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20 septembre 2008

Anderson surveys the state of our 'Homeland'

By BRENT JOHNSON, Special to the Times, Friday, September 19, 2008

Laurie Anderson is arguably the most famous performance artist in popular culture. Only, you might not want to call her a "performance artist." "I never knew what that meant," the 61-year-old jokes via phone from her New York studio on a recent Wednesday morning. "It sounds so clumsy. Like a bad translation from another language."

Her preference?

"My passport says 'artist,'" Anderson says. "It just kind of covers whatever. I suppose if I'm with a gun to my head, I'd say multimedia artist. Because I make books and movies and stories and records and shows."

Her latest project is a concert titled "Homeland," a musical meditation on American life and culture in the wake of Sept. 11 that Anderson will perform tomorrow night at Princeton's McCarter Theatre. It's awash in electronic soundscapes and the poetic half-sung/half-spoken narratives that have made Anderson a leading avant-garde musician.

She riffs on freedom, politics, underwear models, Oprah and iPod-toting children who are packing on pudge in an increasingly sedentary world. The goal was to approach the piece as a journalist, reporting sans opinion on what she sees in her country.

"I think so much of American media is about entertainment -- journalists doing entertainment," says Anderson, who mans keyboards and vocals in the show, backed by a four-piece band. "I thought, 'Well, why not some entertainers do some journalism?'"

It's another medium Anderson can add to an already varied biography. The Chicago-area native studied violin as a child and later earned a sculpture degree from Columbia University. Soon, she was writing symphonies played by automobile horns and staging other odd performances throughout the 1970s.

With her short-cropped hair and droning vocal delivery, Anderson leapt into the mainstream in 1981 with "O Superman," an eight-minute electronic single that surprisingly became a No. 2 pop hit in the U.K., and was later featured on her acclaimed debut album, "Big Science." She's also written children's books, made documentary films, collaborated with Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno and even invented musical instruments -- like the "talking stick," an electronic keyboard-saxophone hybrid.

The genesis of "Homeland" can be traced back to a Japanese translator. Anderson was in Japan working on a film of "short fables," and one of them focused on the feeling of losing something. "You know, when you feel like, 'Wow, I lost something,' but you can't put your finger on what it was," she explains. "Was it your car keys? Was it your girlfriend?"

The translator wanted to clarify, though: What was it exactly that Anderson lost, and when did she lose it? Remembering that she wrote the story just as the United States was beginning its invasion of Iraq, Anderson came to a realization.

"What I lost was my country," she says. "I thought, 'Maybe I better write about this. How does where you live affect what you do or what you think about yourself?' That's not necessarily what 'Homeland' is about in the end, but that was why I started writing it."

Anderson composed most of "Homeland" while touring the globe, improvising with other musicians. She has since performed the piece in Europe, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Appropriately, the American tour of the concert falls in the middle of presidential election.

"Everybody's listening to their stories ..." Anderson says of the candidates. "There's one guy saying, 'We're gonna be in a war that lasts 100 years.' People are going, 'Where did you get that story?' The world is made of stories. The difference with these kind of stories is ... I'm trying to describe things the way they are -- not the way I think they should be."

One subject Anderson doesn't broach directly is the Sept. 11 attacks -- although the heightened sense of paranoia that resulted from the event is implied. "When you say 'homeland' for Americans, it's not like an American word," Anderson explains. "It's too fuzzy. It sounds kind of like 'fatherland' or something. People don't talk about their homeland. They talk about how they feel about their country. A second word that is the fill-in-the-blank word is 'security.'"

Also missing from the show are the giant movie screens or multimedia backdrops that Anderson has often featured in her performances. The setting is sparse: mostly Anderson, the band and a darkened stage. "It's all about words ...," says Anderson, who will next unveil an orchestral piece in Holland. "I thought, 'How do you really feature words?' Well, you make it pretty dark, and you let peoples' imaginations go wild."

In April, a few words from longtime companion Lou Reed altered Anderson's life on a personal level. Anderson was talking with the New York rock icon about all the things she's never done. "We were always going to get married," she recalls, "and he said, 'How about tomorrow?' I said, 'Um, do you think tomorrow's a little soon?' But we did. We got married the next day."

A $10 fee at the courthouse in Boulder, Colo., was all it took. "It was so great, because we didn't have all this stuff around it: guests, family," Anderson says. "It was just Lou, me and a tree."

