Erdogan’s Turkey, anti-Radiohead fans police brutality


This music video is by British band Radiohead – the song I Will, with subtitles in Spanish.

The lyrics are here. The song is a protest against the United States air force killing children in Iraq.

I will is from the 2003 Radiohead album Hail to the Thief, about ‘”the general sense of ignorance and intolerance and panic and stupidity” following the 2000 election of US President George W. Bush.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Turkish police attacks protest against Radiohead attack

Today, 04:50

In Istanbul last night a protest against the attack on visitors to a music party was ended harshly. Several hundred people had taken to the streets to express their anger at the violence of Friday night, but the police was not amused and drove the demonstrators away with tear gas and water cannons.

On Friday a group of men invaded a music store where at that time were gathered fans of the band Radiohead. The attackers are said to have been angry that the music lovers drank alcohol. They had sticks with them and smashed beer bottles to pieces on visitors’ heads. At least one man was injured.

The protesters turned their anger last night against the AK Party of President Erdogan, whom they accused of treason. The police were present en masse and arrested some demonstrators.

This video shows the extreme right thugs’ violence at the music store.

Turkish music fan injured by thugs

This photo shows a Radiohead fan, injured by these thugs.

British rock band Radiohead condemned an attack on customers at an Istanbul record store attending their album release party: here.

Radiohead Respond to Istanbul Attack: here.

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.

Rolling Stones say Trump, stop abusing our music


This music video is called The Rolling StonesStart Me Up – Official Promo.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Stones do not want Trump using their songs

Today, 14:47

Start Me Up? Well, rather not. The Rolling Stones want the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop using their hit single from 1981. …

“We have never given permission for the use of our songs and want this to stop immediately,” the band has written to Trump. The band had already complained before about the use of the songs You can’t always get what you want, Brown Sugar and Sympathy for the Devil.

The Rolling Stones are not the first musicians to complain about Trump. Also Adele (Skyfall) and Aerosmith (Dream On), Neil Young and REM were angry that their music was used during campaign meetings. …

Other music Trump regularly puts on his playlist is by Elton John and The Beatles and from the musicals Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Incidentally, the question is whether all authors can start something against Trump, if he would still continue to play their music. After complaints from Neil Young and Adele the Trump campaign announced that the required royalties were paid and that they needed no permission at all.

Pearl Jam against homophobia in North Carolina, USA


This music video is called Pearl JamMTV Unplugged 1992.

From the site of rock band Pearl Jam in the USA:

Pearl Jam Cancels 4/20 Raleigh, NC Concert in Opposition to HB2; Official Band Statement

April 18 2016

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

With immense gratitude for your understanding,

Pearl Jam

Link to image of statement here.

What is HB2?

North Carolina’s HB2 legislation targets the basic rights of transgender people and strips many nondiscrimination protections from the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In addition to harming LGBT North Carolinians, the law limits the ability of municipalities to provide living wages above what the state provides, closes the door on state courts as a recourse for employment nondiscrimination claims, and imposes the values of Raleigh lawmakers on local elected officials and the people they serve.

What Needs To Be Done:

Please join us in signing this petition to repeal HB2.

Rolling Stones NOT ‘first Western rock concert’ in Cuba


This is a series of 14 music videos of rock band Manic Street Preachers from Wales playing live in Cuba.

On 25 March 2016, Dutch NOS TV wrote (translated) about the Rolling Stones concert that day in Cuba:

It will be the first Western rock concert ever held on the communist island.

That will really be ‘surprising’ to the Manic Street Preachers who have played in Cuba long before this.

Rolling Stone magazine from the USA writes this week:

It will mark the first time a British rock band has played the island

However, establishment media hardly ever want reality to get in the way of Cold War propaganda. Or maybe they think Wales is not part of the ‘Western’ world (NOS)? Or not part of Britain (Rolling Stone)? Rolling Stone itself used to know better in 2001.

NOS TV on 26 March 2016 did know a bit better mentioning that Audioslave, Diplo and Major Lazer had played in Cuba before the Stones.

This music video recorded in 2001 says about itself:

Manic Street Preachers – Rock and Roll Music (Live in Cuba).

From Al Jazeera on 24 March 2016:

US media outlets present the gig as the first world-renowned rock act to reach an isolated nation of some one million culture-starved Cubans. For Cuba-watcher James Early, this is typical “US-centric arrogance and chauvinism”.

