Mittwoch, 21. Februar 2018

Isabel & Angel Parra - Le Pena de los Parra (1971)

Chile´s most important twentieth century popular music movment, nueva cancion (New Songs) was officially born in July 1969 during the First Festival of New Songs organized by the Catholic University of Santiago. In the 1950s and 1960s Margot Loyola, Violeta Parra, Hector Pavez, Gabriela Pizarro, the Cuncumen group and others began to recuperate Chilean folk music. In the mid-1960s the neo-folklore movement was formed in Chile by musicians like Angel Parra, Isabel Parra, Patricio Manns, Rolando Alarcon and Victor Jara as well as groups like Los Cuatro Cuartos. Nueva cancion was born dirctly out of the group´s work and of the radicalization of the creative work of singer-songwriters by groups like Quilapayun, Inti-Illimani, Curacas, Aparcoa and Illapu. As a result, a number of classical-trained musicinas, including Sergio Ortega, Luis Advis and Gustavo Becerra began to work with popular musicinas.

The club known as 'La pena de los Parra' played a key role in the movement, and sparked the creation of similar clubs (panas) throughout the country, particularly in university areas. The DICAP record label and several radio programmes also playd an important part in disseminating nueva cancion

The movement was particularly significant during the period leading up to Allende´s victory in 1970, and throughout the three years of Popular Unitiy government. When it was brought down by the military coup of September 1973, many members of the movement were killed, among them Victor Jara; others (like Angel Parra) were jailed and Inti-Illimani, Quilapayun, Patricio Manns and Isabel Parra, among others, were forced into exile.

Tracklist:

A1 Rio Manzanares / Der Manzanares Strom 2:00
A2 Ya No Somos Nosotros / Wir Sind Nicht Mehr Wir Selbst 2:20
A3 Decimas Del Folklore / Volkstümliche Reime 3:08
A4 Ayúdame Valentina / Hilf Mir, Valentina 3:00
A5 Hasta Cuando Compañero / Wie Lange Noch, Genosse 1:50
A6 Canto A Mi América / Gesang An Mein Amerika 1:48
B1 Casamiento De Negros / Hochzeit Der Schwarzen 1:55
B2 Coplas Americanas / Amerikanische Verse 3:23
B3 Yo Defiendo Mi Tierra / Ich Verteidige Mein Land 2:15
B4 A Desalambrar! / Reißt Die Zäune Nieder 2:15
B5 Al Centro De La Injusticia / Im Zentrum Des Unrechts 3:15
B6 Cuartetas Por Diversión / Spottverse


Isabel & Angel Parra - Le Pena de los Parra (1971)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 20. Februar 2018

Vladimir Vissotski - Wir drehen die Erde

Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky (or Vladimir Vissotski) was born and brought up in central Moscow. He made his living as an actor, joining Yuri Lyubimov's company at the Taganka Theatre in 1964 and performing there to the end of his life. He was a mainstay of the theatre's ensemble style, but also took the leading role in several epoch-making productions, notably as Galileo in Brecht's play, and then as a generationdefining Hamlet. Besides the theatre, Vysotsky regularly appeared in films, usually playing "bad boy" roles. Part of his stock-in-trade as an actor was the performance of songs to guitar accompaniment, and it was in this genre, delivering his own words, that he became more famous in his own lifetime than any other Russian creative artist.

The beginning of Vysotsky's professional life coincided with the appearance of guitar poetry, which in its turn was enabled by the availability of the portable tape recorder in the USSR. Vysotsky's songs could therefore be recorded free of official controls, and the results duplicated. The popularity of these homemade tapes, and the semi-legal appearances Vysotsky made in clubs and other institutions, brought him to the attention of the authorities. He was subjected to harrassment because, in official eyes, the content and especially the style of his songs, saturated with robust humor, were unacceptable even within the relatively permissive boundaries of Socialist Realism in its later phases. Vysotsky was regularly censured by various official bodies, but, shielded by his unprecedented popularity, he was never subjected to serious reprisals.

Vladimir Vysotsky became an immensely popular singer/songwriter in the former Soviet Union and was eventually silenced and banished by government officials. When he died in 1980, at the age of 42, over one million people attended his funeral. The posthumous release of his poetry, in addition to his musical legacy and acting, endeared him to the masses. Fans still make pilgrimages to his grave to pay respects to the man who was, for his country, what Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen were to America.

Until his death, Vladimir Vysotsky was a prophet without honor in his own country; although he wrote more than a thousand highly popular songs, he died without an official record release to his name. The reason for this studied neglect lay in the political tenor of his material. Vysotsky, who began performing in the 1960s, was quite critical of the Communist regime, and his lyrics took position on the Soviet status quo. His songs derived from the "blatny pesny" (literally, delinquent song) tradition, with its celebration of sex, drink, and street fights. Informally distributed cassettes ensured Vysotsky a wide and enthusiastic following. After his death, in 1980, Gorbachev granted his music an imprimatur and a 20-album retrospective was released.

Although aparently compiled in Germany, this CD is in Russian and contains some of Visotsky's most popular work. Although Visotsky composed more than a 1,000 songs, only a few of them were sanctioned by the Soviet government. This CD contains many of the songs that were "officially" released to the public and were a staple on Russian radio in the 70's. A unique feature of this CD is that it contains many songs with orchestral background in contrast to the griddy guitar solos that Visotsky usually performed in underground clubs.

Vladimir Vissotski - Wir drehen die Erde
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Zülfü Livaneli & Mikis Theodorakis – Güneş Topla Benim İçin (1985)

From the back cover:

Two internationally renowned musicians, Mikis Theodorakis from Greece and Zülfü Livaneli from Turkey, have – at a time of considerable political tension between their two countries – made a record together. Five compositions by each of the two artists were recorded in Instanbul and in Athens respectively.

