Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Baltic art gallery expands with new branch...


The Baltic art gallery in Gateshead is to open an offshoot gallery in a new arts complex in neighbouring Newcastle.

The Baltic, which opened a decade ago, had more than 500,000 visitors last year, when it hosted the Turner Prize.

The new £10m arts centre, named Baltic 39, will open in April in a Grade II listed former printing warehouse.

The Baltic said the new space would give artists "creative freedom to experiment and innovate". The building will also house studios for 32 artists.

Named after its location at 39 High Bridge, over the River Tyne from the main Baltic gallery, the new branch will also provide a home for Northumbria University's fine art students.

A statement said the gallery would allow artists and curators to "stretch the boundaries of contemporary art practice".

Its first exhibition, which opens on 6 April, will be curated by sculptor Phyllida Barlow and will use the work of 12 UK-based artists to examine the process of making art.

Arts Council England will fund the exhibition programme.

Arts Council regional director Alison Clark-Jenkins said: "A pioneering approach to partnership between public, cultural and academic institutions has resulted in a nationally significant visual arts facility, developing both artists and practice.

"At times this has been a long journey for the Arts Council and our partners - but we've ended up in a very exciting place."

Newcastle City Council, which owns the building, said the building's redevelopment had cost £10m.

Source: BBC

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Frankfest to fund Frank Sidebottom statue...


Rock veterans The Fall and singer Badly Drawn Boy are to headline Frankfest, a gig to raise money to build a statue of comic character Frank Sidebottom.

Known for his over-sized papier-mache head, Sidebottom was the alter ego of entertainer Chris Sievey, who died in June 2010.

Friends are trying to raise £60,000 to install a life-size bronze statue in Timperley, Manchester, where he lived.

Frankfest will be held at the Jabez Clegg venue in Manchester on 31 March.

"The demise of Frank, when Chris died, was incredibly sad," said Sievey's friend and statue campaign chairman Neil Taylor. "We're trying to get a fitting tribute."

Source: BBC

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Lennon and McCartney homes given Grade II listed status...


The childhood homes of John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney have been listed as Grade II buildings by English Heritage.

Lennon's house - Mendips, on Menlove Avenue in Woolton, and McCartney's home on Forthlin Road in Allerton, are both in Liverpool.

English Heritage said the two houses were where The Beatles composed and rehearsed many of their early hits.

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said The Beatles were "tremendously important".

He said that the listing meant the houses were "legally protected from being bashed around or altered in future".

'Dreams came true'

McCartney lived at Forthlin Road from the age of 13 to 22 and about 100 Beatles songs were composed there.

Lennon lived at Mendips, a 1930s semi-detached house, with his Aunt Mimi and her husband George Toogood Smith, from the age of five to 22.

It was where Lennon and McCartney wrote Please Please Me, The Beatles' first number one hit.

It was at these houses that Lennon first started to play guitar, and where he and McCartney, now 69, had the early practice sessions for their first band, The Quarrymen.

Both properties have been restored by the National Trust to look as they would have done when Lennon and McCartney were growing up.

In a statement, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said: "Mendips always meant a great deal to John and it was where his childhood dreams came true for himself and for the world."

Listed buildings cannot be demolished or altered without special permission from the local planning authority.

Grade II buildings are described by English Heritage as "nationally important and of special interest".

Source: BBC

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Davy Jones of The Monkees dies aged 65...


Davy Jones, British-born lead singer with 60s band The Monkees, has died aged 65, his publicist has confirmed.

He died in his sleep at his home in Florida. His publicist, Deborah Robicheau, said he had a massive heart attack.

The band, who included musicians Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, were famous for hits including Daydream Believer and I'm a Believer.

Source: BBC

Stop making music copyright demands, broadcasters told...


Composers are being "bullied" into surrendering their copyright by TV companies across Europe, a group representing musicians has claimed.

The charges were laid in a complaint to EU competition authorities by the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) in January.

ITV and BSkyB are among the British broadcasters accused of "the coercive acquisition of composers' rights".

Based in Brussels, ECSA represents more than 12,000 composers and songwriters.

Basca - the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - is a leading member of ECSA and helped draft the complaint, which was filed with the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition last month.

"Individual composers find themselves obliged to sign away their rights for fear of losing work or of being blacklisted if they refuse," said composer Chris Smith, from ECSA's Working Group on Coercion.

The practice meant "income which would otherwise flow to composers" was "being taken by third parties", he added.

In a statement released ahead of a press conference held in Brussels on Wednesday, ECSA said what it called "coercive commissioning" was "a malignant and growing business practice in the audio-visual and media production sectors".

"ECSA alleges that the terms of publishing agreements into which composers are coerced by some of Europe's largest and most prominent broadcasters are far less fair than what could be secured in a truly free and open market."

Broadcasters and production companies in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Denmark and Austria are also cited in the complaint.

It is now up to the European Commission to decide whether to open a formal investigation.

The BBC News website has approached both ITV and BSkyB for a comment.

Source: BBC

Zach Braff play lambasted by critics...


Zach Braff, star of sitcom Scrubs, has failed to impress the UK's leading theatre critics with his debut appearance on the West End stage.

"The most aimless, pointless play I have ever seen" was the verdict of The Times' Libby Purves on All New People.

The Guardian's Michael Billington said it was "a muddled, meandering affair that reeks of self-gratification".

Yet Braff's play did find one friend in the Telegraph's Charles Spencer, who said the show "deserves to prosper".

"This 90-minute piece never outstays its welcome," he wrote in a four-star review that saluted the script's blend of "the comic and the poignant".

All New People, which opened in London on Monday after tour dates in Manchester and Glasgow, tells of a man contemplating suicide on his 35th birthday.

He is interrupted by the arrival of an English property agent, played by Torchwood's Eve Myles, who is later joined by two additional characters.

n his two-star critique, Billington said Braff's play - first staged in New York last year without its author in the cast - was undone by "its mixture of sentimentality and sexism".

The 36-year-old, wrote Paul Taylor in The Independent, "is still writing in the rhythms of television sitcom where the wisecrack and its instant gratifications predominate over longer-term goals".

The Arts Desk website said the play was "a pleasant enough distraction" but added it "starts to score dangerously high on the So-what-ometer".

"The show doesn't hang together or pack a big punch," opined Michael Coveney in his three-star write-up for Whatsonstage.com.

But he did describe Braff - who played Dr John Dorian in Scrubs from 2001 to 2010 - as "an immensely likeable and alert comic performer".

Source: BBC

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Gareth Dickson album announced...