19 septembre 2008

Hot Chip to play two shows in LA's Wiltern theater

By VANESSA FRANKO? The Press-Enterprise? PDT on Thursday, September 18, 2008
Hot Chip has been hotter than a Buster Poindexter-inspired conga line this year.

The electro dance rock band's return trip to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio in April packed a tent full of sweaty, dancing people, the group just recorded with Peter Gabriel and now Hot Chip is select slate of U.S. dates, hitting Los Angeles Sunday and Monday.

"This year has been pretty surreal," singer Alexis Taylor said in a recent telephone interview. Hot Chip recently collaborated with Gabriel on a cover of Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," at the fellow buzz band's request. Taylor, who also has a solo album coming out, also had a chance to work with some of his favorite artists, including British artists Robert Wyatt, Wiley and Scritti Politti.

With the rise of dance rock, Hot Chip gained notice in the United Kingdom in 2006 when album "The Warning" was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. The band has gained big buzz playing festivals in Europe and has played Coachella in 2007 and 2008.

But for now, Taylor and his cohorts are focused on the live show. Hot Chip brought in a live drummer, Leo Taylor, for this leg of the tour. "I think we just fancied a change," Alexis Taylor said. The band has played the US before with live drummer Pat Mahoney of dance rockers LCD Soundsystem. Replacing the bloops and snaps and blips gives the band more depth live.

"We wanted to develop the songs a bit and take them to different places," Taylor said. While on tour, the band is also working on some songs for Hot Chip's follow up to this year's "Made in the Dark," complete with Taylor's portable Casio keyboard along for a songwriting ride.

Reach Vanessa Franko at 951-368-9575,, or

Hot Chip
When: 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday
Where: The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Admission: $27 in advance, $29 at the show
Information: 213-388-1400
On the Web:

Peace One Day

GMTV, 19 Sep 2008

> Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley

Jude Law and British Filmmaker Jeremy Gilley have joined forces to help build support for Peace One Day - find out more

Useful Links...
Peace One Day was founded as a non-profit making organisation by film maker Jeremy Gilley in 1999 to promote global peace. His feature-length documentary Peace One Day has played all over the world and has become a powerful tool in the awareness-raising process. The first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence was declared in 2001 and now takes place every year on September 21st.

Peace mission

Jeremy Gilley and Jude Law, actor and ambassador for Peace One Day, have just returned to Afghanistan, after a successful mission last year.

Following their visit, the Ministry of Public Health joined by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and local vaccinators used Peace Day to carry out a mass vaccination against polio of 1.4 million children. By returning to Afghanistan this year, Gilley and Law hope to continue raising awareness of Peace Day and stimulate further action on and around the Day.

Jude Law says, "The extraordinary events in Afghanistan around Peace Day last year set an important precedent. Jeremy and I are returning to the country this year to help keep the momentum going. As an ambassador for Peace One Day and as a filmmaker myself, I hope that my involvement will help the project to grow. I'm proud to be part of it."

Gala celebration

On September 21st, Annie Lennox, Bryan Adams, John Legend, Peter Gabriel and Jude Law will join forces for the Peace One Day Gala at the Royal Albert Hall. It will also be the gala screening of a new documentary by Jeremy Gilley. The film, which received a rapturous reception at its premiere during the 61st Cannes Film Festival, features Kofi Annan, The Dalai Lama, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Annie Lennox and Jonny Lee Miller.

Proceeds from the Peace One Day Celebration are earmarked to assist the non-profit organization's ongoing mission to raise awareness of Peace Day and manifest life saving activities on the Day. For further information on Peace One Day or to book tickets for the gala celebration, click here

18 septembre 2008

Daniel Lanois interview

By Bill Adams, Pulse Niagara, September 18 - 24, 2008

Several years ago when a Canadian music magazine polled a succession of guitarists to find out what they thought about while they were playing live on stage, they were not only shocked at the variety of answers they received. Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent, for example, replied only that while he was playing guitar onstage, he thought only about not screwing up while Alabama 3 guitarist Rock Freebase saw girls dancing in his mind’s eye.

Jon Spencer confided that he was usually thinking about money, and Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago was most direct when he told the magazine that, depending upon when he’s playing during the day, he’s either thinking about the meal that he ate most recently or the one he was going to eat next. Some would say the answers were pedantic or silly (some might say that the question was too for that matter), but when you really think about it, some of those answers are remarkably representative of the sounds fans can hear as their records spin.