For 18 weeks this LP was top of the Turkish charts, and in September 1986, the 'Golden Record' was presented to Mikis Theodorakis personally in Istanbul.
"I am glad that this cooperation with my highly esteemed colleague Livaneli has given me a chance to get in touch with the Turkish people, whom I have always appreciated and loved. I hope that this small, but symbolic Turkish-Greek cooperation should herald – like a first swallow – the spring in the relations between our two peoples!" - Mikis Theodorakis, Athens, 24th January 1986

Above I've used the title of the original Turkish release because it should be known to more readers. This German re-release is quite rare and has his own little history. For the German market the track order has been altered and the title "Together" was chosen, 12 years later it was used again for the 1997 live CD recorded during a concert in Berlin by these 2 artists.

This vinyl record is the only release ever on that label. In fact Ararat Verlag was a little book editor run by a Turkish immigrant serving the Turkish community and those Germans interested in Turkish culture with literature, poetry and children's books in Turkish language, often also including a German translation. Today the book shop has developed into a framing and print shop, and a second one with graphics and postcards for the many tourists, still at the old address.

Tracklist:
01. Zülfü Livaneli & Mikis Theodorakis • O Günler · Τώρα στα ογδόντα έξι · Jene Tage · Those days 02:55
02. Zülfü Livaneli • Güneş Topla Benim İçin · Sammle Sonne ein für mich · Gather the sun for me 04:12
03. Zülfü Livaneli • Yanyana · Seite an Seite · Together 04:19
04. Zülfü Livaneli • Bizim · Unser · Ours 03:01
05. Zülfü Livaneli • Kırlangıç · Eine Schwalbe · The swallow 03:15
06. Zülfü Livaneli • Geceleyin · Nachts · At night 02:59
07. Zülfü Livaneli • Sevgiyle · Mit Liebe · With love 02:48
08. Zülfü Livaneli • Memik Oğlan · Der junge Memik · Young Memik 04:19
09. Sevingül Bahadır • Hep Seni Anar · Erinnerung · Always in thoughts of you 02:19
10. Zülfü Livaneli • Selam Olsun · Der Gruß · Welcome 04:46

Recorded by Fazıl Atuk at Studio Pan, Istanbul, and Yannis Smirneos at Studio Polysound, Athens
© Ararat Verlag, Bergmannstr. 99a, 1000 Berlin 61 Kreuzberg
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 19. Februar 2018

Josh White - The Story of John Henry - 25th Anniversary Album (1957)

Josh White had a talent for self-reinvention, and his career - which began in the 1920s and stretched essentially uninterrupted all the way into the '60s - is an amazing story of adaptability and survival.

Slick, sly, and fiercely intelligent, White began as a Piedmont blues player, but became a sort of pre-Harry Belafonte black sex idol, complete with a leftist social and political agenda, during his so-called cabaret blues period in the late '40s, and when the McCarthy era led to his blacklisting, he rebounded into the folk revival with several carefully assembled albums for Jac Holzman's newly created Elektra label that recast him as a folk balladeer. 

This set, originally released as an LP in 1957, was the first of those albums for Elektra. Few performers could make the folk-blues straddle the line between being rustic on the one hand and artfully urbane on the other like White was able to do, and while to some extent it was a stage act, there is no doubting White's ultimate devotion to his material. 
The key track here is the first one, an epic 23-plus-minute version of "John Henry" that was the center of White's live performances during his folk period and was somewhat of a signature song for him. Although some doubted White's authenticity as a folk-blues performer (they really shouldn't have), the fact remains that White was an excellent acoustic guitar player and a subtle and versatile singer who carefully selected his material, well aware of how it made him appear. 

Listeners should definitely check out some of White's early Piedmont-styled 78s from the '20s, though, like "Blood Red River" and "Silicosis Is Killin' Me," to really hear this intelligent performer at his best.


Tracklist:
1. The Story Of John Henry... a musical narrative   23:33
2. Black Girl   2:58
3. Free And Equal Blues   3:49
4. Live The Life   2:22
5. Sam Hall  2:58
6. Where Were You, Baby?   3:38
7. Delia's Gone   3:49
8. Run, Mona, Run   1:37
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 17. Februar 2018

Paul Graetz - Heimweh nach Berlin

In the late 1920s, Berlin was the world´s third-largest city and a metropolis of culture and science with a vibrantly diverse population comprised of immigrants and native Berliners. In the aftermath of the Nazi regime´s rise to power in 1933 and the terror of the 1938 November Pogroms, an appalling number of men and women who had contributed to the diversity of Berlin´s cultural and social landscapes were persecuted and driven into exile - many others were deported and murdered.
As the "most quintessential of Berlin´s comedians", Paul Graetz was among the most popular German cabaret performers in the years before 1933.

Graetz, who was a Jewish artist and had warned against the threat posed by the Nazis, fled Germany after the Reichstag fire.

After working in London as an actor, he emigrated to New York and then to Hollywood, where he died in 1937, "heartbroken at the loss of his native Berlin", as a fellow-artist reported.

