Twenty-five years on and Paul Simon is back into my life! He is performing tonight (as I write) in Amsterdam. Such a shame I am not there, but lucky for me, I got to the chance to watch the film on TV last night and I can not stop thinking about it… Paul Simon is now 70yrs old and still singing in tune — just like I remember.

Under African Skies, is a new documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s beloved album, ‘Graceland’. The film is a musical journey, that reunites Paul with the original band members in South Africa. Racial and political problems tensions also plays a major role in the film.

BUT it’s the magic of the music — the collaborative effort between Paul Simon and the South African musicians — that inspired me the most. I felt bewitched by the end of the film, by the exquisite voices of the cappella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Homeless” — That explains why I included the precious photo of the little girl (see above picture) praying/singing. So sooth your soul and see the documentary.

If you are located in Holland, you can watch the full length documentary here
[ Images from left to right.: via here and here ]

“More than twist in my sobriety” by Tanita Tikaram (1988)

In the morning I wipe my brow
Wipe the miles away
I like to think I can be so willed
And never do what you say
I’ll never hear you
And never do what you say
Cup of tea, take time to think, yea
Time to risk a life, a life, a life
Sweet and handsome
Soft and porky
You pig out ’til you’ve seen the light
Pig out ’til you’ve seen the light

Half the people read the papers
Read them good and well
Pretty people, nervous people
People have got to sell
News you have to sell

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety

Beautiful nostalgic song from the 80’s. One that I had completely forgotten about till today. The combination of the song lyrics with the video clip is what makes it hauntingly intriguing. I love the photography with sepia tone, and the way the shots are well thought out. The children in the video are beautiful. Video set in a rural village in the Bolivian Altiplano. Directed by Gerard de Thame.

Remember this crazy, amazing music video clip “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel? After all these years, I still LOVE it just as much as when it came out in 1986. Apparently, Peter Gabriel lay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the video one frame at a time! Patience, I say!

By now everyone has had the chance to listen to “Somebody That I Used To Know” By Wouter De Backer, better know as Goyte. The first time I heard the song (together with the music video) I couldn’t help thinking of Peter Gabriels “Sledgehammer” song. In Goyte’s video there is also a blend of stop motion animation, body painting and the way the camera pans (and moves) – then, when he hits the high notes (I don’t know about anyone else?) but I am thinking Peter Gabriel! Even though it might be for a few seconds…see what you think.

OK, two very different style that make me love them both and appreciate stop-motion animation. Want to see more? Watch Goyte’s recent live performance at the 2011 ARIA’s awards here.

{images from the Goyte website}

Last weekend photos of the Jazz festival in Delft. It was a fun vibrant weekend of three days of Jazz. The wide range of music styles was a nice big surprise, it wasnt just the traditional Jazz style that i love. The atmosphere was fantastic, twenty stages spread around the streets, squares, cafes. It wasn’t as crowded as it may sound, people seemed happy, chilling outside under the warm sun, and later under the stars, socializing while eating, drinking and dancing … My poor little feet didn’t get tired of dancing, but rather by having to walk from one stage to the other – searching for the right sounds to satisfy me and to say, yeah, that sounds good!

It’s been a very long time since my last post here. But as soon as I heard the news that Amy Winehouse was dead. “…I said no, no, no.” I sprung up off the couch and got busy surfing the internet. This woman had phenomenal talent, she was a great songwriter and singer and it didn’t take for her to die so young for me to know that I’ve been a fan for many years…and so I just felt like putting together beautiful photos & music videos of the late Amy Winehouse. It was no secret that she had a troubled life and battled with drugs and alcohol. Now Amy Winehouse joins the ’27 Club’. Famous rock stars who’ve died at the tragically young age of 27. They include Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. A very sad coincidences and a rock star group you don’t want to join! Such troubled souls and yet profoundly talented!

“We only said goodbye with words. I died a hundred times. You go back to her, And I go back to Black.” -Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

I recall listening to her first album “Frank” (2003) when she was looking healthy, gorgeous and excited about life – You can find an old interview with Amy from 2007 here. Before she had tattoos (though i have nothing against tattoos) did drugs and before she meet that damn Blake (the one who apparently introduced Amy to heavy drugs) whom she later married. Watch the video In My Bed to see Amy back in the days when she looked happy and vibrant.

Then again, when the album “Back to Black” (2006) come out, their was so much rawness and emotional punch, as they say. It’s an awesome album that’s still hot on the music charts. Amy sure managed to WOW the world! At least it did for me…She had her own unique sense of style with her 1950s rockabilly frocks and 1960s beehive hairdo. It was fun to see see something fresh and exciting on stage again. The song Rehab perhaps is not my favourite song, though, the video I absolutely love it. Amy is also great in the video. I’m loving the style and the overall look of the video, so cool!…‘tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no’.

I honestly wanted her to get her crap together and make beautiful music again. So yeah, I am feeling very disappointed and sad of course that she’s gone and we’re left with only two amazing albums. I think she was undeniably talented singer-songwriter that will be missed for her  extraodinary musical talent.

The following video link shows her raw talent as she sings so effortlessly, yet so real. A great performance too..: You Know I’m No Good (live) Yes, it’s a sad story, a world unknown to me. However, I’m happy to know that I have always appreciated and loved her music and will continue to listen to Amy Winehouse. Well, i’ll like to end this on a high note – here is a fun song to kick-start your day..: Valerie.

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