Even so, Singer/multi–instrumentalist/producer Daniel Lanois’ response to a similar question makes the most sense. “When I think about it, my music really does have a sort of cinematic tone,” says Daniel Lanois pensively from Los Angeles. “Certainly that’s the case with the instrumental songs I’ve written, but a lot of what I do in general seems to. I don’t know where that comes from, maybe that’s how I build music; I have pictures in my head and I have my melodies try to be the soundtrack to what’s going on in my head.”

Hull, PQ–born and Hamilton, ON–raised Daniel Lanois’ name first appeared on a record sleeve in 1976. It was Jackie Washington’s Blues And Sentimental album and so began Lanois’ meteoric rise. Since then, he has appeared on releases that span the depth and breadth of the pop, country, folk and rock idioms from U2 to Brian Eno to Peter Gabriel to Raffi to Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris as producer and all the while has kept up a regular release schedule of his own material in his parallel career.

As a rough estimate, in 32 years, he has gotten credit for one kind or another on no less than 57 albums [58 if one includes the work that Lanois has done on U2‘s forthcoming record, to be released in 2009 –Ed]; the man is a machine. In that time and with so many releases that one constant holds true; whether it be Oh Mercy, The Joshua Tree, Acadie, Us or Here Is What Is, each record bears the similar thread that is has the capacity to conjure vivid images and landscapes obviously unique to Lanois as, without him managing the production booth, while each of the aforementioned bands has been capable of releasing good records, (with the exception of Bob Dylan) none have been able to release an album as good in the same way.

That is the power that a good producer holds but, according to Lanois, things do carry over and the detritus from one project does occasionally wash up onto the shores of the next. “Without a doubt, there’s definitely an exchange that happens when I work with people,” explains Lanois of the growth that has occurred in the records of both the people that he has produced as well as his own output. “There will be some approaches that we’re excited about some sonics that we’re dedicated to and that tends to bleed from one project into another but I think that’s just human nature; we try to cater to the needs of the songs at hand, but my choice of tools and my approach and what I’m excited about melodically will definitely carry over and one project will effect the other. So that’s why it’s good to hang out with fun people [laughing].”

The parallel notions of image conjuring and ideas carrying over from project to project perfectly explains the existence of Here Is What Is, in fact. The idea for the project, according to Lanois, originally took life as a film. “The way the whole thing came about and what Here Is What Is presents is travelling through a year’s worth of work in the studio,” explains the singer/producer of his newest releases.

“It started in Toronto and went all the way to Fez, Morocco. It includes the recordings from my own record, but also a visit to Los Angeles with Billy Bob Thorton so he’s playing a role in the film, and then Sinead O’Connor’s in there I went to Dublin to her house and did some work with her. Brian Eno is in there too; we share some philosophical exchanges in Morocco and that’s pretty fascinating, and then U2 is in there as well as we were working in Fez, Morocco together. The album functions as the soundtrack to the film as the songs are on both as well as some of the dialogue with Eno.

“So far, It has been received pretty well,” continues Lanois, unable to hide his appreciation for the stellar reviews that both the album and the film have received to date. “We had a major premier at the Toronto Film Festival last year and we had a great turn–out for that, we had a similar one in Los Angeles. We’ve sort of been peppering them all over the globe and we tried that as an angle this time just to promote the film and then have the record be the soundtrack for the film. It’s been going pretty well; I met up with Elliott Roberts the other night Elliott manages Neil Young and is kind of a hero in the management world for we Canadians and he said that he thought it was my best album so I took it as a compliment [chuckling].”

While the counterparts of Here Is What Is both the film and the CD are new releases, the fact of the matter is that the album is a little older than the film. Here Is What Is, the album, was originally released on Lanois’ web site, Red Floor records in two DRM–free download versions — the same price was charged for both the MP3 and FLAC lossless versions and, in point of fact, it is because of Red Floor that Lanois was in Los Angeles when he spoke with Pulse; the idea of online, downloadable music has gotten the producer/performer’s mind percolating.

“I started Red Floor Records about ten months ago and I sell some of my wares on the web site,”
explains Lanois. “It’s growing pretty fast too [chuckling] and I make some of my instrumental records available from my back catalogue so people can download my music directly from my site as a full fidelity wave file. We’re pretty excited about it and there’s a fellow down here that takes of all of it down here in L.A. so I’m huddling up with him here just to make sure that everything’s going well for Red Floor. Here Is What Is is available on the web site, as will be the re–issue of my first record, Acadie, which I now own the rights to.
“We’re also going to be releasing three instrumental records on Red Floor there will be downloads and hard copy discs available and they’re part of what we’re calling the Omni Series,” continues Lanois with a little glint in his eye so bright that it manages to pass through the phone line.