Paul Graetz - Heimweh nach Berlin
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Cantata 'Tupac Amaru' (1978)

Atahualpa Yupanqui (Spanish pronunciation: [ataˈwalpa ʝuˈpaŋki]; 31 January 1908 – 23 May 1992) (in Quechua, He who comes from faraway lands to say something) was an Argentine singer, songwriter, guitarist, and writer. He is considered the most important Argentine folk musician of the 20th century.
Yupanqui was born Héctor Roberto Chavero Aramburu in Pergamino (Buenos Aires Province), in the Argentine pampas, about 200 kilometers away from Buenos Aires. His father was a Criollo descended from indigenous people, while his mother was born in the Basque country. His family moved to Tucumán when he was ten. In a bow to two legendary Incan kings, he adopted the stage name Atahualpa Yupanqui, which became famous the world over.
In his early years, Yupanqui travelled extensively through the northwest of Argentina and the Altiplano studying the indigenous culture. He also became radicalized and joined the Communist Party of Argentina. In 1931, he took part in the failed Kennedy brothers uprising against the de facto government of José Félix Uriburu and in support of deposed president Hipólito Yrigoyen. After the uprising was defeated, he was forced to seek refuge in Uruguay. He returned to Argentina in 1934.
In 1935, Yupanqui paid his first visit to Buenos Aires; his compositions were growing in popularity, and he was invited to perform on the radio. Shortly thereafter, he made the acquaintance of pianist Antonieta Paula Pepin Fitzpatrick, nicknamed "Nenette", who became his lifelong companion and musical collaborator under the pseudonym "Pablo Del Cerro".
Because of his Communist Party affiliation (which lasted until 1952), his work suffered from censorship during Juan Perón's presidency; he was detained and incarcerated several times. He left for Europe in 1949. Édith Piaf invited him to perform in Paris on 7 July 1950. He immediately signed a contract with "Chant Du Monde", the recording company that published his first LP in Europe, "Minero Soy" (I am a Miner). This record won first prize for Best Foreign Disc at the Charles Cros Academy, which included three hundred fifty participants from all continents in its International Folklore Contest He subsequently toured extensively throughout Europe.
In 1952, Yupanqui returned to Buenos Aires. He broke with the Communist Party, which made it easier for him to book radio performances. While with Nenette they constructed their house on Cerro Colorado (Córdoba).
Recognition of Yupanqui's ethnographic work became widespread during the 1960s, and nueva canción artists such as Facundo Cabral, Mercedes Sosa and Jorge Cafrune recorded his compositions and made him popular among the younger musicians, who referred to him as Don Ata.
Yupanqui alternated between houses in Buenos Aires and Cerro Colorado, Córdoba province. During 1963–1964, he toured Colombia, Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, and Italy. In 1967, he toured Spain, and settled in Paris. He returned regularly to Argentina and appeared in Argentinísima II in 1973, but these visits became less frequent when the military dictatorship of Jorge Videla came to power in 1976. In February 1968, Yupanqui was named Knight of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France by the Ministry of Culture of that country, in honor of 18 years work enriching the literature of the French nation. Some of his songs are included in the programs of Institutes and Schools where Castilian Literature is taught.
In 1985, the Konex Foundation from Argentina granted him the Diamond Konex Award, one of the most prestigious awards in Argentina, as the most important Popular Musician in the last decade in his country.
In 1989, an important cultural center of France, the University of Nanterre, asked Yupanqui to write the lyrics of a cantata to commemorate the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. The piece, entitled "The Sacred Word" (Parole sacrée), was released before high French authorities. It was not a recollection of historical facts but rather a tribute to all the oppressed peoples that freed themselves. Yupanqui died in Nîmes, France in 1992 at the age of 84; his remains were cremated and dispersed on his beloved Colorado Hill on 8 June 1992.

This album "Cantata `Tupac Amaru´" was released in 1978 on "Le Chant Du Monde".

Tracklist:

01. El sacrificio de Tupac-Amaru
02. En la noche silenciosa
03. Romance entre pastores
04. Muñequito de cobre
05. La fiesta del sol


Atahualpa Yupanqui - Cantata 'Tupac Amaru' (1978)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 16. Februar 2018

Woody Guthrie - Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child (1956)

Some of the last songs written and recorded by Woody Guthrie were his children's songs.
Their strength, shown in "Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child", is an unusually strong identification with actually being a child, in all its simplicity and charm, along with the ability to win over listeners. Good examples here are "Rattle My Rattle" and "I Want My Milk." Guthrie is an acquired sonic taste worth acquiring. Ages 3-5.

Tracklist:
1Grassy Grass Grass (Grow, Grow, Grow)1:35
2Swimmy Swim1:53
3Little Sugar (Little Saka Sugar)1:22
4Rattle My Rattle1:11
5I Want My Milk (I Want It Now)2:17
61,2,3,4,5,6,7,81:11
7One Day Old1:33
8Wash-y Wash Wash (Warshy Little Tootsy)1:34
9I'll Eat You, I'll Drink You1:40
10Make A Blobble2:05
11Who's My Pretty Baby (Hey Pretty Baby)1:43
12I'll Write And I'll Draw2:27
13Why, Oh Why3:27
14Pick It Up1:51
15Pretty And Shiny-O1:28
16Needle Sing2:15
17Bling-Blang2:41
18Goodnight Little Arlo (Goodnight Little Darlin')3:16

Woody Guthrie - Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child (1956)
(Ca. 145 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018

Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (1968)

The band's debut album, "Os Mutantes", is far and away their best — a wildly inventive trip that assimilates orchestral pop, whimsical psychedelia, musique concrète, found-sound environments — and that's just the first song!

Elsewhere there are nods to Carnaval, albeit with distinct hippie sensibilities, incorporating fuzztone guitars and go-go basslines. Two tracks, "O Relogio" and "Le Premier Bonheur du Jour," work through pastoral French pop, sounding closer to the Swingle Singers than Gilberto Gil.

Though not all of the experimentation succeeds — the languid Brazilian blues of "Baby" is rather cumbersome — and pop/rock listeners may have a hard time finding the hooks, Os Mutantes' first album is an astonishing listen. It's far more experimental than any of the albums produced by the era's first-rate psychedelic bands of Britain or America.

Os Mutantes - Same (1968)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 13. Februar 2018

Violeta Parra ‎– Santiago, Penando Estas (Pläne, 1974)

Daughter of a music teacher and a singer/guitarist, Violeta Parra was influenced by her parents since being a child. At the age of nine, the young girl started singing and playing guitar, soon composing traditional Chilean music. After getting married to Luis Cereceda in 1952, the singer/songwriter began touring the country, assimilating the natural charm of her native land, which mostly inspired her work. In 1954, Violeta Parra moved to Europe, deciding to settle down in France, where the artist started recording her poetic songs. When returning to Chile in 1958, Violeta Parra got involved in painting and sculpture, extending her artistic skills even more. In 1961, the singer returned to Europe, this time singing along with her daughter Isabel Parra and her son Angel Parra being responsible for keeping their mother's legacy alive.               