GARETH DICKSON
Quite a Way away
CD 12K 1070

http://www.12k.com/index.php/site/artists/gareth_dickson
http://soundcloud.com/pdis_inpartmaint/gareth-dickson-quite-a-way-1


To say that the last few years of Gareth Dickson's life have been tumultuous would be an understatement. In 2007 he fell in love with a girl from South America, packed up a few essentials from his life in Scotland, and moved to the Argentinian countryside. It didn't turn all fairy tale at that point, however. While there he was shot at, attacked by dogs, and was involved in a very close call when the passenger plane he took to a little town in the Andes was forced down after an engine caught fire. The bullet missed, the aircraft landed, and the dog bites healed; he survived intact, albeit a little more aware of his own mortality, and a good bit more anxious.

"The bullet in all honesty was never meant to hit" he states calmly, it was a robbery gone wrong and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident in the aircraft was far more terrifying because there was the agonizing time to think and reflect during the plane's unintended descent. "It's interesting to find out how you would react in that situation." Dickson says. "Faced with the possibility that it's really time up, I felt an overwhelming sense of this having been destiny, that it was impossible that I had boarded this aircraft by chance."

These adventures are the reason that in the last 4 years Gareth has not managed to record a new album; the last two releases (Collected Recordings, Drifting Falling, 2009, and The Dance, Sleeping Man, 2010) being old material recorded before the trip. They are also the reason that a feeling of heightened alertness and anxiety pervades this new work. If Collected Recordings was in some way a study in melancholy, Quite A Way Away is a decidedly more anxious affair. "Adrenaline," the first track on the album, opens with the lines "Distant beat, advancing feet, each of us wound within." and in "Get Together" there is something of confusion, if not paranoia, in the speaker wondering "Who was here before now, were there only you and I all night?"

Given the episodes that lead up to Quite A Way Away it's only fitting that the album lands on 12k, whose road from stark, synthetic post-techno, 14 years ago, to the textured electro-acoustic ambience of today has been a gradual but well-documented voyage. The label's flirtations with song structures being fused into its experimentations have defined the label as one to skirt the edges of boundaries and genre labels. But no release has quite stepped out of 12k's bounds like Quite A Way Away. Yet despite the fact that Dickson's music is classified as "singer/songwriter" and there isn't an electronic gadget to be heard anywhere on the album, it's remarkable how well it seamlessly blends into 12k's existing catalog. The minimal, fragile, and engrossing sounds of 12k's well-established brand of experimental music is ever-present in Dickson's quiet finger-picked guitar and breathy vocals that hang on the edge of disintegration. Quite A Way Away is somehow as much "12k" as it is a step in a totally new direction.

Dickson, who hails from Glasgow, often gets comparisons to Nick Drake but it's important to mention the influence he takes from experimentalists like Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Bert Jansch, and Glenn Gould. His music is characterized by an intimacy gleaned from his dream-like approach to singing and playing guitar as well as the immediacy of being captured shortly after being written by whatever recording device is closest at hand, be it a cassette machine, handheld recorder, or 4-track. His use of analogue delays and reverb add to this soft, spacey vibe. The lo-fi nature of his sound harbors all of the cracks, flaws and rough edges of humanity, soul, and the deeply personal circumstances that surround the creation of art.

Up until this point Gareth had been traveling as one of the mainstay's in Vashti Bunyan's touring band which took him around the world playing some of the great venues along the way, such as the Carnegie Hall in New York and The Barbican in London. Vashti invited him to join her after she heard one of his tracks on the FatCat records website. He was also asked by Max Richter to record some guitar for a film soundtrack and has recorded and toured with Juana Molina.

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One Little Plane 7 May album on Kieran Hebden's Text Records‏...


One Little Plane
releases second album
'Into The Trees’
-out 7 May 2012 on Kieran Hebden’s Text Records-


Kathryn Bint follows her perfectly formed debut Until (2008) with an album that reveals her remarkable range as a musician and songwriter. Her tender vocals still send husky shivers down the spine, but Into The Trees is so much more than beautiful folk songs.

This is an optimistic record in which “hope stretches out like a leaf”. Recorded in 2010 at Bryn Derwen studios in North Wales, while Bint was pregnant with her first child, these songs are imbued with a tangible determination and hope. As she sings on ‘Simmer Down Simmer’: “We’ll ride until we fall and then get back up”.

Bint was born in Australia, grew up in Chicago, and moved to London nine years ago, where she began writing songs in earnest. After the release of Until, she got together with Henry Scowcroft and Lucy Jamieson, with whom she toured Europe and played festival dates.

Produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Into The Trees weaves a fabric of different sounds, united by Bint’s elegiac voice and strong storytelling. Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood lends the album his bass powers, and tracks like ‘Paper Planes’ and ‘I Know’ rock with a swagger that surprises and yet fits perfectly with the whole. The musicianship of Scowcroft and Jamieson is on full display as the record moves deftly from the acoustic warmth of ‘Hold You Down’ to the sunshine pop of ‘Simmer Down Simmer’ to the dreamy synth of final track ‘Synthesizer’. Hebden’s touch is a delicate one; there is a modesty and clarity to these songs that speaks to the confidence and judgment of those involved. ‘If You Ask’ is so simple and clean that no extra seasoning is required.

Hebden’s influence is most apparent on ‘Bloom’—a spare, electronic piece with the precision of his Four Tet work—and yet this track is the heart of the album, encapsulating its central themes of people among nature. Lovers intertwine like vines, asleep beneath a canopy of trees, holding hands in leaves of grass. These songs are Whitman-esque odes to man’s place in the natural world; they remind us to stop and listen, to live in the moment. As we hear on the album opener ‘She Was Out In The Water’: “Honey, I don’t believe in majesty or things that you compare, I just want to be here now tasting the salty sea air.”

And yet, there is majesty in these songs. In ‘It’s Alright’, One Little Plane suggests “we reach for something like stars”. This is pure modesty; Into The Trees most definitely reaches for stars, and it touches them too.

1. She Was Out In The Water 2. Nothing Has Changed
3. Paper Planes 4. It’s Alright
5. Hold You Down 6. Bloom
7. If You Ask 8. Simmer Down Simmer
9. I Know 10. Synthesizer

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Gringo Star announce UK album release - 30th April, 2012‏...


Gringo Star
New album ‘Count Yer Lucky Stars’
set for UK release 30th April, 2012
First single ‘Shadow’ out 23rd April




www.facebook.com/gringostarmusic
www.twitter.com/gringo_star_atl
www.gringostar.net/

Boiling up from the independent musical cauldron Hotlanta has become, here comes Gringo Star with its follow up to 2008′s critically acclaimed debut, ‘All Y’all.’ The band now comes into its own with ‘Count Yer Lucky Stars‘ - a collection of catchy and instantly classic pop music. You won’t be able to stop humming this spate of new and bright tunes, music that lifts the spirit. The album will be released in the UK on 30th April, 2012, preceded by lead single ‘Shadow’ on 23rd April.