“It’s going to be three this fall and then three the following fall; a total of six discs. The first one will be steel guitar, the second one is sort of a south of the border peyote–like record, and the third will be more acoustic and quite beautiful. These are kind of like side projects and because there is no singing on them, I’ve chosen to release them on my web site in a quieter way but I think they’re going to be very beautiful. There’s one called “Space K” and it’s one of my personal favourites and I’ve invented a new dimension for that which goes into a more up–tempo, high energy, almost like a trance piece of music. I’m going to christen that at the Grape Festival.”

Daniel Lanois
(Los Angeles, CA & Toronto, ON)
w/Danny Michel, Neverending White Lights, Joe Lapinski, Oliver Black.
@ the Niagara Wine Festival, Montebello Park, St. Catharines.
Thursday, September 25, 6–10pm.

Steve Lillywhite On Peter Gabriel's Third Album

Peter Gabriel's Third

Listen Now interview [10 min 26 sec]

Peter Gabriel's third self-titled album produced the radio hits "I Don't Remember" and "Games Without Frontiers."

World Cafe, September 17, 2008 - On Peter Gabriel's third self-titled album, producer Steve Lillywhite made sense of the disparate elements that the sometimes-great second album could not. The 1980 release showcased a more song-oriented Gabriel, but also a bleak side of the former Genesis frontman.

In an interview with host David Dye, Lillywhite recalls laughing off the idea of recording an album with Gabriel, but both quickly found common ground in its musical direction. Music technology was moving quickly by 1980, and both men wanted to implement the new keyboard and sampling devices. While Gabriel would go on to make even better-selling albums, Peter Gabriel remains his finest moment.

17 septembre 2008

The Imagined Village and more for Molten Festival, Wed 17th Sep 08

The new Molten Festival held in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham from Friday 26th September until Sunday 2nd November 2008 have announced the line-up for its Month of Sundays variety shows.

The Blockheads

The confirmed acts include The Blockheads, The Imagined Village, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy & Chris Parkinson, Dr Das, She'Koyokh, Hui Ling, Trippplicate, Clare Teal, Shappi Khorsandi, Arthur Smith, The London Gypsy Orchestra, Afrikan Boy, Reginald D Hunter, Bantu African Orchestra, Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance, East London Chorus, Broadway Youth Theatre, Shafeek Ibrahim, and the students of Performing Arts at Barking College.

Sara Doctors, Molten Festival Producer, said, "The Month of Sundays present a unique combination of big name acts, quirky entertainment and top local talent. From Arabic dancers to folk stars, from stand up comedy to Klezmer bands, these Variety Shows are the most exciting line ups Barking and Dagenham has seen."

Tickets are priced at £17/£15 or £45 for all four shows for with a special Month of Sundays pass and can be purchased at The Broadway Theatre, Barking Box Office on 020 8507 5607 or booked online by clicking here.

Molten Festival also includes accessible arts activities, workshops, outdoor spectaculars, fireworks, giant mechanical birds, human Catherine wheels and bandstand music, street theatre and lots of free events.

All eyes are on Eliza

By Bill Francis, getbracknell, 15/ 9/2008

Eliza Carthy, the winner of two Mercury prize nominations and innumerable other accolades in her 15-year career, returns to the Concert Hall, Reading on Friday.

Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including Paul Weller, the Wainwrights, Billy Bragg, Nick Cave and Joan Baez.

She also featured on vocals of this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ winning track Cold Haily Rainy Night by the Imagined Village, which picked up the award for Best Traditional Track.

A truly inventive and innovative singer and fiddle-player, Eliza is a gifted musical conceptualist confirming her position as, arguably, the most impressive and engaging performer of a generation and the winner of an unrivalled seven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

In 2003 she became the first traditional English musician to be nominated a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music, for Anglicana. For her new album and the current tour, Eliza is accompanied by Willie Molleson on drums, Emma Smith on double bass and Phil Alexander (Salsa Celtica) on keyboards/piano accordion.

Eliza will showcase original material from her forthcoming album Dreams of Breathing Underwater, due for release via Topic Records in 2008. Powerful, vital and exuberant rhythms, absorbed from her travels around the globe, characterize this highly original, self-penned music.

Yorkshire-born and now Edinburgh-based, Carthy grew up immersed in the world of traditional music. She divides her time between touring and recording with her legendary parents, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, and numerous pioneering solo and band projects.