Tracklist:

A1 Hasta Cuándo Está - Wie Lange Noch 1:20
A2 Qué Vamos A Hacer (Ayùdame Valentina) - Was Fangen Wir An (Hilf Mir, Valentina) 3:33
A3 Arauco Tiene Una Pena - Ein Schmerz Erfüllt Araukanien 2:55
A4 Santiago, Penando Estás - Santiago, Du Leidest 3:38
B1 Rodríguez Y Recabarren - Rodríguez Und Recabarren 4:12
B2 La Carta - Der Brief 2:52
B3 Según El Favor Del Viento - Mit Der Gunst Des Windes 2:25
B4 Es Una Barca De' Amores - Es Gibt Ein Boot Der Liebe 3:45
       

Violeta Parra ‎– Santiago, Penando Estas (Pläne, 1974)     
(320 kbps, cover art included)       

Sonntag, 11. Februar 2018

Hein & Oss - Songs Of The World (Saga, 1968)


The twin brothers Oskar and Heinrich Kröher as "Hein & Oss" stood for over fifty years on stages in Europe and North America. They are German songwriter and call themselves "The People's Singer" - to use an expression from the Biedermeier.  Long before there was talk of a new folk song movement, the vocal and guitar duo played and sung democratic folk songs, workers' songs, songs of 1848/49, songs from the Hambach Festival, partisan songs and soldier songs, sea shanties and cowboy songs.
Together with Peter Rohland they initiated the festivals “chanson folklore international” on Burg Waldeck (1964-1969).
Tracklist:

Ponte de quatro colores
Streets of Laredo
Psaropula
Tamo Daleko
Chevaliers de la table ronde
Venezuela
Ty Morjak
Der Mond ist aufgegangen
John Kanaka
Mesa
On the Grand Canyon Line
Tsen Brieder
Dos palomitas
From the Volga to the Don
Colorado Trail
Les canuts

Hein & Oss - Songs Of The World (Saga, 1968)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 10. Februar 2018

The Fugs - The First Album (1966)

A loping, ridiculous, and scabrous release, the Fugs' debut mashed everything from folk and beat poetry to rock and rhythm & blues - all with a casual disregard for sounding note perfect, though not without definite goals in mind. Actually compiled from two separate sessions originally done for Folkways Records, and with slightly different lineups as a result, it's a short but utterly worthy release that pushed any number of 1964-era buttons at once (and could still tick off plenty of people).

Sanders produced the sessions in collaboration with the legendary Harry Smith, who was able to sneak the collective onto Folkways' accounts by describing them as a "jug band," and it's not a far-off description. A number of songs sound like calm-enough folk-boom fare, at least on casual listening, though often with odd extra touches like weirdly muffled drums or out of nowhere whistles and chimes. Others, meanwhile, are just out there -- thus, the details of the perfect "Supergirl." Then there's "Boobs a Lot," the post-toke/acid lament "I Couldn't Get High," and the pie-in-the-face to acceptable standards of the time, "Slum Goddess."

Throughout it all, the Fugs sound like they're having a perfectly fun time; the feeling is loose, ragged, but right, and while things may be sloppy around the edges, often that's totally intentional. Certainly little else could explain the random jamming and rhythmic chanting/shouting on "Swinburne Stomp."

The album was originally released in 1965 as The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Point of Views, and General Dissatisfaction on Folkways Records before the band signed up with ESP-Disk, who released the album under its own label with a new name in 1966

Tracklist:
  1. "Slum Goddess" (Ken Weaver) – 1:58
  2. "Ah, Sunflower, Weary of Time" (William Blake, Ed Sanders) – 2:15
  3. "Supergirl" (Tuli Kupferberg) – 2:18
  4. "Swinburne Stomp" (Sanders, A.C. Swinburne) – 2:50
  5. "I Couldn't Get High" (Weaver) – 2:06
  6. "How Sweet I Roamed" (Blake, Sanders) – 2:11
  7. "Carpe Diem" (Kupferberg) – 5:07
  8. "I Feel Like Homemade Shit" (Sanders) – 2:18
  9. "Boobs a Lot" (Steve Weber) – 2:12
  10. "Nothing" (Kupferberg) – 4:18


The Fugs - The First Album (1966)
(320 kbps, cover art included)


Donnerstag, 8. Februar 2018

Mercedes Sosa‎ & Ariel Ramirez - Mujeres Argentinas (1969)


Honored all over the world as "the Voice of Latin America" and revered in her native Argentina as "a symbol of life and freedom", Mercedes Sosa, almost 35 years after her début, remains a dynamic, inspiring figure, and one of the most versatile artists on the international music scene.

After recording her second and third albums, "Hermano" and "Para cantarle a mi gente", she begins touring internationally, performing in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Poland, and Russia. She met Ariel Ramírez, composer of "Misa criolla", who asks her to be the soloist in his album "Mujeres Argentinas". She recorded the album in 1969 with Ramírez immediately after finishing "Con sabor a Mercedes Sosa". Meanwhile her music describing social injustices in Argentina has led the country's military dictatorship to ban it from radio broadcasts.

This is a terrific album, where Mercedes Sosa interprets songs about Argentinian women throughout the country's history (hence the title of the record).