In this Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter) produced record, the surge of primordial forces that reveals itself through rock and roll only about every other generation has infected these multi-instrumentalists and the result is an upbeat album of raw energy and positivity. Live, if you can resist the urge to dance, you’ll find your limbs shaking and your toes tapping to a band which has been described as “explosive,” “electrifying,” and “exceptional.”

Tracklisting:

Shadow
You Want It
Got It
Beatnik Angel Georgie
Count Yer Lucky Stars
Come Alive
Esmarelda
Jessica
Light In The Sky
Make You Mine
Mexican Coma

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Cambridge Folk Festival - New Artists Announced‏...


26, 27, 28, 29 JULY 2012
CHERRY HINTON HALL GROUNDS

NEW NAMES ANNOUNCED

Roy Harper (Sat)
The Unthanks with Brighouse & Rastrick Band (Sat)
Seth Lakeman (Sun) Lau (Sat/Sun)
Gretchen Peters (Fri/Sat) Karine Polwart (Sat/Sun)
Pine Leaf Boys (Fri/Sat) Treacherous Orchestra (Fri)
Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh (Sat) Brian McNeill (Fri/Sat)
Tim Edey & Brendan Power (Thurs) Megson (Thurs)
Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party (Sat/Sun)
Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Band (Sat/Sun) ahab (Thurs)
Habadekuk (Sat/Sun) Blackbeard’s Tea Party (Fri) Ioscaid (Thurs)

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED NAMES:

Clannad (Sat), Joan Armatrading (Sun), The Proclaimers (Sat),
Loreena McKennitt, (Sun) June Tabor & Oysterband (Fri)
Billy Bragg celebrates Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday (Thurs) Nic Jones (Sun).


More international headline names plus emerging and contemporary stars will be announced very soon.

The latest names to be revealed for Europe’s most famous folk festival are renowned British singer-songwriter and guitarist, Roy Harper, cited by many including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page & Fleet Foxes as a key influence ♦ the inspired combination of acclaimed and innovative folk band The Unthanks with Brighouse & Rastrick Band, National Brass Band Champions of Great Britain, making a very special appearance together ♦ multi award winning singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman, known for his charismatic live shows ♦ BBC Folk Awards Best Group winners 2008-2010 Lau, featuring the peerless musicianship of Kris Drever, Martin Green and Aiden O’Rourke ♦ articulate, Nashville based singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters, currently enjoying success with her acclaimed Hello Cruel World album ♦ critically acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter and social commentator Karine Polwart launching her new album at the Festival ♦ Louisiana’s finest contemporary Cajun dance band Pine Leaf Boys ♦ Treacherous Orchestra, the thrilling folk big band, taking Scottish dance music to a new dimension ♦ back by popular demand Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh ♦ multi-talented musician and composer Brian McNeill leading the Festival Session ♦ virtuoso instrumentalists Tim Edey & Brendan Power, winners of 2012 BBC Folk Awards for Best Duo and Best Musician ♦ trailblazing nu-folk duo Megson ♦ rising young London alt-country band with an enviable live reputation ahab ♦ exciting Danish band Habadekuk fusing salsa, jazz, folk and fast-paced polkas ♦ barnstorming folk-rock ceilidh band Blackbeard’s Tea Party and Irish traditional music from BBC Young Folk Award winners Ioscaid.

Online booking and information: www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk
Phone booking: 01223 357851

Tickets: Full Festival £120; Thursday £19; Friday £41; Saturday £52; Sunday £52. Camping: (Full Festival tickets only, per 2-3 berth tent) Cherry Hinton £52, Coldhams Common £36 (second site).
Online bookings subject to booking fee.

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PIES AND RECORDS TOGETHER AT LAST...


Rejoice! For "Southsea's only new music store and pie café" is here. Or almost here. Currently being fitted ready for launch next month is a new shop called Pie & Vinyl. As you may have gathered from the previous three sentences, it will sell pies and music. And it will be in Southsea. Never have I been so close to moving to Southsea.

The owners say via their Facebook page that the shop is "created by music and pie lovers, for music lovers, who maybe also like to do pie". They add: "You'll find the latest eclectic music releases on CD, vinyl and MP3, if we don't stock it we'll order it. Our cafe area will be serving a wide range of pies sourced from Buckwells of Osbourne Road, and Pie Minister, as well as hot and cold beverages. A highlight to our cafe will be listening pods on tables to preview new and forthcoming releases".

You can find them on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/pages/Pie-Vinyl-Southsea/255249274556092

And Twitter here: twitter.com/pieandvinyl

I really hope this doesn't turn out to be an elaborate hoax, I'm not sure I could take the disappointment.

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/

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Review: Phantom Limb


Phantom Limb – The Pines (Naim Edge)
Think of Bristol and it’s bands or artists like Massive Attack and Tricky that quickly come to mind. Think further back and it’s the city’s post-punk and reggae heritage, represented by bands like Glaxo Babies, Essential Bop and Talisman. I don’t know where Phantom Limb fit into the Bristolian musical landscape; the natural habitat of their country-soul / southern rock hybrid is somewhere below the Mason-Dixie line. Not that location was ever a problem for Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones or The Band, who all appropriated southern American music and made some wonderful records.

Phantom Limb isn’t up there with those three groups, but still make plenty of satisfying music on “The Pines”. Singer Yolanda Quartey has got an emotive soul voice, and the band is fully versed in the Muscle Shoals tradition. The big numbers, “Give Me A Reason” and “Harder Than Stone” are showcases for Quartey’s dynamic vocals, but they’re better still when they rock a little; “Gravy Train” rolls sweetly and “Missy” usurps some of the spirit of The Black Crowes, which isn’t altogether surprising, as the album was produced in California by Crowes’ guitarist Marc Ford.
http://www.naimlabel.com/
Simon M.

Oscar statues auctioned for $3m...


A collection of 15 Oscar statues sold for more than $3m (£1.8m) at an auction in Los Angeles, just two days after the Academy Awards took place.

The iconic gold trophies went under the hammer despite members of the Academy protesting against the sale.

Normally, winners are banned from selling their awards, but these prizes were handed out before that rule came into place, in 1950.

The sale included Oscars for the films Wuthering Heights and Citizen Kane.

The highest bid in the online auction went to Herman Mankiewicz's Oscar, which he won in 1941 for the screenplay to Citizen Kane.

The award, which had previously been sold in 1999 by Christie's auction house, fetched $588,455 (£369,556).

Last year, Orson Welles' Academy Award for the same film sold for $861,542 (£541,083).

The 1934 best picture Oscar, which was presented for the Noel Coward adaptation Cavalcade, went for $332,165 (£208,597).

In a statement the Academy said: "Members and the many film artists and craftspeople who've won Academy Awards believe strongly that Oscars should be won, not purchased,"

"Unfortunately, because our winners agreement wasn't instituted until 1950, we don't have any legal means of stopping the commoditisation of these particular statuettes."

