Bernie Sanders song from the USA


This music video from Leon Rosen in the USA says about itself:

We Will Only Stop to Roar (A Bernie Song for Justice and Celebration!)

30 May 2016

The second track on my upcoming EP, this song is dedicated to Bernie Sanders.

Lyrics: Good night good luck good evening I know I’ll see a brighter day the rest will fall away

I’m a know it all and best of all good luck to you fair gentle ones recall we can’t save it all

I will know that I will not be found If I keep on hiding underground

And know its not like everybody thinks of us as more the writing’s on the floor and we will not be falling evermore

And know that we could fall apart before too long before too long before too long!

So why not try and fix the evening bring a brighter day for the evermore its so clear of course

to take from us the best in us to bring it out and join with all the world Its so clear of course

westward ho the wagons roll no more and can’t you see the writings on the floor

and we will never stop no we will never stop we will never stop no we will never stop we will only stop oh we will only stop to roar

and we will never stop no we will never stop we will never stop no we will never stop we will only stop oh we will only stop to roar.

The song has not been released for download yet. I will run a pledge music crowdfunding campaign later this summer to put the resources together to do a full release etc. For now, enjoy!

I made this video slideshow to the song of all the civil rights heroes, instead of a lyric video or single/cover art video. More to come, of course.

For more info on Leon Rosen and my band, hit me up!

ZACH CARTER: ‘THE BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN DIDN’T MATTER’  “Bernie Sanders did not create the movement that political pundits like to credit him with. He has, instead, spent a year serving, rather effectively, as the voice of people left behind by a broken economy. And until that economy is fixed, the movement will not go away, no matter who rises to lead it.” [Zach Carter, HuffPost]

Anohni’s new anti-war music album


This March 2016 music video is called ANOHNI – Drone Bomb Me.

By Zac Corrigan in the USA:

Anohni’s Hopelessness: A protest against war, drone bombings and more

“If I killed your mother with a drone bomb, how would you feel?”—Crisis

6 June 2016

Anohni is the British-born American transgender singer formerly known as Antony Hegarty. She released five albums between 2000 and 2012 under the name Antony and the Johnsons. Hopelessness is her first offering as Anohni.

Anohni’s unique and extraordinary singing voice strikes one immediately with its androgynous quality and heavy vibrato, and she is particularly adept at expressing sorrow. This has been the case throughout her career, but the songs on Hopelessness stand out for a further reason: many of them directly take up and condemn phenomena like drone bombings, executions without trial, torture, state spying and the persecution of whistleblowers. …

In a wonderful passage toward the end of the song “Crisis,” Anohni, adopting the persona of US imperialism, sings, “If I filled up your mass graves/and attacked your country on false premise / I’m sorry.” She repeats “I’m sorry” several times. At first, it strikes one as a satirical presentation of a war criminal’s crocodile tears, but as the line is repeated one can hear that the singer is actually choking back real tears. A transition takes place and what begins to find expression is genuine empathy for the victims of these crimes. It is a powerful moment.

The song that works the best overall is a darkly comedic one, entitled “Watch Me,” about state spying. Anohni sings, “Watch me in my hotel room / Watch my outline as I move from city to city / Watch me watching pornography / Watch me talking to my friends and family / I know you love me because you’re always watching me / Protecting me from evil / Protecting me from terrorism / Protecting me from child molesters.” Then, the chorus goes “Daddy, oooh!” One gets the sense of a Big Brother spying on everyone, as if for their own good.

Elsewhere Anohni seeks to evoke an emotional response with mixed results, even as she tackles significant subjects. On “Drone Bomb Me,” she sings as a girl living in the mountains in perhaps Afghanistan or Pakistan, begging a drone in the sky to put an end to her life. The lyrics describe the girl’s yearning for her “crystal guts” to be spilled on the ground.

“Drone Bomb Me” is a disturbing and sardonic song in many ways. It focuses on the single instant of a young girl’s yearning for death. But what is her life like? Why does she want to die? We are meant to feel sympathy for the girl, and disgust at whoever is responsible for her plight, but she remains something of an abstraction to us.

Anohni is no doubt making reference to the fact that children growing up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen now fear death by drone strikes on a daily basis. …

At the same time, there is a degree of pessimism that pervades the work, clearly reflected in the album’s title, Hopelessness. She seems to take the position that people are perhaps willfully ignorant, or they just don’t care about all of these terrible things. They need to “wake up” and stop being so complacent.