Some of the women are vaguely famous (such as Juana Azurduy, a rebel leader against the Spanish) or Alfonsina Storni (a poet), some are simple women who simbolize a time or a social type, such as the white woman who refuses to leave the defeated Indians and return to a civilization no longer hers (Dorotea La Cautiva). Or the anonymous European settler women, faced with decades of backbreaking work in the middle of nowhere (Gringa Chaqueña). This is a fairly quiet but beautifully put together record, and the songs tend to have an introspective tone. Mercedes Sosa is backed mainly by Spanish guitars and harpsichord, with some Southern American percussion such as the bombo.

Tracklist:

1. Gringa chaqueña
2. Juana Azurduy
3. Rosarito Vera, maestra
4. Dorotea la cautiva
5. Alfonsina y el mar
6. Manuela, la tucumana
7. Las cartas de Guadalupe  
8. En casa de Mariquita      

Personnel:
Mercedes Sosa (vocals)
Ariel Ramírez (piano)
Hector Zeoli (organ)

Mercedes Sosa - Mujeres Argentinas (1969)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 6. Februar 2018

Mercedes Sosa - Homenaje a Violeta Parra (1971)



Mercedes Sosa was born in poverty, her father a day laborer, her mother a washer woman, in Tucumán, a province in northwest Argentina, on July 9, 1935.
At 15, she won an amateur-hour contest sponsored by a local radio with a two month contract for appearances as its grand prize. It turned out to be the start of her career.

By the late 50s she had moved on from traditional folk and embraced the Movimiento del Nuevo Cancionero, a fledging movement with a new approach to folk music that updated the standard folk lyrics to sing about the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. This, naturally, led her in time to champion the Nueva Canción (New Song), a movement in Latin America in the 60s that blended traditional rhythms and lyrics addressing social and political concerns. This became a deadly serious business in Latin America in the 70s, as ruthless military dictatorships took power. Sosa was detained and body searched on stage at a concert in 1979. Many in the audience were detained. In the following weeks, her concerts were cancelled after anonymous bomb threats were called in. And while there was no cause open against Sosa, her songs were banned on the radio and she was prohibited from performing.

Understandably feeling persecuted and unable to make a living, Sosa left in self imposed exile to France and Spain.
She returned to Argentina in 1982, just as the military dictatorship was beginning to disintegrate. (In fact, in retrospect, Sosa´s epochal 13-night comeback stand at the Opera Theatre in Buenos Aires, captured on the disc Mercedes Sosa en Argentina, was in itself a measure of the increasing weakness of the regime.)

Sosa had been an international artist, performing in the United States and Europe, since the 1960s, but in her condition as an exile she transcended her role as a folk singer and became a symbol of resistance and the struggle for human rights. It was a heavy mantle that she carried effectively – while also making clear to whoever wanted to listen that she was an artist first.

“Sometimes, one is made to be a big mouth or some sort of Robin Hood and it’s not like that,” she once told me, in the 90s, with an edge of frustration in her voice. “I am a woman who sings, who tries to sing as well as possible with the best songs available. I was bestowed this role as big protester and it’s not like that at all. I’m just a thinking artist.”
And being a “thinking artist” for Sosa not only meant singing questioning lyrics, but also opening up her musical world.

Since her return to Argentina and for the past 20 years, rather than basking on the warm glow of her status and playing it safe musically, Sosa increasingly crossed over stylistic boundaries, taking a Pan-Ibero-American approach. She would still sing Argentine folk music and remain true to her Nuevo Cancionero roots, but also integrate music by Brazilian artists such as Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque; Spanish singer songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat and rocker Joaquin Sabina. And in Argentina, where the music communities long lived in parallel worlds that rarely acknowledged, much less addressed, each other, Sosa seemed to make a point of ignoring stylistic boundaries. She worked with neo-folk singers such as Leon Gieco (a Bob Dylan-like figure) but also recalcitrant rockers such as Charly Garcia, pop rockers such as Fito Páez and new tango stalwarts such as bandoneonist Rodolfo Mederos. And it wasn’t just big names but also up-and-coming songwriters, playing sort of fairy godmother by calling attention to their work, giving them, in a word, her blessing.

Here´s her hommage to Violeta Parra, the famous Chilean composer, songwriter, folklorist, ethnomusicologist and visual artist, who set the basis for "Chilean' New Song", the Nueva canción chilena, a renewal and a reinvention of Chilean folk music which would absorb and extend its influence far beyond Chile.

Tracklist:

Defensa De Violeta
Graicas A La Vida
Segun El Favor Del Viento
Arriba Quemando El Sol
Me Gustan Los Estudiantes
Volver A Los 17
La Carta
Que He Sacado Con Quererte
La Lavandera
Rin Del Angelito
Los Pueblos Americanos 

Mercedes Sosa - Homenaje a Violeta Parra (1971)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 5. Februar 2018

Helen Schneider - A Walk On The Weill Side (1989)


The American singer-actress Helen Schneider has performed even more frequently in Weill's country of birth, Germany, than in the USA, and she is closely identified with Weill's work. In fact, she headlined at the Dessau Festival in Weill's home town during the centennial celebration in August 2000.

Most writers divide Weill's career into two distinct halves - the German and the American. Lotte Lenya disagreed with that and said of her husband: "there's only one Weill." Andrea Marcovicci takes the other side, and points out how much his music changed after he came to America. Schneider emphatically aligns herself with the One Weill school.

"Of course his music evolved," Schneider says, speaking from her home in Connecticut in mid-September. "He grew, his interests changed, he tried new ideas. But one thing that remained constant was his affinity for great collaborators. He found connections with some of the world's greatest writers, from Brecht in Germany, through Paul Green when he first came to America, and then Maxwell Anderson, Ogden Nash, Moss Hart, Ira Gershwin, Alan Jay Lerner and Langston Hughes. They sought him out and Weill was attracted to their ideas. Weill changed the expectations for musical theater. He paved the way for Sondheim." Because there's such variety in his music, Schneider says she can do a full evening of Weill and not be redundant. She has done so in New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere. She is in conversation about an appearance at Manhattan's Algonquin Hotel in February, 2001.