Describing herself simply as a ‘modern British musician’, Eliza Carthy is only just beginning to reach the height of her musical powers. She has become one of the most dazzling and recognised folk musicians of a generation, having revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences, capturing the most hardened of dissenters with intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performances.

- Tickets cost from £12 and the performance starts at 7.30pm.

For more information, call the box office on (0118) 960 6060 or log on to

Mariza, fado star

From The Sunday Times, September 14, 2008

Photo : Clive Davis

Listen to Mariza

Mariza has taken fado from Lisbon’s backstreets to Womad and beyond

How wrong can you be? The first time I saw Mariza in the flesh, five or six years ago, she was serenading a small crowd in the DJ Charlie Gillett’s cosy marquee at Womad, some distance from the main stage. Her singing was spirited, her audience rapt, yet I had no inkling that I was watching a star in the making. After all, fado - the traditional music of Portugal - has always been an acquired taste. In contrast to the sensuous cadences of the great Brazilian performers of our times, fado (which means “fate”) sounds harsh, austere and guttural. The lyrics, too, can seem as melancholy as the darkest and dankest of blues songs.

So, for all Gillett’s enthusiasm, there seemed to be limited opportunities for the newcomer, at least outside her native land. Fortunately, she was determined to prove the sceptics wrong. In next to no time, she was playing the QEH; by the end of 2006, she had outstripped most of her world-music rivals with a magnificent show at the Albert Hall, no less. The diva had landed.

This summer, in her home town, Lisbon, she was the centre of attention once again, at a concert to launch her elegant new album, Terra. Amid the crush of wellwishers and reporters in the foyer, we could catch a glimpse of some of fado’s leading song-writers and performers - including the stately, white-haired Carlos do Carmo. As ever, Mariza delivered an impeccable performance, dancing across the stage and indulging in occasional duets with the diminutive Cape Verdean singer Tito Paris and the Spanish “nu-flamenco” singer known simply as Buika (who came close to stealing the show on the impassioned Pequenas Verdades).

A triumphant night, all in all. If Mariza’s early albums gave ample clues to her potential, her most recent discs have been nothing short of triumphant. Transparente, released three years ago, created a memorable fusion of Portuguese and Brazilian styles, supervised by perhaps the most intelligent arranger-producer of our times, the cellist Jaques Morelenbaum. Concerto em Lisboa - again with Morelenbaum at the helm - provided a beguiling snapshot of her live show.

Now, with Terra, she digs a little deeper again, in a thoughtfully varied collection that ranges from slow-burning laments to a buoyant, folksy encounter with the towering Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdes. One of the most memorable tracks, Alfama, pays homage to the Lisbon neighbourhood that has long been a nerve centre of the fado tradition, while is a stylish excursion into Beijo de SaudadeCape Verdeanmorna, the music made famous by Cesaria Evora. Mariza is not in the business of serving up undemanding pop hooks; these are allusive, poetic miniatures interpreted with almost operatic verve.

“I had the idea for this album when I was doing the Transparente tour,” she says the day after the Lisbon show, sitting serenely in her hotel suite. “I was walking in Sydney. We’d been to so many places - Bangkok, Singapore, China - and I thought, ‘I’m seeing so many different things, and hearing so many different musicians and rhythms, but I miss my roots so much.’ So I decided the next album would be about ‘terra’ - my country, my land. It’s the heartbeat of a country. I’m respecting my language, my culture, but at the same time I’m bringing forward what I’ve seen in seven years of touring and recording.”

Away from the concert stage, Mariza cuts a poised figure, even in jeans. Without the gigantic heels and billowing dresses that she wears on stage, she looks rather more fragile, although those large, dark eyes and precise gestures still dominate the room. At first glance, you might take her for a classical actress. As she proved with Morelenbaum, she has a sharp eye for collaborators. For this project, she struck up a partnership with the Spanish producer and musician Javier Limon, who happens to be mentor to the aforementioned Buika. Mariza got to know him during a visit to Spain, then invited him to Lisbon to discuss her ideas.

“I wanted to see how he would respond to my kind of music,” she says, “so I put him in the middle of traditional fado singers, then showed him what I had in mind. Later, when we were about to record at his studio, he asked me to go to Madrid by car. It turned out that he had gone out and bought every Portuguese percussion instrument he could find. He wanted me to take them back for him. We had to pack in these huge bombo drums. We were like gypsies.”