The 1950 agreement is still signed by all Academy winners. It states that Oscar statuettes can only be sold back to the Academy for the nominal sum of $1 (63p).

Source: BBC

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Cinematographer Bruce Surtees mourned...


Cinematographer Bruce Surtees, who worked on films including Dirty Harry and Beverly Hills Cop, has died aged 74, Variety has reported.

Surtees was best known for his work with Clint Eastwood. The pair made 14 films together, including The Outlaw Josey Wales and Escape from Alcatraz.

He was nominated for an Oscar for Lenny, the 1974 biopic of comedian Lenny Bruce starring Dustin Hoffman.

He also helped shoot such stars as John Wayne, Laurence Olivier and Tom Cruise.

Born in Los Angeles, Surtees followed in the footsteps of his father Robert, who worked on Ben-Hur and The Graduate and was nominated for cinematography Oscars 16 times.

His last screen credit came on the 2002 film Joshua, starring F Murray Abraham of Amadeus fame.

Source: BBC

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The Archers: 28/2/2012


Synopses:

Tom pushes things too far. Meanwhile Will and Nic are celebrating.


Tom wants to discuss his plans for growing peppers but Tony’s shattered and still has work to do. Helen reminds Tom to go easy on Tony and Pat agrees now’s not the best time. But Tom wants it settled and goes to talk to Tony in the milking parlour.

Tom finds Tony lying on the floor in agony. Realising it’s serious, Tom calls an ambulance. The paramedic checks Tony out before taking him to hospital.

Nic’s found some left-over fireworks. Will agrees they can let them off after tea. They’re having a great time, until Nic gets a call from Helen.

As Helen and Tom wait anxiously for news, Tom blames himself for hassling Tony. Nic turns up to take care of Henry so that they can go to the hospital but Pat finally calls. It was a heart attack, a blocked artery. Tony’s already had an operation and he’s out of danger. He’s going to be alright.

Tony’s weak but asks if everything’s ok at the farm. Pat assures him there’s nothing to worry about. Tony’s sorry to be such a nuisance. He tells Pat that he thought he was a goner. Pat tearfully admits she thought the same. Tony tenderly tells her that he’s all right. He’s okay now.

Listen

Episode written by Simon Frith

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny...


The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny

An evening of classic songs by Sandy Denny featuring Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Policewoman), Maddy Prior, Jerry Donahue, Dave Swarbrick, Green Gartside, PP Arnold, Thea Gilmore, plus members of Bellowhead, Lavinia Blackwall (Trembling Bells), Sam Carter, Blair Dunlop (The Albion Band), Ben Nicholls (Dennis Hopper Choppers) & more…

In the years since her tragic death in 1978, folk icon Sandy Denny is now widely regarded by musicians and critics alike as Britain’s finest female singer songwriter and one of the greatest singers this country has ever produced. Her signature song Who Knows Where The Time Goes has been recorded by a diverse range of artists including Cat Power, 10,000 Maniacs, Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone, and most famously Judy Collins. The song was voted "Favourite Folk Track of All Time" by listeners of BBC Radio 2 and is also played at the close of Jez Butterworth’s Award Winning play Jerusalem. The comprehensive re-issue of all Denny’s recordings in recent years, has seen her reputation continue to grow, at a time when more and more of today’s rising stars are acknowledging Sandy Denny’s contribution and significance as both a singer and songwriter: artists such as Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom, Florence Welch and the Unthanks.

This tour entitled ‘The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny’ will showcase her entire musical legacy for the first time, encompassing her work with Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, her solo career as well as new songs discovered in Sandy’s archive and completed by Thea Gilmore on her acclaimed album Don’t Stop Singing. In her short career, Sandy Denny wrote an astonishing range of songs including Fotheringay, The Sea, Late November, The Lady, It’ll Take A Long Time, Solo, Like an Old Fashioned Waltz, Stranger to Himself and I’m A Dreamer – all of which will feature in this special homage. Sandy’s personal and reflective compositions are distinguished by their unexpected harmonies and elusive lyrics where people were often described in terms of the natural world. Her style mixes a contemporary sound while still carrying a traditional resonance, which coupled with her voice can still sweep the listener off their feet. Truly, as she wrote in one of her greatest songs, the lady had a silver tongue.


Music Beyond Mainstream are pleased to announce the tour dates are as follows:

May 19: LIVERPOOL Liverpool Philharmonic 0151 709 3789 liverpoolphil.com

May 20: NOTTINGHAM Royal Centre 0115 989 5555 royalcentre-nottingham.co.uk

May 21: BRIGHTON Festival 01273 709709 brightondome.org

May 22: COVENTRY Warwick Arts Centre 024 7652 4524 warwickartscentre.co.uk

May 23: LONDON Barbican Centre 020 7638 8891 barbican.org.uk

May 24: BASINGSTOKE The Anvil 01256 844244 anvilarts.org.uk

May 27: GATESHEAD The Sage Gateshead 0191 443 4661 thesagegateshead.org

May 28: MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall 0161 907 9000 bridgewater-hall.co.uk


Sandy’s songs will be performed by a remarkable gathering of musicians drawing from contemporaries such as Maddy Prior, Dave Swarbick, Jerry Donahue and PP Arnold alongside present day performers such as Joan Wasser (aka Joan As Policewoman), Green Gartside, Thea Gilmore, Bellowhead, Sam Carter, Lavinia Blackwall and Blair Dunlop. All will bring something of their own talent and experience to this unique tribute to Sandy Denny.

Like Sandy, Maddy Prior came out of the 60’s folk clubs to find wider recognition as part of the successful folk-rock group; Steeleye Span with whom she still performs. Maddy Prior has also released an acclaimed series of solo albums and worked with fellow folk singer June Tabor in their duo Silly Sisters. Renowned fiddler Dave Swarbrick was a rising star of the folk scene having worked with A.L. Lloyd, Ewan MacColl and Martin Carthy when he joined Fairport Convention in 1969; alongside Sandy, the two of them helped to shape Fairport’s milestone recording Liege & Lief: He is now recognized as one of the most influential violin players in Britain. Jerry Donahue is one of the world’s most respected guitarists, known for his left hand technique and string-bending style. He joined Sandy in Fotheringay, the group she put together on leaving Fairport Convention and continued to accompany her throughout her solo career and when she later re-joined Fairport Convention. PP Arnold the American-born soul singer, enjoyed considerable success in the UK in the 1960s as part of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and as a solo performer on the Immediate label working with Andrew Loog-Oldham and Mick Jagger. A series of collaborations with high profile artists followed including Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees and perhaps more surprisingly Nick Drake and Steeleye Span.