Schneider, like Weill, bears a German family name. Her grandfather on her father's side came to the United States from Germany in 1919. But all of her other antecedents were Russian Jews, and Helen knew very little about German culture -- and didn't speak the language -- when she first was invited to perform there in 1977. "I go where the work is," she says, "so I accepted the invitation and received wonderful acceptance. Later, I learned the German language." When she played Sally Bowles in a Berlin production of Cabaret in 1987 she studied the history of German cabaret and music halls "and that's when I became enamored with Weill."

Born in Brooklyn in 1953, Schneider moved to Pomona, NY, where she graduated high school. She studied classical piano and was a soloist in a youth choir which performed Berlioz' Lelio at Carnegie Hall. She then began to sing rock music and ran away with a blues band at 17. Later she was an opening act for Flip Wilson, David Brenner, Bill Cosby, Robert Klein and David Steinberg on tour and in Las Vegas. When she played Sally Bowles, the German press praised her "grace, sex, sandpaper in her voice and cat-like movements." Other highlights of Schneider's career include an 18-month run as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in Germany and a musical about the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Schneider was featured in Ghetto on Broadway and starred in the world premiere of Frida at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia in 1991, later in Boston and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and will be appearing in productions of it in 2001 in Vienna, Berlin and Mexico City.

Her CD, A Walk on the Weill Side, shows her to be a distinctive interpreter. Schneider uses a variety of accents, including Cockney and French, to delineate the characters of the songs. Most of her interpretations are quiet and intimate, but she sometimes rises to exciting, dramatic climaxes. Then, too, she can give a straight-out romantic reading, as she does with "What Good Would the Moon Be" from Street Scene. One of the highlights of the CD is "I Wait For a Ship," a yearning ballad from Weill's almost-forgotten 1934 Parisian musical, Marie Galante. It shows a lushness that presages the work he was soon to do in the USA, but it was written before Weill ever visited America. The German-language album of Sunset Boulevard, starring Schneider, reveals the most gorgeously-sung of all the fine Norma Desmonds that I've heard.

(from: http://www.totaltheater.com/)

Helen Schneider - A Walk On The Weill Side (1989)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

VA - No volveremos atrás (Chile, 1973)

This year it was 45 years ago that General Pinochet launched a bloody CIA-assisted coup against the democratically-elected socialist President Allende of Chile.

On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet and his right-wing supporters in the Chilean military and government staged a brutal coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected and socialist-leaning administration of Salvador Allende.
They did so with substantial assistance from the Nixon administration and the CIA, which had been supporting anti-socialist forces throughout Chile following the election of Allende in 1970 and his efforts to nationalize some key industries including the phone company, whose majority owner was the U.S.-based International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT).

Following the coup - in which tens of thousands were arrested and imprisoned in Chile’s football stadiums, untold numbers were tortured, executed, or “disappeared,” and Allende shot himself inside the presidential palace following his farewell speech - the Chicago Boys who had been trained in Friedman’s brand of neoliberalism, previously rebuffed in the 1970 election, were now suddenly given the keys to the Chilean economy by the Pinochet regime.
This came on the heels of a proposal published on the day of the coup by the Chicago Boys to restructure Chile as a kind of laboratory of neoliberalism.

During the airforce bombardment of the Presidential palace, La Moneda, Allende addressed the nation one final time. These were Allende’s famous last words, delivered after personally engaging in a bitter hours-long firefight with Pinochet’s treasonous military forces, and just moments before taking his own life with a rifle given to him as a gift by Fidel Castro:
"Surely, this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the antennas of Radio Magallanes. My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May there be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [paramilitary police]. Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!
Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. They have force and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested by neither crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.
Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that. At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector who today are hoping, with foreign assistance, to re-conquer the power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.
I address you, above all, the modest woman of our land, the campesina who believed in us, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals who continued working against the sedition that was supported by professional associations, classist associations that also defended the advantages of capitalist society.
I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours — in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to act.
They were committed. History will judge them.
Surely, Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to his country.
The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.
Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will once again be opened through which free man will pass to build a better society.
Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!
These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, there will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.
Santiago de Chile,
11 September 1973"

Chile is - 40 years after the bloody overthrow of the socialist Allende government - focus of this year's "Festival Musik & Politik" in February. Besides a lot of other interesting events with music, discussion and film there will be a concert "Victor Jara presente" with Quilapayun and others on February 24, 2013. More information via http://www.musikundpolitik.de/.

We will present in the following month some albums remembering the struggle of the people in Chile and the brutal coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected and socialist-leaning government in Chile 40 years ago.

This LP, released by DICAP, is emblematic of the Chilean Unidad Popular and the way of making music in the service of popular political struggles. With most of the songs by Quilapayun, the idea of the work was to support the political campaign for the UP elections in March 1973.

Tracklist:

01 - Este es mi lugar [Quilapayún]
02 - Por siempre muy juntos [Quilapayún]
03 - No vamos hoy a bailar [Quilapayún]
04 - Conchalí [Bonnie-Baher y Quilapayún]
05 - Cueca negra [Quilapayún]
06 - Nuestro amor [Bonnie-Baher y Quilapayún]
07 - Onofre sí, Frei [Quilapayún]
08 - Al centro de la injusticia [Isabel Parra] (versión 1973
09 - El desabastecimiento [Víctor Jara]
10 - Frei, ayúdame [Quilapayún e Inti-illimani]
12 - Cueca roja [Quilapayún]

VA - No volveremos atras (Chile, 1973)
(160 kbps, front cover incuded)

David Peel & the Lower East Side - The American Revolution (1970, vinyl rip)

David Peel was, and still is, a street musician and political activist from the Lower East Side of New York City. With a collection of friends who became his bandmates and who were eponymously called the Lower East Side, he recorded two groundbreaking albums of social reflections, urban tales, and hippie mythology for Elektra Records.