As Anohni put it in an answer to emailed questions from the World Socialist Web Site, “I want to use my voice to break bones that I fear are healing in deformed ways.” In fact, there is no shortage of anti-war sentiment nor a lack of concern about the environment among masses of people. The problem is one of political understanding and perspective. Who is behind these crimes, and what could put an end to them?

The artist doesn’t have to provide an explicit answer, but to create the most powerful and enduring work, he or she must have some understanding, even an intuitive one, of the basic social forces at work and also have some confidence in the population itself. In the end, pessimism and quasi-misanthropy are incompatible with advanced aesthetics.

Anohni is backed here by two experienced and creative electronic music producers, Daniel Lopatin (who records as Oneohtrix Point Never) and Ross Birchard (Hudson Mohawke). The music is generally tasteful and well-executed, but the sound palette belongs to the dance club or the rave. It is not immediately clear what relationship these sounds and rhythms have to the victims of war or to the world’s threatened biodiversity.

Police stops Surinamese-Dutch rapper for driving while black


This December 2015 Dutch music video is the song Niet Weglopen, by well-known Surinamese-Dutch rapper Typhoon.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The [political party] PvdA has asked parliamentary questions in response to the police stopping rapper Typhoon. Police in Zwolle stopped Glenn de Randamie, as the rapper is called, from driving because a cop thought there was no match between him and his new car.

According to a police spokesman in the eastern Netherlands Typhoon was stopped because of his “young age and his brand new luxury car. But his skin colour played a role as well.” Police have apologized for the incident.

Labour leader Samsom says that there is a structural problem. “Ethnic profiling happens, also by police. This is not a single miss by an individual police officer. Racism and discrimination are persistent deep within society.”

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

“This is a big error in Dutch society,” De Randamie writes on Instagram. “The investigating officer … admitted that he was biased, and took into account that it could be drug money. Unfortunately, this is the umpteenth time this happens to me and I happen to be ‘famous’ and the atmosphere is less tense after recognition. Many people do not have that privilege.”

European football championship, Wales and rock music


This music video says about itself:

Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger (C’mon Wales) [Official Video]

12 May 2016

The Manics‘ Wales Euro 2016 anthem ‘Together Stronger (C’mon Wales)’s is out now.

By James Walsh in Britain:

Naff, but catchy

Tuesday 24th May 2016

It’s Euro football championship time again and, true to past form, anthems are being penned that are so bad they’re good, writes James Walsh

THE MANIC Street Preachers have written a song about the EU referendum. A soaring, anthemic number, interspersed with audio of the band’s favourite Jacques Delors’ speeches, which they hope will inspire voters to turn out and keep Wales in the European Union.

No they haven’t, I’m being silly. Instead, their song is about the Welsh football team, who are playing in the European Championships.

A soaring, anthemic number, interspersed with commentary of the team’s past sporting failures, which they hope will inspire the team to glory this summer.

The song is called Together Stronger (C’mon Wales), so you can see where the confusion came from.

It is extremely naff but quite catchy. With this, the Manics join a proud tradition of indie bands writing football songs destined to become strange curiosities to culture-miners of the future.

Who could forget Echo & The Bunny Men teaming up with Space, Ocean Colour Scene and the Spice Girls for 1998’s (How Does It Feel To Be) On Top Of The World? Well, Space singer Tommy, for one, who didn’t turn up to the recording but does appear in the video.

Or Scotland’s Del Dmitri, with the self-fulfilling prophecy of calling their tournament song Don’t Come Home Too Soon?

True to tradition, Scotland departed after the group stages.

Embrace’s official England song from 2006, World At Your Feet, was so bad the FA declined to have an official song for the following World Cup.

The only band to get it right was New Order, because they’re New Order. World In Motion is a wonderful tune even with the involvement of Keith Allen, John Barnes rapping and the line “We’re playing for England. We’re playing the song.”

Ten years ago, the London-based radio station XFM launched a competition for listeners to write their official song for Euro 2004.

The winner was a sub-Oasis lady anthem with the slightly sinister, Skippy title of Born in England, which would have come as a surprise to the team’s midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who was born in Canada.

Much more intriguing was the rejected song with the sensible name, European Championships 2004, which was a Streets-style lo-fi rap with the brilliant chorus: “The England fans and the England team abiding by the law.”

Which sure beats The Lightning Seeds.