The idea of blending cultures comes naturally to an artist who was born far from the metropolitan heart of her country, and whose ancestry includes German, Spanish, French, African and Indian forebears. She spent the first three years of her life in Mozambique. As the curtain came down on the Portuguese empire, her family moved to Lisbon, where they ran a taverna in a compact, traditional neighbourhood in the heart of that beautiful capital. Mariza was singing fado by the time she was five. In her late teens, peer pressure temporarily drew her away from folk melodies to more conventional fare, but she eventually returned to her first love. From her African mother, she also acquired a taste for more exotic artists, from Miriam Makeba to Cesaria Evora and Nina Simone. In her early twenties, her yearning to travel - inherited, it seems, from her footloose father - briefly took her to Brazil, where she immersed herself in the varied cultural landscape and made some money from singing.

At home, many younger listeners assumed that fado - dominated by the stark rhythms of the lute-like Portuguese guitar - was a symbol of Portugal’s long predemocratic slumber. Rightly or wrongly, its fatalistic strain was regarded as a throwback to an era many of the postrevolutionary generation regarded as hopelessly backward.

“Things were different then,” Mariza says. “It was unusual to sing fado outside your own neighbourhood. Intellectual people would come to hear the music, but they wouldn’t talk about it much. Now we have eclectic audiences, and you can hear fado in different places - restaurants and clubs. There’s a new generation learning the music. You realise this culture is not going to die.”

When her first albums began to attract attention abroad, there were mutterings - in Portugal and beyond - that Mariza was merely the result of clever marketing. Some traditionalists frowned at her theatrical style, a marked contrast to the static, pared-down approach of the pioneers. Others complained she was overshadowing more substantial talents. Over the course of five years, however, she has proved that she is no mere elegantly dressed mannequin. When she plays in Britain, it’s doubtful that many in her audience understand the meaning of the words she is singing. But they don’t need to: the voice tells them everything.

Tegan and Sara Play for Amnesty International

The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 17, 2008

Tegan and Sara Play for Amnesty International "Call It Off" Video Premieres Online This Monday

BURBANK, Calif., Sep 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Amnesty International is marking the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the 'Small Places Tour'.

Launched this past Wednesday in London by Peter Gabriel and The Edge, the Small Places Tour will be built upon numerous artists around the globe taking an existing show commitment between now and December 10th, and pro-actively choosing to perform for Amnesty.

Tegan and Sara
have chosen to perform for Amnesty International on October 6th at Terminal 5 in New York City. Partial profits from the evening will be directed to Amnesty International's ongoing campaign for human rights. More information is available here

Also, the new video for "Call It Off," from the Sire Records album, THE CON, will premier this coming Monday, September 15, on AOL Music. The clip was filmed in Vancouver, BC, by director Angela Kendall. It looks fantastic so look for it at: as well as

We hope to have info on the premier of the new video from Against Me!, "Borne On The FM Waves Of The Heart," soon which features a duet with Against Me! vocalist/guitarist Tom Gabel and Tegan recently filmed in LA in glorious black and white.

As previously reported, Chicago punk band Alkaline Trio has recently recorded a version of "Wake Up Exhausted" which appears on their new single. This past July 24, Alkaline Trio and Tegan recorded a live version of the song especially for AOL Music show "The Interface."

This exclusive performance can viewed here (the performance is a link at the bottom). While in the studio Tegan also filmed a short (and very funny) segment for "DL For AOL" which is viewable here

As previously announced Tegan and Sara will begin their final tour in support of THE CON, September 20, at the San Diego Street Scene. Tegan and Sara will be available for interviews.

For tour dates, info, merch and more, visit:

Lévon Minassian à Mouans-Sartoux

Rencontre exceptionnelle avec Lévon Minassian, le 18 octobre, à l'aquarium

Lévon Minassian, maître du doudouk et musicien de Peter Gabriel viendra faire découvrir le doudouk, samedi 18 octobre 2008, à 19 heures, dans l'aquarium de la médiathèque. L'artiste évoquera son parcours artistique, aux côtés de Peter Gabriel notamment.

Entrée libre. Tél. :

voir message GRWN precedent : levon minassian un doudoukiste virtuose

16 septembre 2008

Daniel Lanois 'Here Is What Is'

Written by:CLUAS Writers 9/14/2008

A review of the album Here Is What Is by Daniel Lanois

Review Snapshot:Here Is What Is is a weak record by acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois. Failed attempts at being 'artsy' and an overly long running time make this a wearisome listen.

The Cluas Verdict 5 out of 10

Full Review:

Daniel Lanois made his name producing for big name artists over the last few decades. He has worked with Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and U2 to name but a few. ‘Here Is What Is’ is the fifth studio album from the Canadian.