Cubans are erudite and world-class in music, ballet and poetry, Early said.

“I don’t mean to detract from the Rolling Stones, which will be a great attraction for Cuba, but to suggest that somehow this is opening the curtain of universal culture for them is just way beyond the pale,” Early, a former Smithsonian Institution director, told Al Jazeera.

“It’s a very cultured country.”

Though human rights groups have big gripes about Cuba – from political prisoners to web blocking – the communist-run island has not sought to banish the music of foreign bands, including the Stones, since the early days of the revolution.

Former president Fidel Castro turned out to watch the Manic Street Preachers, a Welsh band, at the Teatro Karl Marx in 2001. In 1979, during a previous US-Cuba rapprochement, Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joel played the same venue.

A statue of John Lennon, the former Beatle and peacenik, was unveiled in a Havana park in 2000.

Rolling Stones setlist in Cuba

Rolling Stones arrived in Cuba


This video says about itself:

The Rolling Stones are coming to Cuba!

22 March 2016

Un mensaje de los Rolling Stones al pueblo Cubano, estamos muy felices de tocar para ustedes este viernes! #StonesCuba

A message from the Rolling Stones to the Cuban people, we are very happy to play for you this Friday! #‎Stonescuba

This 24 March 2016 video from Cuba is about the sound and lighting checks for the Rolling Stones concert. The band has arrived this night.

Beatles producer George Martin dies


The Beatles and George Martin in the studio in 1964

By Hiram Lee in the USA:

Beatles producer George Martin dies at 90

15 March 2016

Music producer George Martin, best known for his work with the Beatles, died March 8 at the age of 90. Together with the Beatles, Martin crafted some of the most enduring pop music of the 1960s and, indeed, of the twentieth century. His orchestrations and performances, along with his watchful editing and criticism of the group’s work, played a significant role in bringing the compositions of Lennon-McCartney and George Harrison to life.

Martin was born January 3, 1926, in London. In his 1979 memoir, All You Need Is Ears, Martin described his childhood home during the Depression, a three-family house in the Highbury district: “[I]t was just two rooms on a top floor, with an attic room above. There was no electricity: we had gas lights on either side of the mantelpiece. There was no kitchen: my mother cooked on a gas stove on the landing. There was no bathroom: we had our baths in a tin tub.”

Martin’s father was a talented carpenter who nevertheless remained unemployed for 18 months during the Depression before getting a job selling newspapers on the street. While the family may not have had much, they were able to acquire a piano, thanks to an uncle who was “in the piano trade.” Martin’s love affair with music began at the age of six, when he first touched the instrument’s keyboard.

Martin later discovered he had perfect pitch and began teaching himself Chopin pieces by ear. At school, he was treated to performances of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, led by Adrian Boult. Hearing the orchestra perform Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” was a revelation for the 15-year-old Martin, who later commented: “I couldn’t believe that human beings were making such an incredibly beautiful sound.”

He would go on to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he also studied piano and oboe. Following his graduation in 1950, he worked briefly for the BBC’s classical music department before taking a job with Parlophone records, a division of EMI. By 1955, he was the label president.

Prior to his work with the Beatles, Martin produced comedy albums for some of the more talented satirists of the day, including Goon Show comics Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe, as well as Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller of the Beyond the Fringe revue.

But by the early 1960s, Martin wanted to branch out into rock and roll. He signed a contract with a new group of working class kids from Liverpool who had cut their teeth performing night after night in the red light district of Hamburg, Germany, and had just failed an audition with Decca records.

The Beatles were electrifying, and they were somehow different. When they exploded onto the American charts in mid-January 1964, their serious competition came from remarkable performers like the Beach Boys, Ray Charles, and the Four Seasons. Despite the extraordinary (in some cases, greater) musicality of the latter, none of those became a global cultural phenomenon in the way the Beatles did. They certainly struck a chord in the US. Their first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964 was watched by more than a third of the American population (some 73 million people).

There was a rebelliousness about the British band’s music, an aggressiveness and a punch that other groups and individual performers lacked. There are few moments in rock and roll as exciting as hearing the voices of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison climb higher and higher on “Twist and Shout” (1963) until they erupt into frenzied screams. Their recording of the song is more exciting, and crazed, than the original (and very fine) Isley Brothers version from the year before.

