Women’s rock festival in London


This music video from Britain says about itself:

Viva Zapata! – Running Through a Dream

24 May 2016

Fearless punk from Bristol inspired by the greats – Bessie, Nina, Kathleen and Mia. A new live song taken from an upcoming E.P. to be released Summer/Autumn 2016.

By Sally Jones in Britain:

Doing it for ourselves

Thursday 25th August 2016

With 25 acts representing the cream of punk, rock, indie and contemporary pop, Loud Women is set to be Britain’s biggest ever one-day women-led music festival, says SALLY JONES

LOUD Women is the brainchild of Cassie Fox of The Wimmins’ Institute and Thee Faction who, in October last year, put on a gig as part of the We Shall Overcome weekend of anti-austerity events taking place across the country.

“I looked at the list of gigs — hundreds of them — all starring men with guitars, male DJs and male organisers and I thought I’d try putting on a women-led live music night,” she says.

“It went so well it seemed natural to just carry on doing it as a regular night and, since then, we’ve put on 18 events, with 46 acts – and I have so many more on my ‘to do’ list.”

The timing for Loud Women, which takes place in Tottenham on September 3, is just right. There have been at least 10 new live music nights specialising in female artists set up in London alone in the past last year and, as ex-Melody Maker journalist Ngaire Ruth explains: “New women-led bands are being set up in reaction to the austerity cuts, which disproportionally affect working-class women.

“It’s nothing new. There are those issues — which is why we need to be loud – and a politically motivated scene, led by women.

“But it’s definitely a fresh approach. It started with Riot Grrrl — a movement, not a musical genre — and events such as LaDIYfest.

“Last time a movement like Loud Women came along, it was largely a peer group of the same age range and gender and everyone was at the stage of: ‘What do I think? Why do I think that?’

“Now husbands and boyfriends don’t call staying at home with the family ‘babysitting.’

“Today we embrace multiple feminisms for the same one cause.”

The anger in the air is being expressed through music, says Jenn Hart, from new punk band Viva La Zapata. “High-profile DIY bands like Pussy Riot have also inspired a new wave of women to learn instruments and play together.”

Encouraging access to the traditionally male domain of the punk rock show is key to this new wave of female-led music. Once a woman has had the inspiration to pick up an instrument and form a band, how’s she going to build a following if she can’t get a gig?

Fox is instrumental in helping answer that question. “I particularly love being able to offer a first gig to a new band who might otherwise have struggled to get a promoter to give them a chance. Awesome new bands like Dream Nails, Foxcunt and Mooncubs have formed this way.”

Female musicians are constantly faced with sexism, she asserts, from the male promoters who automatically put you bottom of the bill as a warm-up act for the male bands who play “proper music” to sound guys who mansplain how to operate your own equipment.

“I know one all-girl band who use a fictitious male manager for email correspondence with venues because ‘he’ tends to get a better response for bookings.

“It’s this sort of sexism that Loud Women seeks to wipe out, so we can just get on with the rocking.”

The Loud Women festival will take place at T Chances Arts and Music Centre, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 on September 3, from 12 noon to 2am, admission £10. Children are welcome, entrance for under 16s is free and the venue is wheelchair accessible. Tickets: wegottickets.com/event/371192.

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.

George Harrison’s Estate Burns GOP Over Unauthorized Usage Of ‘Here Comes The Sun’: here.

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