Of the younger artists, the American musician Joan Wasser, is one of the most respected of the current generation of female singer-songwriters. She has released three acclaimed albums as Joan as Police Woman, and worked with a wide variety of artists including Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and Antony and the Johnsons. Thea Gilmore has developed a respected reputation as a songwriter and interpreter and managed to combine both gifts brilliantly in bringing to life a selection of Sandy Denny’s unrecorded songs recently discovered in her archive on the album ‘Don’t Stop Singing’. Green Gartside is the founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist with Scritti Politti, whose unique punk-pop was distinguished by Green's philosophical wordplay. In recent years Green has taken part in homages to The Incredible String Band and Nick Drake.,

Also taking part in the tour is Bellowhead member Benji Kirkpatrick who plays on Thea’s album (His father John Kirkpatrick had also played on the album ‘Sandy’ back in 1972). Bellowhead are in many ways a Fairport for the present day in the way they continue to create equally ground-breaking folk music, and maintain a formidable live reputation; Pete Flood and Andy Mellon of the group also join the tour band; Lavinia Blackwall, is the singer and keyboardist of Trembling Bells; one of the key groups influenced by the psychedelic folk-rock sound of the 1960’s. Lavinia's soaring vocal style has also drawn favourable comparison to Sandy’s. Sam Carter is one of the finest young finger picking style guitarists and was voted Best Newcomer in BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards in 2010. They join rising star Blair Dunlop, a 2012 BBC Young Folk Award nominee, who is now featured in the first ever Albion Band not to feature his father, Ashley Hutchings, a founding member of Fairport Convention. Ben Nicholls is a multi-instrumental musician and double bass player performing with the award winning Seth Lakeman Band amongst others. He fronts his own band Dennis Hopper Choppers released an acclaimed album ‘Be Ready’ last year. Ben will be performing, and also joins the band on bass.

Together, the ensemble creates a unique, adventurous homage to the lady described by Richard Thompson as ‘the greatest British female artist of her generation’.

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Review: Matt Watts


Matt Watts - Joy And Longing (Independent)
Originally from Montana, Matt Watts is now resident in Antwerp (yes, that Antwerp, the one in Belgium). His band, The Calicos, is the Belgian pairing of William Sanders and the spectacularly monikered Guido op de Beeck. Both are multi-instrumentalists. What it was that took him so far from his Montana home is unknown, possibly by all but Matt Watts alone, but whatever his reasons, the change of scenery seems to agree with him. He lists amongst his influences Simon Joyner, Alasdair Roberts and Daniel Johnston, which, if you’re au fait with a certain sort of lo-fi, bedsit-folk singer-songwriter, should provide some clues to Watts’ style and sound.

Confessional, sparse, gentle and quirky, Watts’ use of language demands close attention. Songs like “Come Rest Your Bones” and “I Just Feel Lonesome” are littered with perfect lines and phrases that you’ll want to hear, but you’ve got to get up close to experience them properly. Watts barely raises his voice above a whisper, but the uncluttered framing of his lyrics means it remains accessible. “Lover, Where Have You Gone?” is my favourite, its folk-blues is relentlessly dark, but my goodness, it’s a faultless arrangement of words and music.
http://www.mattwatts.be/
Rob F.



Matt Watts: Joy and Longing

Review: Aeocholas


Aeocholas - Maritime Forest (Barn Art Records)
Aeocholas’ “Maritime Forest” EP is six tracks of jazzy electronica, languid R&B and askew pop. Though the beats and rhythms suggest contemporary influences at play, the electronics have a distinct late ‘70s / early ‘80s feel about them. The result is arty and experimental, and in places almost avant-garde, yet importantly, it remains entirely accessible throughout its 21 minute running time.

Of Aeocholas I know next to nothing. It could be a single man or a 15-piece synth orchestra; I’ve honestly no idea. All lines of enquiry lead back to the music, which is just fine. Inspired by the wooded coastline of the American southeast, the recording begins with “Tidal Flat”, and although the electronic percussion is insistent, I’m reminded of the later avant-jazz inspired albums of Mark Hollis and Talk Talk. “Let It Go” manages to be overtly pop, while stirring up faint memories of Weather Report – very odd, but like the rest of the EP, you’ll want to hear it again.
http://aeocholas.blogspot.com/
Rob F.



Aeocholas: Maritime Forest

Review: The Uncommon Houseflies


The Uncommon Houseflies - Wretched Radio (Better Days Records)
In 1986 Frank Zappa posed the question “Does Humor Belong In Music?” Considering Frank’s oeuvre included such gems as “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Penguin In Bondage” we must conclude that his own answer was affirmative. I think it’s safe to assume that The Uncommon Houseflies are very much in agreement. Previous albums “Zombie Clowns Ate Your Sister's Kitty” and “Excrement Weather” have featured many sing-a-long family favourites including “Disgruntled Shooter (In the Nursing Home)”, “Pink Party Vomit” and “Beating Up Hippies”, and fans of those particular recordings will not be disappointed by the fare on offer here.

“Wretched Radio” is chock full of irreverent subject matter, from being dumped for a longhair (“The Jam Band Incident”) to misguided religious enthusiasm and giving up underwear for lent (“Commando for Jesus”). Originally inspired by The Ramones, they’re not averse to wrapping feisty power-pop-punk tunes around their words of wisdom, but other styles, including alt. country and rap get a look in. Needless to say, your own response to the original question will help make your mind up whether this is a band you want to hear. If you’re partial to a bit of comedy then jump right in. I’m sure you’ll have a chuckle or two when you hear the tracks already mentioned, and you’ll be equally chuffed with “Border Disorder (The Canada Song)” and “Space Monkey” – everyone likes a hairy astronaut song.
http://uncommonhouseflies.com/
Rob F.



The Uncommon Houseflies: Wretched Radio

Review: Aiyana Cadwell


Aiyana Cadwell - Jasmine In June (Independent)
It’s been four years since Aiyana Cadwell released “Wreaking Honey”, her acclaimed debut that drew comparisons to Norah Jones and Fiona Apple. Her latest, the four-track “Jasmine In June” EP is sure to be just as well-received.

Cadwell is an accomplished songwriter, singer and pianist. She’s unafraid to share emotional highs and lows and possesses a good ear for a pop hook. Here she works with a producer for the first time, Rob Harkness at Barn Productions in Los Angeles, and the collaboration has added another dimension to the work. The opening track “February Winter” is a beautiful song, taken to a whole new level by assorted strings, especially a wonderfully morose cello. On the title track, various instruments are layered to provide a rich, warm environment for Cadwell’s song, and “Another Man's Dream” is positively funky in a pleasing ‘70s way, and might be one of those few songs that seems to take equal inspiration from Stevie Wonder and Carole King.
http://aiyanacadwell.com/
Rob F.



Aiyana Cadwell: Jasmine in June

Announcing Variety Lights: the new band from David Baker (ex-Mercury Rev)‏...