The record opens with just the voice of Brian Eno describing a chest of drawers he once bought. It is one of a few tracks that are simply conversation. The only interesting one of these tracks is ‘Beauty’ where the origin of beauty and the marvel of how it originates from nothingness is discussed. This beauty he speaks of however, he fails to create himself.

That said, the album does open well, with the first few tracks catching my interest. Forgetting about the spoken word opener, the first song is a cover of Emmylou Harris’ ‘Where Will I Be’. It would be an understatement to say that he does the song justice. His soft voice helps creates a pleasurable and more subtle sound for the song he produced for Harris on ‘Wrecking Ball’.

Interests wanes early on though. It is overly repetitive, centring on the Lanois’ favourite instrument: the steel pedal guitar, and at an arduous 64 minutes long with unadventurous instrumentals taking up far too much of that time.

He may be described as the man with the Midas touch when it comes to producing albums, but as a solo artist he does not hold a candle to the names he has worked with.

Garret Cleland

Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love

By JOHN ANDERSON? Powered By MRQE Review

A Groovy Griot presentation, in association with 57th & Irving Prods. (International sales: Celluloid Dreams, Paris.) Produced by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Executive producers, Edward Tyler Nahem, Patrick Morris, Jennifer Millstone, Jack Turner, Kathryn Tucker, Miklos C. Vasarhelyi. Co-producers, Sarah Price, Scott Duncan, Hugo Berkeley.

Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

With: Youssou Ndour, Kabou Gueye, Moustapha Mbaye, Peter Gabriel, Neneh Cherry.

Considering the popularity and stature of her titular Senegalese celebrity, it's a shame Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi didn't do more with "Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love" than make what often feels like an elaborate DVD extra. Eventually, the helmer does delve into what it means to be a Muslim pop star in an increasingly fundamentalist world, and the pic's overall thrust more complex than the kickoff would indicate. Very musical bio-doc will cut a swath across the festival circuit and specialty market before coming to rest on video shelves, bulging with even more of what it offers now.

It isn't until about 50 minutes in -- after pic has delivered the obligatory intro performance by Ndour, returned to his boyhood home of Dakar and made a cursory review of what Ramadan means to Islam -- that the film gets really interesting, focusing on the making of Ndour's controversial "Egypt," an album of sacred songs celebrating his Muslim faith.

The concept creates problems: During a show in support of "Egypt," Ndour and the orchestra, led by Kabou Gueye, play a club in Dublin -- and refuse to perform until the patrons stop drinking. This is bleakly funny on one hand, but directly contradicts Ndour's advocacy of cultural tolerance and one-worldism. Had the band been entirely from Senegal (where 94% of Muslims are of the more mystical, tolerant Sufi sect), this never would have happened, Ndour tells the camera. But there are Egyptian members in the band, and more viewpoints about Islam than there are songs in the star's repertoire.

The reaction to "Egypt" is not limited to alienating the Irish (who actually seem quite amenable to the temporary drinking ban). In Senegal itself, music fans reject the work even as audiences and critics around the world are embracing it. When Ndour finally wins his long-awaited Grammy for the record, Senegal rejoices, but the intoxication of victory doesn't preclude a global hangover of religious fundamentalism.

Vasarhelyi does a great job of keeping things moving, capturing some terrific performances with unobtrusive grace. "Egypt" itself has the ultimate chilling effect: When Ndour sings about love, or even Afro-empowerment and self-realization, he's singing about things people worldwide can relate to and embrace. When he sings about the glories of a particular strain of religion, it pushes the non-Muslim audience away.

"Egypt" could have been a great story all by itself. So would Ndour, had he assumed his more customary musical persona. But Ndour the Sufi enthusiast isn't someone who builds bridges, even within the Muslim world.

Camera (color, HD), Nick Doob, JoJo Pennebaker, Scott Duncan, Hugo Berkeley; editors, Jonathan Oppenheimer, Fernando Villena; music, James Newton Howard, Martin Davich; re-recording mixer, Tom Fleischman. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentations), Sept. 10, 2008. (Also in Telluride Film Festival.) Running time: 102 MIN.

Peace on a Day

Celebrate with Peace One Day at the Royal Albert Hall

Peace Day 21 September!

Join Jude Law and Peace One Day founder and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley for a Gala Screening of the new acclaimed documentary The Day After Peace, together with musical performances from Annie Lennox, Bryan Adams, John Legend and more, contributions from Emilia Fox, Martin Bell OBE, David Bentley, Gabby Logan and other special guests. Watch the 2008 promo below!