The first, entitled "Have a Marijuana", was released in 1968. The second, "The American Revolution", was released in 1970. Both were just exactly as you would think they would be from their album titles: Musical Counterculture Manifestos Presented With Guitars and Grins.

The politically charged David Peel & the Lower East Side directly contrasted their 1968 acoustic live debut, "Have a Marijuana" (recorded in New York City's Washington Square Park), with 1970's "American Revolution", an amplified studio outing. The real similarity between the two remains Peel's no-holds-barred, in-your-face attitude and staunchly liberal espousing.

Although Peel's earlier effort hinted at the band's proto-punk and garage rock leanings, the aggressive electric bashing that accompanies "Lower East Side," "Hey, Mr. Draft Board," and "Girls, Girls, Girls" allows them to bring that restless spirit to complete fruition. While Peel's work has been considered as little more than a hippie novelty, the sheer range of his topical lyrics is often a direct reflection of the then-current anti-establishment movement. His music deals candidly with their attitudes regarding Vietnam ("I Want to Kill You"), the repression of local law enforcement ("Oink, Oink, Oink"), hypocritical drug laws ("Legalize Marijuana"), sex ("Girls, Girls, Girls"), and even more contemplative esoteric concepts ("God").

David Peel & the Lower East Side - The American Revolution (1970, vinyl rip)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mikis Theodorakis & Maria Farantouri - Poetica

In the '90s, Mikis Theodorakis had a major asset in singer Maria Farantouri, who handles all of the vocals on "Poetica".

Blessed with a gorgeous voice and a fantastic range, Farantouri brings a great deal of charisma and humanity to such Theodorakis melodies as "With Half a Moon," "Color of Love" and "Sobbing Angels."

Theodorakis is a superb composer - one of the true poets of Greek pop, to be sure - and Farantouri has the sensitivity and depth needed for his songs.

Interestingly, "Poetica" wasn't recorded in Greece, but was recorded for the German Peregrina label at a studio in Ludwigsburg, Germany. In fact, the band that Theodorakis leads on this album, is comprised of German musicians. Highly recommended. 

  
Mikis Theodorakis & Maria Farantouri - Poetica   
(256 kbps, small front cover included)

Sonntag, 4. Februar 2018

The Fall ‎- A Part Of America Therein, 1981 (1982)

"From the riot torn streets of Manchester, England to the scenic sewers of Chicago" begins the hoarse American MC introducing The Fall to an audience of appreciative, but probably confused, stateside audience.

Of the early live albums, "A Part of America Therein 1981" might be one of their best. The sound quality and band mix is fine, though a slight distortion suggests a poor source tape or a vinyl remaster. Above all, the band is in top form, Mark E. Smith amusing in several audience asides while focused and possessed of vitriol in the treatise-like songs ("The N.W.R.A." and "Cash 'n' Carry") that make up a majority of this set. "Totally Wired" can't help but be a lashing out of the scene surrounding him, as Smith changes the lyrics to attack the faux punks in the audience. And the line "When the going gets weird/the weird turn pro" could be The Fall's motto. The double-punch of Craig Scanlon and Marc Riley's guitars add to the fury.

Tracklist:

North Side:
A1 The N.W.R.A. 10:50
A2 Hip Priest 7:35
A3 Totally Wired 4:08
A4 Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul 3:05
South Side:
B1 Cash 'N' Carry 6:35
B2 An Older Lover 6:40
B3 Deer Park 4:24
B4 Winter 7:25


The Fall ‎- A Part Of America Therein, 1981 (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 3. Februar 2018

The Ex - Tumult (1983)

A Dutch group of communal anarchists (think of an Amsterdam-based Crass), the Ex are something of a rarity in political rock circles, in that their albums are at least as musically interesting as they are lyrically pungent.

In the particular case of 1983's "Tumult", the group's fourth album, its musical merit is at least partially due to the fact that Jon Langford of the Mekons and the Three Johns produced. Langford gives the band a slightly more structured sound, which turns out to be to their advantage; in so doing, Langford minimizes the group's obvious points of comparison (singer G.W. Sok sounds more than a little like the Fall's Mark E. Smith) and makes them sound more like their own band. The seven-minute opener, "Bouquet of Barbed Wire," builds slowly from a hypnotic guitar riff, adding instruments one at a time before exploding into an intense post-punk roar. The rest of the album continues in this defiant style, with the declamatory "Squat!" a musical and sociological high point, through the rest of this generous 13-track album. The closing "Island Race" ends with an industrial clanging that predates the early records by Test Department and Einsturzende Neubauten.

Tracklist:

A1 Bouquet Of Barbed Wire 6:58
A2 Fear 2:17
A3 Hunt The Hunters 3:34
A4 Survival Of The Fattest 5:18
A5 Red Muzak 2:44
A6 Happy Thoughts 5:33
B1 The Well-Known Soldier 2:22
B2 Black And White Statements 4:39
B3 Squat! 2:25
B4 Same Old News 2:08
B5 F.U.N.E.I.D.Y. 5:23
B6 O.S.L. (New Schvienhunt League) 2:42
B7 Island Race 7:17

The Ex - Tumult (1983)
(192 kbps, cover art included)
               

The Fall - Dragnet (1979)

Mark E. Smith, the irascible frontman of Manchester post-punk band the Fall, has died at the age of 60 on Jan 24, 2018. Rest in peace!

The Fall's second album was also one of the hardest to find in later years, getting only sporadic represses and reissues. Though some opinions would have it that there was a good reason for this - namely, that it was something of a dead end sonically - it's not as bad as all that. It's true that more than a few tracks come across as Fall-by-numbers (even then, already better than plenty of other bands), but there are some thorough standouts regardless. There's also another key reason to rate "Dragnet" - it's the debut album appearance of Craig Scanlon, who picked up on the off-kilter rockabilly-meets-art rock sensibilities of the initial lineup and translated it into amazing guitar work.