England haven’t announced an official song for this summer at the time of writing but the bookies are bandying around terrifying names like Fabians and The Kaiser Chiefs, the latter once memorably described as being “like a shit Blur in hats.”

Meanwhile the Welsh are overflowing with talent. As well as the Manics’ cheesy official number, fans can also enjoy the return of the Super Furry Animals.

The band, who once sponsored Cardiff City, have released a football-themed song as their first single in seven years “to bring colour and hope to Europe’s footballing, and semi- or non-footballing, nations,” according to the press release.

“Sing Bong isn’t a song of victory or defeat but a beacon of faith to return to when your best centre-forward gets sent off, or it rains at your festival. Keep it in a safe place for a time when you will need it.”

I’ve stuck my copy behind glass and will break it in an emergency, such as Boris Johnson becoming prime minister. It’s a strangely hypnotic communal disco number, with lyrics to the minimum, and in Welsh.

In the video, the band are shown eternally looped playing pick-me-up. It is nonsensical, profound and warmly internationalist.

Perhaps it’s secretly about the EU referendum.

New opera on World War I butchery


This video series from Wales is about the new opera In Parenthesis.

By David Nicholson in Britain:

Superb commemoration of Somme slaughter

Thursday 19th May 2016

In Parenthesis
Millennium Centre, Cardiff
4/5

NEW operas are rare events and even rarer are ones that are as good as In Parenthesis.

Eagerly anticipated, it’s being staged both to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Welsh National Opera and mark the centenary of the slaughter at the Battle of the Somme.

Iain Bell’s moving and visceral new opera about the great war, based on Welsh poet David Jones’s epic poem, is an ambitious project, with WNO director David Pountney, Emma Jenkins and David Antrobus’s libretto combining to brilliant effect with Bell’s music.

Through the eyes of tenor Andrew Bidlack’s Private John Ball, we watch a band of Welsh soldiers embark for France, journey to the horror of the trenches and perish in the final bloody battle at Mametz Wood.

Under the assured direction of David Pountney, aided by set designer Robert Innes Hopkins, this is a brilliantly staged production that captures the terror and claustrophobic atmosphere of a troop ship and the trenches of northern France.

But, as ever with the WNO, it is the sublime choral singing that pulls all the strands together. They are a perfect match for the drama of the reckless death of young men, in which Mark Le Brocq as a convincingly gruff sergeant and George Humphreys as a sensitive and caring young lieutenant take the acting honours.

The cafe scene before the men move off to the Somme is a thrilling highlight as the brilliant Welsh song Sosban Fach is sung with all the power at the disposal of the WNO.

The mythic return to the earth of the slaughtered band of Royal Welsh Fusiliers is touchingly realised by the nymphs who haunt Mametz Wood.

It’s a superb rendition by the women’s chorus who, dressed in an abundance of foliage and twigs, return the torn and bloodied bodies of Ball’s fallen comrades to the earth. Their heavenly singing moved many of the opening night audience to tears.

In Parenthesis ticks every box when it comes to music, acting and production values, though whether Bell’s opera will still be performed in years to come is the real acid test.

But this is a production to go and see now. As a sensitive, moving and visceral portrayal of the horror of war, it is a superb evening of pure theatre.

At the Millennium Centre until June 3, then tours until July 1, box office: wno.org.uk.

Violinist Perlman against homophobia in North Carolina


This video from the USA says about itself:

P. I. TchaikovskyViolin Concerto in D major, Op. 35Itzhak Perlman

25 September 2014

Soloist: Itzhak Perlman
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Philadelphia Orchestra

I’m sorry the video and audio are not quite together at the end.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Violinist Itzhak Perlman not playing in North Carolina because of homophobic law

Today, 21:57

After famous rock musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam now the world-renowned classical violinist Itzhak Perlman has decided not to play in North Carolina to protest against the new anti-gay legislation. Perlman via Facebook announced that tomorrow he will not travel to the city of Raleigh, where he would perform as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony.

The Israeli virtuoso (70) wrote on Facebook that he has all his life been opposed to discrimination and has always advocated equal rights for everyone.

The state of North Carolina recently made the so-called “toilet law”, which requires transgender people to choose in public toilets the bathroom according to their birth gender. Also gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be allowed go to courts if they are discriminated against.

Initially Perlman asked if he could add a protest statement to the program. This was refused by the orchestra, because it is heavily subsidized by the state.

Perlman will only play again in North Carolina if the law will have been repealed.