Just announced—special guest appearance from Peter Gabriel!

15 septembre 2008

Richie Havens : "Peter is such a melody himself"

By Walter Tunis,, Posted on Fri, Sep. 12, 2008

Doing it their way

'WoodSongs' and Richie Havens have a lot in common

In more than a few ways, Richie Havens seems the ideal invitee for Monday's 500th broadcast of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Over the years, both have been fiercely independent in establishing their respective folk music followings.

In the case of WoodSongs, the program has grown under the direction of host/founder Michael Johnathon from a coffeehouse-style broadcast with a small, devout recording studio audience to sold-out tapings at The Kentucky Theatre. The shows are heard on nearly 500 radio stations worldwide and broadcast in video on the Internet and on PBS stations.

For Havens, a veteran of a famed Greenwich Village folk scene during the 1960s, being his own boss followed initial flings with major labels (Polydor, A&M, Elektra) and high-profile management (by Albert Grossman, whose other clients included Janis Joplin, The Band, Odetta, Todd Rundgren and Bob Dylan).

Learning to map out his career as a concert performer wasn't too daunting. Many of his New York contemporaries helped guide him along that path. But as a recording artist, the road ahead was a mystery and an adventure.
"I've been sort of managing and taking care of myself since 1970," said, Havens, 67. "I learned how to enter the market because I was a total independent that still had the luxury of being with some of the guys who mentored me in the Village. But one of the things they didn't want to bother with was making records. For them it was, 'I like playing onstage to living people.' But then record companies came around."

The first lesson on independence was a victory that seems larger now than it might have at the time. After a string of albums for MGM (a deal secured with Grossman's help), the label was sold. But in an almost unheard-of turn for a then-new artist, Havens secured the master tapes of those recordings, which included his acclaimed 1967 debut album, Mixed Bag.

"Only two guys got their masters back when MGM was sold — Frankie Valli and me."

So beginning in 1970, after a career-defining appearance at Woodstock the previous summer, Havens issued recordings on his own label, Stormy Forest. Albums such as (1970), StonehengeAlarm Clock (1971) and Richie Havens on Stage (1972) underscored a folk avenue that possessed a deep strand of social awareness in its lyrics, a pop sensibility in its choice of cover material and a musical makeup built around acoustic guitar and congas. And then there was Havens' voice — a rich, reedy singing tool that could sound alternately warm and desperate.

Return associations with major labels would follow in ensuing years, but those relationships were invariably brief. The labels fired the executives who championed Havens' music, were bought out like MGM or else folded.

"That's probably happened to me about seven times," Havens said. "But it somehow gave me a better pacing for myself and my career. It also made me seek out and work with people that really liked music still."

As to the latter, Havens points to a song on his new album, Nobody Left to Crown. The tune is Lives in the Balance, a 20-year-old slice of heated social commentary written by Jackson Browne. But adding to the performance's rich musical fabric is an ambassador of a new rock generation: guitarist Derek Trucks.

"Working with Derek was extraordinary," Havens said. "I actually have a video of him playing music when he was about 10. Watching it, I was listening to this kid and looking at his face. And he was just gone. He was playing away but had total control. I just went, 'Wow.'"

But what continues to astound most about Havens' music is that, despite the immediately recognizable tenor, it has become adaptable on so many different projects.

His 2000 collaboration with the electronica duo Groove Armada, Hands of Time, was used in several film soundtracks, most notably the Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx thriller Collateral. Havens was also part of the artistic team hand-picked by Peter Gabriel for his millennium performance piece called OVO.

"Peter is such a melody himself," Havens said of the OVO experience. "What comes through him is very high-end reverence."

Last year, though, Havens, in effect, came home. He was offered a cameo role in the Todd Hayne fantasy biopic of Bob Dylan, I'm Not There. He teamed with producer Joe Henry to record a propulsive and percussive version of the Dylan classic Tombstone Blues for the soundtrack.

Given that Dylan was a contemporary of the same New York folk scene that nurtured Havens, the project resonated in strong personal terms.

"So I went to Canada where they were shooting and to see what it was I had to do," Havens said. "And I was immediately going, 'Oh boy, this is really far out.' Because, you see, I knew who they were talking about. And I tell you, Dylan was in that movie — especially with Cate Blanchett. It is so ironic, but so unbelievable at the same time. Once she starts, you cannot not see Bob Dylan. And it was the Bob Dylan I know, too."