No less important is the appearance of Steve Hanley, who would soon take over fully on bass from Marc Riley, who in turn moved to guitar, forming one heck of a partnership with Scanlon that would last until Riley jumped ship to form the Creepers. Generally the songs which work the best on "Dragnet" throw in some amusingly odd curves while still hanging together musically. The full winner is unquestionably "Spectre vs. Rector," an amazing combination of clear lead vocals and buried, heavily echoed music and further rants, before fully exploding halfway through while the rhythm obsessively grinds away. Another odd and wonderful cut is "Muzorewi's Daughter," which starts out sounding like stereotypical Hollywood music for Native American tribes before shifting between that and quicker choruses. "Dice Man," with its rave-up melody and slower vocal- and guitar-only chorus, not to mention the weird muttering elsewhere in the mix, says it all in under two minutes and has fun while doing it.

Through it all, Smith rants and raves supreme, spinning out putdowns, cracked vocals, and total bile with all the thrill and energy one could want from a good performer.       

Tracklist:

A1 Psykick Dancehall 3:40
A2 A Figure Walks 6:05
A3 Printhead 3:05
A4 Dice Man 1:45
A5 Before The Moon Falls 4:20
A6 Your Heart Out 2:45
B1 Muzorewi's Daughter 3:40
B2 Flat Of Angles 4:50
B3 Choc-Stock 2:36
B4 Spectre Vs. Rector 7:49
B5 Put Away 3:24


The Fall - Dragnet (1979)
(320 kbps, cover art included)     

Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2018

Theodor W. Adorno & Hanns Eisler - Works For String Quartet (1996) (Leipziger Streichquartett)

On the album there are works for string quartet by Hans Eisler and Theador Adorno.

The Eisler works are from the 1920s and are interesting and show his great talent. The works by Adorno, particular his full string quartet are excellent. They are composed using the 12 tone technique and are beautiful, showing his debt to Alban Berg with whom he took composition lessons.

The full string quartet is as fine as any composition I have heard using the twelve tone system of composition.

01 - Hanns Eisler - String Quartet Op 75
02 - Hanns Eisler - Praeludium Und Fuge Ueber B-A-C-H For String Trio, Op 46
03 - Theodor W. Adorno - Six Studies For String Quartet
04 - Theodor W. Adorno - String Quartet
05 - Theodor W. Adorno - Two Pieces For

T. W. Adorno & H. Eisler - Works For String Quartet (1996)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Live im Unterhaus (1973)


Hanns Dieter Hüsch grew up in the Niederrhein-Area near the Netherlands and had to suffer of 'pes adductus' until he was 11 years old. Because he could not play with other children, he became a loner and began to write. When he was 22, Hüsch began to study in Mainz, "but I did not study, I wrote cabaret pieces". In 1949 Hüsch married Marianne and they had a daughter named Anna. At the time, they did not earn enough money to feed the young family, and Hüsch moved to Stuttgart, where he obtained employment at the local radio station. He worked under the direction of Guy Walter as author, songwriter and radio commentator.
 In 1955 Hanns Dieter Hüsch started his first cabaret ensemble, 'Arche nova', which became famous in southern Germany and Switzerland.
From 1965 on, Hüsch released phonograph records with literary cabaret pieces, chansons and poems - he sold more than 50 albums until his death. In 1967 he joined the left-wing German student movement and performed on Burg Waldeck. But some elements of the student movement did not like Hüsch's non-violent attitude. They heckled his performances from June 1968 until August 1969 and "it was just as if your comrades told you that you are not good enough for the fight and that you have to give it up", said Hüsch. He was disappointed and hurt by their actions against his art, decided not to perform in Germany for years, and moved to Switzerland.

In 1972 he returned to German cabaret stages and subsequently became one of the most productive and successful representatives of literary cabaret in Germany, with more than 200 performances every year. In 1985 his wife died, and Hüsch wrote his most successful programme ever: "Und sie bewegt mich doch"/"And yet she moves me". In 1988 Hüsch left Mainz and went to Cologne, where he met his second wife Christiane. In 1996 Hüsch contracted lung cancer, caused by his cigarette smoking, but survived. Until the end of 2000, he toured with his farewell programme "Wir sehen uns wieder" ("We will meet again") in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 2001, a stroke ended his plan to play King Lear at the Staatstheater Dresden. Complications resulting from the stroke and cancer confined him to his home in Windeck near Cologne, where he was nursed by Christiane. Hanns Dieter Hüsch died 6 months after his 80th birthday.

It is said that more than 3.5 million people have seen Hanns Dieter Hüsch's live performances from 1947 to 2000. He received the Bundesverdienstkreuz and, twice, the German Cabaret award "Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis"; he also received honorary citizenship of Moers and Mainz, the North Rhine-Westphalia culture prize, the 1995 Kassel Literary Prize, and the culture prize of Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as other honors.

Tracklist:
1. Schallplatte A-Seite 25:05
A1Hüsch Über Hüsch
A2Tucholsky
A3Wie Ich Die Frieda Kennenlernte
A4Ich Schäm' Mich So
A5Von Windeln Verweht
A6Die Großen Leeren Plätze
A7Ich Möcht' Ein Clown Sein
1. Schallplatte B-Seite 25:46
B1Geistige Leute
B2Und Samstags Zu Beethoven
B3Belmondo
B4Holland & Norderney
2. Schallplatte A-Seite 24:55
C1Frieda Und Der Wilde Westen
C2Radio-Vorschau
C3Humanistisches Gymnasium
C4Silvester
2. Schallplatte B-Seite 25:55
D1Silvester (Fortsetzung)
D2Die Prüfung
D3Hausmusik
D4Nachfeier
D5Sinn Des Lebens

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Live im Unterhaus (1973)
(128 kbps, front cover included)