The Beatles’ entry onto the musical scene marked and emerged from a period of increasing social and cultural ferment. In Britain, the mood revealed in the “Angry Young Men” trend of the late 1950s took more artistically and socially consistent form in the social realist “New Wave” films of Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson and others in the early 1960s. In 1964, widespread working class dissatisfaction with the realities of postwar life brought the Labour Party to power, for the first time in 13 years.

In the US, 1963 witnessed mass protests over civil rights, the largest being the March on Washington addressed by Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the first demonstrations against US involvement in Vietnam. Political violence erupted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The first major inner-city riot occurred in Harlem in July 1964. Newspaper headlines reported hunger in Appalachia, and Michael Harrington’s The Other America (published in 1962) reported that as much as 25 percent of the US population lived in poverty.

One could perhaps argue that the growing mood of social rebellion in the US first found expression in the field of popular music and, oddly enough, in the mass enthusiasm for British groups. They tended to be more socially and class conscious, generally more savvy. British popular culture had not suffered the same devastation at the hands of—and therefore was not as intimidated by—official anti-communism.

The Beatles appeared sharper, less cowed by the media and less willing to play nice than their American counterparts. Their interviews and press conferences were mocking comedic performances worthy of the figures recorded earlier by Martin. No one, it seemed, could get the better of them. This same attitude found its way into their music.

George Martin’s musical counseling would prove invaluable to the Beatles in the years that followed. McCartney has often spoken of Martin’s good “bedside manner,” providing both a challenging and nurturing environment in which he and Lennon, and eventually Harrison, could develop as songwriters.

And as their music became more complex, Martin contributed more frequently as a composer and performer. His arrangements and orchestrations were featured on songs like “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby.” There was the brass accompaniment on “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Martha My Dear” from the White Album. Martin performed the haunting electric harpsichord on “Because” from Abbey Road.

He was most frequently heard on piano. He performed the Baroque-style solo on “In My Life,” the saloon piano of “Rocky Raccoon” and the solo in the middle of “Lovely Rita.” On “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” Martin contributed piano, harmonium, organ, glockenspiel and probably the kitchen sink to build the circus atmosphere the song required. He was often tasked with finding practical solutions for the realization of Lennon and McCartney’s more unorthodox musical ideas, splicing together song fragments and manipulating tape loops.

While sometimes portrayed as the stodgy father figure to “the boys,” he actually encouraged their experimentation and joined in with some of his own. When Martin explained to the 40-piece orchestra assembled for “A Day in the Life” the sort of outburst he had in mind for them to perform, he said, “they all looked at me as though I were completely mad.”

While Martin did his best work with the Beatles, he also produced several well-known records for other artists. During the Beatles years there were recordings with Gerry and the Pacemakers (“Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” “How Do You Do It?”), Cilla Black (“Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “You’re My World,” “Alfie”) and Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger”). Later he worked with jazz artists Stan Getz (Marrakesh Express) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (Apocalypse), as well as rock guitarist Jeff Beck (Blow by Blow, Wired).

He collaborated again with Paul McCartney on three albums during the 1980s, including Tug of War (1983) with its beautiful tribute to John Lennon, “Here Today.”

In 2006, Martin collaborated with his son Giles to mix together a selection of Beatles songs in a well-received suite entitled “Love,” which accompanies a special theatrical production of the same name by Cirque du Soleil. It will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year.

A comment on this article by Robert B. Livingston says:

One of the most significant celebrations of St. Patrick’s day outside of Ireland takes place on the little emerald island of Montserrat. Festivities there last throughout the week and take on a Caribbean flavor with soca bands competing, fancy dress balls, and many other happy events.

How bittersweet that Martin should pass away even as people there, and many Montserratians in diaspora, looking homeward, were gleefully anticipating the coming week.

Martin had personally done much by using his celebrity to plead their cause and raise money for their relief after the island was half devastated by eruptions of the Soufrière Hills volcano after 1995. He had himself in 1989 lost a recording studio, one he had once built there, when Hurricane Hugo swept through.

As a kid, I was mesmerized by the animated film Yellow Submarine. From an allowance I was able to scrape up enough to purchase the LP soundtrack– the first record of many collections hard won and lost– which I listened to for hours on end, admiring the cartoons on the cover. Martin’s classical score on Side 2 was at first a curiosity to me, but grew on me with time.

Imagine the movie without it! Impossible. And what a beautiful and innocent film it is.