Announcing Variety Lights:
the new band from David Baker (ex-Mercury Rev)


Album 'Central Flow' due out in June
Exclusive Single for Record Store Day "Silent Too Long" – 21 April
FREE MP3 "Silent Too Long": http://soundcloud.com/firerecords/variety-lights-silent-too

Fire Records are proud to announce the signing of Variety Lights, the new band from David Baker, legendary frontman of the original incarnation of Mercury Rev.

After leaving the public spotlight more than 18 years ago, Baker returns with his collaborator, Will MacLean, to debut the remarkable psychedelic-synth album 'Central Flow'. The lead track is, appropriately, "Silent Too Long", which will be released as an exclusive single for Record Store Day.

As a founding member and vocalist for Mercury Rev, Baker helped to forge their revolutionary sound with their first two (and most critically acclaimed) albums; 'Yerself Is Steam' (1991) and 'Boces' (1993). Having left the band in 1993, Baker went on to release a solo album 'World' under the moniker Shady, which featured members of the Boo Radleys, Rollerskate Skinny, Swervedriver and Th' Faith Healers.

Although there has been much speculation about his life during his time away from the public eye, Baker has continued to make recordings and is an avid music fan, working as a producer for various artists. Now he is back, morphed and transmogrified into Variety Lights (a name lifted from Fellini's first film).

When he met Will MacLean, Baker found a songwriting partner who shared a passion for analogue synths and electronic psychedelia. Initial experimentation together live to tape – to see how big and crazy just the two of them could sound – started to reveal melodies and Variety Lights was born.

Much of Variety Lights’ debut 'Central Flow' was recorded by Baker at his own Over the Trees studio. The sound was created using a mixture of chained around-the-room 80's era midi expanders as well as the duo's collection of vintage keyboards and combining them with an array of drum machines and effected guitars.

There are plans to play the songs live with a full band including drums and bass, with dates to follow at some point later on in 2012.

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Review: Penelope Houston


Penelope Houston – On Market Street (Glitterhouse)
Penelope Houston’s musical calling began in 1977, leading The Avengers, the San Francisco punk outfit who supported the Sex Pistols at the last ever show (check out the “We Are The One” EP. On the second side, “Car Crash” is particularly meaty). Since those early days, she’s collaborated with Howard Devoto and carved herself out a respectable solo career, which has recently been put on hold as she’s hit the road with her reformed band. Now back recording under her own name, “On Market Street” is her seventh solo album and her first since 2004; punk rock guitars have been replaced with Hammond and Wurlitzer organs, and on “Winter Coats” and “Meet Me In France” a string quartet.

Houston’s sound, a combination of sophisticated chamber pop, Southern Americana and urban alt. country rarely disappoints, and provides a series of genuine standout tracks. “You Reel Me In” is soulful and lyrically isn’t unlike the sort of thing Lucinda Williams was writing circa “Car Wheels…”. “Scrap” is positively playful, and “Come Back To The Fountain” is gentle, sweeping pastoral pop. Perhaps best of all is “If You’re Willing”, the song that inspired the album, an epic distillation of Houston’s then state of mind.
http://www.penelope.net/
Rob F.

The Archers: 27/2/2012


Synopses:

Brian offers the hand of peace and Susan tries to control herself.


Brian and Annabelle discuss the next steps for the proposed dairy. South Borsetshire planning department are bound to cause them a few headaches, and the Environment Agency could still scupper the whole project. Brian’s confident Adam won’t give them any more problems but Annabelle’s not convinced and suggests Brian has a word with him.

Neil and Susan enjoy having their home to themselves but Susan feels sorry for Gary. She suggests Neil could paint his room as a random act of kindness for Lent. Neil feels he’s done enough but agrees to think about it. He suggests Susan tries Alan’s other proposal for Lent - giving up gossip.

Neil drops some paint off but it turns out Gary doesn’t want his room touched. He’s happy with his Star Trek wallpaper. Susan thanks Neil for trying. She starts to tell Neil that she saw Brian and Annabelle leaving The Feathers together but Neil challenges her not to gossip. Susan takes up the challenge and says no more.

Brian thanks Adam for not going to the public meeting last week. Adam points out that his reason for not going doesn’t warrant Brian’s thanks. Brian tries to appease the situation but Adam insists it’s too late to just agree to differ.

Listen

Episode written by Simon Frith

Monday, 27 February 2012

Guns N' Roses announce seven-date UK arena tour for May...


Guns N' Roses have announced a seven-date UK arena tour.

The US rock band will start the concerts in Nottingham on 19 May.

They will then play dates in Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester before finishing at London's O2 Arena on 31 May.

The original members of Guns N' Roses are due to appear together on the same stage in April as the band is inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Guns N' Roses is made up of singer Axl Rose, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, bassist Tommy Stinson, rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer plus lead guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba.

Former members include Slash, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.

Other bands being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, on 14 April include Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys.

Guns N' Roses last performed together in the UK in 2010.

They were bottled off stage at a concert in Dublin after they arrived on stage nearly an hour late and their set was cut short after they played past their curfew at Reading that year.

The band say they are working on new material at the moment.

Their last album, 2008's Chinese Democracy, made it to number two in the UK album chart.

The UK tour dates are as follows:

Nottingham Capital FM Arena - 19 May

Liverpool Echo Arena - 20

Newcastle Metro Radio Arena - 23

Glasgow SECC - 25

Birmingham LG Arena - 26

Manchester Evening News Arena - 29

London O2 Arena - 31

Tickets for the tour go on sale on Friday 3 March at 9am.

Source: BBC

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The Sex Pistols sign new record deal with Universal...


The Sex Pistols have signed a record deal with Universal, it has been announced.

An "expanded and repackaged edition" of the band's Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols album will be released later this year.

Universal said the release will tie in with the record's 35th anniversary.

"To be given the opportunity to re-evaluate the Sex Pistols catalogue is every music lover's dream," said Universal's Karen Simmonds.

"We're looking forward to working with the band and celebrating their impact on worldwide culture."

The band, best known for hits such as Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen, formed in 1975.

Newspaper furore

Fronted by Johnny Rotten, the group forged a reputation that encouraged fans to rise and rebel against the establishment.

In 1976 they signed a contract with record label EMI, but the deal became shortlived after the group caused controversy during an appearance on Thames Television's Today programme.

The live interview was littered with expletives and led to a furore for days afterwards in the national newspapers.

Further negative publicity led to EMI, which has since been bought by Universal and Sony, releasing the band from their contract.

Source: BBC

V Festival lines up Stone Roses...


The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and The Killers have been announced as the headline acts at this year's V Festival.

Noel Gallagher and his band the High Flying Birds have also been added to the bill, along with Sir Tom Jones, Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran.

Organisers said more acts would be announced at a later date.

The event, now in its 17th year, takes place on 18 and 19 August in Chelmsford and Staffordshire.

Last October The Stone Roses announced they were ending their 15-year split and reforming for a series of gigs.

As well as V, the Manchester band have also been lined up to headline Scotland's T in the Park festival.

