Category Archives: Music

Jazz documentary: 10 Days that Shook Soho

Produced and directed by Robert Lemkin and Steven Cleary for Wadham Films, the 1986 BBC4 documentary has been reissued by Journeyman Pictures and is a treat for the ears and eyes.

Covering the very first Soho Jazz Festival in New York, the documentarians filmed both performances and the milieu, capturing a historic moment for theta most American of musical idioms.

The film is at once intimate and magisterial, eschewing narration for the scenes and sounds of both the event and the streets outside — in effect, letting evens narrate themselves. It’s a restraint that is all to rare in the documentary field and especially enjoyable given that the event is all about music.

As for the music, well, sit back, grab a glass of red or a doobie, and enjoy!

From Journeyman Pictures:

The 1986 Soho Jazz Festival

Program notes:

10 Days That Shook Soho (1986): A unique music documentary revealing the story of the inaugural 1986 Soho Jazz Festival.

Featuring live performances from:

Marie Murphy
Courtney Pine
Team Ten
Yes/No People
Stan Tracey
Marc Almond
Georgie Fame
Jazz Defektors
IDJ Dancers
Tommy Chase

Ebola: Music for a ravaged continent

People will sing about anything. Really. So it should come as no surprise that the Ebola virus has drawn the attention of African songsmiths.

We discovered two such creations whilst wandering through the ojuter reachers of the WW and decided to share them with you.

First up, a performance of his own Ebola song by an unnamed African street musician, via vlogger Neeraj Lalwani:

Ebola Song

Next for the artist De Cloud, with his own graphic additions:

De Cloud — Ebola Song

Next, via vlogger Darlington Tweh:


And finally, via Libdiamond, a song from noted Liberian musician:

Black Diamond – Ebola

Program note:

The track Ebola is an awareness track by Liberia’s international reggae artist Black Diamond. Produced by Theo Allen

Oakland youth take on fast food in a music video

Via Oakland Local, which reports that:

Teens working at the student-centered Muse Video unit of KDOL TV from nearby MetWest High School and Youth Uprising, both in Oakland, created the video, using tools and training from their internships at KDOL. The TV studio is a joint project of the Oakland Unified School District and Media Enterprise Alliance.

Are you Loving It is about a gang leader Ronald McDonald who hooks his recruits on fast food and makes them go out to street corners to sell sugary drinks and fatty chips, hooking yet more people. They succumb to these addictive substances.

Rap songwriter Alexis Johnson, a 19-year-old from Oakland whose pen name is L.L.D.B., wrote the  lyrics, inspired by the health problems in her family.

From Muse Video:

Muse Video Presents: Are You Loving It?

Program note:

Muse Video brings together young Oakland artists to take on the issue of fast food oppression! We worked with Oakland natives L.L.D.B., Taiwo Murray, and Pamela Arriera to create a song and music video taking on injustices in the food system.

For more music and news, check out our website at!

Quote of the day: Obama’s choice of enemies

From Glenn Greenwald, writing at The Intercept:

For those who ask “what should be done?,” has the hideous aftermath of the NATO intervention in Libya – hailed as a grand success for “humanitarian interventions” – not taught the crucial lessons that (a) bombing for ostensibly “humanitarian” ends virtually never fulfills the claimed goals but rather almost always makes the situation worse; (b) the U.S. military is not designed, and is not deployed, for “humanitarian” purposes?; and (c) the U.S. military is not always capable of “doing something” positive about every humanitarian crisis even if that were really the goal of U.S. officials?

The suffering in Iraq is real, as is the brutality of ISIS, and the desire to fix it is understandable. There may be some ideal world in which a superpower is both able and eager to bomb for humanitarian purposes. But that is not this world. Just note how completely the welfare of Libya was ignored by most intervention advocates the minute the fun, glorious, exciting part – “We came, we saw, he died,” chuckled Hillary Clinton – was over.

It is simply mystifying how anyone can look at U.S. actions in the Middle East and still believe that the goal of its military deployments is humanitarianism. The U.S. government does not oppose tyranny and violent oppression in the Middle East. To the contrary, it is and long has been American policy to do everything possible to subjugate the populations of that region with brutal force – as conclusively demonstrated by stalwart U.S. support for the region’s worst oppressors. Or, as Hillary Clinton so memorably put it in 2009: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”

How can anyone believe that a government whose overt, explicit policy is “regime continuity” for Saudi Arabia, and who continues to lend all sorts of support to the military dictators of Egypt, is simultaneously driven by humanitarian missions in the region?

Which reminds us, naturally, of a song — specifically, “Kill for Peace” by the Fugs, that merry band of 60s misfits who brought devious delights to counterculture types [including, we must note, a young esnl] by their subversive lyrics and style.

In this clip from the 1971 film W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, Fugs cofounder Tuli Kupferberg cavorts around Wall Street and environs, alarming banksters and brokers as the Fugs classic plays out:

Via vlogger The Redemption Songs:

The Fugs: Kill for Peace

In waging cover war on Syria and overt war on Iraq. we have sown dragon’s teeth and reaped the whirlwind, leaving the United States to either fight an endless series of brushfire wars or [dare we hope] seek some way out of the mess that doesn’t involve endless slaughter and misery for those who we professed to help.

And whuile we;re at it, via vlogger Dn310 , another appropriate Fugs classic:

The Fugs: CIA Man

Program notes:

The Fugs is a rock/protopunk group formed in the 1960’s. This song is featured on their debut album “The Fugs First Album”. Most recently the song can be heard during the end credits on the movie “Burn after Reading” by the Coen brothers.

UPDATE: Just found another clip, an excerpt from a 14 July 1968 appearance on Swedish television featuring surreal autobiographies of the band members and a performance of “I Couldn’t Get High”:

From vlogger Johan Cederblad:

The Fugs: I Couldn’t Get High

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic: First World Problems

Lo and behold, Weird Al is back, and bigger than ever, with his newest album, Mandatory Fun, topping Billboard’s charts on its debut, an all-time first for the parodist and, indeed, the first parody chart-topper ever.

We’re particularly fond of one offering.

From his vlog, alyankovicVEVO:

“Weird Al” Yankovic – First World Problems

Kinda puts things in perspective, what with Ebola, the Ukraine, and all that.

And now for something completely different [II]

It ain’t just the babies who love that music.

Nope, in esnl‘s native Kansas, farmer Derek Klingenberg plays it til the cows come home. Indeed, it’s the music that makes them come home, as he demonstrates by plopping himself in a lawn chair, grabbing his ol’ trombone, and sliding out a version of Lorde’s Grammy-winning hit, “Royals.”

From Farmer Derek Klingenberg:

Serenading the cattle with my trombone

H/T to Open Culture.

But sometimes it’s the cows themselves who make the music, or so it would seem in this 1942 theatrical short, a film that cracked up our daughters some years back when it aired on PeeWees’s Playhouse:

Cow Cow Boogie 1942

And now for something completely different. . .

Cute baby edition.

As in this video of a fussy young lady whose mood changes in an instance, thanks to [yech] Katy Perry, an attachment she shares with a certain older man.

We can’t find the original source of the video, so we have no details other than the video itself:

Of course the unknown baby above isn’t the only tiny musical fan.

Just take a gander at our own granddaughter, the fabulous Miss Sadie Rose!