone….Happy come away, come away sound boy…”A Great album!

MECHANICAL CABARET’S DAMAGED GOODS features the words/poetry/lyrics of Roi Robertson. Roberston dispenses swift justice re capitalist greed, weird pills to do various things to physical appearance, sexuality as a predictor of behavior, a quick reassurance to the last diva drama queen in his chronology of affairs, the drug encounters are dispatched with eloquent verse and so the name of the band  becomes REAL. It is a clipped and tidy universe in a MECHANICAL CABARET. “We choose the night life!” ONLY EVEN NOW and IN LOVING MEMORY are the depositions against the succubus of drug addiction.

TRACIE HUNTER  is the child of Rock n’ Roll and 21stCentury Country & Western, she reinterprets women’s anxiety and heartache with the same ease as she sings LOUD SHOCK ROCK! YELLOWBELLY, KING OF RAIN & NOW I’M GONE are haunting love songs of loss and disappointment. They are so good they make you hurt. King of the rain or prince of tears! A lament “Down on my knees, he’s the king of the rain…” A strong religious undercurrent sets up Tracie’s deft song writing. Ballads are big and bold songs like SEE YOU AGAIN  &  BROKEN I love this song:  now and then I just don’t know myself. I’m broken at the seams, now and then I lose myself, now and then I just don’t know myself…the lady is talented and  wonderful to watch.

SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP conceptualized in 1997 and now 10+ albums of their own maybe a 100+ albums in the wind have caused a storm. (Albums in the Wind is my description for compilation albums)  with tours of France and Japan supporting their sophisticated assertion that SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP is too wild to be understood! Don’t you love that? It’s always the sure way to make the most intellectual unable to leave it alone!

Their new album is with Bizarre Records in 2010 with STEVO. STEVO is a well-known London Record business character and he produces at . From ‘Next Year’s Snow’ –the title of the first track to the words they use to describe their art form: bricolage and erototronica describe their appeal, they are linguists and sound sculptors.

It’s genius!

PARADISE is a bona track, Love Lisa, the vocalist. Lisa is a vocal banquet, she is showcased in PARADISE.‘ Just take my hand it’s paradise I kiss you once and I kiss you twice….As I gaze into your eyes I realize it’s paradise…”. The harmonica and plaintive Paris Piaf riffs build the song for French consumption. Glorious  song. Those French tours and visits -- cause and effect.

‘Why make new music when everyday the industry discharges a discontinuous flow of spoiled idols and reanimated heroes? Re-using fragments from this huge musical garbage dump, it is possible to create new meanings and suddenly catch a glimpse of our modernity and its excesses. But it becomes difficult to judge where exactly the nonsensical aspect of this newly created music comes from. Is it really just because this type of new sound organization makes you feel funny? Or is it because we unexpectedly realize, by listening to these bits of global collective unconsciousness scattered out of context, what kind of dumb mash the industry keeps feeding us.’

Dana Gillespie and I have been friends since our early twenties. Dana is divine and centered. Her religious albums: Love the Love, In The Garden Of Heavenly Peace and Eternally Yours can be found at & The songs are hypnotic and Dana’s poetic grasp sets the town on fire with yearning to be where she feels this music emanates. ‘This Sacred Space’ is a fond conversation with my dear friend. I am sure these have been very special sacred and holy music for Sai Baba. I wonder how many artists and musicians contribute their time and talent to glorifying this teacher. Dana says his followers are all over the world now and have built temples on all the continents. Praising Love is a good thing.

Dana Gillespie LIVE with the LONDON BLUES BAND is another persona. Dino Baptiste on keyboards& vocals, Matt Schofield on guitar & backing vocals, Mike Paice, saxophones &harmonica, Jeff Walker bass & backing vocals, Evan Jenkins on drums. BIG BOY, YOUR MIND IS ON VACATION (and your mouth is working overtime….I love this song), TEN TON BLOCKS (where wings ought to be…)  The full set is a JOY!

Music , performance and theater can be inclusive but watching how things have shaken out 40 years later, we have more art and music and more categories with which to interest and extract participation. Most popular music gets its grass roots appeal coming in from church choirs and Glee clubs.  A hundred thousand or so little Mozarts sit playing their toy pianos at the age of 3 and 4 but who knows how serious their musical training will be. Yet we know that all animals write pop songs as part of their courting ritual. Humans have the technology to program the sound track of their lives. Whether by sampling or performing they write/choose the music that will accompany them during their lives. The talent and the discipline are peripheral to the opportunities, desire and enthusiasm and setting your own talent on fire and fanning the flames so that the light and warmth entertains and rekindles the joy of others. ‘We are here to make you think’ has been the message of entertainers forever.

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