Although the group only recorded two albums before they dissolved in 1996, their self-titled 1989 record was generally regarded a seminal work.

US singer Nicki Minaj, Tinie Tempah, The Human League, Madness and The Proclaimers have also been added to the V Festival bill.

Former X Factor contestant Olly Murs will return to the event, which he also performed at last year.

"Coming back to play at V Festival for a second year is fantastic. I've been going to the festival as a punter for years, so performing there is always going to be special - especially on that main stage," he said.

Festival director Simon Moran said organisers deliberately picked a mix of veteran and new acts to play the music event this year.

"The mix of established and exciting breakthrough acts promises to give festival-goers a cracking weekend," he said.

V Festival tickets go on sale on 2 March.

Source: BBC

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Record Store Day 2012 exclusive...‏


Record Store Day 2012 exclusive Acid Reflex EP Ltd 12" & Digital Download
21st April 2012


Brooklyn based Indie-Pop quartet 'The Pains of Being Pure at Heart' have announced details of a remix EP in support of Record Store Day, released on Play It Again Sam on limited edition coloured vinyl.



The remixes are lifted from their 2011 follow-up album, ‘Belong’ (March 2011), which was produced by Grammy award winning ‘Flood’ (Depeche Mode, U2) and alternative-rock royalty, Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride)".

“An album that stands up to the touchstone indie classics it references” – **** Mojo
“Belong is a bigger, bolder, and brighter follow-up that adds new dimensions to the Pains' sound” – Pitchfork, 8.2, Best New Music

The band also play a one off London show this March, tickets are on sale now.

Thursday 8th March 2012
O2 Academy Islington
N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, London, N1 0PS o2academyislington.co.uk
£16.00 adv ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000

thepainsofbeingpureatheart.com
recordstoreday.com
playitagainsam.net
slumberlandrecords.com

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The Artist triumphs at the Oscars...


Silent movie The Artist has triumphed at the Oscars, winning five awards including best picture, best director and best actor for Jean Dujardin.

Director Michel Hazanavicius - winning on his first ever nomination - thanked the dog, Uggie, who appears in the film but added: "I don't think he cares."

Dujardin said of his character: "If George Valentin could speak, he would say 'Wow! Victorie! Genial! Merci!'"

The film also won the Oscars for best original score and best costumes.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo also won five Oscars, mainly in technical categories.

Meryl Streep won best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady - her 17th Oscar nomination and third Oscar win.

She thanked the Academy "for this inexplicably wonderful career".

"When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going: 'Aww no. Not her again'. But, you know, whatever.

"I look out here and I see my life before my eyes. My old friends, my new friends. This is such a great honour but the thing that counts the most for me is the friendships… Thank you. All of you, departed and here," she added.

Dujardin broke into his native French language in celebration shouting: "Wow, victory!"

"Thank you to the Academy. It's funny because in 1929, it wasn't Billy Crystal but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscars ceremony. Tickets cost $5 and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed."

1929 was the last year that a silent movie won an Oscar.

Canadian actor Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner at 82 by taking the best supporting actor prize.

He was widely tipped to win for his portrayal of a father who comes out as a gay man after his wife dies in Beginners.

Plummer thanked his real-life wife who, he said, deserved "the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day".

The Help's Octavia Spencer won the best supporting actress Oscar and gave an emotional acceptance speech, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

"Thank you Steven Spielberg for changing my life...oh my God, thank you... I'm freaking out," she told the audience, after struggling up to the stage in a floor-length gown.

Best adapted screenplay went to Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants, starring George Clooney.

Veteran screenwriter and director Woody Allen won best original screenplay for Midnight in Paris but was not there to collect the award.

Muppets win

The first two awards of the night went to Hugo for cinematography and art direction.

Robert Richardson was cinematographer on Martin Scorsese's 3D film and Francesca Lo Schiavo was art director.

And later, the film about an orphan who lives in a train station picked up a further three Oscars, all in technical categories.

Best sound editing was won by Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty.

Hugo's Tom Fleishman and John Midgley won the Oscar for sound mixing and the film also picked up the award for best visual effects.

Rango won best animation, a first Academy award and nomination for director Gore Verbinski, who said it was "made by grown-ups acting like a bunch of children".

The film features the voice of Johnny Depp, who plays a chameleon.

Best animated short film was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.

The Oscar for costume design went to Mark Bridges for The Artist, who thanked the Academy "for making a lifelong dream come true".

The best make-up prize went to J Roy Helland and British artist Mark Coulier for The Iron Lady.

Iran's A Separation became the first Iranian film to win an Oscar when Sandra Bullock presented director Asghar Farhadi with best foreign language film.

Set in contemporary Iran, it tells the story of a marriage break-down.

Best film editing went to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - the pair also won last year for The Social Network. Both films were directed by David Fincher.

The Oscar for best original song was won by Bret Mackenzie for Man or Muppet from the soundtrack to The Muppets.

Best documentary went to Undefeated, a film about an inner city American football team whose fortunes are turned around by a new coach.

The executive producer of the film was rapper Sean 'P Diddy' Combs.

Cohen stunt

Northern Ireland film The Shore won the best live action short film.

Saving Face, about a British-Pakastani doctor who helps women who have been injured in acid attacks, won best documentary short.

Earlier, Morgan Freeman introduced the evening before a comic video was shown of George Clooney waking up host Billy Crystal with a kiss - in a parody of his nominated film The Descendants.

Freeman said: ""All of us are mesmerised by the magic of the movies. This magnificent event allows us to celebrate the present and look back at its magnificent past".

Crystal hosted the 84th Oscars ceremony at the Kodak theatre in Los Angeles.

He joked: "This is my ninth time - just call me War Horse."

On the red carpet, British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen turned up dressed in a white military uniform and sporting a beard and sunglasses, promoting his upcoming film The Dictator.

Cohen arrived holding an urn he jokingly claimed contained the ashes of Kim Jong Il, the late leader of North Korea.

Cohen then tipped the container on to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

Source: BBC

Film academy: Plans announced for courses around UK...


A new film academy which will help train the next generation of British movie-makers is to be launched.

The scheme will be led by the British Film Institute (BFI) and will cater for some 5,000 students aged between 16-19.

It will operate at weekends and evenings at centres around the country, and will get £3m from the Department for Education over three years .

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the academy would help ensure the industry remained competitive.

The minister said he was especially keen for "those who don't have certain advantages" to get the opportunity to participate.

"This project should provide opportunities to young people who might otherwise miss out," he said.

Cut in spending

Schools and colleges will help to identify any young students, who are deemed to have "exceptional levels of creative talent, technical skills, commitment and tenacity", organisers said.

The courses will teach technical, business and marketing skills. which are necessary to launch a career in the film industry.

Up to 200 young people will then be selected for a residential film-making course.

The announcement comes at a time when government funding for the arts is being cut.

In 2010 it was announced that the UK Film Council was being axed as part of a cost-cutting drive by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The BFI took over the council's funding role.

Source: BBC

The Archers: 26/2/2012


Synopses:

Ruth is at the end of her tether and Chris shows his thoughtful side.


Jennifer thinks Debbie returned to Hungary feeling positive about the dairy. But at the public meeting Jennifer was surrounded by Pat and Ruth, so she felt under siege. She just wishes Debbie could have had a proper talk with Adam. Brian’s just grateful Adam didn’t come to the meeting.

Ruth can’t believe their latest electricity bill is so high. David gently suggests it’s time to make a decision. Ruth won’t face up to the thought of giving up the cows; she might as well give up farming. Jennifer heads their way, looking for Adam. Ruth can’t face her while she feels like this.

Chris senses Alice is upset that they can’t afford to join her old school friends on an Easter skiing holiday, and tries to perk her up. Alice tells Brian she’s feeling guilty for taking things out on Chris. Chris turns up with some catkins for her. Alice hugs him and assures him she really doesn’t want to go to Austria but loves his idea of going for an indoor snowboarding session.

Jennifer wishes she had their problems. She tells Brian how Ruth cut her dead. This dairy scheme is tearing apart the whole family. Pat and Tony are already at war with them, and now Ruth!

Listen

Episode written by Simon Frith

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Adam Sandler leads Razzie nominations...


Comedy actor Adam Sandler is leading the charge at this year's Razzie awards with 11 nods, the highest number of nominations in a single year.

The spoof prizes, formally known as The Golden Raspberrys, are handed out to celebrate the worst films of the year.

Sander's cross-dressing comedy Jack & Jill led the pack with 12 nominations.

His romantic comedy Just Go With It got five, and Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, for which Sandler wrote the screenplay, notched up six nods.

Sandler received a worst actor and actress nomination, for Jack & Jill, in which he plays both the male and female roles.

Co-star Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, who plays himself in the movie, bagged themselves nominations in the worst supporting categories.

Also selected as worst film nominees were Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, New Year's Eve, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and the fourth instalment in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn Part 1.

The movie, based on the Stephenie Meyer series of books, received eight nominations, including a worst actor nod for Taylor Lautner.

He will compete against British actor Russell Brand in the category, alongside Nicolas Cage and Nick Swardson.

In the female category Sandler was not the only male to be up for playing a woman, as Martin Lawrence was also nominated for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was also singled out for playing herself in Sarah Palin: The Undefeated and Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Stewart completed the list.

The year the awards, which are usually handed out the day before the Oscars, will be presented on 1 April.

Organisers said moving the ceremony would allow its voting members more time to see the nominated movies.

The winners will be determined by members of the Golden Raspberry Foundation.

Source: BBC

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Review: Dodgy


Dodgy - Stand Upright In A Cool Place (Strike Back Records)
Dodgy - not the most positive name for a band, though I doubt it made much difference to their career, even if they were always much underrated. I remember hearing "In A Room" for the first time and deciding that I wouldn’t hear anything better that year (1996). Never a band that was feted, Dodgy just did what they did, making some cracking indie rock records during the Britpop era. The same thing seemed to happen to Compulsion as well, another band with an ear for a tune that somehow never quite scaled the heights that would make them a household name.

This new album underlines their prowess with melody and arrangements. Dodgy have always been good value; their songs are full, well-rounded affairs, delivered with a professionalism that’s even greater now than back in their heyday. "Did It Have To Be This Way" is a perfect example of what this band are all about, with chiming, classic harmonies, poignant, personal lyrics, and a deft touch with the instrumentation. Great pop songs don't get much better than this. There are eleven on here, this one just happens to be the best, just edging out "What became Of You" and the glorious closer "Happy Ending" (let's hope it is... but not just yet…).

I doubt new fans will be queuing round the block to hear this, but I fear that’s Dodgy's fate. Anyone with a keen ear for really fine melodies and sharp writing will probably already know what to expect, and will hopefully check this out. Please do so, and do what I’ve just done, and intend to continue to do: spread the word that Dodgy never were dodgy, and never will be. They’re just a class act.
http://www.dodgyology.com/
Kev A.

Review: Hanne Hukkelberg


Hanne Hukkelberg - Featherbrain (Propeller Recordings)
My first excursion into Hanne Hukkelberg's dominion, and the experience has been very pleasant, though odd, in a distinctly Scandinavian way. The title track leads out these occasionally eccentric songs ('experiences' rather than songs might sometimes be a closer fit), and it’s a clamorous affair, weaving in and out of a simple melody structure, which, in the past, I’d have found difficult. However, due to the variety of music I’ve been introduced to, via the site, my tastes have expanded, and I’m better for it, both as a listener and a lover of music. "Noah" confirms that Hanne is no singer of the norm, and her voice here sustains the interest with its languid and occasionally somewhat tremulous approach to the lyrics. She can also bring a song to life with a gentle hushed effect, as on "I Sing You", and even with the stronger instrumentation backing her, she still commands the show.

After these first three tracks, we are taken even further out. The discordant sounds that previously surfaced and merged with the rhythms of the tunes now start to take centre stage, and we’re treated to a much wider variety of effects. Strange whistling, shouty (but very effective) choral backing and slaps and claps all appear at some point to join in with the diverse instrumentation, that despite the slightly discordant moments of clanging and thumping, tinkling and strumming, is done to a weird and wonderful turn. This kind of thing is never easy to get right, and an audience can soon be lost when it does go wrong.

I’m disappointed to have ignored her previous material, which apparently, is a little less eccentric, though just as individual. Either way, to hear more of her voice, not perfect (and not meant to be) would be worth the investigation, alone. There are three albums prior to this, and I intend to track them down.
http://www.propellerrecordings.no/
Kev A.

Review: The Rosie Taylor Project


The Rosie Taylor Project - Twin Beds (Odd Box Records)
From beginning to end, this is quintessential English indie pop. Smart and neat with no loose ends, and played with plenty of verve. The light and lilting vocals float along on a musical cushion of guitar, keyboards and surging trumpet, as they bring us tales of simple souls who share their lives, together with the memories, the regrets, and the dreams that pepper their days.

Just over halfway into “Twin Beds” we get a delightful female voice joining in on "Sleep", and although I yearned to hear more of her, perhaps in a lead role, the melodies, and in particular the trumpet, prevented me from becoming too despondent. And that pure male voice, English through and through, suits the music down to the trouser turn-ups and sensible brogues, and helps the listener to lose themselves in these gentle, but oh so solid, songs. Underpinning the guitar and trumpet is a tight rhythm section, ensuring the whole thing stays together, keeping all of the parts in place.

A lovely album then, being both gentle and intimate, caressing you with each of its eleven songs, and once it’s finished it is very hard not to play it again.
http://oddboxrecords.com/
Kev A.